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ericmittens
Jul 23, 2008, 2:10 PM 0

"French Defence Repertoire for Black" by Ari Zeigler

 

I own both "Play the French" by John Watson and "Chess Explained: The French" and this DVD trumps both of them. This is simply the greatest opening DVD/Book on any opening I have ever come across. If you have even the slightest interest in playing the french defence as black you must go and get this DVD right now.

Zeigler gives a complete repertoire in a series of lectures spanning over 6 hours. His repetoire includes:

Advanced Variation: In which he advocates 5...Bd7 as opposed to Qb6.

Tarrasch Variation: He likes Nf6 vs. the tarrasch

Classical vs. Nc3

He also deals with the KIA, exchange variation, wing gambit, lines in which white does not try to hold the centre, the Alekhine-Chatard attack, and lots more. His analysis was circa 2007 and for anyone under expert- master strength this is probably the only reference you'll ever need on the french. Zeigler's presentation style is excellent and clear, and moreover he gives accurate evaluations of lines unlike Andrew Martin who thinks the side he's championing is better or at least equal in every variation. I give this my highest recommendation.

Here are some more reviews:

http://www.chessville.com/reviews/TheFrenchDefenceDVD.htm

http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3332

 

"The ABC's of the Benko Gambit" by Andrew Martin

This DVD uses illustrative games to go over lines, which is a popular way of doing it. I think that illustrative games generally do not give enough information on deviations and so a companion reference source is generally required. So too with this DVD, it is a nice introduction to the benko but a more comprehensive source with variation trees and in depth analysis will be required as one progresses.

Martin's explanations are clear enough, and the lines he gives work well. I would recommend purchasing this DVD if you want to play against the benko as white or are just a little curious about playing the opening as black and want a quick little overview of the basic themes and schemes.

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