French Defense (Tarrasch Variation): Eye the Isolini

Position after 17 Rae1

Black's d-pawn, though passed, is isolated, and
readily blockadeable on d4. It is therefore more
of a weakness than a strength. Also, his bishop
has much less attacking scope than White's.
Overall, Black has no prospects for active play
and has to defend accurately to keep White at bay.



1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 c5 4 c3 Nc6 5 Nf3 Qb6
6 Bd3 cxd4 7 cxd4 Bd7 8 0-0 Nxd4 9 Nxd4
9 ... Qxd4 10 Nc3:

What's the game plan for White?

* Place the bishop on d3 as per move 6.
From d3, the bishop has a clear view
of Black's kingside. In those variations
where Black prematurely castles short,
the typical Bxh7+ combination works
well for White.

* Sacrifice the d4 pawn in return for
attacking opportunities against the
enemy King. This scheme is augmented
by the fact that the Black monarch
often finds it difficult to get to
safety, sometimes even after castling.

What's the game plan for Black?

Accept the proffered pawn as per move
9 and then consolidate the position as

* Find a safe place for the King.
At times, the queenside may be
the best haven.

* Look for ways to exchange pieces.
With each successful piece trade,
Black's pawn advantage becomes
more telling.

No comments: