Monday, November 7, 2016

French Defence Winawer 5.Nge2

When I was growing up, sometimes we ate red flannel hash. It is an acquired taste. Not everyone likes it, but sometimes I do. We took a family trip to Seattle, Washington. At one restaurant I ordered red flannel hash for breakfast. No one else in my family did. They all laughed and looked at me strangely.

Most of my chess career I reached the French Defence from the White side. Once in a while I have a taste for the Black side of the board. It’s rare and strange, but it happens.

Here I found myself on the Black side of a French Defence vs Robert Muir. I chose the Winawer Variation. When I had Black after 4.e5 c5, almost everyone played 5.a3 against me. A few brave souls ventured 5.Bd2 or 5.Qg4. Bob Muir did not take long to get me out of the book. His choice of 4.e5 c5 5.Nge2 marked the only time I ever faced this.

If you are looking for something new, this move 5.Nge2 is really not all that bad. It is equal and different. White misplayed the complications. His mistake on move eight dropped a pawn. The middlegame left Black with a bad light squared bishop. The extra pawn allotted me freedom to expand in the center. More exchanges led to a rook endgame. Black returned the extra pawn in exchange for a checkmate.

Muir (1800) - Sawyer (2010), Williamsport, PA 1997 begins 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.Nge2!? [5.a3] 5...cxd4 [5...Ne7!?=] 6.Qxd4 [6.Nxd4 Qc7=] 6...Nc6 7.Qg4 Nge7 [7...Bf8=] 8.Bg5?! [8.Qxg7 Ng6=] 8...Bxc3+ [8...Qc7=/+] 9.Nxc3 Nxe5 10.Bxe7 Nxg4 11.Bxd8 Kxd8 12.Be2 Nf6 13.f3 Bd7 14.g4 Bc6 15.Kf2 Rc8 16.Rhd1 Ke7 17.Kg3 Rhd8 18.g5 [18.Bd3 g5-/+] 18...Ne8 19.Bd3 g6 20.Ne2 e5 21.c3 f5 22.Re1 e4 23.Nd4 Kf7 24.Bc2 Nd6 25.h4 Nb5 26.Nxb5 Bxb5 27.fxe4 dxe4 28.Bb3+ Bc4 29.Rad1 Bxb3 30.axb3 Ke7 31.Kf4 [31.b4 Rxd1 32.Rxd1 Rd8-+] 31...Rxd1 32.Rxd1 Rd8 33.Ra1 Ke6 34.Rxa7 Rd3 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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