French Defense: Exchange Variation

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  • 7 days ago

    BadBishop5

    People believe the exchange variation to be drawish because there is only one open file and the pawn structure is symmetrical. Many players double up on the e file and swap the rooks off, resulting in a very drawish position.

    If you want to find lines to achieve positions where you can play for a win against a lower rated player, get GM Emanuel Berg's Volume 3 on the French Defense.  

  • 6 weeks ago

    Ktadaddy

    Choochoo17, the only thing that the first two diagrams demonstrate is some poorly played chess, which hardly substantiates any claim that the French Exchange should not be taken "seriously". In the first diagram, no competent player with the white pieces would just voluntarily initiate the exchange on f6. Furthermore, thematic in the French Exchange is that not only would white not initiate the exchange on f6, but also even upon . . . h6, white instead of exchanging on f6, retreats the bishop to h4 (and willingly back to g3 upon . . . g5). Just because white has made the initial exchange on d5 (opening the e-file which is best followed by a speedy king side castling instead of inflicting the pin on f6) doesn't mean he is going to initiate all of these other exchanges that you included, not only the 6. Bxf6, but also 7. Bb5+ to get the light squared bishops off the board. And isn't it obvious that 9. O-O is called for instead of 9. Nc3 allowing the black queen to check the still uncastled white king (and then conveniently comes the exchange of queens)?

    As for the second diagram, what competent Scotch player would willingly initiate this same exchange on f6 in the position after black's 7th move?

    I play the Exchange Variation at every opportunity, but certainly not with the ambition to draw. In fact, I estimate that I draw perhaps once or twice in ten games playing the Exchange. It is easy to play, black rarely is prepared to play against it, and chances for success are good if my opponent is weak in either quiet middle games or equal end games, not uncommon when against someone at my skill level who is willing to play the French.

    If the Exchange Variation is not your proverbial cup of tea, that is all well and good. Go ahead and enjoy playing the other variations that suit you better.

  • 6 weeks ago

    choochoo17

    Seriously! Exchange variation is a variation for a player who hopes for a draw. Think of it like this. If we keep exchanging the pieces until there is only a pawn and a king vs a pawn and a king, it's obvious draw right? So! In the openings, We should avoid a lot of exchange. Here is an example.

    Ok. After white takes the pawn and black recaptures, white's advantage decreases very little. With the classical, tarrasch and advance variation, white is trying to prove that white is better. With the exchange, it's just like let's get a draw. Lichess.org rated 3.exd5 as a normal move. After than position white has +0.1 advantage. Very little comparing to the starting position when white has +0.3 advantage. Exchange is also rare in grandmaster levels. STOP EXCHANGING PIECES!

    Tip: Exchange helps your opponent develop.

    Let's see an example:

    Now let us see what you have learnt :D

    Now stop exchanging without thinking!

  • 7 weeks ago

    ggmugilan

    yes ktadaddy

  • 7 weeks ago

    Ktadaddy

    Doesn't 11. BxN win a pawn cleanly via 11. . . . BxB; 12. BxRP+ or 11. . . . BxN; 12. NxB BxB; 13. BxRP+? Also, I think black's play here using the rarely used . . . Nc6 is likely not best and certainly not normal compared to the more common . . . Nbd7.

  • 7 weeks ago

    ggmugilan

  • 8 weeks ago

    Haxx0rofCh3ss

    I am very new to chess so please do not go off if this sounds stupid. I don't get why openings have only 1-2-3-4 moves and what goes after the opening moves? Do people have specific moves after each opening move or do they just flow with what's the best move depending on the other persons move?

    I hope someone can explain this as I am confused on what the perpose of each opening difference.

  • 4 months ago

    GarenaDraco

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 4 months ago

    loshara_1

    interesting opening, but sicilian is better from here on

  • 4 months ago

    logozar

    Can someone explain why black wins here more than white?

  • 4 months ago

    AmorzKathleen

    bAD

  • 5 months ago

    Ktadaddy

    I am a player of modest strength (USCF C-Class) and put the Exchange to use with the white pieces against the French at every opportunity. Those comments found here expressing frustration by those playing the French I well understand, but that is part of the point. Players of my strength and below are almost never prepared to face the Exchange, and a modest amount of opening prep on my part is all that is needed to ensure a good game. White can often attain a won game (sometimes surprisingly quickly) through speedy castling and tactics aimed at taking advantage of a still un-castled black king. Against those players that do manage to get their black king castled away, refraining from c4 in favor of c3 (accompanied by a Bd3 and when reciprocated by black's . . . Bd6 gets Bg5) leaves a safe setup (I don't pursue getting an IQP as some advocate on this thread), and understanding whether or not to leave the king's rook on the f-file or place it on the usually open e-file is helpful.

    Stronger players will insist upon 4. . . . c5 (after my usual 4. Nf3) after the exchange of pawns, but I seem always to get a good game after 5. Bb5+, and Nc3 before or after castling, putting pressure on black's d-pawn, as well as sprinting to castling while the black king is still in the middle.

    As for black's recapture with the queen on the third move, this when followed by 4. Nf3 well transposes to my flexible 3. Nf3 prepared lines against the Centre Counter. Patiently waiting for the right moment to take advantage of the prematurely developed black queen via c4 and Nc3 gives white a nice advantage.

    FM Testviking's advice on this thread 3 years ago for black to pursue queenside castling is best, but I don't play Masters and so have yet to face this strategy.

  • 5 months ago

    ggmugilan

    I PLAY ONLY IN FRENCH DEFENCE ; EXCHANGE VARIATION

  • 5 months ago

    seanysean2

                      What i do

  • 6 months ago

    pranavswami

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 7 months ago

    wsmbwsmb

    :)

  • 7 months ago

    mohamad-mahdi

    i like it

  • 7 months ago

    Jorge3000

    Seems like a good way to avoid highly tactical Winawer and closed variations, if the mood strikes you

  • 8 months ago

    MilkyGlovfe

    Ok but little bad

  • 8 months ago

    Patzer2Mazter

    Weaker players often try this against stronger opposition in the mistaken belief that it is more likely to draw.  But they usually lose all the same.

    The statistics are not a good guide to choosing a soundf opening. The plus score for Black is more an indication of the relative strengths of opponents than the superiority of Black's position.

    Strong players do not play it often because against other strong players it is easier for Black to draw, and agasint weaker players the win is more certain with 2. Nc3, 2. Nd2 or 2. e5

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