French Defense

chesschamp92192

I want to learn the French Defense at an expert level.  Are there any places where I can get notation on in depth variations in the French? I want to start by simply memorizing 10+ moves into all the lines in the French and then branch out from there.

Scarblac

At an "expert level"? Then why would you mindlessly memorize moves without any understanding?

chesschamp92192

No, I already have the concepts of the French but I need to memorize the moves with understanding.  I would never mindlessly memorize. 

ericmittens

For Black:

French Defence DVD by Ari Ziegler

How to Play Against 1.e4 by Neil McDonald

Play the French by John Watson

The Flexible French by Viktor Moskalenko

For white:

How to Beat the French Defence by Andreas Tzermiadianos

Beating the French DVDs by Rustan Khazimzhanov

Opening Repertoire for White According to Anand 6 and 7 by Alexander Khalifman

Here is a review of some books by John Watson on the subject. Happy Frenching!

Kernicterus

Happy frenching.  ha.  Since we're talking French...which is the best line for White to pursue?  It seems like Black gets to decide the details and lines on where things go?

ericmittens

I've been playing the french for quite awhile and I can say that 3.Nc3 is the critical move, most grandmasters would agree with me.

RyanMK

I don't know if it's the best line, but I prefer playing 3.Nd2

jyt
ericmittens wrote:

I've been playing the french for quite awhile and I can say that 3.Nc3 is the critical move, most grandmasters would agree with me.


Well you could always play 3. e5 for a change and pray black doesn't roast you too badly.

ericmittens
jyt wrote:
ericmittens wrote:

I've been playing the french for quite awhile and I can say that 3.Nc3 is the critical move, most grandmasters would agree with me.


Well you could always play 3. e5 for a change and pray black doesn't roast you too badly.


The advanced variation is no problem for the experienced french player. It's also the move we see most often. If you care about an opening advantage I don't recommend it.

kt_flash

mindless memorizing is FUN!

rollingpawns

How I started to learn French - I looked at some lines, not very far, then tried them online (correspondence here and blitz on FICS). During that time I also played 3 OTB games with lower rated players, getting out of the opening better every next time. What I am tryng to say is that learning an opening is a dynamic process - you try to play it, see some problems, go back to DB to check the best moves, try to feel the position, learn the traps, choose what variation/lines you like the most, etc. I think if you just spend a lot of time memorizing the lines and then go and play an OTB game with the same/higher rated opponent - you can be simply crashed. 

dsachs

What do you French players hate seeing the most? I always play Advance, but I've heard that is a frenchie's favorite line

rollingpawns

I hate all C00/C01 stuff - like 1. e4 e6 2. Nf3 ( beloved by low rated players on FICS), etc. or Exchange. Though I learned the ways how to deal with it still it's just not the kind of play I want to get when I play 1... e6.  Advance I think is just easier to deal with for Black, Classic - Nc3, Nf6, Bg5 was the most problematic for me until recently, but I did't hate it.  

ih8sens

Objectively best seems to be 3. Nc3 (allowing the questionable Winawer) and allowing black into what is often their favourite line with Qg4 and black's Qc7.  It seems white will retain an advantage in this line.

KillaBeez

I love playing against the advance.  I almost chalk it up as a forced win.  Because usually the people who play the advance don't really know how to play it.  I least like playing against the Tarrasch.  Against that I either play the Guimard, which is very interesting or play the Rubinstein French, Queen's Fianchetto Variation.

Spiffe

I played the French for a long time; it was my first primary defense to e4.  I disliked playing against the Tarrasch (3.Nd2) the most, so I played that when I took up e4 myself, and to this day I've kept to it.

The Tarrasch is much quieter and more positional than the Winawer, but I think it's the best continuation.  In almost every French variation, White is eventually compelled to either advance to e5 or exchange on d5, and when that occurs, I think the knight is better placed on d2, to be able to jump to f3 or b3 -- and not block the pawn advance to c3.

chesschamp92192

Wow, I just 5 hours studdying the French.  I have come to a firm understanding of the Steinitz against the Winawer and the open variation in the Tarrasch and will play both of these.  Now I need to work on the Advanced Variation and the Exchange Variation.  Any lines that you enjoy playing for these variations?

Falsehat133

Everything pales compared to French Defence DVD by Ari Ziegler.

Ari plays the French and he shows you what he actually plays as Black in the French. A must have CD. Check out the reviews.

Flamma_Aquila
Falsehat133 wrote:

Everything pales compared to French Defence DVD by Ari Ziegler.

Ari plays the French and he shows you what he actually plays as Black in the French. A must have CD. Check out the reviews.


That is an excellent DVD for a prospective frenchie. And a little bird told me you can download it as a torrent somewhere. I prefer to have the actual hard copy, so I just bought it.

I would love to check out the Susan Polgar DVD.

Fast_Thinker
ericmittens wrote:

I've been playing the french for quite awhile and I can say that 3.Nc3 is the critical move, most grandmasters would agree with me.


This is what works for me.