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Benjamin Gross vs Mark S Kastor
May Marathon (2000), Mechanics' Institute, rd 6, May-16
French Defense: Exchange. Monte Carlo Variation (C01)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: White had the valuable bishop pair w/an open center but was concerned about Black's extra pawn on the queenside in a potential endgame. White wanted to avoid the exchange of queens and retain his long range Queen-Bishop(s) battery options that would threaten mate diagonally. This never materialized as the White queen fled the exchange with the Black queen, who casts a spell over the outcome of this game.

In the final position, White has two en prise pieces as a result of the c7-pawn grab. The White Rook dare not capture the Black knight in the middle of the board. The White rook must move to safety laterally, else back rank mate occurs. Once the rook moves sideways, the Black knight will capture the White bishop leaving Black up a full piece.

Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: Note that this game started out as a Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Countergambit (D08), which White declines to accept with the not-as-common move 3.e3. The exchange of e-pawns transposed this into a French Defense, Exchange variation which leaves the e-file open. The Monte Carlo variation occurs when White plays c4. This usually occurs by the move order 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.c4.
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