French Defence: Rubinstein Variation

Apr 19, 2012, 10:11 PM |


Hey Guys,

Just going to go over the French Defence, it's mainly to help some of you chess enthusiast to choose an opening of your desire.

Well many of you know the French Defence, and for you who don't it's basically, 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5.


 This is the basic setup of the French defence, however there are many lines that could arise from the opening. There are multiple moves that could be played such as: 3. Nc3 / Nd2 / e5 / exd5.

During this write up, i'll be going over basic ideas of the 3. Nc3 (Main Line). There are 3 moves that black could reply to this main move. 3. ... dxe4 (Rubinstein Variation) / Bb4 (Winawer Variation) / Nf6 (Classical Variation).

Lets move into the Rubinstein Variation:

The Rubinstein variation was named after Polish Grandmaster Akiba Kiwelowicz Rubinstein and is seen as: 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4. (This variation can also arise from the 3. Nd2 (Tarrasch Variation), but that will be viewed in the next post.)

The main idea of the opening is for black to give white a slight advantage in space, while trying to neutralise it later on by playing c5.

Once we reach the position, there are 5 different lines which could be played.

Most Popular: 4. ... Nd7 5. Nf3 Ngf6 6. Nxf6+ Nxf6 / 6. Bg5 h6 (the main idea here is for black to play c5 in the coming moves).

Fort Knox Variation: 4. ... Bd7 (Unexpected move) 5. Nf3 Bc6 (claim long diagonal) 6. Bd3 Nd7 7. 0-0 Ngf6 8. Ng3 Be7

There are also three other lines which have been played in the past: 4. ... Qd5 / e5 (Ellis Gambit) / Nc6 5. Nf3 e5 (Donna's Gambit) However these moves should be explored by relatively experienced chess enthusiasts.
Here is the 8. Bh4 line of the 'Most Popular Line' where black plays c5 to challenge the center.
The 'Fort Knox Line' will basically play the same in every game except for move 8. Ng3 where you may experience different moves such as 8. Nxf6 / Ned2 / Qe2.
Here are some games played using these openings:

Most Popular Line:

A very nice game by black.
Fort Knox Line:

Thanks for reading the first line of the French Defence: Rubinstein Variation. The next lines of the French Defence will be released on this blog soon.
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From the Advantage Coaching Crew