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French, Winawer (C16)
1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e5

Number of games in database: 1366
Years covered: 1888 to 2014
Overall record:
   White wins 40.8%
   Black wins 27.5%
   Draws 31.7%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
PRACTITIONERS
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Mark Hebden  11 games
Boris Spassky  11 games
Peter Leko  11 games
Rafael Vaganian  43 games
Borislav Ivkov  24 games
Petrosian  21 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Geller vs Karpov, 1976
A Sundin vs E Andersson, 1964
Judit Polgar vs L B Hansen, 1989
Kasparov vs Ivanchuk, 1995
R Bogdanovic vs A Planinc, 1965
DeFirmian vs Bronstein, 1993
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 page 1 of 55; games 1-25 of 1,366  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Von Gottschall vs Tarrasch 0-1100 1888 NurembergC16 French, Winawer
2. W J Ferris vs D W Waller  1-043 1899 New York State TournamentC16 French, Winawer
3. Lasker vs W Gooding 1-031 1908 GBR tour simC16 French, Winawer
4. Alekhine vs N Pavlov-Pianov 1-045 1909 Moscow AutumnC16 French, Winawer
5. Kupchik vs F Putzman ½-½67 1912 MatchC16 French, Winawer
6. Bogoljubov vs A Selezniev  1-045 1921 It bC16 French, Winawer
7. P Romanovsky vs I Rabinovich 1-026 1925 LeningradC16 French, Winawer
8. Botvinnik vs N Pavlov-Pianov 1-031 1927 USSR ChampionshipC16 French, Winawer
9. Botvinnik vs Ragozin 1-034 1927 RussiaC16 French, Winawer
10. G A Thomas vs Nimzowitsch  ½-½35 1929 KarlsbadC16 French, Winawer
11. Levenfish vs Ragozin 1-034 1934 USSR Championship 1934/35C16 French, Winawer
12. F Bohatirchuk vs Ragozin  ½-½36 1935 MoscowC16 French, Winawer
13. Stoltz vs Book  1-034 1936 Nordic TournamentC16 French, Winawer
14. J Balogh vs K Ozols  1-023 1936 Munich ol (Men)C16 French, Winawer
15. J Montgomerie vs Book 0-129 1937 Stockholm ol (Men)C16 French, Winawer
16. C H Alexander vs Alekhine ½-½50 1938 MargateC16 French, Winawer
17. Milner-Barry vs Book  ½-½66 1938 MargateC16 French, Winawer
18. Smyslov vs Tolush 0-124 1939 Leningrad/Moscow trainingC16 French, Winawer
19. W Hasenfuss vs Book  0-134 1939 KemeriC16 French, Winawer
20. I Rabinovich vs Ragozin  1-075 1939 Leningrad/Moscow trainingC16 French, Winawer
21. S Belavenets vs Ragozin  ½-½40 1939 Leningrad/Moscow trainingC16 French, Winawer
22. M Stolberg vs F Fogelevich 1-029 1939 USSR-jrC16 French, Winawer
23. G Dzagurov vs B Vaksberg  ½-½28 1939 MoscowC16 French, Winawer
24. Boleslavsky vs Ragozin  1-037 1943 SverdlovskC16 French, Winawer
25. Bronstein vs Boleslavsky ½-½22 1944 Kiev (Ukraine)C16 French, Winawer
 page 1 of 55; games 1-25 of 1,366  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-12-05  drukenknight: 3 Nd2 always seems to give me more problems though. I think it just throws everything off.

As black I usually am very concerned about if and when to castle. Won lots of games by never castling and using the gain in tempo to do something to white.

So I'm playing this Nd2 game and finally I see the chance to ...000 and get out of danger. Right into a B sack on a7!

Obviously I was totally confused because the N on d2 just throws off the timing of the normal lines.

Apr-12-05  drukenknight: key pusher, which line are you recommending here for black in respnse to 4 Bd2? 4...dxe?

dont have any more time today, but I will respond in a day or two. thanks for comments.

Apr-12-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <dk> yes, 4...de. I think 4...Bxc3 and 4...Nf6 are inferior.
Apr-12-05  Chris00nj: <drukenknight: key pusher, which line are you recommending here for black in respnse to 4 Bd2? 4...dxe?>

4...Ne7 looks best.

<Helloween: A very biased and subjective statement. The Tarrasch is at least equally strong.>

Sure, it is a subjective statement, but looking at the amount of games played as white as well as the win% as well as the endorsement of the majority of GMs, it's not an unfair or untrue statement.

Although Nd2 prevents the bishop pin, it put the knight on a more awkward square. Where does it go from there? It also blocks the dark square bishop. Compare 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e5 in the classical variaton versus. 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. e5 The positions look similar, except white hasn't traded of black's good bishop and his knight is blocked in.

Of course it's a viable opening, but does it get you AS good of a position...no.

Apr-12-05  hintza: <Although Nd2 prevents the bishop pin, it put the knight on a more awkward square. Where does it go from there?> Usually it will go to b3.
Apr-12-05  Helloween: <Of course it's a viable opening, but does it get you AS good of a position...> Most definitely. The best positional response to the French. Of course, I don't play 1.e4 anymore so I don't worry about these things anyway. <3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 The positions look similar, except white hasn't traded of black's good bishop and his knight is blocked in.> I don't think you really know much about the White sides of these positions. You don't sound like you have much experience.<Although Nd2 prevents the bishop pin, it put the knight on a more awkward square. Where does it go from there?> After f2-f4, it goes to f3. The other Knight goes to e2. The positions in the 3...Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 line are very thematic. White get's a big grip in the centre, Black looks for counterplay after f7-f6 on the semi-open file. The exchange sac line with Rxf3 is interesting. Of course, 3...Nf6 sucks anyway. White definitely keeps a slight opening advantage. In the main lines(3...c5), Black deals with the isolated d-pawn and often gets less than adequate piece play for it. The positional player's dream, if you are playing White.
Apr-13-05  Chris00nj: <Helloween: >

I guess it is a matter of preference and styles!

Apr-14-05  drukenknight: keypushers ...dxe line seems to lead to some sort of crazy gambit thing for white.
Apr-15-05  Helloween: <Chris00nj> Exactly. So I take it you're a tactical junkie?
Apr-15-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <chris00nj> 4...Ne7 doesn't seem like a bad idea. Looking at the database it generally leads to a quieter line where the bishops get traded and white doesn't get doubled pawns: 5 e5 c5 6 Nb5 Bxd2+ 7 Qxd2. Deciding between it and 4...de is a matter of how greedy you are, I guess.

<dk> Once I got absolutely crushed in the gambit line <acirce> gives above (4...de 5 Qg4). I'll see if I can find the game.

Apr-15-05  Chris00nj: <Helloween: Exactly. So I take it you're a tactical junkie? >

I think it can be more fun. A position that is alive can stir creativity of the mind, though I appreciate positional struggles. Such as I'll play e4, but I play the Grand Prix against the Sicilian which is only a semi-open game, though I have started playing the King's Gambit against e5.

<keypusher> I normally play 4. e5 first before 4...c5 5. Bd2. I like to bring the knight to b5 and have the option of either going to d4 or d6.

Apr-21-05  drukenknight: Here is another Winawer French with that Keres 4 Bd2 move from a few minutes ago. A nice openingP

1 e4 e6
2. d4 d5
3. Nc3 Bb4
4. Bd2 c5
5. Bb5+ Bd7
6. dxc5 d4
7. Bxd7+ Qxd7
8. Nce2 Bxc5
9. b4 Bb6
10. Nf3 Nf6
11. Ne5 Qc8 (lots of places to put the Q the crap pc has several suggestions here)

12. Ng3 O-O
13. O-O

It looks pretty close to equality.

Apr-29-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: ok, <drukenknight>, here I am getting whacked in the Keres gambit line. This was played on the itsyourturn site in 2001 I think:

Adrian-keypusher

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Bd2 de 5 Qg4 Qxd4 6 Ne2 f5 7 Nxd4! fg (queens off, material ahead -- what can possibly go wrong? w Well...) 8 0-0-0 Nf6 9 Bc4! Kf7 10 Rhe1 Nc6 11 Nxe4 Bxd2+ 12 Rxd2 Nxe4 13 Rxe4 Nxd4 14 Rf4+ Nf5 15 Rxf5+ Kg6 16 Rc5! c6 17 Re2 Kf6 18 Re4! h5 19 Rf4+ Kg6 20 Re5 Re8 21 f3! (surprise...) gf 22 g4!! (beautiful!) Kh7 23 Rxh5+ Kg8 24 Bd3 g6 25 Rg5! Re7 26 Bxg6 Rg7 27 Rxf3 Bd7 28 Bf7+ Kh8 29 Rh5+ Rh7 30 Rxh7+ Kxh7 31 Rd3! 1-0

Would love anyone's comments on this game, since I haven't looked at it closely in years. At the time I really thought my opponent played beautifully.

Apr-29-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: <keypusher> that is a nice game. I don't like 10...Nc6 which gives you three more isolated pawns to go with the two you already have. It does develop your queenside though. What about 10...Bc5, pressuring the f2 pawn and meeting 11.Ndb5 with ...Bb6 12.Na4 Na6, or even 11...Bxb2?! looking for improvements on 12.Nxc7 Bxe1 13.Rxe1 when 13...Ne8 14.Nxa8 b6 15.Nxe4 Bb7 16.Nxb6 axb6 17.Ng5

of course, white declined to take on c6 and give you all those weak pawns, preferring the immediate 11.Nxe4. I thought he should have traded knights first. But I have a suspicion both players know more than I do, so I'll just puzzle on that for a while.

You are right, he did an excellent job of pressuring you with his rooks on the open board.

What are your thoughts on the itsyourturn website? My gameknot games are maxed out.

May-04-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Thanks <shams>. Adrian is indeed a very strong player, but you have no cause to defer to me.

I need to look at your lines and this game generally with Fritz. I agree with you that 10...Nc6 looks bad -- I must have been very unhappy with my lag in development to have played it. As it turned out I never got the bishop developed properly and eventually it cost me the game.

I did check chessbase -- 6...Qf6 seems to be the overwhelming preference in this line, but 6...f5 has been played by Uhlmann (his opponent passed on 7 Nxd4).

I am not particularly fond of itsyourturn, to be honest with you. I think for those mega-correspondence sites the key thing is knowing some people who play there so you can arrange for some interesting matches. Otherwise you just find yourself in a throng of very weak players, trying to fight your way up a ladder or through a tournament to where you can get matched with people of your own strength, or stronger. I found gameknot via this site, so I already "know" a lot of people there.

May-04-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <shams> on the other hand if you want to try itsyourturn I will be happy to play with you there!
May-04-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <shams> finally, there is a nice, relatively small site where I have played for years called pacific mall.
May-13-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: A recent example of the Keres gambit line, but black chose 4...Nc6 rather than 4...de.

H Lopez-Silva vs L Rojas, 2005

Aug-13-05  positional player: 4. ...Nc6 is a move that deserves much more attention than it has got
Dec-27-05  positional player: what do you think of the following game? I played with black pieces: 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 b6 5. a3 Bf8 6. f4 Ne7 7. Nf3 Qd7 8. Bd3 Ba6 9. O-O Bxd3 10. Qxd3 h5 11. Nh4 g6 12. Be3 a6 13. b4 Nbc6 14. Rab1 Nc8 15. Ne2 b5 16. Nf3 Nb6 17. h4 Nc4 18. Nd2 Be7 19. g3 a5 20. Nxc4 bxc4 21. Qd2 axb4 22. axb4 Na7 23. Ra1 O-O 24. c3 Nb5 25. Qb2 Qc6 26. Rxa8 Rxa8 27. Ra1 Ra6 28. Rxa6 Qxa6 29. Qc2 Qa1+ 30. Qc1 Qa2 31. Qd2 Qb1+ 32. Kg2 Qe4+ 33. Kh2 Kf8 34. Kg1 Ke8 35. Kh2 Kd7 36. Kg1 Kc6 37. Kh2 Na3 38. Kg1 Kb5 39. Kf2 Nc2 40. Ng1 Ka4 41. Ne2 Kb3 42. Qc1 Qxe3+ 43. Qxe3 Nxe3 44. Kxe3 Kc2 45. Kf2 Kd2 46. f5 gxf5 47. b5 Ba3 48. Nf4 Kxc3 49. Nxh5 Kxd4 50. Nf4 Kxe5 51. h5 Bf8 white resigns
Apr-17-07  Bob726: What does anyone think of the 4.b6 line?

Kasparov vs Ivanchuk, 1995

Aug-16-08  drukenknight: crazy winawer. We managed to get about 30 moves through this then all hell breaks loose, I drop a piece in the confusion but it turns into a serious attackm watch the pin on the queen:

1. e4 e6
2. d4 d5
3. Nc3 Bb4
4. e5 Ne7
5. a3 Bxc3+
6. bxc3 c5
7. f4 Qc7
8. Nf3 Nbc6
9. Be2 cxd4 novel
10. cxd4 Bd7
11. O-O Nf5
12. g4 Nfe7
13. Bd2 Rc8
14. c3 a6
15. Rb1 Na7
16. Qb3 b5
17. h4 O-O
18. Qc2 f5
19. exf6 Rxf6
20. g5 Rf7
21. Ne5 Rff8
22. Bd3 Nf5
23. Nxd7 Qxd7
24. h5 Nxd4
25. Bxh7+ Kh8
26. Qg6 Rc6 (Ne2+ better)
27. cxd4 e5
28. Qd3 Qg4+
29. Kf2 Qh4+ (what does your pc recommend?)
30. Ke2 Qxh5+
31. Ke1 exf4

position after 31..exf4 can you hold this?


click for larger view

Mar-08-10  jbtigerwolf: ok, from drukenknight on page 1: 4.Bd2 Bxc3 5.Bxc3 dxe4 6.d5... I think there would be no trouble for white following this line, as I think it is best for black! He seems to gain a pawn for nothing... Acirce then said: 4...dxe4.
But then the knight can simply retake the pawn... it doesn't make any sense.
Mar-08-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <jbtigerwolf: ok, from drukenknight on page 1: 4.Bd2 Bxc3 5.Bxc3 dxe4 6.d5... I think there would be no trouble for white following this line, as I think it is best for black! He seems to gain a pawn for nothing... Acirce then said: 4...dxe4. But then the knight can simply retake the pawn... it doesn't make any sense.>

4...dxe4 5.Nxe4 Qxd4

Jul-21-13  Everett: <C16> is such a hodgepodge, with so many moves lumped in it at move 4 for Black <Ne7, Qd7, b6>, the latter, as some may have seen by now, an lead to some very interesting KID type play for Black. Petrosian and Bronstein have played it quite a bit. Ivanchuk vs Kasparov played it differently, and DeFirmian didn't let Bronstein get the KID set-up either, but the Black side ended up winning both with brilliant play in a position devoid of theory. A lot of interesting ground for the curious French player.
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