“A French Labyrinth”

French Winawer, Labyrinth Variation“A French Labyrinth” was an article by Timman in New in Chess 1997/7, concerning the 13. Qxc3 variation in the (traditional) main line of the Poisoned Pawn. This leads to some of the most complicated and difficult lines in the entire Poisoned Pawn. One of Black’s main defences leads to the diagrammed position, with White to play: White is two pawns up, and has three connected passed pawns already, with a fourth on the way. At first glance Black doesn’t seem to have much compensation; but matters are not at all as easy as that.

The latest issue of The New Winawer Report considers the history and latest developments in the theory of this line. And indeed there are latest developments: the line has received a thorough airing in correspondence play over the last several years, with many new and ingenious ideas. It even seems that a final verdict is now possible on the diagrammed position …

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