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I am a player of modest strength (USCF C-Class) and put the Exchange to use with the white pieces against the French at every opportunity. Those comments found here expressing frustration by those playing the French I well understand, but that is part of the point. Players of my strength and below are almost never prepared to face the Exchange, and a modest amount of opening prep on my part is all that is needed to ensure a good game. White can often attain a won game (sometimes surprisingly quickly) through speedy castling and tactics aimed at taking advantage of a still un-castled black king. Against those players that do manage to get their black king castled away, refraining from c4 in favor of c3 (accompanied by a Bd3 and when reciprocated by black's . . . Bd6 gets Bg5) leaves a safe setup (I don't pursue getting an IQP as some advocate on this thread), and understanding whether or not to leave the king's rook on the f-file or place it on the usually open e-file is helpful.
Stronger players will insist upon 4. . . . c5 (after my usual 4. Nf3) after the exchange of pawns, but I seem always to get a good game after 5. Bb5+, and Nc3 before or after castling, putting pressure on black's d-pawn, as well as sprinting to castling while the black king is still in the middle.
As for black's recapture with the queen on the third move, this when followed by 4. Nf3 well transposes to my flexible 3. Nf3 prepared lines against the Centre Counter. Patiently waiting for the right moment to take advantage of the prematurely developed black queen via c4 and Nc3 gives white a nice advantage.
FM Testviking's advice on this thread 3 years ago for black to pursue queenside castling is best, but I don't play Masters and so have yet to face this strategy.
I PLAY ONLY IN FRENCH DEFENCE ; EXCHANGE VARIATION
What i do
i like it
Seems like a good way to avoid highly tactical Winawer and closed variations, if the mood strikes you
Ok but little bad
Weaker players often try this against stronger opposition in the mistaken belief that it is more likely to draw. But they usually lose all the same.
The statistics are not a good guide to choosing a soundf opening. The plus score for Black is more an indication of the relative strengths of opponents than the superiority of Black's position.
Strong players do not play it often because against other strong players it is easier for Black to draw, and agasint weaker players the win is more certain with 2. Nc3, 2. Nd2 or 2. e5
Someone said 3. ... Qxd5 is "really stupid"
It is a well analysed line, Black has been scoring well with it, and has been played by GMs ... so it cannot be that stupid.
Really¡!!!!! I beg to differ! I played the Sicilian for years and switched to French and I'm winning 76% of my games against e4. I am an e4 player as well. Your either scared of it or don't understand it. I have been playing it for 3 months and smoking people anywhere close to my rating. I'll gladly show you in a game if you like.
@offici4lcreeper you can sacriface d5 so then the queen can take d5 again and it will be more developed, and you are away better because your queen is on the center
I like this opening against much stronger players. I feel it has a better chance of drawing
White players often don't realize that while the Exchange French is less tactical than other lines in the French, it is not necessarily a good way of avoiding opening theory since there are various ways for Black to imbalance the game and try to play for a win.
j'adore cette defence
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