Welcome to my French Defense – Exchange Variation online game with Jordan Ivanov.

On this page I have posted one my chess games in which I played the Black side of the French Defense – Exchange Variation.

This game started off as an Alapin’s variation of the Sicilian Defense (ECO B22) and then transposed into something resembling the Exchange variation of the French Defense. I don’t have a classification for this opening. At the start of this game Jordan Ivanov’s rating was 2402 and it dropped to 2273 by the end of the game. I started this game as an unrated player and ended up at 2027-P7 by the end of the game. This game was played at Stan’s NetChess where all ratings are much higher than what I see at the USCF or ICC. Jordan had a material advantage for most of this game and then he fell asleep on move 47 and dropped a piece. He resigned the next move.

[Event “Game 231050”]
[Site “Stan’s NetChess”]
[Date “2004.01.30”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Jordan Ivanov”]
[Black “mserovey”]
[Result “0-1”]

1. e4 c5 2. c3 e6 3. d4 d5 4. exd5 exd5 5. Nf3 Nf6 6. Bb5+ Bd7 7. Bxd7+
Nbxd7 8. O-O Bd6 9. Re1+ Ne4 10. Bg5 Qc7 11. dxc5 Ndxc5 12. Qxd5 O-O 13. Rxe4 Nxe4
14. Qxe4 Rae8 15. Qg4 Qb6 16. b4 f5 17. Qc4+ Kh8 18. Nbd2 Rc8 19. Qd5 Rxc3 20. Ne5
Bxe5 21. Qxe5 Qc7 22. Qxc7 Rxc7 23. Nb3 h6 24. Bf4 Rc2 25. g3 Kh7 26. h4 g6 27.
a4 Rb2 28. Na5 Rf7 29. b5 a6 30. Nc4 Rb3 31. Ne5 Rg7 32. bxa6 bxa6 33. Kg2 g5
34. hxg5 hxg5 35. Rh1+ Kg8 36. Bd2 Ra3 37. a5 Ra2 38. Nc4 Rc2 39. Rc1 Rxc1 40.
Bxc1 Rc7 41. Bxg5 Rxc4 42. Bd8 Ra4 43. Kh3 Kg7 44. f3 Kg6 45. g4 fxg4+ 46. fxg4
Rd4 47. Kh4 Rxd8 0-1

Online Game
Stan’s NetChess

White: Jordan Ivanov (2273) Black: Mike Serovey (2027-P7)

1. e4 c5 2. c3

French Defense after 2. c3.

French Defense after 2. c3.

At this point the opening is an Sicilian Defense, Alapin’s variation (ECO B22). Black’s next move takes the opening out of my classification book. At the time that this game was played I didn’t know Alapin’s variation so I decided to transpose into a French Defense instead.

e6 3. d4 d5 4. exd5 exd5

French Defense after 4... exd5.

French Defense after 4… exd5.

Now, the position resembles the Exchange variation of the French Defense except that the pawns on c3 and c5 are out of place. Because of my opponent’s high rating I was willing to settle for a draw in this game, but I got a better result than that.

5. Nf3 Nf6 6. Bb5+ Bd7 7. Bxd7+ Nbxd7

French Defense after 7... Nbxd7.

French Defense after 7… Nbxd7.

Right now Black has a slight lead in development but he needs to get his King out of the Center before White attacks on the open e file.

8. O-O Bd6 9. Re1+

French Defense after 9. Re1+

French Defense after 9. Re1+

Black has several choices here. Moving the King out of check is bad because then he can’t castle and the King becomes too easy to attack in the Center. Blocking the check with the Queen loses the exchange. So, the only reasonable choices are to block the check with a Knight or a Bishop. After 9… Be7 10. dxc5 Nxc5 11. Bg5 0-0 and Black is OK. Instead, Black chose a move that lead to some complications.

Ne4 10. Bg5 Qc7 11. dxc5 Ndxc5 12. Qxd5 O-O

French Defense after 12... 0-0.

French Defense after 12… 0-0.

Right now Black is down a pawn and is about to go down the exchange of two knights for a Rook. This will leave Black down two knights and a pawn for a Rook. Black will remain down material until move 41.

13. Rxe4 Nxe4 14. Qxe4 Rae8 15. Qg4 Qb6 16. b4 f5 17. Qc4+ Kh8 18. Nbd2 Rc8

French Defense after 18... Rc8.

French Defense after 18… Rc8.

White finally has all of his pieces developed and only needs to get his Rook into play. Because Black is still down material he needs to be both accurate and aggressive in how he plays this game.

19. Qd5 Rxc3 20. Ne5 Bxe5 21. Qxe5 Qc7 22. Qxc7 Rxc7

French Defense after 22... Rxc7.

French Defense after 22… Rxc7.

At this point Black is now down a Bishop and Knight for a Rook. White still hasn’t moved his Rook at a1 and the Knight on d2 isn’t doing much at the moment. White now moves his Knight, but I’m not sure it is to a better square. Black decided that now is a good time to kick the White Bishop at g5.

23. Nb3 h6 24. Bf4 Rc2 25. g3 Kh7 26. h4 g6 27. a4 Rb2

French Defense after 27... Rb2.

French Defense after 27… Rb2.

Black is still down material and thus wants to win the White pawn at b4.

28. Na5 Rf7 29. b5 a6 30. Nc4 Rb3 31. Ne5 Rg7

French Defense after 31... Rg7.

French Defense after 31… Rg7.

White is still up material and still hasn’t moved his Rook at a1! Black needs to get his Rook at g7 to a more active square. But first, he has decided to trade off some pawns on the Kingside.

32. bxa6 bxa6 33. Kg2 g5 34. hxg5 hxg5 35. Rh1+ Kg8 36. Bd2 Ra3 37. a5 Ra2

French Defense after 37... Ra2.

French Defense after 37… Ra2.

Black is still down material and is still trying to get some of it back while simultaneously protecting his pawn at g5. Instead of 38. Nc4 playing 38. Bc3 might have been better as it moves the Bishop out of danger and onto the same diagonal as the Black Rook at g7.

38. Nc4 Rc2! 39. Rc1 Rxc1 40. Bxc1 Rc7!

French Defense after 40... Rc7!

French Defense after 40… Rc7!

Playing 39. Rc1 didn’t really save White’s pieces. Black gives up the pawn at g5 for White’s Knight at c4. This leaves Black up a Rook for a Bishop and a pawn! This is the first time that Black has been up material the entire game!

41. Bxg5 Rxc4 42. Bd8 Ra4 43. Kh3 Kg7 44. f3 Kg6 45. g4 fxg4+ 46. fxg4 Rd4

French Defense after 46... Rd4.

French Defense after 46… Rd4.

White fell asleep on this move and missed the fact that his Bishop is en prise. If instead White had played 47. Bb6 or 47. Bc7 then 47… Kg5 wins the pawn at g4. If 47. Be7 then 47… Rd5 48. Bb4 Rb5 49. Be1 and White holds. If White should somehow lose his g pawn then Black can sacrifice his Rook for the Bishop and a pawn and have a passed pawn on the a file and the winning chances, depending on whether or not White  can get his King in front of the passed pawn or not.

47. Kh4?? Rxd8 0-1

Back to the French Defense Page