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Fabiano Caruana vs Aleksandr Lenderman
US Championship (2018), St Louis, MO USA, rd 2, Apr-19
French Defense: Winawer. Advance Variation (C18)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-19-18  Lupara: Wow! Just a brutal game for Black.
Apr-19-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Lenderman's pawn snatch looks suspect in view of the obvious play to come with Rag1, but even if he does not go in for that adventure, once White plays Ke2, Rh3-g3 is in the air anyway and he has a free hand on the kingside.
Apr-19-18  Marmot PFL: 17...Qxg2 looks too risky and is. Even 11...cd4 is dangerous but taking center pawns is often good.
Apr-19-18  ChessHigherCat: 21. Rf4!! I don't recall ever seeing anyone trying to give away their rook with check like that before but the black queen has nowhere to hide after 21..NxR+? 22. QxR
Apr-19-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  hoodrobin: A heavily poisoned pawn.
Apr-19-18  Strelets: Superior development and activity vs. pawn snatching and an exposed queen. Few things in chess make me happier than watching the Winawer crash and burn.
Apr-19-18  ChessHigherCat: <Strelets: Superior development and activity vs. pawn snatching and an exposed queen. Few things in chess make me happier than watching the Winawer crash and burn.>

Me, too, because I always used to be outplayed by IMs in blitz when I had white in this opening. What you do think of 8. g4 and 9. h4, which is basically saying okay, you take the lousy c2 pawn while I mate you, you do your thing, I'll do mine... Is that an innovation?

Apr-19-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pedro Fernandez: Not only the white rooks dominating the 'g' and 'h' rows, but also the powerful white bishop on the diagonal b1-h7, plus, of course, the white queen.
Apr-20-18  Ulhumbrus: Black's queen tries to help defend the king side but then she herself becomes a target
Apr-20-18  Lupara: Black's Queen was the most "active" piece in the game, making 7 out of the first 19 moves.

Maybe old opening principles/fundamentals, like don't move the same piece too many times and don't bring the Queen out too early, do still work from time to time.

: )

Apr-20-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  takchess: I love to see a French Defense Beatdown. There must be a puzzle in here somewhere.
Apr-20-18  Caissanist: Caruana got the idea for 9.h4 from reading an article in New In Chess. Lenderman blamed his loss on the fact that he doesn't subscribe: https://www.chess.com/news/view/so-... .
Apr-20-18  Conrad93: Why in the world would you open up the g file? Defeats the whole points of putting your kind on f8.
Apr-20-18  Marmot PFL: Black wanted to stop 14 Rh4
Apr-20-18  ChessHigherCat: <Caissanist: Caruana got the idea for 9.h4 from reading an article in New In Chess. Lenderman blamed his loss on the fact that he doesn't subscribe: https://www.chess.com/news/view/so-... .>

Thanks for the explanation of 9. h4. Caruana wasn't really that nonchalant since the queen ran back home to d1 just a couple moves later, but she had already accomplished her mission of weakening the kingside.

Apr-20-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I tried to submit <French Fried> as a pun for this game (I stole the idea from Daniel King, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xV... ), but someone beat me to it. :-(
Apr-20-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Its a tragi-comedy! White offers a rook (with check) to the black knight <21.Rf4> which is refused

...but the other rook proceeds to destroy this same knight causing the collapse of Black's position

Too funny & tragic in a way

*****

Apr-20-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  takchess: @FSR is French Toast -French Toasted used?
Apr-20-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Give me 3 minutes at the board, with Black's position after 22. Bb4, and I can see that 22...a5 loses, because of the two pins and the White DSB covering g6.

Was Lenderman, who is far far better than me, bluffing? Did he realize he was lost and just want to get a quick decision? If FC doesn't see it, then Lenderman is still in the game!

In any event, I hate the French Defense!!!

Why? Any opening where castling is a bad idea is just anathema to me.

The only player in the world who can play the French from either side, and castle first, without high risk of being mowed off the board, is Carlsen.

When you have to be the daggone WCC to survive castling first, then the opening is just plain weird.

No wonder Korchnoi loved it.

Apr-20-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: AlexandR had a French shower
Apr-20-18  Conrad93: <The only player in the world who can play the French from either side, and castle first, without high risk of being mowed off the board, is Carlsen.>

Umm, that's not true. Wesley So, Caruana, Karjakin, and Morozevich have all played it with great success. Black just misplayed the position. It's not that easu to crack this specific variation as long as you don't move you kingside pawns.

Apr-20-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Big Pawn: <ChessHigherCat: <Strelets: Superior development and activity vs. pawn snatching and an exposed queen. Few things in chess make me happier than watching the Winawer crash and burn.>

Me, too, because I always used to be outplayed by IMs in blitz when I had white in this opening.>

It takes an IM to beat <Chess Higher Cat> because he's a genius!

Well traveled.
Well educated.

Apr-20-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Big Pawn: <tga: In any event, I hate the French Defense!!!

Why? Any opening where castling is a bad idea is just anathema to me.

The only player in the world who can play the French from either side, and castle first, without high risk of being mowed off the board, is Carlsen.>

I used to think the French sucked even back before I ever cracked open a chess book or played through a game other than my own. As a coffee house player in my teens, whenever I say black play 1...e6, I already knew that if they castled short, I was going to play Bxh7+, Ng5+ and Qh5 mating. I thought I was the only person who knew this trick lol

Then, when I was about 20, I got the idea to pick up a chess book from the library, just to see if it contained some information about chess that I didn't already know (lol). I picked up Chess Praxis by Nimzovich and was blown away.

I quickly realized I don't know a damn thing about real chess, but more interestingly, I saw that Nimzovich played the French quite often. He also played 1...Nc6 which turned into something of French often enough. I was interested to see what he had to say about it and how he played it, and why anyone would ever choose to open a game in such a way.

I've been playing the French ever since!

In some ways, I think the French gets to the very essence of chess. In the Winawer, we see all kinds of interesting imbalances. There is white's weak pawn formation (doubled pawns, weak c4 square) vs blacks solid position, but white has more space on the king side. We see the battle of the two bishops versus two knights, but the jury is out until the pawn structure is settled in favor of the bishops or knights!

The French pits the old classic system against the hypermodern system quite naturally as well. Black tries to prove that the pawn on e5 is overextended and white tries to shore it up proving it is an advantage. In some sense, the Advance Variation of the French is a timeless discussion of this them. White neglects development to push the pawn to e5 on the third move, allowing black to undermine the pawn with ...c5, ...Nc6, ...Qb6 and ...f6. Black is often slightly ahead in development after 9 moves or so. Which imbalance wins? Blacks better development and more compact position, or White's space advantage and safe king?

We see in some variations the quintessential exchange sac ...Rxf3!?. This is cool when black can follow up with a kingside attack, but even cooler and more profound when the idea is to undermine the center.

In the French there is room for all kinds of ugly beautiful moves, like ...Nh8 (intending ...f6 and ...Nf7).

Fischer more or less hated the French too, but he famously struggled with it, often changing his opening approach trying to find something that worked. He felt it should be unsound, but said that one day he might have to admit it's sound after all.

Highly creative players have enjoyed the French like Nimzovich, Petrosian, Korchnoi, Botvinnik, Carlsen, Morozevich.

I think the French offers a richness in chess themes like no other and epitomizes the essence of chess in many ways.

It's an addiction.

Apr-20-18  rgr459: wow look at all the pins!
Apr-20-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <thegoodanarchist:

In any event, I hate the French Defense!!!>

You're the kind of opponent I like!

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