04/08/2021 – It takes courage and determination to beat World Champion Magnus Carlsen in match games. GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda of Poland is facing GM Sergey Karjakin of Russia in the Finals of the World Cup 2021 – Sochi, Russia.
The last game between GM Carlsen and GM Duda is very interesting because the chess opening used was Sicilian but transposed to a French Defense setup.
The game below shows why the white’s light bishop is essential to protect queenside and has a prospect attack on black’s kingside as well. Is GM Carlsen’s choice of opening in his last game worthy to aim for a win? Let’s find out.
French Defense – Advance Variation: This variation aims to play a closed and structured position. Black develops a solid pawn structure and methodically places pieces to apply pressure to achieve dynamic play.
French Defense: Advance Variation (C02) Chess Opening Classification
GM Evgeny Sveshnikov vs. GM Eugene Torre
(Event: 1981 Hoogovens, Wijk ann Zee , Ned)
1: e4 e6 (The French Defense)
2: d4 d5
3: e5 c5 (The Advance variation)
4: c3 Nc6
5: Nf3 Bd7
6. a3 Nge7 (White is preventing Bb4 or Nb4)
7. Bd3 Ng6
8. h4 cd4 (Early h4 by white, reasonable because it coordinates with bishop at d3 to prevent black from castling)
9. cxd4 Qb6 (black start to initiate pressure).
10. Bc2 Rc8
11. Nc3 Nge7 (Knight retreats as no more use at g6)
12. Rb1 Na5 (The ability of white’s bishop to maintain balance at queenside and aiming for h7 attack is a significant post)
13. 0-0 Nc4 (This is the weakness of white as c4 square is the landing point for black pieces as shown in diagram below)