AdvCheck's Take on the French Defense: Classical Variation Part 3 (MacCutcheon Variation)

May 25, 2012, 9:58 PM |

Advantage Coaching

Hey Everyone, today I'll be blogging about the French Defense: Classical Variation MacCutcheon, Advance Variation. This opening is not a very popular opening as it allows white to have a nice attack on the kingside and black to attack on the queen, however black is able to defend quite easily. Also, this opening requires a lot of experience in playing it, as some variations are tricky and complicated.

Lets get into it:

MacCutcheon Variation: 1.e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Bb4

This variation is quite complicated and will suit players who wish to calculate a fair bit during the middle game.

Main Line:

As I stated in the game, white has three options on move six with 6. exf6 / Be3 / Bc1 each having their own benefits. White usually plays Bd2 to defend keep his pieces active with both rook and queen connected. Further in this line black follows up by:

Here white wants to play Rh3 and attack the weak g7 pawn, however black is able to defend with either Kg8 or h5 and Rh7 depending on the position. In my personal preference I prefer playing the Kg8 - Kh7 line as it keeps the king safe and black is able to have counter play on the queen side with b5-b4 etc.


White tries to break open the king side of black giving he/she the oppurtunity to play on the open file while black only has the semi open file. Further in this line, white will castle long and so black in turn will also castle long. The game mainly follows a kingside attack for white with black playing for the center by trying to capture the d4 pawn allowing for e5 to be played. Also, for white to be able to develop the white square bishop, g3 is usually played thus giving a weak pawn on the f2 square which can be a plan of attack.

6.Be3 and Bc1 (Usually play the same lines)


In both lines black's aim is to put pressure on the Knight on c3 by placing his/her Knight on e4 and playing c5 to break open the center. Furthermore, black wants to complicate the game through the center of the board while white tries to attack on the kingside.

Past Games:





Hopefully you enjoyed reading this post on the second part of the Classical Defense on MacCutcheon Variation. Further variations of the French Defense will be released weekly, so stay tuned!
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