French Vs Caro-Kann

pwnsrppl2

I actually kinda like that.

Dsmith42

@James-Nguyen - I know it's a joke position, but white's formation there is vaguely reminiscent of Ulf Andersson's "hedgehog" formation, except that he played the black pieces and had an open c-file.  It was good enough to beat Karpov!

Dsmith42

And the challenge is over!  @1e4c6_O-1 flagged in our French Game.  This one, however, was quite hopeless for him already:

Book Rubinstein through move 7 (though I firmly believe 6. Bg5 is bad), the first real deviation is with 9. ..Nd5. The Engine recommends 9. ..c5, but I wanted to prove that the white bishop was unstable on g5.  And given what happened next, it's hard to argue:

- The engine correctly flags 10. c4? as a mistake, and it is serious and irreparable.  The game is lost by white right here.  If you study Nimzowitsch, posting a knight to a square like d5 is specifically to provoke this kind of weakening pawn thrust.  The engine recommends 10. Bd2, but that seems to prove my point about 6. Bg5.

- The engine flags 12. ..Bb4+ as an inaccuracy, but I think this is a depth-of-analysis quirk.  It recommends white reply with 13. Kf1, which does give white time to save the soon-to-be isolated d-pawn, but surrenders the right to castle while I still have the bishop pair.  Most likely the d-pawn still falls, but it's merely kicked over the engine's horizon.

- After a series of clear moves 17. Qe3 is flagged as an error (17. Qc2 recommended), but white saw clearly that the queen had to move to save the underprotected bishop on d6.

- The engine doesn't hit the queen exchange on move 18 as hard, but this merely simplifies to a trivially won (at least for me) endgame.

When white flagged, the engine analysis is already at -6.17 (like I said, hopeless).  All told, this is just about the cleanest game I've ever played, which is remarkable considering all of my moves were made after no more than 3 minutes upon seeing white's moves.  Of course, I always had 3+ days to blind analyze white's possible moves, and he never played a move I hadn't analyzed in advance, so I mostly did my thinking on his clock.

Anyway, this is a really good instructive game on the Rubinstein Variation, and on Nimzowtisch's positional principles.  In particular, 15. ..Qd5! (15. ..Qxd4?? 16. Bb5+!) and especially 19. ..Rhd8! (the h-pawn is tactically defended) are pretty positional moves.  The energy that unfolds from black's initially-compact position seems almost irresistible.

Dsmith42

So the final score is:

Team French 10, Team Caro-Kann 4

French Defense 5 out of 7 (!!), Caro-Kann Defense 2 out of 7

Scoring by board, Team French 5.5, Team Caro-Kann 1.5

The French hasn't throttled the Anglo-Austrian alliance (Caro was English, Kann was Austrian) this badly since the War of the Austrian Succession!

chamo2074

So ok the french is officially the winner of this contest, despite team caro having a titled player... Be a good looser and offer us a good little speech @1e4c61-0

Dsmith42

To be honest, I think I've absorbed more from my recent study of Tigran Petrosian than I had first realized.  As I've said before, I haven't had a chance to play a serious Rubinstein game for many years, but the moves in this game were so clear to me.

When I had merely read My System, there was always a certain ambivalence to them after reviewing Nimzowitsch's games.  Petrosian's games made it clear that he followed Nimzowitsch's stated principles far more rigorously that Nimzowitsch himself.  Never trying to do too much too soon, and always applying maximum pressure to the critical point.

In other words, I used to be tempted by the same kind of interesting-yet-unsound forays Nimzowitsch was often known for.  Petrosian taught me to look more carefully, and that the reasons for not being impatient were already known to me, if only I had the discipline to apply that knowledge.

Dsmith42

@chamo2074 - How about we simply rename "Caro-Kann Nation" to now be known as the "Kingdom of Westfailia" (the spelling is intentional)?

chamo2074

Yeah xDD I get the spelling

Dsmith42

So, now that we're completely done with this match, is everyone else on Team French up for a conquest of the Sicilians?

Dsmith42

Oh, and here's the link to the French game posted above:

https://www.chess.com/game/daily/293444462

For those who want to review the analysis for themselves.

TestPatzer

This was an interesting idea. I quite like it, and am sad that I missed joining team Caro.

But shouldn't the matches be blitz?

In correspondence games, players can consult books, databases, engines, if they want to blunder check. (It's kind of expected, actually.)

1e4c6_O-1
TestPatzer wrote:

This was an interesting idea. I quite like it, and am sad that I missed joining team Caro.

But shouldn't the matches be blitz?

In correspondence games, players can consult books, databases, engines, if they want to blunder check. (It's kind of expected, actually.)

here is the blitz game happy.png https://www.chess.com/forum/view/general/french-versus-caro-kann-blitz

Dsmith42

@TestPatzer - I didn't use an engine except to review after the games were over.  The point of the long time control is to prove out the real underlying strength of the respective openings.  That's why it shouldn't be be a blitz match.

Dsmith42

The Caro-Kann is actually a good blitz defense because it is good for capitalizing on opposing missteps.  White does need to be careful to prove advantage in it, that's been my argument from the beginning of all this.

The French Defense, on the other hand, is not as good for blitz because black needs to be patient, aggressive, and precise for the central counter-attack to have its intended effect.

1e4c6_O-1

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ogmolodoyboss
Kaif
Monkey17077

The french and caro kann are my two favorite openings, but I usually pick the caro kann because that is the main opening that I am studying right now.