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play 1. d4 to avoid the french..
I once played a strong master who played the French Defense and the game was drawn.
The next time I played him, I played 1. c4!
I guess you didn't know the refutation of the French given in #64 - right?
pfren Yes, I did not know that refutation to the French! [#64]
@pfren What would your recommendation be against the French? And what do you think of my earlier suggestion?
3.Nc3 is the pro choice, while an amateur should probably pick 3.e5 where understanding is more important than contemporary theory.
3.Bd3 is a sound way to achieve a complex & playable (about equal) position with little to memorize. We used to call this in Greece "the Andreas attack" after FM Andreas Papastavropoulos, which is well known here for his aggressive style and eccentric (borderline unsound) opening choices.
i have struggled against the french for a long time. thats why i started playing it myself :-)
Have not looked at the whole thread now, so maybe this was stated before. John Emms recommends in "Attacking with 1 e4" that White can also go for a kind of King's Indian Attack structure starting with 1 e4 e6 2 d3. These structures are quite removed from mainline French lines.
I have no experience with KIA vs. French, I just stated what I've (superficially) read in that book.
I took my pick:
Have you ever tried 1.e4 e6 2.Qe2
Yes I have and I won its part of my Immortal Games show case collection.
Its post #4 in the above link.
I have also played other lines against the French which include but not limited too.
The KIA mainline against the French Defense.
The Tarrasch Variation (3.Nd2) against the French Defense.
The Advanced Variation (3.e5) against the French Defense.
I believe I do ok against the French.
Lately, I have been playing the Tarrasch more trying to get a better understanding of it.