Play the French


This Post was set up as a billboard to my French tournaments.

The tournaments are both underway (1000-1600 & 1600-2200)

I'm going to show a game where I was flattened by an aptly named player UnderEstim8ed who was lower rated than myself.

This is going to seem an odd choice of game to show, because the post is "Play the French" and in the game I lost while playing the French.

Well, the lesson here then is play the French, but look out, because you can get rolled on the kingside if you're not careful.


A white pawn on e5 and by definition (as Danny Rensch says) no knight at f6 are prime ingredients for an attack on a castled king (kingside).


Once I've analysed this game I'll add comments explaining why I made the moves I did trying to defend my position and notes on what the correct defence might have been.

I wasn't aware of the threat of a kingside attack until the rook lift came, after that I was scrambling.

Of course the knight sac caught me completely off guard as I thought it was a bluff and didn't calculate.

In particular I thought white's queen was was tied to the defence of g2.


I've since added the significant analysis notes in, (without including entire lines.)  What an eye opener for me - I completely misread the attack especially with 25. Kg8?? and of course 26...fxe6??


Analysis suggested that I was panicking over nothing and the position was entirely defendable - (equal, in fact) if I'd only found the right moves.


Very instructive for me - hope you get something out of it too.Smile


It seems I'm having a hard time finding examples of games where I've won playing the French Defence as black, but in my defence, I've just recently started learning it.


I won this game on my opponent's blunders I admit, but we're both under 2000 rated and this is the way most if not all games are won and lost at our level.


Tactics and poisoned pawns are lurking everywhere in the French Winawer. (See a recent video in the video library by Tatev Abrahamyan.)

I made a few mistakes, the worst of which was not playing Ke7 and missing Bxa6 which my opponent also missed.
On the other hand, I saw and punished the first blunder gaining a material advantage and a crushing attack and that's all it took to win convincingly.


I'm not a French player but seems like white got a good space advantage early on allowing the Q & R lifts over to the K side. Yes, N sac was a good file opening manoever.

Good work on sharing your learnings. Thanks.



Here is a link to the FRENCH Themed Tournament #2

This is the second French Theme tournament after a successful turnout. It will be a recurring tournament for French enthusiasts.

For information and the most awesome videos on how to play the French visit Simon Williams vids: simon loves the french