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Rene Libeau vs Wolfgang Uhlmann
BL (1994/95), 07
French Defense: Winawer. Poisoned Pawn Variation General (C18)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-17-04  enigmaticcam: I don't get this game. It's like first they can't decide on which side of the board to play on, and then for like 10 moves they keep moving the same pieces back and forth. Can someone explain this to me?
Dec-18-04  Dudley: At first, White is attacking on the K side and Black attacks on the Q side, all pretty standard in a French Defense. Then, Black stops White's attack and and White decides he needs to defend his Q side against the Black initiative there. White switches back to a K side buildup and Black defends(attacks?) directly, all the while keeeping his eye on the weak White "a" pawn, which he wins on move 37. His position if flexible enough for him to snatch the pawn , and still get back to stop White's K side action cold by massive piece exchanges. This leaves Black with a simply won endgame with his unopposed "a" pawn- a matter of technique. Uhlmann is a specialist in handling the French Winawer, and this game shows the endgame advantage for Black if he can hold off White's attack. A lot of maneuvering and "switching the attack" Was it mutual indecision or sophisticated gamesmanship on both sides part?
Dec-20-04  enigmaticcam: Hmmm, okay. That seems to make more sense. Thanks for cleaing that up for me! :) I've been thinking about taking up the French Defense myself, and since Uhlmann uses it a lot, I've been analyzing his games trying to understand the basic principles behind it.
Dec-21-04  Dudley: I don't know if that cleared anything up that you didn't already know-it was late and I'd been at a Christmas party. Still, one difference I've always noticed in high level games vs. my level is that they seem to play around with the position a lot more before committing to a definite course of action, whereas I tend to start a plan and stick with it whether it's working or not.
Aug-08-08  Gameoverziggy: c4 seems like an inaccuracy to me. First he is closing the center and allowing white to play f4 for a kingside attack. c4 also trades bishop for knight in a closed position. It does leave whtie with a "bad" bishop but it is outside the pawnchain. Even if white gets in f5 is it that dangerous? One simple line is exf5 bxf5 bxf5 qxf5 getting rid of blacks bad bishop. but if black say plays cxd4 f5 would have no sting to it at all. Easy counterplay would come to black on the queenside.
Apr-02-12  jhelix70: <Gameoverziggy>

I've been thinking about your question regarding the move c4 by black.

The move has useful advantages in my view.

1) By forcing the exchange of whites light squared bishop, we have a potential bishop of opposite colors ending, so black might feel like he has "draw in hand", so to speak.

2) Black forever prevents the white c3 pawn from advancing and relieving white of his chief weakness ( the doubled pawns).

3) By shutting down the Q side, black forces white to try to win on the K side. However, without the light squared bishop, white cannot challenge black's control of key squares like e4 and f5 (looking at the position after 13. ...fxg6 and especially after 34. Ne7; blacks grip on f5 is ironclad). Your point is f4-f5 isn't dangerous anyway, but black makes sure white can't force it. I imagine this frustrated white into attempting an unsound continuation in order to break through.

Uhlmann seemed to have played the game for "draw with option to win (in case of a mistake by the opponent)". Many GM's have played that way with black.

I'd welcome some French experts to weight in on what circumstances make c4 a good choice, vs. maintaining the tension!

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