Welcome to my French Defense (ECO C13) game with Robert L. Eisert page!

On this page is my win in a correspondence game against Robert L. Eisert. This game is one of the rare times that I have deliberately played the Black side of the French defense.

The French has a reputation for being drawish, but I managed to win this game against a slightly higher rated opponent. The move order of this chess game caused the ECO classification to go from C10, the Paulsen variation, to C11 to C13, classical French. I believe that at the time I started this chess game I had a book on the French defense that I was given as a Christmas present and I used that book to guide me through this opening.

Correspondence Chess Game
Section: 90SS7
White: Robert L. Eisert (1787) Black: Mike Serovey (1704)

1. e4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7

French Defense after 4... Be7.

French Defense after 4… Be7.

White usually plays either 5. e5 or 5. Bxf6 here. White’s next move takes us out of “book”.

5. Bd3 c5 6. dxc5 Nc6 7. Nf3 d4

French Defense after 7... d4.

French Defense after 7… d4.

Black is in no hurry to get his pawn back, which he does in a couple of moves. Right now he is more interested in building a strong Center.

8. Ne2 Qa5+ 9. Qd2 Qxc5 10. O-O O-O 11. Rac1 e5

French Defense after 11... e5.

French Defense after 11… e5.

Although White has a slight lead in development Black has managed to get his pawn back and to lock up the Center. Things get interesting from here.

12. c3 Qd6 13. cxd4 exd4

French Defense after 13... exd4.

French Defense after 13… exd4.

Black now has a passed pawn in the Center, but can he keep it?

14. Bf4 Qd8 15. e5 Nd5

French Defense after 15... Nd5.

French Defense after 15… Nd5.

If either White Knight captures on d4 Black can play 16… Bb4 forcing the White Queen to move to a square where it can no longer protect the Bishop at f4. And thus he would lose that Bishop, so White prevented Bb4 by playing 16. a3.

16. a3 Be6 17. Bg3 Nb6

French Defense after 17... Nb6.

French Defense after 17… Nb6.

White correctly saw that he can capture the Black pawn on d4 because if the Black Queen ends up on d4 White can play Bxh7+ winning the Black Queen for a Bishop. Black saw this too.

18. Nexd4 Nxd4 19. Nxd4 Bg5!

French Defense after 19... Bg5!

French Defense after 19… Bg5!

Black threatens both the White Queen and the Rook at c1. White’s next move is a blunder because it drops the White Knight at d4 with a check and that leaves White down a Knight for a pawn the rest of this game.

20. f4?? Qxd4+

French Defense after 20... Qxd4+

French Defense after 20… Qxd4+

If 21. Bf2 then 22… Bxf4. If then 23. Bxd4 Bxd2 and Black wins another pawn.

21. Rf2 Rad8 22. Rd1 Be7

French Defense after 22... Be7.

French Defense after 22… Be7.

Black is piling up on the Bishop at d3. White now moves his King over to h1 in order to break the pin on the Rook at f2 so that Rook can help defend d3. Apparently, both players missed 23. Bxh7+ Kxh7 24. Qxd4 Rxd4 25. Rxd4 leaving White with a Rook and 2 pawns for a Bishop and a Knight.

23. Kh1 g6 24. h3 Bc4 25. Rf3 Bxd3 26. Rxd3 Qxd3 27. Qxd3 Rxd3 28. Rxd3 Rd8  0-1

French Defense after 28... Rd8 (Final position).

French Defense after 28… Rd8 (Final position).

This is the final position. White resigned because he realized that he is down a Knight for a pawn and trading rooks only makes the endgame easier for Black to win.

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