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reeses_monkey ♡ 1 ( +1 | -1 )
French defense p-e4 p-e6
n-c3 b-b4
alberlie ♡ 4 ( +1 | -1 )
you mean:... 1. e4 e6
2. d4 d5
3. Nc3 Bb4?

You mean advice?
For which side?
ionadowman ♡ 60 ( +1 | -1 )
I presume you're asking for advice as White? Standard is 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 (4...c5 5.a3 Bxc3 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4. White threatens to take out Black's K-side pawns. Sometimes, Black will let him do so, in the interests of central and Q-side pressure/attack). But from move 4 both sides have options. White could hit the bishop before playing e4 (4.a3) or even just defend the knight with 4.Bd2 (Alekhine's 'fingerslip' variation). Instead of exchanging on c3 (after 4.e5 c5 5.a3 ...), Black could just retreat 5...Ba5, a personal favorite (Check out the 1960 drawn game between Fischer and Tal with this line. Amazing stuff!).
The Winawer is an exciting line.
far1ey ♡ 75 ( +1 | -1 )
Advice for white... I heard somewhere that Nd2 (Tarrasch Variation) is better than Nc3 I can't remember where but there is nothing wrong with the Winawer.

As for advice, my advice is simple castle either side (k side is probably safer as black attacks q-side) and just pawn storm like crazy. If you castle k - side you can probably ignore any attack against the q-side (unless you castle there) but allways be on the look out for "blocking" moves on the q-side. Lastly, try not to exchange your light squared bishop off, as it is a very important piece for white and, a "thorn" for black.

This may seem basic, but I don't know how much you know and how much you don't. Perhaps a post telling us what exactly you need to know and how much you do not know???

coyotefan ♡ 7 ( +1 | -1 )
French Defense Bad for black. White, play a simple solid line and you will win.
ionadowman ♡ 140 ( +1 | -1 )
Possibly... ...Far1ey has the Alekhine-Chatard attack in mind - tho' that comes out of the classical line. But it is true that White generally looks for K-side attack from the Tarrasch line. My favorite response as Black was to play 3...Nc6, but bear in mind this move does obviate the natural break-move ...c7-c5 for quite a while to come - if ever you get to play it at all. However, the move is also supposed to be aimed at getting in e6-e5 e.g. if white plays 4.c3 Usually, tho', the continuation is: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nc6 4.Ngf3 Nf6 5.e5 Nd7 6.Nb3 (considered better than the immediate 6.c3 for some reason) 6...Be7 7.c3 O-O... At some point, Black will essay ...f3 to try and free up his game.
Here is one departure from the Guimard line: one of the rare occasions that I had an opening prepared for my opponent... Played in 1980:
White: LM
Black: Self
1.e4 e5 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 (the more usual line) 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 (the standard break move) 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ngf3 f6 (White's middle is under a fair anount of pressure, but he's got attacking chances) 8.Ng5!? fxg5 9.Qh5+ Ke7 10.Nf3 a6 11.Nxg5 Ndxe5 (Naturally, 11...axg5 loses Black a rook. Here, Black gives up his material surplus to maintain a defence of the f7 square, which is under strong attack) 12.dxe5 Nxe5 13. Bb5!? (A puzzling move - a sign the enemy is running out of ideas? I didn't bank on it!) 13...Bd7 14.Bxd7 Qxd7 15.O-O g6 16.Qh4 Bg7 17.Ne4+ g5 18.Bxg5+ hxg5 (What a battle has raged about the g5 square!) 19.Qxg5+ Kf8 20.Nxc5 Qd6 21.Nb3?? (But White's attack had already been repulsed) 21...Nf3+! 0-1

alberlie ♡ 6 ( +1 | -1 )
indeed, coyotefan, that's why Akobian, Korchnoi, Morozevich etc. keep playing it...
More: Chess
ionadowman ♡ 105 ( +1 | -1 )
What happens when white underestimates Black... White: SA Black: ID 1986 French defence; Tarrasch variation
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nc6 4.Ngf3 Nf6 5.e5 Nd7 6.c3?! f5?! (Better is 6...f6! with the same reply as in the game. 6...f5 was my pet line, but it was answered nearly every time with 7.exf6e.p. I've no idea why. Surely it's better to maintain the pawn permanently on e5 to cramp Black's game?) 7.exf6 e.p. Qxf6! 8.Bd3 Bd6 (Black already has a fine game!) 9.O-O e5 10.dxe5 Ndxe5 11.Nxe5 Nxe5 (Possibly Black already has an edge, but...) 12.Re1?? (A horrible move. The pin merely defers for one move what to do about the attacked bishop, and at the same time fatally weakens the f2 square.) 12...O-O (an attacking move!) 13.Bc2 Qxf2+ 14.Kh1 Bg4 0-1 (Already a pawn down, and about to shed a piece without the slightest abating of Black's enormous attack, White called it an early night...)
Tastes differ, and coyotefan's opinion is an expression of his distaste for the French. He may have solid grounds, based on his experience, for his view. Ask him. My own view is that though White does indeed have a slight edge against the French, it's not large enough to offer any guarantees...
jstack ♡ 6 ( +1 | -1 )
Openings A GM once said there are not any bad openings...only bad chessplayers.
ccmcacollister ♡ 541 ( +1 | -1 )
and Bobby Fischer had trouble against it. If you ever play Bobby, get him into the Black side of a Samisch King's Indian or WT in a French Defense. On the otherhand, Botvinnik did abandon the French, citing a fear of Qg4 lines of a Poisoned-Pawn Winawer. Qg4 is the tactical method of meeting it {as opposed to the solid positional approach of RJF, with such moves as Nf3, a4, Ba3 but no Qg4.}
Using the French in Master/Expert postal play, it had a 2450 performance rating as an opening. More than a hundred and fifty Elo higher than the 2nd best BL defense used, a King's Indian. Of course others have had higher French performances. The singular trouble I found with the opening was fear to play it against lower rated players who could cause rating damage by playing for a draw, if they attained it.
[Tho I dont personally feel the matter is so broad as stated by coyotefan , perhaps this is part of that to which he refers above!? ] If the position has pawns without majorities, or a completly locked center, as in some varitions then it can be difficult for BL to win in the ending. But the Winawer virtually insures against these.

However, there was never a problem of survivability with the French. Even in the hated-drawish variation, BL generally had what pull there was in the position. It's
been said that one potent aspect of the French is to become more favorable as a
game progresses, insofar as better End-gm pawn formation. [Much as the Grunfeld does, getting better with "age" :]
This could be especially true in a Winawer if WT retains a backward c-pawn, or
backward & doubled, to contend with in the Positional WT lines. Yet WT can have dangerous K-side pawns remaining in the Qg4 PP lines , which BL must stop. An exception since if falls to BL to make the most of the Mid-gm, as WT gets better with age. But BL almost invariably does have an extremely active Mgm, with WT on the defensive.
Some players to look to for games may include:
IM John Watson, GM Uhlmann, GM Short, GM J.Nogieras have been leading proponents. [Watson has published 3 "Play the French" books. And all are quite good, but I am glad to have learned the basics of the opening from #1, which is still my favorite.]
Other GM's include: Vaganian, Portisch, Gligorich, Farago, Tal, R. Byrne, Andersson,
Minic, and from both sides = Ivkov.
Postalites such as: CCM Mitch Weiss, CCM Max Zavanelli or GK players Brunetti or Philaretus would also provide interesting games for study. You can find more by using the GK database. Just play thru until player names show up, and then see their other games. The 1900+ d-base is especially good for this.
In the line, if you actually intended it as you stated : 1.e4 e6 2.Nc3 Bb4 then it is not an actual Winawer French, but the players may transpose to that with 3.d4 d5
. IMO the best play for WT at that point is 4.e5 which is normally followed with 4...
c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 or Qc7 against which I recommend 7.Qg4 as objectively best, as mentioned by ionadowman. Also the most complex. In that line, 5.Bd2
{EG. CCM Randy Bauer-Collister 1/2-1/2 Iowa State Chmp.} or 4.Nge2 also make for interesting play.
Personally, I don't have much faith in any other 4th moves for WT, and Nge2 is somewhat speculative. BL may get an edge there but has chances to go wrong {such as in Arganian-Collister; 1st NTC}.
{4.Bd2?! FM E.Schiller-Collister 0-1 APCT ; or 4.a3!? NM Brian Mc Carthy-Collister USAT albeit 1/2-1/2 , but without problems for BL}
If you truly mean 1.e4 e6 2.Nc3 Bb4 then you have several ways to go as WT, besides a Winawer transposition [tho to me that seems the route to go if you are going to seek any advantage for WT from the opening. ]. A close relative, 3.Nge2!? may transpose to an Arganian type Winawer if 3...d5 and the natural 4.a3 is met with Bxc3+ or Be7.
Or if you wish an easily equal game, there is 3.Nf3 d5 4.exd5 exd5 5.d4 ;basically a French Exchange Var. with BL Bishop at Bb4 rather than Bd6. With most 'natural' type development, I dont think you need to worry over a Bxc3 exchange. The 2-Bishops Advantage + the open b-file + the support of d4 you get if bxc3 doubles your c-pawn should at least make up for the fact of having a doubled pawn. Plus then you get a nice diagonal with Ba3 or Bb2, if desired.
While you might even try something like 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 and if 4...Bxc3!? 5.bxc3 I'm not sure BL doesnt get the better of it since pushing d4 would make WT's position pretty loose, so he might have to stick with a smaller pawn front by d3 instead. That might be a 'natural' looking development to pass by !?
One real question arises here however. That being, 'Why do you Want to play 2.Nc3' if that is the true sequence. If you just play the customary 2.d4 ! (seems best to me) you would have more options, such as 3.Nd2 as far1ey mentioned. Or you could answer 2.d5 with 3.e5 or 3.exd5 as well. (I do not feel 2.e5 is recommendable).
Also, if you prefer a closed position of a King's Indian Attack variety, then 2.d3 is a good reply to e6. There are lines of that with a Nc3 you could play. I prefer those with Nbd2.
And there is also 2.c3 to think about. A strange line since it can become either very dull or very tactical.
Regards, Craig A.C. and G/L in your French pursuits ! It's worked well for Many.
kewms ♡ 28 ( +1 | -1 )
I'm not in the same class as Korchnoi, or even coyotefan, but I always enjoyed playing the Winawer OTB. I abandoned the French mostly because most White players (at my rating) avoided the Winawer in favor of the Advance and Exchange variations. (Which are fine for Black, but boring.)

jstack ♡ 51 ( +1 | -1 )
Exchange french Yes, I know the exchange french is not bad for black. However, the resulting position does not really appeal to me. I think I figured out a way to eliminate the possibilty of a french exchange. 1. e5 c5!? 2 Nf3(white is assuming a sicilian)
2..e6 3. d4 d5 and now white can play 4. c3 and either play a c3 sicilian or an advanced french. I enjoy playing both types of positions. In the siiclilan I get an exciting isolated queens pawn game. And in the advanced I get to play positions I have spent many hours studying. That is unless white has something better than 4. c3
ccmcacollister ♡ 151 ( +1 | -1 )
Jstack ... Interesting. It looks like 4.c3 plays fine to me, without any worry of ...c4 being cramping, since a b3 cxb3 axb3 give WT the actual Q-side play, as usual in similar
positions like the Panov vs Caro-Kann ... as long as N-Q2 has not been played yet.
Yet c3 seems pretty unadvertureous, and not needed yet since ...cxd4 Nd4 just gives WT a nice N there. Bb5+ and Qe2+ looks perhaps transpositional to French Tarrasch 3...c5 positions if done after 4.exd5. {But maybe interesting without the pawn trade first too!? I havent done a soundness check, but thinking in Blitz terms, that looks like it will be fun to try out at a glance. Unfortunately, no time to do more right now. }
I'm thinking that, After 4.exd5 Qxd5 it might transpose to Tarrasch lines if Nbd2 dxd4, Bc4 etc. But I dont like the thought of facing 5.Nc3 there instead. So figuring 4... exd5 will be played there, what about 5.c4 !?
(I am definately going to give that a try blitzing. And take a look at it to see if it might be good enough for real Chess, later. I've seen it played later in the usual
...exd5 lines. And 5...cxd4 6.Qxd4 looks fun.
Or perhaps if 5...dxc4 then
6.d5!? looks great for blitzing, so I cant wait to try that. Or even Qa4+ I suppose.
Anyway, as mentioned, my enthusiasm is at first glance here. Basically I wanted to ask if you looked at the idea, what you thought there? As you are studied in Isolani positions, whereas I am not very adept nor enthused about most isolani's ...
Yet, the Albin CG feel of this intrigues me.
kewms ♡ 27 ( +1 | -1 )
FWIW, -> has 33 games in its database with 1. e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3. d4 d5. White didn't play 4.c3 in any of them. The most common response was 4. Nbd2, transposing into a drawish line of the Tarrasch French.

ionadowman ♡ 74 ( +1 | -1 )
Some pretty arcane stuff here so far... ...Just to throw more options around, I had this Winawer-Exchange thrown at me not so long ago on GK (efrog1074 vs ionadowman): 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.exd5!? Some research unearthed a couple of games: Sergeant vs Capablanca, and Smyslov vs Vaganian. Black seemed to do all right in these games, but my opponent seemed to have way the better of it by about move 15.
Any theory other than the games I've mentioned?
I couldn't find anything wrong with my play up until then, but after opposite castling (moves 11 and 12), it seemed obvious that the usual recipe, of each side pursuing his own attack against the enemy king, was a losing proposition for Black. What I found instead didn't look that convincing, neither...
jstack ♡ 68 ( +1 | -1 )
mistake I made a mistake in my analysis. Of course white does not play 4. c3? the e4 pawn is hanging. Seems this pawn sac may not be as good when the knight is already on f3. so of course 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3 d4 d5 4. pxp pxp and I usually see 5. Pxp Bxp and now it is an isolated queens pawn game.
However, I did not think about 5. c4!? before. It looks complicated. I'll need to take a deep look at it. Upon initial inspection it looks like black needs to take on d4 so he can develop with tempo. 5..cxd 6.Nxd Where black can offer to an isolated queens pawn position with Nc6. I'm not sure if this is very good for black though. so perhaps...6.,, Nf6 7. Bc4 Bb5+ Followed by castling. It looks like white gets a some advantage with a knight on d4.
amenhotepi ♡ 23 ( +1 | -1 )
The French Game
I, do not regard myself a great chess-player, at all, but, without sounding too naive i find the French-game [ generally ] - a very " risky game " .. for both players. By compare; other Openings offer more " bone " for the dog.
ironbutterfly ♡ 25 ( +1 | -1 )
ionadowman - Watson has a brief but solid section in his 3rd ed of "Play the French," p. 148-52.
He has some theory/strategy (e.g., in the main recommended line white gets the two Bs early; black has the light squares, notably c4 and e4), and references to both Psakhis' and Minev's books on the French.
ionadowman ♡ 3 ( +1 | -1 )
ironbutterfly... ...thanks! I'll check them out.