A rare Continuation in French Opening

  • Heinrich_24
  • | 11 feb. 2013
  • | 10098 x bekeken
  • | 21 reacties

Some time ago I showed a game where I got the initiative in the early middle game:


Very nice! you may think, but why mentioning it again? Well, I started the game commentary after the opening. This time I want to spot the opening phase. It was a very rare one in French opening, which was a  recommandation in a John Watson book.(Dangerous weapons: The French)

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nc6!?

Can you believe it? When I played French opening permanently in earlier times it was out of question that here 3. ... Bb4 or 3. ... Nf6 are the only normal and sound moves here. May be that this a correct evaluation, I don`t know. But 3. ... Nc6!? is definitely not so bad and has the advantage to be a big surprise for most of your opponents. Especially in OTB-games.

So, what are the main continuations in move 4? They are (according to the Watson book):

A) 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Bg5
B) 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. e5
C) 4. e5

In the game mentioned above my opponent chose Variation B. And I played as recommanded 5. ...Ne4

Here you can see one positive aspect of the knight on c6. It allows that Ne4- move (normally always Nd7), because 6.  Nxe4 dxe4 would win the d4 pawn.
Here again it splits into
B1: 6. Ne2
B2: 6. Bd3
My opponent chose variation B2 and the following moves were more or less consequent
6. ... Bb4  7. Bd2 Nxd2! 8. Qxd2 f6

Black attacks directly the center. This method is very usual in French opening. Black wants the half-open f-file for his rooks and if possible, destroy the white center pawns.
9. a3 ( 9. exf6 Qxf6 10.0-0 Bd7 11. Rae1 0-0-0 =) Bxc3 10. Qxc3 fxe5 11. dxe5 0-0

So, you like it and want to give it a try? So start to play it in your online or live games. And look deeper into the variations I mentioned. Finally, you may try it also in your OTB-games.
Here all from above in one diagram, :


  • 9 maanden geleden


    Many thanks for the article. Against French defense in the line 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7, I am fond of 5.Qg4, and it often becomes interesting with Nc3-b5-d6+ in combination with the possibility of Qg4xg7, Black must be very careful there

  • 4 jaar geleden


    موقع رائع ومفيد جدا أتمنى أن يفتح لي المجال لتصفح بقية النوافذ من أجل الفائدة المرجوة مع الشكر

  • 4 jaar geleden


    nice ataking technique

  • 4 jaar geleden


    Iam very glad now to find a web side which can help me and us as our requirment . Many many thanks

  • 4 jaar geleden


    As a "weapon of surprise" it will be good enough :-)

  • 4 jaar geleden


    After reading this, I think I might try this variation rather than the Winawer!

  • 4 jaar geleden

    NM GargleBlaster

  • 4 jaar geleden


    line B1 looks critical .. White can try to make the e4 Knight very uncomfortable.

  • 4 jaar geleden


    thank you for describing the lines

  • 4 jaar geleden


    Thanks, hoynck, for sharing yourinteresting experiences here with us.

  • 4 jaar geleden


    "Has the dxe4!? been refuted or something? I know its not that good but its still very playable as far as I know..."

    Of course, it`s playable. By the way, for Watson also 3. ... h6!? is playable

  • 4 jaar geleden

    NM calemcc

    " 3. ... Bb4 or 3. ... Nf6 are the only normal and sound moves here."

    Has the dxe4!? been refuted or something? 

    I know its not that good but its still very playable as far as I know...

  • 4 jaar geleden

    IM pfren

    4.e5 is comfortably better for white.

    Also good for him is 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.e5 Ne4 6.Bd2! which stops all Black tricks, and secures a safe space advantage at the cost of the bishop pair (hardly worth much with a closed center).

  • 4 jaar geleden


    I like how castling gives the rook an open file.

  • 4 jaar geleden


    This low ranked player is impressed by how many times the players expose their queens yet never loose them?

  • 4 jaar geleden


    Thanks, xeoner, for mentioning that D-variation. So, I`m not sure whether that is a main Variation (30 games here in database) or not, but okay, one should know it if playing that opening.

  • 4 jaar geleden


    Very nice! I love playing the French and this was very helpful.

  • 4 jaar geleden



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