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peppe_l ♡ 249 ( +1 | -1 )
GK Analysis Challenge (Please check out the thread "Suggestion")

So, we have found a top GK player who has sent me one of his games for this project.

Our mentor will be Baseline, so lets welcome him!!!

How does this work? below you find a modified version of my original suggestion


People have been asking some of GK top players to play a "tutorial" game where he explains his moves and plans, plus gives people a chance to discuss about the game. I have somewhat similar suggestion...

If any of GK top players is willing to annotate one of his games, how about a thread where

1) The player - lets call him MENTOR from now on - sends one of his games WITHOUT annotation (move list only!)

2) Readers will be given two weeks for annotating the game - no computer programs or help from friends pls! Readers arent allowed to post their own annotations until two weeks has passed (this prevents situations where readers are tempted to read the analysis by others...)

3) After two weeks has passed, readers post their own annotations. This allows readers to see how other players think (always interesting!)

4) After few days, mentor posts the game WITH annotation. This allows readers to see how GK top players think plus compare their thinking and analysis to the true maestros of GK :-)

5) After the mentor has posted his analysis, people have a chance to start a discussion where they can compare their annotations to the annotations by others.

NOTE - In order to make this work people have to send their own annotations! I know many are tempted to analyze the game without sending their own annotation for everyone to see, but if one overcomes the fear of sending less than perfect analysis (hey, who of us is Kasparov anyway?), I am sure this could be both instructive and fun experience!

PS. Baseline is willing to annotate one of his games only to help us surely we can do the same favour to him by analyzing this interesting and instructive game? :-)



- It is good to include lots of verbal comments about plans, ideas and position in general. This will help people to see how others think.

- Dont be afraid of giving ! ? !? ?! etc. It doesnt matter if your ! move turns out to be a ? move. If you want to learn, you have to trust your own conclusions even if some of them might prove wrong in hindsight.

- Remember it DOESNT MATTER how flawed your analysis is! This is not a competition...

- Dont forget to have fun!


peppe_l ♡ 21 ( +1 | -1 )
The Game 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Be3 Nge7 6. Nf3 Nf5 7. Bd3 Qb6 8. Qd2 Nxe3 9. fxe3 c4 10. Be2 Bd7 11. O-O Be7 12. Qc2 f6 13. exf6 Bxf6 14. b3 cxb3 15. Qxb3 g5 16. Ne1 O-O 17. Nd3 Qc7 18. Nd2 b6 19. e4 Rac8 20. Rac1 Bg7 21. e5 Rxf1+ 22. Bxf1 Be8 23. Qd1 Bg6 24. Qg4 Bf5 25. Qxg5 Bxd3 26. Bxd3 Nxd4 27. Qh5 Bxe5 28. Bxh7+ Kg7 29. Rf1 Bxh2+ 30. Kh1 Bf4 31. cxd4 Bxd2 32. g3 Qe7 33. Qg6+ Kh8 34. Kg2 Qg7 35. Qxe6 1-0
dyl_ ♡ 8 ( +1 | -1 )
Very good idea. I'm looking a the game now. I'll be very interested to see how much i've missed in 2 weeks time.
white_disc ♡ 32 ( +1 | -1 )
Ok, ON Will try to give my annotations, though my experience tells me what I am always off :P

Coincidentally, I rather like the advance variation of the French Defence for black.. would be interesting to find out why black lost :)

Thanks alot.

zdrak ♡ 56 ( +1 | -1 )
And now, all is left is to see who will be the first overzealous soul to ignore the request:

"Readers arent allowed to post their own annotations until two weeks has passed "

Given my previous experience with the reading comprehension skills of GameKnot members, (as well as with their all-consuming desire to analyze games!), my bet is that the first annotation will be posted here in no longer than 6 hours, and at least 3 more will be posted before the two-week period is up, thus invalidating the whole exercise.

Praying that I am wrong, of course ...
peppe_l ♡ 76 ( +1 | -1 )
Hopefully Folks will read the first post, but even if someone posts his analysis before two weeks has passed, it isnt the end of the world :-)

"Given my previous experience with the reading comprehension skills of GameKnot members, (as well as with their all-consuming desire to analyze games!), my bet is that the first annotation will be posted here in no longer than 6 hours, and at least 3 more will be posted before the two-week period is up, thus invalidating the whole exercise."

Well I have to say I am more optimistic here!

Plus I dont think it would necessarily invalidate the whole exercise, just create a temptation Im sure everyone of us could easily resist...

BTW all-consuming desire to analyze games = GOOD! :-)
clemens ♡ 41 ( +1 | -1 )
Great! I will certainly have a go at it...

A big "thank you" to baseline for going to the trouble of annotating one of his game just for us! BTW, can we learn who the opponents were?

peppe_l, will you bring the thread back up (or start a new one) as soon as the two weeks are over? Just as a sort of "start signal" :)
peppe_l ♡ 1 ( +1 | -1 )
Yes I will! :-)
gambitnut ♡ 29 ( +1 | -1 )
This sounds like another good idea! I will analyze this game and post my comments when you bring this thread back in two weeks. By the way, just out of curiousity, who is the other player?

Peppe, you seem to be a good player and are about my rating, would you like to play the "public game" match with me?
peppe_l ♡ 28 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks for an offer But I have too many games going on, you need someone who can offer good enough play for a game whole GK is watching :-)

But I am most willing to do it in the future (when I have less games going on). I am sure I could learn a lot from the comments of other players.
gambitnut ♡ 45 ( +1 | -1 )
I think you are plenty good enough for this game! I can understand how you might feel that if you have too many games going you might not be able to concentrate on each one as much as you would like but I haven't noticed that being a problem for me and I love chess so much I don't think it's possible to have too many games! I have 37 going right now myself. By the way, I don't think the time control has been set yet so if a longer time control, like 14 days, is possible for you, that's fine with me.
peppe_l ♡ 21 ( +1 | -1 )
Well Recently I have lost two games in the opening etc, so even though I really like correspondence chess, having many games at the same time does have some effect...

So, later! :-)
gambitnut ♡ 52 ( +1 | -1 )
Okay, maybe later! I hope you will at least be able to join in the chat for the games every now and then!

I hope your games go well and the rest at least get past the opening. When you are ready to try the public game or just to play a normal game for fun, let me know. I hope I can find someone else to play a public game with me soon. Have you played any good players about our strength that you think might give me a good game and give the spectators an interesting game to watch?
peppe_l ♡ 73 ( +1 | -1 )
Gambitnut "Have you played any good players about our strength that you think might give me a good game and give the spectators an interesting game to watch?"

Many! But much depends on how you define "interesting" - at least on chess sites where I have been observing live games, according to the majority only attacking and tactical games were interesting...but personally I consider a good positional struggle or endgame equally interesting (and yes, even if the game ends to a draw).

So cant really name anyone, but I suppose any player approx of your strength might give you a good game...?

Hope you find someone soon, public game is a very good idea.
eachus1 ♡ 6 ( +1 | -1 )
great idea i will give it a go and thx to baseline and peppe-1
peppe_l ♡ 20 ( +1 | -1 )
BTW The day when people can post their annotations is


So, those who havent begun analyzing the interesting game Baseline gave to us, you have more than week to do so :-)

Happy annotating!

peppe_l ♡ 5 ( +1 | -1 )
Good news Two more "mentors" found (for future challenges)!

peppe_l ♡ 11 ( +1 | -1 )
Ok folks Two weeks has passed and its time to send YOUR analysis of the game!

Floor is yours people...


r_lawrence ♡ 261 ( +1 | -1 )
Okay, I only took about an hour ... to go through the game, and I'm pretty new at this, BUT dying to learn, so here goes. Here's the game:

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Be3 Nge7 6. Nf3 Nf5 7. Bd3 Qb6 8. Qd2 (I like Qc2 better ... gives me a good hole to develop my knight to)

8. ... Nxe3 9. fxe3 c4 10. Be2 Bd7 11. O-O Be7 12. Qc2 f6 (Don't know if I like opening up blacks f-file like this since white has all of the kingside space and can easily prepare an attack here and my king is still 'loose')

13. exf6 Bxf6 14. b3 (why not develop the Knight first? Then thoughts of b2 or even d4 look much better)

14. ...cxb3 15. Qxb3 (Why offer the Queen trade? She looks great on the b1-h7 diagonal, and Blacks king is loose. I'd take with the a-pawn, giving that a rook some more power and leaving the Queen be)
15. ... g5?! (If I'm black, I'm looking to develop more safetly here. I really like the idea of trading Queens, castling, and going for a center push with d5)
16. Ne1 (Premature I think .. g4 doesn't seem to be a huge threat. Develop that other Knight!)
16. ...O-O 17. Nd3 Qc7 (I like my idea even more now of trading Queens for black and going for d5, opening up the position and using the power of the bishop pair vs. Whites poorly developed knights.) 18. Nd2 (finally!)
18. ...b6 19. e4 Rac8 (trying to go for that backward c-pawn)
20. Rac1 Bg7 21. e5 Rxf1+ 22. Bxf1 Be8 23. Qd1 Bg6 24. Qg4 (Finally a nice active square for the Queen. Opposite the opposing King, and attacking g5 and e6)
24. ...Bf5 (giving up g5 .. I don't know, I might play safer, and protect the pawn) 25. Qxg5 Bxd3 !? (does a nice job munching center pawns, but also raises a big tactical question mark. Will this be too slow? He's trading away an EXCELLENT active bishop, for a weaker Knight and at the same time allowing white to bring HIS white bishop into attacking position. White is very cramped right now, how about considering keeping him cramped, keeping the bishop pair, and quickly swapping the black Queen and rook over to the open F-file?)
26. Bxd3 Nxd4 27. Qh5 Bxe5 28. Bxh7+ Kg7 29. Rf1 Bxh2+ 30. Kh1 Bf4 31. cxd4 Bxd2 32. g3 Qe7 (hmm .. I really like black in an endgame right now. He's up a pawn, and in essence, has 2 pairs of hanging pawns, as opposed to whites 3 isolated pawns. Would it be possible to trade down the big pieces? if 32... Qxg3!?,33.Rg1? Rf1! .. and bingo, the pieces start to fall .. although, Whites Qf7+ looks quite scary, i dont' see a way for him to force mate out of it)
33. Qg6+ Kh8 34. Kg2 Qg7 35. Qxe6 1-0 (I ran out of time here while analysing, but didn't immediately see why black resigned .. what did I miss? Couldn't he try Rf8 and work on a draw?)

Theres plenty of other moves that could be questioned and analyzed, but these were the thoughts that 'jumped out' at me one slow time through the game.

peppe_l ♡ 5 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks For the first brave annotator! Now...where are the others...? :-)
parrvert ♡ 123 ( +1 | -1 )
I've had a go 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 {French Advance. White closes the centre taking an
immediate gain in space, black will attack the pawn chain at its base (d4).}
3... c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Be3 Nge7 6. Nf3 Nf5 7. Bd3 {Threatening Bxf5} 7... Qb6 8.
Qd2 Nxe3 (8... cxd4 9. cxd4 Nxe3 (9... Nfxd4 10. Nxd4 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 Qxd4 12.
Bb5+ {1-0}) 10. fxe3 Nb4 11. Be2 11... Bd7 {looks possible}) 9. fxe3 9... c4?!
{Temporarily closes the position but at some point the chain will be attacked
with b3} 10. Be2 Bd7 11. O-O Be7 12. Qc2 12... f6 {
Black's position is cramped, with this move he/she fights for space} 13. exf6
Bxf6 14. b3 cxb3 15. Qxb3 15... g5?! {Perhaps chasing away the f3 knight to
prepare ...e5? The knight can go to d3 and the black kingside looks weak.} (
15... Qxb3 16. axb3 16... e5 {may be better}) 16. Ne1 O-O 17. Nd3 Qc7 18. Nd2
b6 19. e4 19... Rac8 {Building up pressure on white's backward c pawn} 20. Rac1
Bg7 21. e5 Rxf1+ 22. Bxf1 (22. Rxf1 Na5) 22... Be8 {
This manoeuvre activates the bishop but leaves the e6 pawn unprotected.} 23.
Qd1 Bg6 24. Qg4 Bf5 25. Qxg5 25... Bxd3 {
To regain the pawn black has to give up his active bishop} 26. Bxd3 Nxd4 27.
Qh5 Bxe5 28. Bxh7+ Kg7 29. Rf1 (29. g3 Rh8) 29... Bxh2+ 30. Kh1 (30. Qxh2 Ne2+
31. Kh1 Ng3+ 32. Kg1 Nxf1) 30... Bf4 31. cxd4 Bxd2 32. g3! (32. Qg6+ Kh8 33.
Rf7 33... Qc1+ {After g3 the king can go to g2}) 32... Qe7 33. Qg6+ Kh8 34. Kg2
Qg7 35. Qxe6 {35...Rf8 36.Rh1} 1-0

Many thanks to baseline.

P.S. peppe_l, where is your analysis? :-)
peppe_l ♡ 502 ( +1 | -1 )
Here are some comments... To be honest I came to a conclusion that (for several practical reasons) it was going to be somewhat difficult to be both participant and "organizer" here. But after I thought about it, since I analyzed the game before starting GK Analysis Challenge, why not write some of my thoughts down and post them? :-)

My analysis is rather brief this time (I am hoping to contribute more in the "goup analysis" later) because I wrote the comments down only today, but here it is anyway...

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Be3 Nge7 6.Nf3 Nf5 7.Bd3 Qb6 8.Qd2

<8.Qc2 looks more natural but of course then d4 does not have enough defenders. The point is Qd2 protects d4 indirectly - now after 8...cxd4 9.Nxd4 Nfxd4 10.cxd4 Black cant play 10...Nxd4?? because of 11.Bxd4 Qxd4?? 12.Bb5+!>


<The position is fairly closed but still black exchanges his strong Nf5 to a "bad" bishop. Why? To gain two bishops? No, there were threats like dxc5 Bxc5 Bxc5 Qxc5 with good bishop vs bad bishop scenario. And of course, there was a big difference between two bishop pairs - just compare Bd3/Be3 and Bf8/Bc8...>


<Forced but not in unpleasant way, now central pawn structure is fortified - especially critical d4 - and f-file is opened. Plus all central pawns are on dark squares, leaving Bd3 free to reign on strong diagonal.>


<Black forces strong bishop to leave the best square. It is true Black gives away pressure against d4, but after fxe3 was there much pressure anyway? Now typical queenside advance b5-a5-b4 is somewhat slow so Black goes for another thematic pawn break - f6! But still, as a former Torre Attack player I have many nice memories from games where my opponents played something like 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bg5 d5 4.e3 c5 5.Nbd2 Be7 6.c3 Nc6 7.Bd3 c4? ("to threaten my bishop" :))) and found themselves in trouble ater thematic e4. One of the reasons c5 is often played in Torre/Colle type of positions is to counter e4 with cxd4! Here e4 is possible and Black can no longer play cxd4...>

10.Be2 Bd7 11.0-0 Be7 12.Qc2 f6!

<No fear! Black has no need to castle before playing f6 since White pieces are not in position to attack his king - at least not yet. 13.exf6 Bxf6 Now Black can prepare e5, when both players have some problems to solve - e5 dxe5 must be good for black despite of backward pawn in d5, when White must push e4 trough quickly in order to exchange his weak d-pawn away. But then centre will be opened for Black bishops! But what if White refuses to play dxe5?>


<Very nice attack against Black pawn chain. What can Black do? Both cxb3 and bxc4 weaken his position so I suppose accepting hanging pawns is smaller evil than allowing bxc4.>

14...cxb3 15.Qxb3

<I was expecting 15.axb3! Capturing towards centre, opening a-file etc. But then I realized maybe 15.axb3 e5!? was the reason White opted for 15.Qxb3?>


<This move looks UGLY! :-) Since 15...Qxb3? obviously helps White to strenghten his pawn structure and gain semi-open a-file, why not simply castle and go for reasonable plan like Qc7- Rc8, preparing Na5-c4 to blockade the backward pawn in c3. Or prepare e5 in order to open the centre for bishops. Why 15...g5?>


<Relocating Nf3 to d3 where it watches positional holes c5 and e5, and - obviously - helps in preventing e5...>

16...0-0 17.Nd3 Qc7 18.Nd2 b6

<Preventing Nc5. But maybe 18...Na5!? was worth trying?>


<Very good! Since 19...dxe4 is out of question Black cant prevent oncoming e5.>


<Technically speaking 19...Nxd4?! (20.cxd4 Bxd4+ 21.Kh1 Bxa1 22.Rxa1) wins material, but to me White looks better - his minor pieces are very active and especially a combination of two knights and queen can bring havoc in Black camp. I believe Black is on right track here, increasing pressure against c3.>


<Calm maneuvering! No rush to play 21.e5 since Black cant prevent it anyway. It took some time before I found the obvious 20.exd5? Na5! followed by Qxc3>

20...Bg7 21.e5

<According to the plan. Now Black bishops are bad and backward pawn in e6 remains weak.>

21...Rxf1+ 22.Bxf1

<22.Rxf1? Na5 followed by Qxc3>


<Black is more than willing to exchange his bad bishop via Be8-Bg6 etc.>


<Very deep move! The queen has done its work on queenside and its time to increase pressure against weaknesses like g5 and e6 - not to forget Black monarch!>

23...Bg6 24.Qg4

<A prelude to tactical complications. As much as I enjoyed analyzing this game, next moves made my head hurt...but I found no improvements to the game continuation so I guess a good tactical workout was my reward (to be honest I feel I still have no clue! :)))>

24...Bf5! 25.Qxg5 Bxd3 26.Bxd3 Nxd4 27.Qh5 Bxe5 28.Bxh7+! Kg7 29.Rf1!?

<What if 29.g3? I cant see a way to make 29...Bxg3 sac work. But maybe Black can simplify the position by playing 29...Ne2+ 30.Qxe2 Kxh7 even though it is true his king is still exposed and g2-h2 pawn duo might cause him problems in the future. Ah well, I guess I always look for too passive moves :-)>

29...Bxh2+ 30.Kh1 Bf4 31.cxd4 Bxd2 32.g3!!

<Brilliant! Preparing Kg2-Rh1 32...Qe7 I cant find defense against Qg6+ and Kg2-Rh1.>

33.Qg6+ Kh8 34.Kg2 Qg7 35.Qxe6

<A great game!>

gambitnut ♡ 23 ( +1 | -1 )
I just wanted to bump this ... ... and let people know that I will post my analysis tomorrow. I don't know when baseline was planning on analyzing the game for us but if they could wait one more day, there will be at least one more analysis to compare it to.
peppe_l ♡ 44 ( +1 | -1 )
Baseline Will post his analysis on Friday, so there are few days left for people who want to participate.

Hopefully there will be more replies. Many people seemed to be interested of this experiment but maybe some of them are simply hesitant of posting their own analysis for everyone to see? Remember - it doesnt have to be perfect or even good, the idea is to learn more about chess and have fun. Courage, my friends! :-)
mercy ♡ 21 ( +1 | -1 )
Oh good I thought I was too late. I planned on analyzing the game on the 7th but something unexpected happened and I barely had time to make moves in my games. Now, things are caught up and I am glad that I am still able to participate.

baseline ♡ 0 ( +1 | -1 )
??? ???
gambitnut ♡ 311 ( +1 | -1 )
Is today friday there, Baseline. Sorry about that, I thought I had more time, it's only thursday here. Anyway, here's my analysis hopefully the other people who said they would analyze the game will do it soon.

1. e4 e6

French Defence

2. d4 d5
3. e5

This is the Advance Variation. White’s idea is to take some more space in the center. Black tries to break up White’s center with c5 and/or f6 and white tries to keep it. If white can maintain those center pawns, they are usually doing well.

3. … c5
4. c3 Nc6
5. Be3

This is more flexible than Nf3 here because this is the best square for the bishop but White might want to wait before developing the knight to play f4 first or even Ne2-f4.

5. … Nge7
6. Nf3 Nf5
7. Bd3 Qb6
8. Qd2

Black is attacking two pawns, the b and d pawns. This move directly defends the b-pawn and indirectly defends the d-pawn since 8. … cxd4 9. cxd4 Ncxd4 10. Nxd4 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 12. Qxd4 Bb5+! wins the queen.

8. … Nxe3
9. fxe3

Black wins the bishop pair and doubles White’s pawns but the pawns control the center, the position is closed, making the bishop pair less useful and White gets an open file to use for an attack.

10. … c4?!

I don’t like this move. As I said earlier, Black is trying to break up White’s pawns so I think this move relieves the tension too early.

10. Be2 Bd7
11. O-O Be7
11. Qc2

I like this move. It frees d2 for the queen knight, gets the queen on a nice diagonal and prepares both be and e4.

11. … f6
13. exf6 Bxf6
14. b3

Now it is White who wants to break up Black’s pawns.

14. … cxb3
15. Qxb3

Since the bishop can now return to d3, I think White has a good chance for an attack so I would rather keep the queens on the board.

15. … g5?

I don’t know what this move does other than weaken the kingside. I would trade queens followed be e5. I think whichever side takes the initative in the center has the edge.

16. Ne1

The idea of this move is to attack Black’s bishop, threaten Bh5+ and later play Nd3-c5. Another idea here is to play Nfd2 to prepare c4 or e4.

16. … O-O

After g5, the king doesn’t look very safe here but I don’t know if it would be safer anywhere else. With c4 and e4, White can open up the board wherever Black’s king is.

17. Nd3 Qc7
18. Nd2 b6

The idea behind the past two moves was to prevent White’s knight from getting to c5 but I don’t know if that is so bad. I would play Rf7 followed by Raf8.
19. e4 Rac8
20. Rac1 Bg7
21. e5

Since exd5 doesn’t work because of Na5, I think this is best, now White has the central space back.

21. Rxf1+
22. Bxf1

White would like to take with the rook but the c-pawn would hang after Na5.

22. ... Be8
23. Qd1!

The queen wasn’t doing much on the queenside.

23. … Bg6

Since Black’s king saftey is gone anyway, maybe 23. … h5, preventing Qg4 could have been tried.

24. Qg4 Bf5
25. Qxg5 Bxd3
26. Bxd3 Nxd4
27. Qh5 Bxe5
28. Bxh7+ Kg7

Black might have had better chance of survival with 28. … Qxh7 29. Qxe5 Qg7.

29. Rf1 Bxh2+
30. Kh1 Bf4
31. cxd4 Bxd2
32. g3!

A nice quiet move which prevents Black from starting a counterattack on White’s king.

32. … Qe7
33. Qg6+ Kh8
34. Kg2 Qg7
35. Qxe6 1-0

tulkos ♡ 14 ( +1 | -1 )
!!! I really liked the idea, and was hoping to give some analysis, but I didn't know it was going on! oh dear. maybe next time?
baseline ♡ 571 ( +1 | -1 )
My Analysis For what its worth here it is. My nic at iyt is Grimsweeper.

Grimsweeper - eric whiting [C02]
November 2001 Member Tournament (2), 19.01.2002

eric whiting is has won a couple of competitive chess tournaments at a strong player indeed.

1.e4 e6 2.d4

[2.e5 Steintz played this!]

2...d5 3.e5

The Advanced Variation of the French Defense is a good pratical choice for White because it restricts Blacks choices meaning there is less theory to learn. White wants to attack on the king-side the pawn on e5 inhibits Black's development and gives White more room to maneuver there. This is a very old variation I have 2 games of Greco's from 1620 in my database. I also show Howard Staunton playing it in 1840.

3...c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Be3!?

A Risky move. It was a very rare bird in tournament play before GM Victor Kupreichik started using it in 1992. I have played the Advanced variation for many years and the Queen's Bishop had always been my problem child. I decided to promote the Bishop and let the Queens Knight be the problem child for a change. [5.f4?! Positionally desireable but much too slow.] 5...Nge7 Not a bad move but lets see what some opening manuals say:

1. Modern Chess Opening-14th edition - nothing whatever

2. Nunn's Chess Openings

5.Be3Qb6 6.Qd2 Bd7 7.Nf3
a.7.cxd4 8.cxd4 9.Nc3 Na5 10. Rc1 (10.Bd3 Nc4=) 10.Bb4 11.Bd3 Nc4=
b.7.Rc8 8.dxc5 Bxc5 9.Bxc5 Qxc5 unclear
c.7.f6 8.Bd3 fxe5 9.dxe5 Nh6 =

3. Basic Chess Openings by GM Gabor Kallai

Gives variation "c" above stopping at 7.f6 with "destroys the White pawn centre"

4...Play The French - IM John Watson

5.Qb6 (5.cxd4 6.cxd4 Nge7) 6.Qd2 and:
a.6.Bd7 7.Nf3 f6 (7…Rc8!? 8.Bd3 cxd4 9.cxd4?? Nb4 10.b3 Rc1+! 0-1 Matcuci-Castaldi, Milan 1938) 8.Bd3 fxe5 (or 8.cxd4 first) 9.Nxe5 (or 9.dxe5 Nh6 10.0-0 Nf7 11.Bf4 Be7 12.Re1 0-0-0 =+ Westerinen-Ulybin, Benidorm 1993) 9…Nf6 10.0-0 Bd6 11.f4 0-0 = Ulybin and Lysenko
b.6.f6! Seems very logical to me, intending 7.f4 (7.Nf3 fxe5 or 7.exf6Nxf6 8.Nf3 Bd6) 7.Nh6 8.Nf3 Nf5.

5 French Defense 2 - NM Nikolay Minev

gives the game J. De Jager-A. Barsov Zwolle 1994 which follows Watson's line b. giving 7.f4?! As dubious but gives no improvement for white in Watson's line a. the Matcuci-Castalde game Minev gives 8.Bd3? as the mistake an points out Kurt Richters old suggestion of 8.Be2!? Minev prefers 8.dxc5!? Bxc5 9.Bxc5 Qxc5 10.Na3 or 10.Qg5!?

6. The Complete French - GM Lev Psakhis - has nothing

6.Nf3 Nf5 7.Bd3 Qb6=

[7...Nxe3 8.fxe3 Be7 9.0-0 0-0 10.Nbd2 Bd7 11.a3 c4 12.Bc2 b5 13.Qe1 a5 14.Qg3 b4=;

7...cxd4 8.cxd4 Nxe3
(8...Be7 9.Nc3 g5 (9...Nxe3 10.fxe3 0-0 11.0-0 Bd7 12.a3 f5 13.exf6 Bxf6 14.Rc1 (14.Qc2 h6 15.Rad1 Rc8²) 14...Rc8 15.Rc2 Qe7²; 10.h3 a6 11.Qd2 h6 12.Rc1 Kf8 13.g4 Nxe3 14.fxe3 Kg7 15.Qh2 Bd7²; 9.fxe3 Nb4 10.Nc3 Nxd3+ 11.Qxd3 Be7 12.h4 Bd7 13.0-0-0 Rb8 14.e4 dxe4 15.Qxe4³]

Here the Queen still supports d4. A typical plan for Black here would be ...Bd7 followed by ...Rc3 and ...cxd4 I don't think I want my Queen on c2 where she may be exposed to a discovered attack.

The most natural move. Lets take stock of this transaction, Black has moved the Knight three times to achieve this trade. White only has two moves invested. That's a gain of one tempo for white, a temporary advantage that will be meaningless unless White uses it wisely and quickly. Black has a Bishop for a Knight but it was a good Knight for a bad Bishop. White has doubled pawns but the doubled pawn supports the center and one of these pawns will eventually be traded off. White has gained a half-open file for his rook as soon as he castles. All in all I'd have to say the exchange favors White. [8...cxd4 9.cxd4 Ncxd4 10.Nxd4 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 Qxd4 12.Bb5+ is a well known trap, but well worth knowing.]

9.fxe3 c4

This is often played after White has played the pawn to a3 it fixes the weakness on b3 with the possibility of invading b3 with a knight. Here it forces Whites bishop off a strong diagonal and presents him with the problem of what to do about his knight on b1. Possibily better are. [9...Be7 10.0-0 0-0 11.Kh1 g6 12.Na3 Bd7 13.Nc2 f6 14.e4³;
9...Bd7 10.0-0 f6 11.exf6 gxf6 12.Qf2 0-0-0³]

10.Be2 Bd7

[The alternative is 10...f6 11.exf6 gxf6]

11.0-0 Be7 12.Qc2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf6 14.b3

[I think most people would preferr 14.Nbd2 ]

14...cxb3 15.Qxb3

offering to trade Queens with a level game. Over the years I have fallen into the habit of neutralizing Blacks Queen-side activity before starting operations on the King-side and I still do not know where Black's King is going to end up.


This is very odd, I was expecting 14...Qc2 or 14...Qxb3 lets see if we can get him to castle king-side.


with a discovered attack on Blacks Bishop, the knight is going to d3


Seems safe enough but safer still would be 16...Qxb3 17.axb3 Ke7

17.Nd3 Qc7 18.Nd2 b6

I'm thinking 18...Be8 followed by Bg6 or 18...Rae8 followed by d5.


the black king is starting to feel a little less safe now.


[19...Nxd4 20.cxd4 Bxd4+ 21.Kh1 Bxa1 22.Rxa1 is another possiblility.]

20.Rac1 Bg7 21.e5

this may not be the best move but it fixes the weakness at e6 and opens a diagonal on the king. [21.Rxf8+ Rxf8 22.exd5 (22.Bf3 g4 23.Bxg4 Bh6 24.Qd1 Be3+ 25.Kh1 dxe4³) 22...Na5 23.Qb2 exd5 24.Bf3 Be6=]

21...Rxf1+ 22.Bxf1

[if 22.Rxf1 Na5 means trouble for c3]

22...Be8 23.Qd1

transferring the Queen to the King-side.


[23...Qe7 24.Nf2 Bg6 25.Bd3 Qf7 26.Nf3 Rf8 27.Qd2 Bxd3 28.Qxd3 Qf4²;
23...h5 24.Qe1 Bg6 25.Qe3 Rf8+=]

24.Qg4 Bf5 25.Qxg5 Bxd3?!

this is a good trade for White but there is a trick envolved.

26.Bxd3 Nxd4

blacks point, if 27.cxd4 then 27...Qxc1+

27.Qh5 Bxe5

[27...Nf5 28.Bxf5 exf5 29.Qxf5 Bxe5 30.Nf3=]

28.Bxh7+ Kg7

[28...Qxh7? 29.Qxe5 Qd3 30.Rf1 Qxd2 31.cxd4± with the threat Qxe6+ picking up the rook.]

29.Rf1± Bxh2+

[29...Nf5 30.Bxf5 exf5 31.Rxf5+-]


White must be very careful here. [30.Kf2 Qg3#;
30.Qxh2 Ne2+ 31.Kh1 Ng3+ 32.Kg1 Nxf1 33.Qxc7+ Rxc7 34.Kxf1 Kxh7-+]


[30...Nf5 31.Bxf5 exf5 32.Rxf5 followed by 33.Qg4+ +-]

31.cxd4 Bxd2 32.g3

To bring the rook into the attack leaves White vulnerable on the back rank, g2 will be the White Kings escape square. This move also keeps the Black Queen off g3.


[32...Qxg3? fails because of 33.Rf7+ Kh8 34.Be4+ Bh6 35.Qxh6+ Kg8 36.Qh7#]

33.Qg6+ Kh8 34.Kg2 Qg7 35.Qxe6 1-0

Black resigns as this is an easy win for white.
If 35...Rf8 36.Rh1 or 38...Kxh7 39.Qxc8 etc.

I hope you enjoyed the experience.
white_disc ♡ 45 ( +1 | -1 )
Oops, so sorry I missed the deadline...

Very sorry about that.. actually I did some analysis some time back, but loaned my friend the laptop with the file inside.. :P

Baseline, can we have another game for analysis from u ? :)

Thanks a lot to all for the learning experience :)

Best regards,
peppe_l ♡ 26 ( +1 | -1 )
Thousands of thanks To Baseline and all participants! I hope next time we will have more people annotating the game :-)

Any comments about the game now that we have seen the analysis by Baseline?

Any comments about the experiment in general? Suggestions?


baseline ♡ 21 ( +1 | -1 )
gambitnut kudos! your suggestion of 23...h4 was very good, I recall why I often turn the chess board around when analyzing. I have found that analyzing a game for public comsumption can be nerve racking but fun.
gambitnut ♡ 32 ( +1 | -1 )
Peppe You said you have two new mentors lined up, are we going to get another game as soon as we are done talking about this one? I hope so! This was fun! Not only was this a good idea but the game was interesting and well played by both sides. I hope future games can live up to this one. I'm sure they can. I can't wait!