The French Defence Classical Variation is 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e5 Nfd7 6.Bxe7 Qxe7. Everyone plays 7.f4. Ok, not everyone. I do like 7.f4, but here I tried the knight sortie 7.Nb5!? Both sides lose a time. The knight could relocate via Na3-Nc2-Ne3. Black swapped off queens to keep White from castling. White wanted to have the better bishop for an endgame. Black chose a tactical middle game that led to a different endgame.
In the 1990s Jimmy E. Irvin was an active correspondence chess player. Many of his games were played by email. ICCF listed Jimmy Irvin with a rating of 2324 after a total of 54 games. Jimmy Irvin and I played twice in APCT email sections. This game was a French Defence. In our other game, Irvin played White in an English Opening.
This game featured an Exchange sacrifice by Black beginning 24…Rxf3+. There followed by a long series of captures to 31…cxb3. The resulting position left Black with two connected passed pawns and a bishop for the White rook. A draw was agreed in an equal but unbalanced endgame.
My Blackmar-Diemer Games 5 in 1 of 4 books in my new Blackmar-Diemer Series II. My collection Chess Games 1.e4 Series has 5 books in 1, including French Defence. The companion volume is Chess Games 1.d4 Series. My French 3.Be3 Playbook is available in Kindle Unlimited, digital, and paperback.
Sawyer (1960) - Irvin (2200), corr APCT EMQ-2, 30.07.1996 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 e6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e5 Nfd7 6.Bxe7 Qxe7 7.Nb5!? [7.f4] 7...Qd8 [7...Nb6 8.c3 a6 9.Na3 c5 10.f4=] 8.c3 [8.c4 dxc4 9.Bxc4 a6 10.Nc3 c5 11.dxc5 0-0 12.Nf3 Nxc5 13.0-0=] 8...a6 9.Na3 c5 10.f4 cxd4 [10...Nc6 11.Nf3 Qb6 12.Qd2 0-0 13.b3=] 11.cxd4 Qa5+ 12.Qd2 Qxd2+ 13.Kxd2 Nc6 14.Nf3 0-0 15.Nc2 Nb6 16.b3 Bd7 17.Bd3 a5 18.a4 Rac8 19.Rac1 f6 20.Ke3 Be8 21.g4 fxe5 22.fxe5 h6 23.h4 Rf7 24.Na3 Rxf3+ 25.Kxf3 Nxd4+ 26.Ke3 Rxc1 27.Rxc1 Nxb3 28.Rb1 Bxa4 29.Bc2 Nc4+ 30.Nxc4 dxc4 31.Bxb3 [Despite the fireworks the position has remained equal for a long time. White could try 31.h5=] 31...cxb3 [Or 31...Bxb3=] 32.Kd4 b6 33.Kc3 Kh7 34.Rd1 b2 35.Rb1 Kg6 36.Rxb2 b5 37.Rf2 Bd1 38.Rf4 Be2 39.Kd2 Bc4 40.Kc3 Bd5 41.Kc2 Bc6 1/2-1/2
Sets: Chess Games 1.e4 Series and Chess Games 1.d4 Series
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