Black to move
This position is a typical position in ECO C11*, the Steinitz variation of the French Defense. My game against the underrated youth was not the first time that I had steered too close to the ditch in this variation.
Weaknesses become strengths when training is guided by deliberate practice (see "Hanging Pieces"). When Chess Informant's Paramount Database arrived, I browsed through some its features. Of immediate interest was a list of the openings that had in excess of 500 published games through the first 123 volumes of Informant. There have been 588 games in C 11!
Naturally, I set out to quickly run through all of them. Some days I have raced through thirty games. Other days, I am too busy with other things to look at any from this set. A few times, I have forgotten which game I left off with and have gone through a batch that I had seen a few days prior.
When I have finished all 588 games and pick up any of my opening monographs on the French Defense, the reference games for the Steinitz variation shall be familiar. This morning I am on Nijboer -- Visser, Hoogeveen 2002, Informant 86/284. It is game 392 in the list of 588.
*ECO Code is a trademark of Chess Informant.