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French Defence Training Material

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 (Main Line)

A) 3.Nd2 (Tarrasch Variation) Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7
A1) 5.f4 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ndf3 cxd4 8.cxd4
A11) 8. ... Qb6

French Defence - Tarrasch Variation

This kind of position can become highly tactical. Black often gets in a check on b4 and white has to reply with Kf2, which pins his d-pawn. Black then has numerous ways of sniping at the white centre with f6, g5, and sometimes knight captures on e5.

A12) 8. ... f5?! 9.Bd3 Be7 10.Ne2 Nb6 11.h3 0-0 12.g4 a5 13.a4 Nb4 14.Bb1 Bd7

French Defence - Tarrasch Variation

This position again illustrates the bishop manoeuvre Bc8-d7-e8-g6. Also, black can here sink a knight into c4.) ;

A2) 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ne2 cxd4 8.cxd4 Qb6 9.Nf3 f6 10.exf6 Nxf6 11.0-0 Bd6 12.Nc3 0-0

French Defence - Tarrasch Variation

Black's light squared bishop often comes to g6 or h5 via d7 and e8. If black can play e5, then he generally should, as it eliminates the weak backward e-pawn and gives his pieces freedom. However he must make use of this activity as the d pawn can become weak. ;

B) 3.e5 (Advance Variation) c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Be2 Nge7 7.Na3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Nf5 9.Nc2 Qa5+ 10.Bd2 Qb6 11.Bc3 Be7 12.0-0 a5 13.a4 0-0

French Defence - Advance Variation

Black has permanent pressure against d4 and has secured the b4 square which might be used for a piece later. The f6 break is crucial and sometimes black can develop a powerful kingside attack making use of his pressure down the f-file. ;

C) 3.exd5 (Exchange Variation) 3. ... exd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.c3 Qd7 7.0-0 Bd6 8.Nbd2 Nge7 9.Re1 0-0-0

French Defence - Exchange Variation

Black has chosen to riskily castle queenside in the hope that the resulting unbalanced position will give him winning chances. Pawn storms by both players are the order of the day.

3. ... Bb4 (Winawer Variation)

A) 3. ... Nf6 (Classical Variation) 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 a6 8.Qd2 b5 9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.Bxc5 Nxc5

French Defence - Classical Variation

Black hopes to dislodge the c3 knight in order to sink his own knight into e4, and then exchange off light squared bishops with a5 and Ba6.

4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 0-0 8.Bd3 f5 9.exf6 Rxf6 10.Bg5 Rf7 11.Qh5 g6 12.Qd1

French Defence - Winawer Variation

This is (was last time I checked) a theoretically hot position. Black should delay c4 until white has castled. Then he will manoeuvre his queen to g7 (incidentally adding cover to e5) and begin to advance his kingside pawns when the time is right.

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