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  • #1

    I like to play the french defense, but one time in OTB play, I encountered a surprising "anti-french" that threw me off the mainlines.

    1. e4 e6 2. c4

    I dunno how to react. What do I do?

  • #2

    just play d5 anyway and black is fine in the IQP position that will come up.
    if white takes twice on d5, play Nf6 instead of recapturing immediately with the queen as white can't protect the pawn.

  • #3

    2...d5 looks fine. For example, 3.exd5 exd5 4.cxd5 Nf6

    Otherwise something like 2...c5 would probably throw HIM out of his comfort zone. And just smile while he gives you dirty looks for not staying in his book.

    Sorry, I'm not really a French player.

  • #4

    2...d5 is fine.  3.cxd5 exd5 and now

    • 4.exd5 Nf6 =
    • 4.Qb3 is an attempt to gambit a pawn, e.g. 4...dxe4 5.Bc4.  I can't off the top of my head remember if this gambit has a 'refutation' or not.  Maybe 4...Nf6 declining is wise.

    I actually prefer to play 2...c5 creating an altogether different, quieter game that White was probably not intending!

  • #5

    I don't know why (aside from laziness) that White plays these odd anti-French efforts 2. b3; 2. c4; 2. f4; 2. e5; 2. Nf3...

    The main lines are testing enough for Black.

  • #6

    because white doesn't like to play french structures, obviously. :P

    3 e5 is the french structure for lazy people.

  • #7

    The title sounds racist.

  • #8

    The best anti-french I know is 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd4 exd5 4.Nf3 Bd6 5.c4

  • #9

    Another friend of mine suggested c6. Good or no?

  • #10


    you have the worst of both french and caro worlds.

  • #11

    2...c6 will probably turn into a Semi-Slav but theres a lot of theory... I think 2...d5 is th way to go. At least there play is concrete and easier to understand. 2...c5 is an English and that leads to a lot of complicated manoeuvres. There's also a gambit after 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.e5 Ng8 6.d4 that you can run into by accident...

  • #12

    oh wait, nevermind, i was thinking about e4 e6 Nf3 c6 (as in another thread posted). i really should double check my postings.

    against 2 c4 c6 is definitely fine, yeah.
    it may or may not turn into some kind of semislav, but a) white can't play a lot of critical lines in this move order and b) don't expect your opponent to be booked up in the theory anyway. after all, he plays 1 e4 and has played 2 c4!

  • #13

    1.e4 e6 2.c4 c6!? 3.d4 d5 4.Nc3 is an odd transposition into the Marshall Gambit in the Triangle system.  I'd say it's a pretty critical line.

  • #14
    pellik wrote:

    After Qb3 why not just decline with d4? I'm pretty sure that Qb3 thing isn't really a line. 

    1.e4 e6 2.c4 d5 3.cxd5 exd5 and now according to ChessBase's online DB, 4.exd5 is the most-played, then 4.Qb3, and then a bunch of ineffective moves none of which score over 50% for White.

    4.Qb3 aims to set up early pressure on the b3-g8 diagonal at the cost of giving up e4.  Your suggestion 4...d4 5.Bc4 allows White to acheive this pressure without giving up a pawn.  Perhaps that's why it has never been played.

    As I suspected, 4...dxe4 and 4...Nf6 are the number one and number two moves.  Having glanced at a couple of games it seems 4...dxe4 5.Bc4 Qd7 is quite OK for Black.  The line is a little awkward if Black has never seen it before but objectively is not that good.

  • #15
    GreenCastleBlock wrote:

    1.e4 e6 2.c4 c6!? 3.d4 d5 4.Nc3 is an odd transposition into the Marshall Gambit in the Triangle system.  I'd say it's a pretty critical line.

    i said "a lot" of critical lines, not all of them, but yes you are right :D that's the only one i can think of, though...

    in practice i wouldn't expect my opponent to be booked up though, so the best player should still usually win in the mutual confusion scenario. :P

  • #16

    If White wanted to play the Monte Carlo, why would he choose 2.c4 and not 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.c4 ?

    2.c4 offers Black several interesting choices.  (2..c5!? 2..e5!? 2..b6!?)  Whereas after 2.d4 Black is almost certainly going to play 2...d5 and now White can take on d5 and play c4 which is very forcing.

    So I think the Monte Carlo discussion is a little off topic if the OP is interested in 2.c4 as an "anti-French"


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