• What are Black's long term plans in below pawn structure?
  • How can Black free his game?

The position arose from the Rubinstein variation of the French defense:

[Title "White to move"]
[fen "r2rb1k1/1p2bppp/1q2pn2/p3B3/P2N4/2PB4/1P2QPPP/R2R2K1 w - - 0 1"]

1 Answer 1


Hm, my idea is this:

  • pawn structure should remain as is except pawn should be probably on g6 preventing king side attacks and giving space to move bishop Be7-f6-g7
  • move knight to better position Nf6-d7-c5 and focusing attack on weak pawn a4 with help of white squared bishop
  • move black squared bishop to a1-h8 diagonal which will make pressure on pawn c3 if white b pawn is moving to protect a pawn

It doesn't look as good endgame for black since he has minority on queen side which can quickly turn into passing pawn therefore I believe black should keep pieces.

  • I have upvoted, because I like the piece setup, but this seems hard to achieve. Concrete lines could be helpful... I will try to implement your suggestions and report my results... Jul 26, 2014 at 20:16
  • I forgot to say... Welcome to Chess SE! Jul 26, 2014 at 20:23
  • Thanks, I am some semi-pro strong FM but mostly doing programming stuff... Anyway, I'd start with Nd7 pinning bishop, I think that white will most probably have to move it and then Nc5 followed with Bf6 and g6
    – Vladan
    Jul 26, 2014 at 23:26
  • I am some semi-pro strong FM but mostly doing programming stuff... I am programmer too, with similar strength :) I have tried your plan, it seems it works. Give me more time to test it because this wil be the part of my opening repertoire ( you know how tough it is to play an opening well from 2300 ELO onwards, especially this type of position ). We shall hear soon ( if you need help with chess diagrams just leave me a comment and I will help ). Jul 27, 2014 at 14:40
  • 1
    I have officially accepted your solution, as I believe there is no other way for Black to play this position. After playing this against engine, I was able to hold the game. It was tough, but still your general plan worked. Thank you. Best regards until next time. Jul 28, 2014 at 21:59

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