MFO #5 French Defense

MFO #5 French Defense

Sep 25, 2015, 3:35 PM |

Another opening in my repetoire is the French Defense. It starts out 1.E4 E6 and is the 3rd most popular response to e4 after the sicilian and meeting with e5. I will show you how to play the French(as black) and how to play against it(as white). We are going to be focusing on 2. D4 D5 which is the normal way to play. After these series of moves there are a few different ways to play against it and I will show you the most common ones below.

Advance Variation

-Not the most common response but it is personally my favorite against the French. Black will usually play C5 after this aiming to gain space.

Classical Variation

-A very poupular way to play by white, but personally not my favorite variation. White will either push his pawn or pin the knight after black moves his knight.

Winawer Variation

- A fun variation that can be very complex but always makes for an interesting game. Black will usually end up trading the bishop for the knight and giving black doubled pawns.

Tarrasch Variation

-Invented by Siegbert Tarrasch, this variation is the second most popular reply to 2.D5 after 3.NC3 which can either go into the Classical or Winawer. The Tarrasch can be annoying to play against as black from my experiences.

Exchange Variation
- Finally the last and most simple variation... the Exchange! Maybe I should have not put an exclamation point because the Exchange can be considered very boring. Notheless it can be a useful tool to get black out of his comfort zone and make a near equal game for both sides.


Since the Advance Variation is my favorite I will be focusing more on it than other Variations (I will still show the other ones though). Most of the time in the advance variation black will play the 5.QB6, this a good move and can torch white if he is not careful and moves his queenside bishop. However if he moves his kingside bishop to D3 we have entered the Milner-Barry gambit a sound but exciting gambit that I like to play very much.

Another way to play against 5.Qb6 is with 6.A3 this is the most popular move but not very exciting unlike the Milner-Barry gambit. Nonetheless it is a good move and I will show you another game against the same opponent but time it was in a rated tournament where I decided to play it instead of the Milner-Barry for a change of pace.

Unfortunately I got off to a bad start and lost that game, but 6.A3
is a good move and can be a good weapon to have in your arsenal when playing the Advanced French. Now we are going to look more at some games in the other Variations that masters have played.



 Hopefully you learned more about the French from this blog. It is a solid yet exciting opening played at the highest levels of chess and I recommend you book up more on it(if you haven't already)