Tuesday, September 7, 2010

French Defense: Classical, Delayed Exchange Variation

Saint Petersburg 1914

1. e4, e6
2. d4, d5
3. Nc3, Nf6
4. exd5, Nxd5

Typical of the this variation. Black surrenders the center in exchange for disrupting White's central pawn structure.

5. Nf3, c5

Black wants to eliminate the d4 pawn.

6. Nxd5, Qxd5
7. Be3 ....

This move is both a defensive and attacking move. White threatens dxc5, winning a pawn.

7. .... cxd4
8. Nxd4, a6
9. Be2, Qxg2 ??

Black takes the poisoned pawn. The move allows the White Bishop to take up an attacking position.

9. Bf3, Qg6
11. Qd2, e5 ??

Another bad move. Black meant to get rid of the pesky Knight so that somehow he can catch up in development.

12. 0-0-0, exd4
13. Bxd4 ....

Notice that White's development far exceeds that of Black. Notice further the open e-file which would be crucial to the outcome of the game.

13. .... Nc6
14. Bf6 ....

A tempo making move. Any other Bishop move would have had a defensive reply. Now, there is no more time for this. Black must take the Bishop. If not, White moves 15. Bxc6 then 16. Qd8 mate.

14. .... Qxf6
15. Rhe1+!! ....

The beginning of a breakthrough. White's sacrifices are showing results.

15. .... Be7

If 15...Be6 then 16. Qd7 mate.

16. Bxc6+, Kf8

If the Bishop is taken, then White answers 17. Qd8 mate.

17. Qd8+!!, Bxd8
19. Re8 mate.

A superb ending! White must have had all these in mind while offering sacrifices.

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