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New ideas in the Alekhine-Chatard Attack:

New ideas in the Alekhine-Chatard Attack:

Jul 28, 2010, 3:56 AM 8

     Probably the highlight of my chess career as a class player was my win against NM Austen Green in an OTB tournament a couple years ago. I had recently taken up the french defense and modeled my repertoire after IM Ari Ziegler's Chessbase DVD on the subject. From previous games with Austen, I knew he would always play the Alekhine-Chatard attack against the classical french any chance he got. I came prepared with Ari's declined variation involving the seemingly crazy idea of castling right into the attack. As luck would have it, Austen's attack eventually fizzled and I found myself in a dominant endgame position. Eventually I won the blitzing sequence after Austen blundered a piece, and would eventually net 100 rating points after the tournament was over. Below is the notated part of the game (the rest was played under the sudden death 5-minute rule of not having to notate in time trouble):



     After winning the above game, I began thinking Ari's 0-0 line was the perfect solution to all of black's problems in the Alekhine-Chatard Attack. Chess, it seems, is often filled with revenge, paybacks, and improvements. I would play Austen in this line again, only this time Austen came prepared with an exploitation of a weak spot in the theory I had taken up. Indeed this new approach came with a novelty completely overlooked by IM Ziegler, effectively turning Ziegler's 9...Nc6! into 9...Nc6?! Our rematch was faught here on chess.com as a CC game. Austen pressed full-force with his new preparation and I cracked under the pressure. Below is the game with lots of my analysis notes and alternate lines:


     So after losing in the rematch, I came away from the game thinking 0-0 was just bad for black against the Alekhine-Chatard Attack. Having made a more in depth look at all the alternatives, I think the key improvement for black is that 9...cxd4 must be played, though the game will quickly trade down to a perpetual check draw. Here's the simplified new thoery line against Bd3-Qh5:

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