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  1. 05 Mar '10 06:48
    Ok so I was just black in a French Rubenstein Variation. I like the Rebenstein. you see, I play the French somewhat hoping for the Advanced Variation, but when White plays the Main Line 3. Nc3, I like having something less theoretical than say the Winawer as my opening of choice, and the Rubenstein is exactly that. For me the goals are simple for black: develop your pieces actively, and once the c5 pawn push is in, you can press your development advantage into an attack across an open centre. I especially like using the bishop pair against the white king. in this game, I let white disrupt my kingside quite a bit. It's actually a single pawn gambit that removes 2 defenders from in front of my king. From it, however, I gain a powerful open file for my rook, which works in cooperation with my bishop pair and queen. However, with the complete nakedness of my king, did white just miss a tactical shot? Or is black's play sound and correct?



    I'm going to try to find out through analysis.

    1. e4 e6
    2. d4 d5




    The French Defense. As mentioned earlier, I include this in my opening reperitoire hoping for the Advanced Variation with 3. e5 c5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. c3 Qb6 and 6. ... Nh6.
    This is a popular continuation after 1. e4 of my opponents, and i find it favorable for black. Every now and then, however, I come across a white player that will try to get into the more complicated waters of the Main Line which follows as this game went...

    3. Nc3 dxe4
    4. Nxe4 Nd7




    The Rubenstein Variation. Much less theoretically involved than the Winawer (3. ... Bb4) or the Classical Variation (3. ...Nf6), the Rubenstein offers fairly straightforward play at my skill level.

    5. Nf3 Ngf6
    6. Nxf6 Nxf6
    7. Bd3 b6




    Through move six is normal play in the Rubenstein. Sometimes, if white is unfamiliar with the Rubenstein, he will try to defend the e4 knight, but this is no good after 5. Nf3 Ngf6 6. Bd3?! Nxe4! 7. Bxe4 Nf6 and black wins a tempo hitting the bishop, which usually retreas to d3. Here, however, white has played correctly, waiting until after the exchange to develop his bishop. Black's idea is to fianchetto his light-squared bishop and use it in combination with the dark squared bishop (which will either be posted at d6 or c5 depending on white's play) in an attack on the kingside.

    To be continued...
  2. 05 Mar '10 07:13 / 3 edits
    8. b3 Bb7
    9. Bb2 Bd6




    White also decides to fianchetto his bishop. Finding potential depth in these moves is difficult for me to do. It seems to me that for white it would beneficial to develop his pieces more quickly since black is doing a time-consuming fianchetto maneuver. Instead, white lets black fianchetto with no loss of tempo. I decided Bd6 was better than the alternative Be7, but maybe just playing ...c5 here was more accurate, so that the bishop could get to c5 in one move.

    10. c4 c5
    11. dxc5 Bxc5
    12. 0-0 0-0




    In these three moves, both sides create tension in the centre, release tension in the centre, and position their kings as the targets of kingside attacks after the queens are repositioned. Perhaps 0-0 was a mistake for both sides?

    13. Qc2 Qc7 (is it ?! or is it !?)



    White still retains the tempo advantage he has from move one, and so is able to load up his queen against the black king's position before black can. The play has been symetrical with the exception of two pawns and the dark-squared bishops, and so play here usually favors white (Tal showed us that this is not always the case, I just can't think of who he was playing. Anywho, it was a great game in which he mimicked white's moves and then won in grand fashion.) White intends to remove the defender with Bxf6 and then Bxh7+. this leaves the black king very exposed. However, black is very patient, and repositions his queen closer to the enemy camp before striking. Should black have defended his king's position? Or is he sound in trying to press the offensive in a counter attack?

    To be continued...
  3. 05 Mar '10 07:33
    Originally posted by Big Orange Country
    [b]8. b3 Bb7
    9. Bb2 Bd6


    [fen]r2qk2r/pbp2ppp/1p1bpn2/8/3P4/1P1B1N2/PBP2PPP/R2QK2R w KQkq - 0 1[/fen]

    White also decides to fianchetto his bishop. Finding potential depth in these moves is difficult for me to do. It seems to me that for white it would beneficial to develop his pieces more quickly since black is doing a time-consuming fi ...[text shortened]... ? Or is he sound in trying to press the offensive in a counter attack?

    To be continued...[/b]
    I don't think thats a correct plan for white. He shouldn't trade that strong bishop just for a pawn since he can't open the h file without endangering his king. perhaps Ne5 aiming for a deflection with Ng4 ...Nxg4 Qg5
  4. Standard member Exuma
    Anansi
    05 Mar '10 07:34
    This is great, thanks for posting. After 13 Qc7, I think white can play Be5 increasing control of 2 long diagonals (a1-h8 and h2-b8) and also potential defensive position to g3 if needed. After the black Q moves get rooks to the center? Ng5 is worth a look too, though I don't see any quick way to take advantage of an h6.
  5. 05 Mar '10 07:38
    14. Bxf6 gxf6
    15. Bxh7+ Kh8




    Here it appears quite bleak for black. His king is completely naked, he's down a pawn, and there's a white piece in his king's camp supported by the white queen. Can't get much worse, right? We'll see soon enough. After Kh8, white must retreat the bishop or else it gets trapped by 16. ... f5 (white could play g4 to prevent this, but that doesn't seem to help matters in the light of black's attack on the king, which may start something like 16. ... Rg8 17. Bxg8 Rxg8 and white's king is in trouble, and white has zero counter play) At least this is what i saw in my mind's eye while playing the game. Whether it is sound or not, will be determined by the forum, as I don't have an engine to check it myself on.

    16. Bd3?! Rg8
    17. Be2? Qf4!




    Here's where i think the critical moment of the game is. I think that twice here, white missed his chance to punish black. First, 16. Be4 looks better to me, in an attempt to trade off white's bishop for black's more powerful one and take a lot of the potential out of black's attack. Second, I think 17. Be4 would have been better too. White had two opprtunities to essentially force a trade, and didn't. Maybe he thought his light squared bishop was better than black's on the long diagonal? I feel pretty certain that after 17. ... Qf4, black's advantage is winning. So really any thoughts about these last few positions (moves 13 through 17) are the ones I'd really like to get about the game.

    18. Qd3 Rd8
    19. Qc3 Bd4
    20. Nxd4 Rxg2+




    and white resigned in light of 21. Kh1 Qxh2#
  6. 05 Mar '10 07:47 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Big Orange Country
    [b]14. Bxf6 gxf6
    15. Bxh7+ Kh8


    [fen]r4r1k/pbq2p1B/1p2pp2/2b5/2P5/1P3N2/P1Q2PPP/R4RK1 w - - 0 1[/fen]

    Here it appears quite bleak for black. His king is completely naked, he's down a pawn, and there's a white piece in his king's camp supported by the white queen. Can't get much worse, right? We'll see soon enough. After Kh8, white must 5/P3BPrP/R4RK1 w - - 0 1[/fen]

    and white resigned in light of 21. Kh1 Qxh2#[/b]
    Of course its sound. White traded off the glue to his attack pretty much just to open up files for you and waste some moves. I think either Ne5 or Exuma's Be5 were much better.
  7. 05 Mar '10 07:53 / 2 edits
    And I looked over white playing Qc3 immediately instead of Qd3-c3. It loses in similar fashion.
    if 18. Qc3 then
    18. ... Bd4
    19. Qxd4 (if Nxd4 then Rxg2 and same finish i noted at the end of the actual game with Rxg2 and Qxh2) Rxg2+
    20. Kh1 (20. Kxg2 Rg8+ 21. Kh1 (Kh3 Qg4# ) Bxf3+ 22. Bxf3 Qxf3# ) Rxh2+! (with the pin ftw!)
    21. Kg1 Rg8 and the mate is easy

  8. 05 Mar '10 07:54
    Originally posted by tomtom232
    Of course its sound. White traded off the glue to his attack pretty much just to open up files for you and waste some moves. I think either Ne5 or Exuma's Be5 were much better.
    I figured it was, i just wanted to make sure. Not every day I can leave my king over there in the corner with no pawns and him be completely safe. T'was a fun game.
  9. 05 Mar '10 08:02 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Big Orange Country
    I figured it was, i just wanted to make sure. Not every day I can leave my king over there in the corner with no pawns and him be completely safe. T'was a fun game.
    I think in fact that the advantage white has is pretty good after 13...Qc7 and better is 13...Bxf3 14.gxf3 Bd4 if 15.Bxd4 Qxd4 and you're lookin pretty good for the endgame. edit: and i wouldn't say safe because if you mess up and muff the attack then you'll have major problems but it was a risk well worth it. anyway, you ever tried silver haze?
  10. 05 Mar '10 08:08
    7...b6 looks kinda strange to me.

    I suspect white might have a great reply to that.

    Maybe 8.Ne5 would be good.
  11. 05 Mar '10 08:17
    Originally posted by National Master Dale
    7...b6 looks kinda strange to me.

    I suspect white might have a great reply to that.

    Maybe 8.Ne5 would be good.
    fianchettoing the bishop isn't that far out of book for the Rubenstein. it's another piece to blockade any ideas of a d4-d5 break, and supports c5. Not very popular, but i play it.
  12. 05 Mar '10 15:39 / 1 edit
    How about 17 Qd2. Black has to deal against the threat of Qh6# and the tempting 17... Rxg2+ 18 Kxg2 Rg8 looks to fail because of 19 Kh3, and defending with Bf8 makes it tougher to get the other rook into the attack.
  13. 05 Mar '10 15:53
    Also e4 seems a much better square for the bishop retreat, as you said in your analysis The bishop on the long diagonal and the rook on the open g-file can quickly become a nightmare.
  14. 05 Mar '10 16:08
    One small point of order - after 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5. Nf3 Ngf6, the sequences

    ... 6. Nxf6 Nxf6 7. Bd3
    ... 6. Bd3 Nxe4 7. Bxe4 Nf6 8. Bd3

    both lead to the same position. There's nothing wrong with 6.Bd3. If Black then decides not to take on e4 White can still play Ng3 - as he could on move 6 anyway.

    My favorite game in the 3...dxe4 French:

  15. Standard member SwissGambit
    Caninus Interruptus
    05 Mar '10 17:56
    Originally posted by DawgHaus
    One small point of order - after 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5. Nf3 Ngf6, the sequences

    ... 6. Nxf6 Nxf6 7. Bd3
    ... 6. Bd3 Nxe4 7. Bxe4 Nf6 8. Bd3

    both lead to the same position. There's nothing wrong with 6.Bd3. If Black then decides not to take on e4 White can still play Ng3 - as he could on move 6 anyway.

    My favorite game in the ...[text shortened]... Bxg5+ 21. Nxg5
    Qxg5+ 22. f4 Qxf4+ 23. Qxf4 Bxe4 24. Qxe4 1-0

    [/pgn]
    Hmm ... what's the continuation after 17...Rh8?


    White to play