French Defence

ManUtdForever12
May 21, 2008, 12:00 AM |
6 | Opening Theory

The French Defence is a chess opening. It is characterized by the moves:

1. e4 e6
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The French has a reputation for solidity and resilience, though it can result in a somewhat cramped game for Black in the early stages. Black often gains counterattacking possibilities on the queenside while White tends to concentrate on the kingside.

The defence is named after a match played by correspondence between the cities of London and Paris in 1834 (although earlier examples of games with the opening do exist). As a reply to 1.e4, the French received relatively little attention in the nineteenth century compared to 1...e5. The first world chess champion Wilhelm Steinitz said "I have never in my life played the French Defense, which is the dullest of all openings". In the early 20th century, Géza Maróczy was perhaps the first world-class player to make it his primary weapon against 1.e4. For a long time, it was the third most popular reply to 1.e4, behind only 1...c5 and 1...e5. However, according to the Mega Database 2007, in 2006, 1...e6 was second only to the Sicilian in popularity.

Historically important contributors to the theory of the defence include Mikhail Botvinnik, Viktor Korchnoi, Aron Nimzowitsch, Tigran Petrosian, Lev Psakhis, Wolfgang Uhlmann and Rafael Vaganian. More recently, its leading practitioners include Evgeny Bareev, Alexey Dreev, Mikhail Gurevich, Alexander Khalifman, Smbat Lputian, Alexander Morozevich, Teimour Radjabov and Nigel Short.

Image:chess zhor 26.png
Image:chess zver 26.pnga8 rdb8 ndc8 bdd8 qde8 kdf8 bdg8 ndh8 rdImage:chess zver 26.png
a7 pdb7 pdc7 pdd7e7f7 pdg7 pdh7 pd
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a1 rlb1 nlc1 bld1 qle1 klf1 blg1 nlh1 rl
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Position after 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5

 

Following the opening moves 1.e4 e6, the game usually continues 2.d4 d5. White expands his claim on the centre, while Black immediately challenges the pawn on e4. White has several main options — he can exchange pawns with 3. exd5, he can push the pawn forward with 3.e5, or he can defend it with 3.Nd2 or 3.Nc3.

By ManUtdForever12


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