Winawer without Theory

May 7, 2016, 1:05 PM |

I've been learning the French Defense, or at least a few lines of it. I overwhelmingly play opponents who go for the Exchange Variation (3. exd5) or the Advance Variation (3. e5), both of which I've learnt and enjoy playing. Recently, however, I played a game in which my opponent played 3. Nc3, inviting a Classical French, which I am absolutely clueless about. 

The only response to 3. Nc3 I had even the slightest inkling about was 3... Bb4, the Winawer Variation. I know that the Winawer is a tremendously convoluted tactical nightmare--and nothing beyond the very first move. Even though I myself prefer quiet positional play (though recently I've been experimenting with attacking chess), I thought, what the heck, let's go for it. The game that follows was thought out exclusively over the board, and yielded some interesting results when I analysed it later and went over actual Winawer themes.


This isn't a very good Winawer at all. It's marred by inaccuracy on my side (thinking over the board, particularly in blitz, will only get you so far) and outright error on his side. But what I appreciate is the natural flow of some of the Winawer themes in a position like this, even if the moves to accomplish these goals aren't 100% accurate. That's what makes an opening fun to play, for me. 
I'm certain my analysis is incomplete; feel free to comment about this!