The Secret to the French Defense
I am going to share with you a very simple idea for understanding the best defense to 1.e4. Wait a second, did I say best ? Yes I did. The French Defense might not be as popular as the hyper theoretical Sicillian or the classical, yet stodgy, 1...e5. But in my opinion it contains the best elements of both of these defenses. In any event, let me show you two of my games and share with you my analysis of this rich playground of chess ideas.
This past month I had an encounter with the strong Macedonian GM Nikolai Mitkov in the 4th round of the Cardinal Open in my hometown of Columbus Ohio. I had the black pieces and stood at 2.5/3 and did need a win to get in postion for a 1st place duel in the final round.
Now take a breath and look at position where we leave the game. What do you think about the placement of the black pieces ? What is the "focal" point of the black army ?
If you see the pressure on the d4 point as well as the potential for attack on the white squares you are starting to get a good idea of what the French is all about.
Don't like the French ? I am pretty sure Victor Korchnoi doesnt care!
In the actual game I convinced myself to trade off my wonderful knight because I thought I was crashing through to the king.