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I have recently been playing the French with success, and have really been happy with the different branches of the opening. I have, however found that in the classical variation, after White plays 4. Bg5, the two main options are Be7 and dxe4. Since 4. ... Be7 usually leads to the exchange of dark square bishops, which is in my opinion not a great idea for Black since he'll be stuck with only his bad bishop, I have looked to the burn variation but am somewhat turned off at the solid but slightly passive play that follows. In the main line however, I was wondering if the play becomes more dynamic after the following, 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 dxe4 5. Nxe4 Be7 6. Bxf6 gxf6. Thanks in advance,
If you know this line, please comment.
The McCutcheon is a quite reasonable option as well.
The burn variation might go something like this-
Black is taking some big risks with this variation. He is committing to some purely anti-positional ideas in an attempt to grab the initiative. Just throw everything you can at white and make sure your pieces are more active then his, because if they arn't you're position is quite weak.
The line of the Burn pellik shows is somewhat popular, and has been played by Short and other strong GMs, but most of the other variations aren't so aggressive. But Black can't afford to be passive after giving up the center with ...dxe4, he needs to be trying to use his own chances.
In fact, no matter how "drawish" or "boring" a position may seem, playing passively is usually an express ticket to defeat. The game is a war; you don't win wars by sitting around twiddling your thumbs!
With the burn variation, can I get by "just throwing everything at White?" Or is it theoretical enough to need to study theory? I have a tournament this Saturday and want to know how important the theory is on this variation.
If you want to play the Burn, study the games of Morozevich, and his remarkable ...a6 idea. And no, you cannot "throw everything at white" when you are short of space, and with no advantage in development.
The sharpest approach to 4.Bg5 (which IMO is inferior to 4.e5, although I have always opted for 4.Bg5 as white) is surely enough the McCutcheon.
I probably should have been more clear- by 'just throw everything at white' I am continuing my point that black's game is based entierly around the value of his activity. Becomming passive is not an option as he has weaknesses all over the board. In positions like that you do what you have to do to stay active and limit white's activity as best you can. If you valued your pawns you probably wouldn't be playing like that in the first place.
I don't think black is at a space disadvantage in the line I showed for the moment. Black has siezed a good number of central squares and threatens to control even more. Of course white is only just starting to fight back and after c4 it's going to be tricky for black.
Have tried the more old fashioned line with 7...b6, for example1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 dxe4 5. Nxe4 Be7 6. Bxf6gxf6 7. Nf3 b6 8. Bd3 Bb7 9. Qe2 c6 10. O-O-O Qc7 11. Kb1 Nd7
Tries to get developed before getting play for black squared bishop with f5. Not very easy to play either. Would play 6...Bxf6 these days, it interesting enough for black with two bishops.
Would play 6...Bxf6 these days, it interesting enough for black with two bishops.
Does Black have any good winning chances in that line? Or can White deliberately frustrate Black's imbalancing desires.
Just glancing at it, I doubt this is a good idea for black. He has none of his queenside developed (and all of his kingside pieces). White still has his d-pawn and c-pawn to put pressure on the e-pawn (which removed would leave two hopelessly isolated f-pawns). Obviously black cannot easily solve this by playing c6 unless he intends not to castle queenside at all.
Tell that to theory, and the grandmasters that play it with success.
6...Bxf6 7.Nf3 b6 is not terrribly inspiring. After 7.Bc4 Bb7 8.Qe2 c6 white can either play for a small positional squeeze via 9.0-0 Nd7 10.Ba6, or the same Ba6 plan with long castling. In both cases Black is solid, but passive.
7...a6 is currently far more popular (and active).
After 6...Bxf6 white can keep chopping with 7Nxf6 Qxf6 but black can play Nc6 and e5 with a comfortable position. Think black has to be prepared to grind in most openings, if white plays unambitiously, and needs to win.
So why the hell did you ask if you're only going throw our opinions back in our faces?
I gave my opinion on it after you asked for it, if any GMs asked for my opinion I would say the same thing.
Alas, I never asked for any random opinions, which is what you gave me. I most specifically asked:
"If you know this line, please comment"
You most obviously did not know this line because you dismissed it as soon as you saw doubled g-pawns and pieces were not yet developed. Did you not notice that the lack of development was the same for both sides after move 6?? If you knew this line, you would have had something informative to say, such as the general setup, or if it was indeed a good dynamic option opposed to 6. ...Bxf6.
Overall, your first comment was ridiculous because you did nothing to help. I also don't quite understand what you mean by my "precious theory." Are you suggesting that one should ignore that sort of resource in chess study?? Are there other ways to learn the opening?? Is there something you know that I don't??
I don't think his comment was that unhelpful. A strong d5 break is what white would like to happen. It was what happened in my 7...b6 game, which I lost. I played badly to allow it, but it's quite useful to know what the opponent's trying to do. In my experience gxf6 line is quite difficult one to play well.
I never even considered 7.Nxf6 as an option. I'd rather take up sewing or something.
It's a tough call.
Well I never claimed Nxf6 was a good move . The OP seemed to be fishing for unambitious responses to Bxf6. Otherwise black can play be7 as early as possible, and it is an unbalanced game.
Bareev has played both 7...Bxf6 and 6...Nbd7 with success, but these approaches can hardly be labelled as energetic. They are probably a tad better than the plain Rubinstein, but no more than that.
I've played the gf6 and b6 variation four times in the past, and scored quite well- three and a half points (the half point doesn't really count, as it was against my wife). But then it was the pre- Morozevich era, and ...a6 was hardly considered as a serious option.
12/10/2013 - Easterwood-Williams 2004
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