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I've tried hard to make it work. It does seem an even game, but on a knife edge for both sides.
After watching GM Yasser Seirawan's lectures i would say the advance variation gives white best chances.
3.Nc3 or Nd2 gives black the opportunity to get into Rubinstein variation. Not so fun to play as white.
simply do not allow a French setup - play the KIA (king's indian attack); if it was good enough for Mr. Bobby Fischer...
Well, I always thought a GM knows better chess theory than radom patzers like us. Although you're free to have an independent opinion!
Indeed. And most SGMs (super grand masters) plays 3. Nc3, so even though I'm not sure about the rubinstein (I see it as a free attacking chance for white, and when (if) black plays c5, he gets a slightly worse endgame), the SGMs might have a reason to accept it.
I play the KIA against the French. And against the Caro-Kann as well.
Agreed that SGMs don't play it... but I'm not likely to face the same opposing players that they do.
Personally I do not like to get into my opponent's preparation. Against 1....e6 I some times play 2.f4 and other times 2.c3 if d5 then 3.e5 then f4, just to throw my opponents out of their comfort zone.If it was good for Nakamura it is good for me!
Rubinstein variation is not that straight forward. Anand, Akopian, Akobian and others played this variation as black! For a dynamic player he/she might choose Nakamura's approach g*N and open up the g gile as black.
About you're c5 note, 3 vs 2 quenside pawn majority is a common theme of sicilian also.
So, it's a matter of personal taste really. I just do not like to give black to have that extra option. Both 2.Nc3 and 2.Nd2 does.
Wittyblunder do you play Gleks lines in the f4 against the French? Na3 and look to play Bd3 sometimes delaying d4 and exchanging with the knight that often comes to f5? I'm intersected in that line but have never played it in anything but rapid play
Exactly.I took the idea from Nakamura vs Seirawan game. You can watch on youtube by searching "Nakamura vs Seirawan French Defense: La Bourdonnais". If you know the lines well you can play this on longer time control too.