Taking Down the French

Here are a couple miniatures against the French defense that I found amusing. The first one is against the legend, Mednis, who surprisingly fell into a mating attack very early in a French-Winawer. The game is taken from Asa Hoffmann’s book, Chess Gladiator which is full of such sporting miniatures and highly creative play reflective of Asa’s signature madman style.


The second game is also by Hoffmann, though this one is not in his book and is one that he shared with me one night at the Marshall Chess Club. It’s an Alekhine-Chatard attack, a variation of the French I often play against players I’m certain that they will not immediately respond with 4…dxe4, entering the morozevich-burn variation as advocated by creative madman Dzindzashvili. The Alekhine-Chatard attack is just too good to be true. White’s attack really plays itself and there are an inconceivable number of “natural” looking moves that black can play that lead to his destruction (such as an early c5 allowing Nb5! to only name one.)

In any case, the following game contains a painfully long king march that Asa claims to have spotted from move 10 on through it’s conclusion. The move 10…Nf8 is an obviously blunder. While the knight often ends up on this square in the Alekhine-Chatard, in this exact position where the tactical shot Nxd5 is available, it is clearly not correct. From move 11 on, mate is inevitable.