French Defence...after 1 d4...


I am learning to play the French defence as a relatively simple defence to 1 e4.

However after 1 d4, I play 1...e6 hoping for 2 e4 and then 2...d5. Usually however, 1 d4 players will play 2 c4 so I respond with 2...d5 and play the QGD.

Are there any ways I can force white into the FD after 1 d4 or shall i just learn the QGD as well.




you cant force white to play e4, so youll have to learn qgd


no of course ...I can't force white to play 2 e4 but maybe I can transpose somehow down the line...


After 1.d4 e6 2.c4 Black cannot play 2...d4, so I guess what you meant in your original post was 2...d5.

The QGD (..d5) is completely fine, but you also have the option of 2...Nf6 or 2...f5 transposing in the Nimzo-Indian or the Dutch. 2...c5 should transpose to the Benoni, but there might be some trickery here ; I wouldn't play the Benoni in that move order. (2...b6 (?) is not a good idea because then White aswers 3.e4 and it ends up in queen's indian with e4 already played for White).


None of them look (even remotely) to the French though, so you have to learn other plans / ideas.


Thanks for your very helpful post....which would you recommend....the least theoretical...


As I already wrote, the three options of (2...)d5, Nf6 and f5 are perfectly playable and sound. Maybe the trend nowadays at highest level is more about X than Y, but it doesn't mean much, all three are still played in tournaments.

My choice is ...Nf6 (Nimzo-Indian), but it doesn't mean it's the one that fits you best - it needs strong positional thinking to know what you get from the giving of pair of bishops. If you are a French player you might like attacking with Black at the cost of a bad light-squared bishop, in which case it's the Dutch (...f5) you could prefer. And the Q(ueen) G(ambit) D(eclined) (...d5) is maybe the easiest to play without too much theory.


Generally, this is what I tell myself after white's first move.

1.e4 - My opponent may be looking for tactical play.

1.d4 - My opponent may be looking for positional play.

What you should be asking yourself, is "what kind of player am I? / do I want to be?" - be it for the long term, or for just any one game. Because indeed, as has been pointed out, you can't force white to play in to your prepared opening lines.

Admittedly, 1.d4 e6, gives white the question "do I want the centre?", but a prepared French player will know how to undermine and / or neutralise a pawn centre. 1...e6 against 1.d4 can only come across to white as a baiting move in terms of competitive psychology, (it's up to white whether or not he accepts the bait).

In terms of your repertoire, if you want to keep things tactical, you could always consider playing 1.Nf6 and going in to some Indian lines. Or, if you wish to continue with 1...e6 but get a declined French with 2.c4, you could always play for some Benoni lines or some Benko Gambit lines after 2...Nf6 if you don't want to play QGD.


Great advice people...thanks for spending time answering my post...Smile


Honestly, simple french. I remember that I started out with the french when I started playing. The problem is that french is without any doubt one of the most difficult openings against e4. The problem is the white pawn on e5 and your troublesome on THE kingside plus very hard work to squeeze out equal play. In the spirit of what you are looking for I would advise caro slav.....


I use 1.e6 against 1.d4 to get into a french or into a classical dutch while avoiding all of white's offbeat tries against the dutch(2.Bg5, 2.Nc3, 2.e4).

If you want to study an individual system with 1.e6 against 1.d4 you might want to take a look at the Franco-Indian(1.d4 e6 2.c4 Bb4+). Nigel Davies made a dvd for chessbase(1.e6 a solid repertoire against 1.e4 and 1.d4) where he recommends this line i believe.


The problem with going into the Dutch with this move order is that black cannot play the Leningrad variation. If you are happy playing the classical or stonewall Dutch then it's fine.


I have a friend who played KID in every way. I mean, it was Pirc against e4.

I don't know if playing French style against d4 is appropriate way, I didn't pt so much thought into it. Maybe it's something like Tarrash or QGD 3...Nc6?

I'm thinking that maybe playing the Dutch stonewall would be a good way to play 1 d4 e6 2 c4...something like this...


1.d4 e6 will be meant by 2.c4 - White play d4 if it wants to play the Queen's Pawn Game. And have a little chance to transpose the 1.d4 into the French Defense.


Eingorn has a book "Rock solid opening repetoire" which uses relatively straightforward french lines, i.e 3Nd2 c5. Against 1.d4 suggests 1...e6 2c4 Bb4ch aiming for later d6 and e5.


I looked at some grandmaster games that went 1. d4 e6 2. e4 d5, and that was the first time I heard of the French defense being achieved that way.  I thought it was interesting.


French Defense is interesting game. The only reason why the move 1.d4 has less chance to transpose it in French Defense.

It's more likely to go on the Nimzo Indian, Queen's pawn game.