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adamastor 39 ( +1 | -1 )
whats up with the winawer?? i read once it was a good game for black... but has it been refuted?? ive played it as black and ive been suffering with some kingside crushing attacks... after 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 ... is Ba5 a valid move??? after Bxc3+ i dont think blacks queenside pressure is comparable to whites kingside attack
anyone care to share their experiences, sucesses and failures over the winawer...
chuckventimiglia 55 ( +1 | -1 )
I play the Winawer anytime.... White answers with 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4

I find the Winawer to be an effective tool against
White's 3.Nc3 There are many variations of the
Winawer. I prefer the Ivkov variant which is
3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 Ne7

The Ivkov brings the knight into play early and when
White plays his Qg4 the Ne7 can help refute that
Kingside attack while Black can counter attack with c5
and attacking White's Queenside.

The Winawer is very complicated and as I said has
many variants to refute White's kingside attack.
The Ivkov variant is just one of many but it is the
one I like to play.
ccmcacollister 271 ( +1 | -1 )
I'm with Chuck~! I like the Ivkov Variation too with 4...Ne7, tho I didnt know it was called that till now! (Thanks Chuck). Nice for several reasons. BL keeps options to defend vs the traditional poisoned pawn variation of white (e5 then a3 and Qg4) with any of the options: 0-0 or Nf5 or the sac with Qc7. (Incidentally, playing o-o AND Nf5 TOGETHER will get you Rolled, however. One or the other only! In Play the French #3 Watson has switched to the o-o var. over his prior Qc7 sac line of Play The French #1. Perhaps that means BL is back in trouble in that line? Could be, but its relatively new if so, and news to me.)
******Also just to mention, this Qg4 PP Var is the stated reason of Botvinnik for giving up the French in days of yore, and going on to other things such as the Caro-Kann. Yet GM's are back playing the BL side again today. And it was Very Big in postal back in the 80's & early 90's when I was playing a lot. And it was generally WT who had to be the mroe careful, tho move order is very important for both sides, truly. But BL was doing quite well over all.
Another nice thing in the Ivkov is that it allows a very early Nf5 which has some quirks of its own, and independent value from the more common ....c5 lines. And
many will not be so familiar with it.
The other thing about 4...Ne7 which I like is that vs the positional lines having Nf3 and a4, it allows BL to play ...Qa4 without loss of tempo that would occur when ...c5 and ....Qc7 are played before ...Ne7. And I prefer it to be on Qa5 for those lines, over Qc7. Fischer preferred the positional lines as WT, yet the Winawer was one of the opening vars. that did present him with some trouble. And IMO it will be around for a long, long time.
Players that I studied for the French include Botvinnik, Uhlmann, Watson, Mitch Weiss, and J.Nogieras. And also liked Gligorich's French Book tho its quite dated.
Another line that was being explored in corr back in my time, with much work to be done, was 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5!
(IMO other options dont hold up well and I had a nice win as BL vs Eric Schiller in the 4.Bd2 line. Though only drew vs NM Randy Bauer who played 4...e5 before Bd2. Lost vs NM David Arganian in the 1st National Team Championship, as BL vs 4.Ne2 ?! but I think it was more a case of WT played well and BL played like a yammering idiot; than the openings fault ! & actually BL should have advantage there if he doesnt overextend as I did. Really 4.e5 with 7.Qg4 has presented WT his best play in the games I've seen or played. But back to the Line ... )
4...c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Qc7 7.Qg4 f6 !?
And things can get Very Interesting, with one line for EG where WT will passive sac his Bb5 in exhange for play vs BL's uncastled King. And there was quite a shortage of analysis on this line, back then. It may be worth a look now.
Regards, Craig
chuckventimiglia 6 ( +1 | -1 )
Another thing about..... the Ivkov [Ne7] it can also transpose into
lines of the Petroff.
ccmcacollister 79 ( +1 | -1 )
Forgot to mention: VS the 4.Qg4 line; although Fischer played it in the past as WT, it seems that BL has a pretty easy time of it now. In Master/Expert play I didnt get it much, but went 1 win, and two draws as BL. The most interesting a draw with NM Brian Mc Carthy (aka BMCC @ Leisure Linc) in the line with ...Nbd7 and ...c5 by BL, which had quite a bit of tension for awhile and BL did have to play carefully. The other two were in the more common line with ...b6; Which seemed to need less precision by BL, but so was less interesting to play.
IM John Watson pretty well covered all the non-4.e5 lines to some degree of advantage to BL, in Play The French #1, tho my results may not seem to support that conclusion. But the games mentioned probably all had improvement attempts made, as I can recall. Generally helping WT but not to the point of winning or jeopardizing BL's playability.
ccmcacollister 9 ( +1 | -1 )
Didn't know THAT either Chuck~! Looks like I'll have to give up the Ivkov now; the world has seen enough Petrov's
More: Chess
chuckventimiglia 21 ( +1 | -1 )
I said it can transpose into.... Petrov lines. It does not have to.

The Ivkov is "my tool" against
3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 Ne7 it is versatile
in many ways.

I have played the Wachsberg var.
the Watson var and a few others but have
come back to the Ivkov because of it's
indiana-jay 48 ( +1 | -1 )
adamastor, I'm agree with you that black's queenside pressure is not comparable to white's kingside attack (it is KING-side).

But I guess the idea of choosing this type of game (French in general) is for Black to have a very complicated game with lots of chances for both side (and to avoid draw). This way White won't be more superior due to making the first move, or due to having the chance to attack on kingside, and Black can rely on his skill, energy and LUCK ;)
adamastor 12 ( +1 | -1 )
winwaver? im trying dxe4 Nf6, everything besides that Bxc3+ i still havent figured out how is that good for black
indiana-jay 148 ( +1 | -1 )
I guess the best black can get from chess is a draw :)

In my game, toni57 tried 5) ... cxd 6) axB dxN 7) Qg4! As I can see it, White is very weak in the queenside and Black have the tools necessary to defend the kingside attack. When I chose Qg4, what I wanted to do was to force Black to worsen the formation at the kingside so that I would always have the chance to attack or force Black to defend the kingside. But fighting at the kingside was not my plan. I was afraid of my weakness at the queenside, and wanted my Queen to have initiative on both sides.

I "thought" Qg4 was the only correct move. Nf3 would have made Black take over the initiative. Bd3 was premature. But the weakness of White queenside was clear (to me then) when 7) b4-b5 cxb or 7) bxc Qc7 had to be chosen.

7) b4-b5 may lead to Black's a7-a5, making either a or b pawn to be a passed pawn.

7) bxc may lead to Black having strong pressure on the c-file, right on top of White's weak pawns, and, Black's f7-f6 adds to the problem by having strong half-passed center pawns.

Well, that just my analysis of the game, which may be the only experience with the opening (I was inspired by chuckventimiglia). But I started to see beauty in the defense (I hated French defense because it makes me nervous and forces me to think very hard). I don't know with the others, but while playing French I always feel that it is just the same playing for any side.
schnarre 44 ( +1 | -1 )
? White shouldn't have much difficulty with the french if the player stays with even the established lines. I've found f7-f6 to weaken Black's Kingside, as well as the e6 pawn. White's doubled c-pawns may look weak, but this can be worked around. Black's position remains cramped for most of the game, with the Bishop (& Rook) hemmed in on the Queenside; I find the Caro-Kann preferrable (more solid).