Hey Guys, during this blog I'll be covering the French Defense: Burn Variation which has been played by many GM's over the past years. For anyone that missed out on my last post, you are able to find it here: http://blog.chess.com/AdvCheck/advchecks-take-on-the-french-defense-classical-variation
The Burn Variation: 1.e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 dxe4 5. Nxe4
This variation of the opening will allow a transposition into the Rubenstein variation, however it will be slightly better for black since he/she will still obtain the bishop pair.
The continuation of the line:
6. ... Bxf6 will transpose it to the Rubenstein variation. However the main idea of the 6. ...gxf6 variation is to attack the center by later on playing f5, a6 and b5 then Bb7 to claim the long diagonal. Black's king may be stuck in the middle of the board, but white has very little chance of attacking it since the pawn structure (f7, e6, f5 and b5) will be able to hold off any incoming attacks.
Main Idea of Variation:
Castling short for white will seem a out of place as black will be able to play Rg8 and with the bishop on b7 it will be a strong attack through h5-h4 and castling long for black. Otherwise, if white castles long, black usually castles short trying to push for the queenside attack. Although the pawn on g7 is missing it will not affect the king's safety (black can play Bf6 which can be used to defend on g7 if needed while attacking the d4 pawn and stopping Ne5), mainly due to the idea that white's attack is a lot slower than black's (black has a6 and b5 already played), and hence it will create quite a complex game.
Hopefully you enjoyed reading this post on the second part of the Classical Defense on the Burn Variation. Further variations of the French Defense will be released weekly, so stay tuned!
From the Advantage Coaching Crew