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Ludwig Rellstab vs Eero Einar Book
"All Booked Up" (game of the day Jul-31-2008)
Kemeri (1937), Kemeri URS, rd 4, Jun-20
French Defense: Winawer Variation (C15)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-21-03  rookbj: How come Black castled to the queenside on 13...0-0-0 rather than castle to the kingside at 13...0-0? Is there a danger involved after kingside castling or is the queenside safer?
Jul-21-03  Benjamin Lau: I don't know for sure and I've never played the French, but one reason might be to gain tempo because after 0-0-0, the queenside rook is already centralized and at an open file (as opposed to o-o) and it's putting pressure on the d4 square where the battle seems to center around.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jaime gallegos: Black castled to the queenside after 12 movementes, with the bishop in fianchetto and the beggining of kingside manouvers for the White. To me it was a good choice...
Jul-21-03  Benjamin Lau: Er, I only half answered your question I think. To me, neither side looks all that safe but the queenside castling at least does what I said it does.
Jul-21-03  Fulkrum: I really don't understand 19. c4 it seems white should play to get his knight on a good square and pray he can get his bishop active. The pawn storm just doesn't seem like the best plan.
Jan-14-04  refutor: well with 20-20 hindsight vision, 19.c3 was probably ended up ganging up on the d-pawn
Mar-03-04  TrueFiendish: king-side castling would have been fatally foolish--one of those situations where the annotators say: "Castling into it!"
Mar-03-04  shr0pshire: Like TrueFiendish said, for black to castle kingside would have been foolish. Since on the kingside there are no pieces to help to defend the black king, it would only be a matter of time with the correct play before white opens up the black kingside.

Thus, black is much safer even in the middle than black is on the kingside. Black is safer in the middle because of all the defensive pieces he has to help out.

However castling queenside is the best option in this scenario. It doesn't come under fire as easily. Since white castled queen side it won't be as sharp of a game. And there are many pieces able to help defend on black's queenside.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black saw that white was building a kingside attack,so he misdirected the play by castling on the other side-this is actually an argument against early castling,which the books all tell us to do.

The end is crystal clear:black takes advantage of the pin to capture the rook after:35 ♖xc3 ♕d2+

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Excellent play of Eero Book.
Jul-31-08  arsen387: I think 19.c4? is a unneccessarily creates a weakness on d4. In the end the pin decides, 35.Rxc3 Qd2+ wins a piece. Interesting game
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: White chucks pawns forwards, black plays mostly with pieces. Three of white's pawns cross the equator, including the fatal c5 - none of black's pawns get into white territory.

35. Rxc3 Qxd2+ 36. any Bxc3+ and white will soon be mated by bishop and queen, as well as picking up a piece.

Jul-31-08  whiteshark: <arsen387: <I think 19.c4? is a unneccessarily creates a weakness on d4.>> I'm with you.
Jul-31-08  LaFreaK: Piket vs Smirin, 1993
Jul-31-08  Alphastar: 15. g5? is really bad. Hands black the f5-square and makes his own space advantage worthless. 15. h3 was called for.
Jul-31-08  PrideNSorr0w: 4. Nge2 ..... c'mon now does anyone play that?

What's the theory behind this move? Does white expect black to give up the bishop pair with tempo to his development?

Advance variation ftw, and in my humble opinion, unless your last name's Ivanchuk, playing the French is asking for trouble. Nonetheless, good game by black taking advantage of white's passiveness.

Jul-31-08  Another Englishman: Good Morning: Black manages and campitalizes well on a very weak attack by white.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: It's funny about queen side castling;the chess books treat is as diet books treat chocolate.

Here,black builds an attack from castling and his control of the d-file.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <PrideNSorr0w> Opening Explorer has 4. Ne2 being played 402 times, compared with over 4,400 games with the more normal 4. e5. In the CG database, white wins 38% of the games with 4. Ne2 compared with 40% of the games with 4. e5.

John Watson's "Play the French" 3rd edition says this: "Still a popular alternative to 4. e5 mainly because white feels that this is a safe line. The avoidance of doubled c-pawns has its price, however, in that White confines his own development and allows his centre to be challenged quickly."

White is not really expecting black to give up the bishop pair - instead he is ruling out lines where black exchanges on c3 and gives white doubled pawns. The negatives are that e2 is a feeble square for a knight, the bishop on f1 is blocked and black can play dxe4, as in this game.

All in all, I would rate 4. Ne2 as a timid anti-theory move. Not a bad move as such, but any self-repecting Winawer afficianado should jump cartwheels for joy if their opponent plays it.

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