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In response to post #5:
1.d4 b6? 2.e4 Bb7 3.Bd3 e6 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Nge2. Now standard Owen strategy fails. Playing ...Bb4 and ...d5 just leads to a bad French for Black. Therefore, after 5...c5, White plays the gambit, 6.d5, with a far more significant advantage than the traditional "nagging edge" that you get for being White.
Please explain the gambit. Clearly the d pawn is weak but I don't really see why this position is so good for white:
#26 - You have got to be kidding me. 10.O-O! and what does Black have? For example, 10...Be7 11.Qh5 Nc6 12.Re1 Nd4 13.Bd2 and White is significantly better. What is Black going to do? 13...Kf8? (You sure as hell can't castle as that's mate in 1!)
Here is the game i referenced in an earlier posting. Having played this for the first time, i was a bit surprised as well with it but the ending was pretty nice.
I use the Owen's in blitz sometimes when I want to play a french structure against someone I know plays the exchange. It's not as good as a proper french defense (too slow), but it does get a nice structure.
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