Expoloring the French Defense (G30 practice game at DRW)

Played an interesting practice game last Friday (1/12) evening with one of my fellow DRW chess teammates, Oliver Gugenheim. After my stupendous blunder last week, I'm interested in playing some practice games - both to drill my pre-move thinking process, and because there's nothing like a bad loss to motivate one to start playing again...

Oliver and I wound up exploring a sharp line of the French defense - an opening I have historically not enjoyed playing as white, and so had started learning more about the past week. Oliver (without us discussing it) obliged me by playing a line I had looked at that day so we went a good way into the "book" before (very quickly thereafter) reaching crazy territory.

The most interesting bit tho, is actually black's move: 9. ... f6. The conclusion I got from this analysis, is that 9. ... f5 is better (see below for more) and so this was a useful game for this analysis alone...

All in all, it was interesting to play, and gave me the opportunity to practice the things above... and it gave Oliver a chance to fend off a ridiculous attack (which is always satisfying if a bit scary at times). Here's the game and my notes (Time Control is G30 with 5 second increment):



Side to move:
Last move:   variations:
Next move:   variations:

Move comment:

And so, QED on this idea. My conclusion: better off building an attack here as White's got the ball. Also, for a bishop sac to have any chance, white really needs another piece. Perhaps once the f-pawn were advanced and White has castled, the possibilty of lifting a rook with tempo might be enough to give the sac some teeth. It'd be interesting to see if I can find any Winawer games with a bishop sac on h7 (if I do, perhaps I'll write a follow-up; regardless, looking at how White attacks here should be fun.)