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well that is a good question. I like it because I don't have to deal with Bb4 now.
Sure - I'm not saying it's bad. It's a great variation with a lot of things going for it. But you have to know the theory pretty deep if black goes for the 3. ... Nf6 variation, which is the most common continuation.
Granted, a lot of black french players will bail out to a Rubenstien variation with 3. ... dxe4 or go for the 3. ... c5 playing for the less theoretical lines. But White generally won't know that before choosing to play Nbd2.
Someone that has busted the French with 2.Qe2 is on the same league with people who have busted 1...e5 with the Parham.
You see the (joking) connection I already made, then.
Although in one sense Qe2 does bust the french. It doesn't win, by any means, and it's not even a very good move, but it does deter 2...d5 leading to positions which are usually quite non-french-like. Thus it "busts" black's ability to play a French. Of course black is probably a little better already after this move.
I realize that computers aren't very good in the opening, but after:
1. e4 e6 2. Qe2 c5 3. Nf3 Be7 4. Nc3 Nc6
Stockfish recommends 5. Qd1 with a score of -0.28.
I'm pretty sure that is all I need to know about that variation :)
Kingpatzer: Far more common though is for white to go into a closed sicilian where the queen on e2 isn't completely misplaced.
I'm not saying it's unplayable, I'm saying that it's doesn't seem like a reasonable continuation compared to mainline french variations in terms of trying to play for a win with white.
2.Qe2 is not quite the same with (say) 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d3 d5 4.Qe2, which is even advocated by a strong GM (Gawain Jones) in his Anti-Sicilian repertoire book. There are not-so-subtle differences between them.
Lets get back to the mentioned line which is fine (since I play it against F.)
If black tries to win a pawn he loses 6...cxd4 7.cxd4 Nxd4 ?? 8. Nxd4 Qxd4 ?? Bb5+ and game over. Even in the case 6.dxc5 Bxc5 7 Qc2 Nge7 ?? 8.b4! and black can only give figure for two pawns.
one does not simply... bust hundreds of years of opening theory
Then one playing the French should always thrive?! Not practical.....
If you're going to allow the French, then you need to have a line to play against it. The Advance french is a fine choice, but you have to know the critical positions and ideas. There's not a lot of good sidelines here, there's really only 3 main ideas:
6. a3 -- which is currently the most popular way of playing it at the highest levels.
6. Be2 -- the old main line
6. Bd3 -- where you better know the theory like the back of your hand 'cause it's game on :)
I see. Thanks
Black is doing quite well in this line, however. He just plays 6...cxd4 7. cxd4 Bd7 and then the pawn is once again en pris. If white tries to hold the pawn with Bc2 Nb4 picks up the bishop pair and removes white's good bishop. Allowing black to have the pawn is not so hot because black can play a6 Bc5 (using the threat on f2 to reposition the bishop) Ba7 and then he has sufficient activity to stabilize the position while remaining a pawn up.
Edit: Adding diagram to make more sense.
You could try the king's indian attack with e4 d3 Nd2 g3 Bg2 and an eventual kingside expansion starting with e5 with something different. Otherwise, you could try to play 2 c4 to get a different type of game.
If you want to tackle the French itself, Nc3 and Nd2 are both good alternatives to the advance.
I played against a strong French Defense player in the finals of a tournament and busted his French with 1. c4!?
Usually, I play 1. e4
I recently started trying to use the Kings Indian Attack against the French. It usually does ok. Before, I was using the advance variation. Here are a couple things to watch for if you play the advance variation.
Avoids theory and makes for an interesting, tactical game, often with kings on opposite wings.
Interesting....... And a wild one too.... Love it, gourgeous!:-D
The "Reti Gambit" is an interesting sideline. White has no advantage, but Black must be booked up, and treat the position with due respect.
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