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I've always needed help with the French Defense. The chess players around my area tend to use the French a lot. I have lost almost every game involving the French Defense. Just go to game explorer and view my French Defenses. Got any tips for me? Any amount of help with be appreciated. Please include some examples. Thanks!
If you want to draw, the easiest drawish position is achieved by 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5.
I think the ''main'' line 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 gives interesting play for both sides, whether it is in the Nf6 or Bb4 variation. There are many choices. White can try to bring an early f4 to secure space advantage. Chatard-Alekhine sacrifice is very interesting. Qg4 in the Winawer is good and the main line, but there are also more quiet lines with Nf3 and/or h4, which are really not so quiet and black must take care not to get squeezed to death.
If you don't have much time to study, stick to your space advantage and go straight for the advance variation with 3.e5
I played this with black and white and there is a lot to explore.
I'd be happy to try and comment if I know what specifically is troubling you, but then please post the line you are playing.
What?! The French Defense? You are doomed TheDestructivePawn. When someone plays the French against you, it's time to resign... or maybe take a new opening... or perhaps would you consider solitaire? :D Just kidding of course. Hahahaha.
I guess I feel the same way about the French Defense. It's one of the openings / defenses I hate to play against, and I think it's because Black can easily release the tension in the center or close it. I like open positions more.
Anyway, for the French, my usual answer is 3.Nd2 - known as the Tarrasch. It's logical - you want to keep your e4-pawn defended without the annoying ...Bb4 pin. Sam Collins has a 60-minute video on Chessbase about the Korchnoi Gambit about the French and it starts with 3.Nd2. I have forgotten the moves BUT you, of course, can easily check it out. :)
1.e4 e5 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.c4 is fun to play. It ressembles the Panov-Botvinnik variation of the Caro-Kann, so it's fun, sharp, has got an IQP middlegame and normally that's not what a French player looks for when he/she plays 1...e6.
Pauix line is good if you just want an open fighting game(in general i wouldn't expect the exchange variation to be drawish at sub-2000 level). 3.Nc3 is probably best but after 3...Bb4 the position is strategically very difficult, some study is definitely needed. 3.Nd2 is simpler and might be a practical solution to your problem. 3.e5 has an undeservedly bad reputation but is ok; the problem is that black has a rather straighforwart way to counter this (c5,Nc6,Qb6...) that most opponents will find easily while whte moves are ofter quite difficult to find, so the line deserves some study if you want to play it well.
Overall i think that you can choose whatever variation you want; it's extremely unlikely that you went down because of the opening, and by reviewing your games you will certainly find that the problem was elsewere.
The line Pauix gave is my favorite against the french as well. I'm a 1. d4 player but if I know my opponent plays the french I'll play 1.e4 just to get into that position. Watch Daniel Rensch's video series on IQP and then use that line to practice them.
Try the Alapin Diemer Gambit. I guarantee your opponents won't have studied it.
This is only an option if you don't mind playing a pawn down in exchange for making your opponent feel very uncomfortable.
Hi everyone. It's an interesting line, thanks for showing Keres-Verbac 1933. One must hope that Black is greedy with 3...dxe4 rather than the more careful 3...Nf6. Best wishes from northwest England.
Holding the pawn with 4...Nf6 instead of 4...f5 also looks simpler for black.
I would call the proposed 3...Nf6 slightly dubious rathet than careful. Let's compare with the rather mainline 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6. Here play can go 4.e5 Nd7 5.f4 c5 and black has a decent position because white would very much prefer having pawn on c3 to defend d4.
After 3.Be3 Nf6 4.e5 Nd7 5.f4 c5 6.c3! white can obtain his desidered setup, the centre is rock-solid and in my view white is somewhat better.
I play the French exclusively against e4. However, I typically end up going up against the advanced variation (1. e4, e6 2. d4, d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3, Nc6 5. Nf3)
There black has two options.A) 5... Qb6B) 5... Nh6
The problem with the advanced variation is as white you have to know several lines while black only needs to know a couple to have a good game.
I would reccomend playing 3. Nc3 as white as this allows you the most chances IMO.
Black will play either,A) 3.... Bb4B) 3.... Nf6
I would read The Flexible French for more ideas.
I'm shocked that the check with the white bishop isnt' just blocked with a knight or bishop from black
Do you mean this position?
Black could play 10...Nc6 11.Rxf4 Bd7 12.Ne4, when White has a better game but Black has a chance to defend.
Instead 10...Bd7? is a mistake because of 11.Nxe6 attacking the Queen.
I used to say "I'd rather sit on a bed of hot coals than play 3.Nd2. .....Give me 3.exd5 exd5 4.c4! or give me death!" But of course, the move is fine. A friend of mine occasionally tries 2.f4!?, the LaBourdonnais Variation. He figures it's the French Defense, so a french guy's line against it should be pretty good. Also interesting is the Diemer-Duhm Gambit: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.c4!? I am trying to rehabilitate the Chigorin Variation, 2.Qe2!? I've had some success with it, even though it looks kind of suspect. It prevents an immediate 2...d5, since black's queen has to recapture after the pawn exchange because of the pin on e6. Black then becomes subject to too many tactical shots.
Do you have any examples to post, with the Chigorin Variation? Or the others.
Funny you should ask! ecochess.com has lots of games with both the Chigorin and the Labourdonnais variations. Swedish GM Cicak Slavko seems to be particularly fond of 2.f4. Here's one of my recent games with the Chigorin line:
This is better than 100 posts
Thanks for the tip, algorab. Vitiugov is a formidable player with both side of the French. His idea's are very instructive. Just checked out some of his games in chessgames.com. Especially fun was N Vitiugov vs S Dyachkov, Russian Team Championship, 2008.
By move 3 in the Chigorin you're actually playing a Sicilian with a White Queen on e2. Knowledge of the French won't really be very useful in this circumstance and that is what White was going for when he chose 2. Qe2.
After 3.Nf3, the position does resemble a Sicilian. But theDestructivePawn requested some suggestions to combat the French. The Chigorin, 2.Qe2, is a good opening for white. It avoids the more usual lines in the French, where this player seems to be having the most problems. Maybe he'd rather play against a Sicilian Defense anyway.
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