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1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5!
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.
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.
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.
interesting opening, but sicilian is better from here on
Can someone explain why black wins here more than white?
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.
I PLAY ONLY IN FRENCH DEFENCE ; EXCHANGE VARIATION
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