Sunday, March 08, 2009


In my January tournament, two games entered the Old Indian, which I was unprepared for. In my February tournament, similarly two games entered the Stonewall.

        And then there was a Winawer.

According to my Moskalenko, ...Bf8 followed by ...Bb7 was a surprising pet line of Petrosian. My opponent looked surprised. He broke the tournament silence to say so!

I hate this position. I have less space. I have less development. The locked center may give me time to catch up, but why had I prepared a position I dislike?

        I need more experience. I've turned to blitz.

I mentioned I was coaching a USCF 700 student. I decided to teach them the Colle system, and surprisingly, this has re-invigorated my Semi-Slav!



Blue Devil Knight said...

Ah the torture of the French player. I don't know why you guys do it. :)

From the patzer said...

Yikes your opponent surely didn't know what he was doing. One never plays c5 in the slav, rather exchange it on d5.

likesforests said...

BDK - Hehe! Actually, it's kinda fun. In the Advance variation it's quite easy to pick-off those central pawns against an unprepared opponent.

I've changed my repertoire and now exchange rather than retreat the bishop, which makes the game much more dynamic and to my tastes. :)

CT - Definitely. But before teaching the Colle, I actually responded to c4-c5? with Bd6-Be7? which means I also didn't know what was going on.

tanch said...

errm...... in the 1st diagram, a6 followed by c5 pawn break? :)

ok, i do play the french, i luv the cramped position and how white has to constantly guard against the attack on the center pawns.

most people groan at the thot of the locked in c8 bishop of the French but once that bishop gets loose. watch out, baby!

after all, if it's good enough for Nigel Short and Mikhail Gurevich, it's good enough for me.

i admit it, i luv facing the advance variation of the French because while White messes around with those silly pawn pushes, Black is mustering a strong counter-attack.

as White, sometimes I luv to tempt those black French players by deliberately playing Na3! in the French quite a few times, those French players tend to lose their head at the thot of making White doubling pawns on the a-file by capturing the Knight with the Dark-square bishop not realising that White gets good compensation with open files for the rooks on the b and c-files in the middlegame and Black has numerous holes all on the dark-squares. ;D

likesforests said...

"errm...... in the 1st diagram, a6 followed by c5 pawn break?"

Petrosian's approach was to play ...Qd7, ...Nc6, ...Bb7, then ...O-O-O and with his king in an impregnable fortress look for play on the kingside. Most players prefer ...Ba6, trading off light-squared bishops.

Moskalenko recommends being flexible and delaying choosing between these plans as long as possible.

Me? I wash my hands of the line! ;)

"deliberately playing Na3!"

That's quite evil. Any sample games? I'm curious when exactly you spring the Na3 on your opponent.

tanch said...

A possible line goes like this:

1. e4 e6
2. d4 d5
3. e5 c5
4. c3 Nd7? (if Nc6 then Nf3)
5. Na3!? (laying the trap) cxd4 (most French players simply assume I miscalculated allowing them to double my a-pawns.)
6. cxd4 Bxa3
7. bxa3

it's a very unknown line and not many French players know what to do with it and White has fantastic attacking chances.

the problem with this line for Black is that where is the g8 Knight going to go?
Ne7 wastes precious tempi and cramps Black's position and it will take another 2 tempi to reorganise Black's defence. If Nh6 then I simply take the Knight with my dark-square bishop.

White can also counter with Qg5 and Black is forced either to play g6 revealing even more Black squares for White (ugly!) or Rg8 and Black's King is stuck in the center permanently with his forces split between 2 halves lacking coordination.

give it a whirl. it's a fun line to try esp. in blitz and there's no opening theory on it surprisingly. it has similar lines to the French Winawer except that Black can at best attack the d4 pawn with only 3 pieces while White can defend with at least 4. :)

in this line, the idea is to try to win the game in the middlegame and not to head to the endgame where the doubled a-pawns are a weakness.

Anonymous said...
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Thibault V. said...

Why USCF invented this strange rating system, is it older than FIDE ELO ? it is really hard to read & compare with FIDE ratings...

The french players are everywhere, be careful :)