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  1. 07 Dec '08 13:24
    In over the board chess (non-correspondence) against average club players, can anyone see anything wrong with the line 1.e4 e5 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5? For me, it's more dynamic than the main line ...exd5 and after say, 4.c4 Qd8 black can develop with moves like ...b6, ...Bb7 and ...c5 etc with similar positions to that of the Queen's Indian. There seems to be no theory on this line but strong players such as Nakamura and Zang Zong have used this line with good results! Please help, good and bad comments about this line are welcome, maybe someone knows of any books covering this line also?
  2. 07 Dec '08 13:27
    Someone mentioned to me that this will transpose into a Scandanavian but I don't see how this is possible, after 4.Nc3 then comes ...Bb4! I think the best ways to respond to 3...Qxd5 are 4.Nf3 and possibly followed by or just 4.c4?
  3. 07 Dec '08 15:05 / 1 edit
    Back to the question at hand ( is 3.. Qxd5 playable)

    Yes I believe like many other questionable openings, it is playable but it is worse than exd5. You may "take white out of book" which I believe is overrated and it will be more dynamic but this is because you don't have a symmetric partially open game like you otherwise would. White gets additional space, a tempo (Nc3) and a free king side attack if he wants to risk it. Black has the standard "french bishop" which will require some work (probably b6) to free.


    --------------------

    As a longtime french player, it pains me to write this, but here goes.

    There is absolutely no reason to play the exchange french as white!

    First off, the arguments for playing it (the exchange french) are usually 2-fold (assuming 3... exd5).

    a. It "takes black out of their game" is simply false. The black player who plays the french a lot will have played more exchange frenchs than you. They may not like it much, but they will know basically what to do and will achieve equality even if you play an early c4. The real downside though is that not only will it be equal, it will probably be fairly symmetric too (most lines) thus you're playing for a draw by playing 3 exd5.
    b. I don't have to know much theory. This is true, but neither does black, ergo you are invalidating 'a'. Further, as stated in 'a' you end up wit a mostly symmetric game with only one open file. The pieces will probably be exchanged. The most dynamic plan I have come up with for white is to castle long and run opposite side pawn storms. Unfortunately for white 0-0 is faster than 0-0-0 thus whites extra move is negated. This is still roughly an equal game (in my experience).


    Now the reasons not to play the exchange
    a. Nc3 is demonstrably better for white than black, just check recent databases. Winawer or even the McCutcheon variations get tactically complex offering the prepared black player practical chances, but white is better.
    b. e5 doesn't score as well as Nc3 but it offers white a long term advantage in space.
    c. 3. Nd2 Nf6 e5 is in my estimation great for white.
    Thus black must be prepared to play an open game via
    1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5!?
    or play the burn variation
    1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 dxe 4. Nxe in which they are fighting just for equality.


    Ergo, I believe any player playing the french has an uphill battle.


    Edit to answer the OPs question first.
  4. 07 Dec '08 15:18
    Hi Zeb.

    Blackburne, one of the greatest attacking players played 3.exd5 with
    every expectation of winning.

    Re 3...Qxd5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Qg4



    Picks the bones out of that.
  5. 07 Dec '08 15:56
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    Hi Zeb.

    Blackburne, one of the greatest attacking players played 3.exd5 with
    every expectation of winning.

    Re 3...Qxd5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Qg4

    [fen]rnb1k1nr/ppp2ppp/4p3/3q4/1b1P2Q1/2N5/PPP2PPP/R1B1KBNR[/fen]

    Picks the bones out of that.
    I looked through some Blackburne games and while he is a good attacker, he still outplayed his opponent in the middlegame irrespectiveof the opening. He had an interesting comment here:

    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1028824
    Move3:
    This game was played when Nc3 had just been introduced by Paulsen, and the text move was the usual one. I can almost tell from the moves what year I played a certain game in.

    Suggesting that even he recognized that exd5 is an inferior move.


    Re: the position
    My initial inclination is to try 5... Kf8!? but I hate retreating. This protects the weak g7 square while allowing Nf6 with tempo. Otherwise black will have to play Bf8 or Ne7, Qxg7, Rg8, Qxh7
  6. 07 Dec '08 16:07
    Originally posted by zebano
    Back to the question at hand ( is 3.. Qxd5 playable)

    Yes I believe like many other questionable openings, it is playable but it is worse than exd5. You may "take white out of book" which I believe is overrated and it will be more dynamic but this is because you don't have a symmetric partially open game like you otherwise would. White gets additional space ...[text shortened]... ying the french has an uphill battle.


    Edit to answer the OPs question first.
    Ari Ziegler, international master is a French player, he gave up the Sicilian for something more solid, anyhow he states that if you want an advantage as white, one should play Nc3 variation, he states that the exchange variation should reach easy equality for black!
  7. 07 Dec '08 16:29 / 1 edit
    SSShhh Greenpawn

    You are giving away some of my French Exchange secrets. hehe

    I started playing it more after reading the first section in the Blackburne book.

    The idea of taking doubled f pawns to get the g file for the rooks was an exceptional idea.
  8. 07 Dec '08 16:34
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Ari Ziegler, international master is a French player, he gave up the Sicilian for something more solid, anyhow he states that if you want an advantage as white, one should play Nc3 variation, he states that the exchange variation should reach easy equality for black!
    I believe that is what I was arguing but I also stated that Nd2 is advantageous for white. I believe Kasparov stated something along the lines of "Nc3 is best but Nd2 is good enough to win".
  9. 07 Dec '08 17:03
    Re: The position...

    5...Kf8 looks fine to me. This is the line that I am most likely to go into so I will definately be looking into this deeper.

    5...Ne7 6.Qxg7 Rg8 7.Qxh7 Rxg2 is unclear but it looks like black gets some compensation. I'm going to look some more into this line, looks fun to play but probably not good enough over the board.

    5...Bf8 is a definate no no, why play 4...Bb4 in the first place? Unlike ...Bb4 then ...Be7 in the Queen's Indian where black forces white to misplace one of his pieces.
  10. 07 Dec '08 17:13
    Originally posted by chesstony82
    Re: The position...

    5...Kf8 looks fine to me. This is the line that I am most likely to go into so I will definately be looking into this deeper.

    5...Ne7 6.Qxg7 Rg8 7.Qxh7 Rxg2 is unclear but it looks like black gets some compensation. I'm going to look some more into this line, looks fun to play but probably not good enough over the board.

    5... ...[text shortened]... .Bb4 then ...Be7 in the Queen's Indian where black forces white to misplace one of his pieces.
    How about 5. ...Nc6; if 6. Qg7 Qd4; or if 6. Nf3 then g6.

    Although after 6. ...Qd4 you must be willing to play a queenless middlegame after 7. Qd4 Nd4.
  11. 07 Dec '08 17:26
    Yes ...Nc6 is the other possibility I was looking into. I've actually started writing a book on this opening since nobody else has! It will also help with my studying of this offbeat variation.
  12. 07 Dec '08 18:06
    If I were playing the french and white played exd5 and I played exd5 I would be very happy as the black player. White has already helped solve some of black's problems. His white bishop is already able to develop and black didn't even have to try. Its symmetrical and most likely a draw.
  13. 07 Dec '08 18:10
    I don't want symmetrical and secondly I don't want a draw, even with black! I want to win, ...Qxd5 has enough dynamism to still play for a win. You can't play for a win with ...exd5. I know ...Qxd5 is inferior in some respects but with ...Qxd5 there's still plenty of room to stir things up somewhat
  14. 07 Dec '08 18:14
    lol if it is inferior, which it is, it actually has a higher chance of losing and a lower chance of winning than exd5. Remember you are playing the french, it is drawish in most of its games anyway. As a white player I would be licking my chops against Qxd5. I am the same way as you and if you are looking for a win with black its best to switch to a sicilian than play with the french. However, if you want to stick with a french then look at karpovs games. He will show you how to win with it better than any of us.
  15. 07 Dec '08 18:17
    woops I meant korchnoi or bottvinnik.