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Wow InspiredSquare, I really admire such devotion in meaningless tasks. I'm not being sarcastic. If you have this dedication, organization and preciseness in doing something you're not even supposed to do, I can't imagine how well you're able to do whatever your vocation demands. I agree with the two idiots below me in that you're kind of weird, but through the way you write one can see you also have a very analyitical mind.
Hey InspiredSquare, might I suggest you seek professional help? Your "analysis" of Tatev's videos borders on obsession, not to mention is insulting at points, ya weirdo.
InspiredSquare you are a joke~
please keep your lame comments to youself.
THANKS FROM ALL OF US~
As a beginning chess player who has fallen in love with the game, and someone who is looking to master the French Defense, I’ve watched each of WGM Tatev Abrahamian’s 3 videos at least 7 times in their entirety, and pausing more than a hundred times throughout to take notes, before writing this review. (I see that days ago, she has just posted #4 in this series. Terrific! These comments are made only for the first three videos.)
In covering the multitude of sidelines of the Winawer Variation of the French, Tatev does a very thorough and admirable job. It is clear that she loves this variation, and goes into great detail to show the viewer the large array of permutations the Winawer can take. I greatly appreciated this level of detail and thoroughness, as Tatev places at high value understanding the ideas behind the positions. I found that in studying these videos, I was much more likely to understand the position with her guidance, because she took the time to explain what the central philosophy was behind the structures. For this, I am most appreciative, and can recommend these videos without qualification.
Having said this, I also want to offer WGM Abrahamian some constructive criticism on the videos themselves, as no comprehensive review is complete without at least some suggestions that would, in this reviewer’s opinion, make them even better. First, as a non-native English speaker, Tatev’s pronunciation of ‘B’ ‘D’ and ‘E’ is often confounded and at times extremely difficult to follow. Perhaps no one has ever told her this, so I am saying it to her now for future instructional videos, which will only be better if she is able to clear up this part of her English.
Second, and more wide ranging, I found that Tatev’s organization oftentimes lacking, and sometimes quite poor, making them, at times, rather confusing to follow. It didn’t have to be this way. It is clear to this viewer, that she’s not always sure what she’s going to be discussing and how deeply, and at times ‘wings it’ not taking care to organize and build on what she’s talking about. To take just two examples, in Part II, she tells us that she is not going to cover Qg4, the mainline, but rather two sidelines of the Winawer: 5. Bd2 and 7. h4. After a few minutes, she precisely does what she says she’s not going to do, and between 4:30-6:20 (in the only time she covers the main line in superficial detail) discusses 5. Qg4 and the “Poisoned Pawn” variation. (Viewers may be surprised to know that all three of these videos are exclusively devoted to the sidelines of the Winawer Variation, and only in this two-minute segment, buried in part II, does Tatev cover the main line. Perhaps this is a way to be professionally mum, but to me it was a shocking absence, considering how these videos are labeled. If I’m missing something here, please correct me.) A second, somewhat embarassing example comes from Part III, where Tatev tells her viewers that Black’s c8 Knight always needs to be on c6, and should take care to return to this square even in the event that she successfully exchanges her light squared bishop on a6. Then perhaps 10 minutes later in the same video, she shows a position where that same Knight must not go to c6, but rather to c7 in order to offer support for a weak e6 pawn. Viewers can tell from these examples, that she hasn’t clearly organized and prepared her videos sufficiently, and as a result, I found they actually could be improved significantly.
Some very specific examples of ways the videos could have been better, but weren’t.
In Video #1:
@ 21:30 she says of 4. Qd3 “I know it’s not much of a line here, but it’s just a game.” = Unhelpful analysis
@ 24:30 she says of 4. Bd3, “We are going to play in the center, because we can.”
= Unhelpful analysis.
In Video #2:
@ opening minutes: are much better placed at the beginning of the first video, as it’s a crucial orientation to the French. = poor organization.
Covering a specific variation, her recommendation is for us to “play normal chess”.. = lazy presentation.. what does that possibly mean for someone trying to learn the French?
@ 19:40. There could be much more on the e5/Ne7 line which seems very rich in possibilities, seems to answer Roman’s video on the French, and is the line she most often plays. It’s interesting to note that this is a buried gem, and anyone who is interested in the French should take careful note of this sideline, as it’s the one Tatev herself often plays. = missed opportunity?
In Video #3:
@ 14:20, she says, “Just put your pieces on the squares designated for them” as if we know which squares are designated for which pieces. = Lazy presentation.
@27:50, in discussing the closing of the center by Black with …c4, we are told, “We are going to play c4 when it’s convenient for us, not when it’s convenient for our opponents.” I have no idea what this might entail, and unfortunately, Tatev doesn’t offer any ideas of when it might not be ‘convenient’ for us to close the center.
@ 28:00, after finishing with 7.Nf3, she returns to it to show other main options, but this subject had seemingly been left behind many minutes ago. = Poor organization.
Overall constructive comments:
· I Would have appreciated if Tatev told us the actual move number as she’s going through the variations.
· I am interested in learning more about when Black would want to play f6, and under what conditions he would want to wait, or avoid it. She tells us ‘sometimes it’s a matter of taste, sometimes it a matter of timing” Sure, I don’t doubt it. But unpacking this mystical statement would have been helpful.
· The video is named ‘Completely French’ is a misnomer, unfortunately. These videos are almost exclusively devoted to the sidelines of the Winawer Variation of the French Defense, which comes about after 1. e4 e6 2, d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bd4
· I thoroughly recommend Susan Polgar’s videos on the French. Not as deep on the Winawer, but more comprehensive… and extremely well organized.
I am extremely thankful for Tatev and Chess.com for having this video, as it offers me a very accessible way to start to study the French Defense. One question: Tatev, are you making any other videos, like the Tarrasch variation? I am sure, I’m not the only one who would be excited to see her next installments.
Overall, I am both deeply grateful for and excited about learning from these videos (yes, it is ongoing) and was frustrated and at times dismayed at their more-than-rare sloppiness and disorganization, without which would have made them unqualifiedly excellent learning tools.
Stars: 4 of 5
Has this series come to an abrupt halt?
Thx used to play this a lot. Won a good game with c4 and doubling rocks on f or g file... note Qg4 was covered earlier
I can't wait for the poisoned pawn variation! Does anyone know when it will be released?
Good material, but shouldn't there have been coverage of the critical 7 Qg4 lines?
Thank's a lot...Now i feel better when i am playing the Winawer variation...
Voice crack much?
“...if you're one of those people who likes to avoid a lot of theory and computer lines, then this is the perfect oppening...” WGM Abrahamyan
i'm very happy when someone explains structure and function based on positional concepts instead of memorizing long lines, so perhaps computer driven critique is better suited someplace else.
I'm glad you've learned about Fritz 13's new powerful feature, the Let's Check engine conglomerate. I do suggest that you turn it off for now and pay attention to the video. It's obvious that computers don't understand the game as well as WGM Abrahamyan does, since she not only has the knowledge of all these engines but of all the French literature and French experience that has happened since the French started.
I advise anyone that is fact checking these videos to first sit down and reason it yourself to get the maximum benefit out of them. This is a wonderful and very comprehensive guide to the Winawer for people that have not hit Master just yet!
Seriously put that computer away :)
At 6:48 u have the following moves
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 Ne7 7. Nf3 b6 8. Bb5+ Bd7 9. Bd3 c4 10. Be2 Ba4 11. h4 h6 12. h5 Kd7 *
How sure are you that black should play Kd7 here? Is there not something stronger?
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 Ne7 7. Nf3 b6 8. Bb5+ Bd7 9. Bd3 c4 10. Be2 Ba4 11. h4 h6 12. h5 Kd7 13. Nh4 Qg8 14. Bg4 Qh7 15. Ra2 Na6 16. Rh3 Nc7 17. Rf3
why did you say that you would play Raf8 * here, isnt the move g5 stronger?
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 Ne7 7. a4 Qc7 8. Nf3 h6 9. Bb5+ Bd7 10. Bd3 b6 11. h4 Nbc6 12. O-O
How sure are you of the move cxd4 13. cxd4 Nb4 *
Isnt this just allowing white to undouble his pawns, which would be exactly what he wanted to happen.
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 Ne7 7. a4 Qc7 8. Nf3 h6 9. dxc5 Nd7 10. Bb5 O-O 11. Bxd7 Bxd7 12. O-O f6 *
My computer actually sees f6 as a blunder. Instead it counsels that Rfc8 is the right move that should be played here.
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 Ne7 7. a4 Qa5 8. Bd2 Bd7 9. Nf3 Nbc6 10. Be2 f6 *
my computer thinks that f6 is really not the right move to play.
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 Ne7 7. Nf3 Qa5 8. Bd2 Nbc6 9. Bd3 c4 10. Be2 Bd7 11. O-O f6 12. exf6 gxf6 13. Nh4 O-O-O 14. f4 Rhg8 15. f5
here u are suggesting 15...Nxf5 but computer regards this as a bad move and suggests that e5 is played instead.
Tatev, great series!! Thank you so much!! Also nice job winning the deathmatch on chess.com/tv ... you played great ... lot's of French defense ... you gals really made the day a great one!
All my life I've wanted to play King d7 in the middlegame. God bless you Shakira, you've shown me the light.
I'm very impressed with the newer video authors, both you and GM Finegold. Very clear explanations all around.
Thanks for making the ideas in the winawer a little bit clearer. When you finish this series, which I am enjoying very much. Could you say a few words on the exchange variation. Thanks again
by WGM Tatev Abrahamyan
WGM Abrahamyan concludes her coverage of the main lines of the Winawer this weekend. She discusses the critical maneuvers black must undertake on the queenside, especially in the variations where black has managed a trade off of the light-squared bishops. As she has in each previous video, Tatev holds nothing back in revealing her own preparation and when giving her opinions of all the most interesting ideas in the French Defense.
Related: « Part 2
Part 4 »
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WGM Tatev Abrahamyan
Women's Grandmaster Tatev Abrahamyan is one of the youngest top-rated women chess players in the United States. She's competed in multiple U.S. Women's Championships, with her best result coming in 2005 - tying for first place only to lose out in the playoff. Born in Yerevan, Armenia in 1988 - Tatev came to the U.S. as a young girl, and quickly rose through the ranks, eventually joining the U.S. Women's Olympic Team. An expert in the French Defense, Tatev's Debut Video Series reveals many of her personal repertoire secrets.
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