Understanding before Moving 73: Pawn chains in the French Defense (2)

by ChessBase
4/3/2022 – Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books about chess training and chess strategy. In the 7rrd instalment of his ChessBase show "Understanding before Moving", Herman continues to talk about pawn chains in the French Defense. | Photo: Pascal Simon

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White sometimes has difficulties to break the pawn chain in the French Defense. It requires a lot of insight to know where the pieces should go and how to regroup them. Of course, the pawns are also important. Which pawn should advance, which pawn should wait with an advance - these are difficult questions.

And both players should have patience as it usually takes time to perform the right maneuvers and to regroup the pieces.

Last time we looked at a model game by Black. This week, we will look at a model game by White: Vishy Anand vs Alejandro Ramirez, 2004: the former World Champion slowly prepares a dangerous attack on the kingside but Ramirez finds an inspired defense. He sacrifces two exchanges to stop White's initiative and to create counterplay.

But this gives Anand a chance to show his class. He liquidates into an endgame in which he is two exchanges up but which seems to be difficult to win as Black's position is almost completely closed. But Anand found a way to breach Black's defenses and won an instructive game!

In the diagrammed position White came up with an interesting idea to regroup his pieces. What did he play and why?



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