Praise of the French-Fort Knox

Feb 15, 2014, 10:09 PM |
I have been struggling to find a good defense for black against e4 that I did not have to study much theory to understand.  So here is basically all you need to know to play the Fort Knox variation. 
1)1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3(or Nd2) dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bd7 5. Nf3 Bc6 6. Bd3 Nd7 ... black must make the moves in that order.
2)Keep white's Knight off of e5... Do what you gotta do.
3)Trade your light squared bishop for his f3 night when the opportunity arises. then get your pawns onto white squares.  (the move a6 can buy time hoping that the knight sitting of e4 moves exposing the knight on f3 to the exchange)
4)Your Dark squared bishop belongs on e7... (it may end up dancing around the f7 pawn if later in the game you play g6.)
5)Do not push h7-h6 unless you are very very sure that it is not worth it for white to sac a bishop to tear up black's queen side.
6)Castle kingside.
7)Trading pieces is good.
Such directions should get you through the opening... without the need of much more theory. The only real trap/zap that you must stay aware of is "Greek Gift".  Pay attention to that and you should be good too go.  Here is an example of a game, I made mistakes I know, where I managed to get out of the opening.  By move 25 by opponent had already used up 1h45min trying to find a weakness.  Even with such a time advantage I could only manage a draw.   I will annotate this later.  I was just really excited as it was the highest rated person that I played where the game did not result in a loss.  YAY!  I owe it to the Fort Knox.
Here is the first example:
I blundered on move 38 but other than that, it was a strong showing and I went for the win instead of settling for the draw...
Example 2:
I learned an important lesson.  When the opponent is low on time... Leave the queens on the board.  In this game my opponent was living off delay from move 41 on.  Somehow I couldn't take my lead and turn it into a win.
In both these games, I was outrated by over 300 points... I got out of the opening in both games with a lead.  I was not able to capitalize on my better position in either game.... That is what I will work on next.