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  1. 27 Jan '08 10:49
    After. 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4,

    Why is it that some strong players give up the kingside pawns by playing 7...Qc7?

    Because after 7...Qc7 8.Qxg7 Rg8 9.Qxh7 cxd4 10.Ne2 (not automatic cxd4, loses the rook to Qc3 fork) seems safe enough.

    Please excuse my ignorance and explain why is the pawn poisoned. How to go in exploiting white's weaknesses, if any?

    What are the general strategy for black and what are the general plans and moves? Is black supposed to castle queenside? After 10.Ne2 why does the book say Nc6?

    Please someone explain to this ignorant man, thanks in advance.
  2. Standard member hammster21
    Endgamer
    27 Jan '08 12:08 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by kenan
    After. 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 Qc7 8.Qxg7 Rg8 9.Qxh7 cxd4 10.Ne2


    In this position white is up a pawn but has 2 hanging pawns. the e5 pawn and the c3 pawn. White also only has 2 developed pieces (queen and Ne2, which will need to move again to clear the way for castling)

    My plan, as black, would be to castle queenside and to bring my rooks to the g and h files to attack the white king. I have a game similar to this where i forced the g and h files open, in order to launch an attack. Qc7 is a dynamic move in that black has alot of winning chances.

    Edit: 7... Qc7 is a pretty common book move. There are 250 games in the games explorer after 10. Ne2
  3. 27 Jan '08 12:11 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by kenan
    After. 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4,

    Why is it that some strong players give up the kingside pawns by playing 7...Qc7?

    Because after 7...Qc7 8.Qxg7 Rg8 9.Qxh7 cxd4 10.Ne2 (not automatic cxd4, loses the rook to Qc3 fork) seems safe enough.

    Please excuse my ignorance and explain why is the pawn poisoned. How to go in why does the book say Nc6?

    Please someone explain to this ignorant man, thanks in advance.
    Black's only other serious choice is to castle into it. This isn't pleasant and White has easy play with Bd3 and sometimes h4. Thus, Black players may prefer a more active game and Qc7 offers that. If White refuses the pawn then, one wonders what Qg4 actually threatens. If White takes, Black gets a development edge by kicking around the Queen and he aims the rook at fairly weak kingside pawns. He's got counterplay as compensation.
  4. 27 Jan '08 12:27 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by kenan
    After. 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4,

    Why is it that some strong players give up the kingside pawns by playing 7...Qc7?

    Because after 7...Qc7 8.Qxg7 Rg8 9.Qxh7 cxd4 10.Ne2 (not automatic cxd4, loses the rook to Qc3 fork) seems safe enough.

    Please excuse my ignorance and explain why is the pawn poisoned. How to go in why does the book say Nc6?

    Please someone explain to this ignorant man, thanks in advance.
    The threat of a queenside castle followed by Rh8 and Rg8, shatters White. After one of his pawns (e5 or c3) goes, then White has minimal defence- his bishops haven't moved, his knight is in the way, and castling either side is dangerous.
    Meanwhile blacks central pawn structure is very strong, and White's queen is in a corner, not helping one jot.
  5. 27 Jan '08 20:31
    White does not have to castle kingside, or castle at all.

    Can anyone post couple games where black counter attacks and tears down white?

    Korch just told me to avoid this line with both sides without deep preparation since it's a very explored opening.

    To me (in my level), it just seems like black wasted two pawns and black has few good plans if any.

    One idea I found was Nc6, Bd7, 0-0-0, Kb8, b6, Bc8 and Bb7 fiachenttoing the bishop the idea is too slow and I don't even think it's any good at all.
  6. Standard member JonathanB of London
    Curb Your Enthusiasm
    27 Jan '08 23:51
    Originally posted by kenan
    White does not have to castle kingside, or castle at all.
    Korch just told me to avoid this line with both sides without deep preparation since it's a very explored opening.
    Sensible fellow.

    I don't consider myself a strong player but I *do* play the French. I've always avoided this line with Black, however.

    Back when I used to play 1. e4, however, I had a very good score with white in this variation. Usually, I won by the simple method of pushing my passed h-pawn. That, I think, shows how difficult Black's position is to play.

    Having said that, I usually achieved lost positions out of the opening/early middle game. That, I think, shows how difficult White's position is to play.


    It's too simplistic just to dismiss it as a bad line for Black. A lot of strong players went it for it for a long time. That said, if you don't like it and it doesn't make sense to you ... does it matter what anybody else thinks?


    PS: Given it's a highly complex and messy opening, I don't think you're going to get a simple answer as to why it's playable for Black and I doubt one or two games is going to help you out too much either.
  7. Standard member bosintang
    perpetualEditMonkey
    28 Jan '08 06:02
    I like playing it because it's a fun line. It is very sharp though and mistakes are punished ruthlessly. Here is a example where an opponent considerably stronger than me learned that the hard way.

    Game 3590755


    19. Rb2?? Ouch.
  8. Standard member JonathanB of London
    Curb Your Enthusiasm
    28 Jan '08 09:26 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by kenan
    White does not have to castle kingside, or castle at all.
    Indeed.

    Actually I'd go further and suggest White shouldn't castle - you want the Rook on h1 to support the pawn.
  9. Standard member JonathanB of London
    Curb Your Enthusiasm
    28 Jan '08 09:28 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by bosintang
    I like playing it because it's a fun line. It is very sharp though and mistakes are punished ruthlessly. Here is a example where an opponent considerably stronger than me learned that the hard way.

    Game 3590755


    19. Rb2?? Ouch.
    Nice one.

    This game also shows how White can make sure Black can't castle queenside.

    If 0-0-0 instead of ... Rc8 white has Qxa6! (I had the pleasure of playing this in an OTB game several years ago).


    To be fair, though, I'm not sure you could say this was a game of one mistake. Bd2 and a4 look a lot like fannying around moves to me when White should be getting on with it on the kingside.

    Still, doesn't take away from your very nice exploitation of the opportunity.



    PS:
    was going to edit my post above about the understanding of compensation in this line based on looking at one or two examples but RHP won't let me.

    I'd say this game proves me wrong and shows Black's play for the pawn very well. Look at the position before White plays Bd2...

    Black has play down the c- and g-files and his Knights have great squares available at c4 and f5. Add to that the bishop coming to b5 and the strong pawn centre.

    Against that White will struggle to castle and his bishops haven't moved. The queen gunges up the position somewhat.

    Whether this is enough for a pawn from Black's point of view I'm not sure though. Good practical chances though (assuming you know what you're doing).
  10. 28 Jan '08 11:37
    Originally posted by hammster21
    [fen]rnb1k1r1/ppq1np1Q/4p3/3pP3/3p4/P1P5/2P1NPPP/R1B1KB1R b - - 0 1[/fen]

    In this position white is up a pawn but has 2 hanging pawns. the e5 pawn and the c3 pawn. White also only has 2 developed pieces (queen and Ne2, which will need to move again to clear the way for castling)

    My plan, as black, would be to castle queenside and to bring my rooks ...[text shortened]... : 7... Qc7 is a pretty common book move. There are 250 games in the games explorer after 10. Ne2
    I think the idea behind 7... Qc7 is to prevent the knight from going to g3 where it protects the kingside and allows the light-squared bishop to develop thereby enabling castling.

    Here's a game where I was decimated as white by a very strong player:

    Game 4381502
  11. Standard member bosintang
    perpetualEditMonkey
    28 Jan '08 15:39 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by JonathanB of London
    Nice one.

    This game also shows how White can make sure Black can't castle queenside.

    If 0-0-0 instead of ... Rc8 white has Qxa6! (I had the pleasure of playing this in an OTB game several years ago).


    To be fair, though, I'm not sure you could say this was a game of one mistake. Bd2 and a4 look a lot like fannying around moves to me when White should be getting on with it on the kingside.

    Yeah, you're right.

    I think white's best chances are to push that passed h-pawn down the board and force black to deal with it. It's really a race of White's kingside versus Black's queenside, and the worst thing that either player could do is start playing passively. If either player starts thinking only of their opponent's plans and forgetting their own, they'll probably get trounced in this line.
  12. 28 Jan '08 16:39
    Game 4449911 Here is a game from the 'group of death' (group 99) in the 2008 championships. It shows just how solid a defence the french can be when played correctly - white just runs out of ideas and is probably slightly worse in the final position.
  13. Standard member JonathanB of London
    Curb Your Enthusiasm
    28 Jan '08 16:45
    Originally posted by Tyrannosauruschex
    Game 4449911 Here is a game from the 'group of death' (group 99) in the 2008 championships. It shows just how solid a defence the french can be when played correctly - white just runs out of ideas and is probably slightly worse in the final position.
    As a French player I'm always pleased to see games like this ...

    but at the risk of pointing out the obvious, it's not the variation in question (neither was the last one with White playing a2-a3 without e4-e5 for that matter).

    Still, all good French fun.