Bad Bish Exchange in the French Advance?

I know there's a line in the French Advance where, after c5, you play b6 and Ba6 with the intent of exchanging your useless queen side bishop, I just don't know what it's called. Is there any merit to it?

you can find some info on that line in the book, How to Play against e4, written by mcdonald.


I prefer the Wade variation which includes:





It's recommended in a book by GM McDonald.

Personally I don't bother yet about the fate of that bishop- the ...Qb6/ Nh6 variations are fine and very dynamic, while if Black wants to play solidly, the old variation with ...Qb6 and ...c4 is slightly boring, but about equal.


As an avid french player I have to say that I find my light square bishop to typically be quite useful. I tend to play f6 breaks and the light square bishop often proves quite useful in those lines. Of course, I'm just a patzer (as the name implies) so your milage my vary.