11 April 2019

Exchange French

Black to move

This position, which I have had in more than 900 games, appears in only twelve games in Chess Informant through volume 138. Is the position so theoretically dull that the editors of Informant lack interest in the position? Is it generally avoided by Grandmasters because Black too easily equalizes?

The games that have made it into Informant include some long middle games with dynamic piece play and instructive endings. What else should we want from an opening?

I think that Black should play Nf6 and Bb4 on the next two moves. It is less clear to me whether the sequence matters. In ChessBase's PowerGames database, Nf6 is played first more than 80% of the time.

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