Originally posted by MontyMoose
Thanks for the post. I've been looking for something else in my toolbox against 1)e4. I play Scanandinavian, so meeting the e5 advance with c5 is a familiar pawn structure that I could feel at home with in the French.
Some rookie questions: Does the f6 push weaken the castled position? How big a problem is the c8 bishop? When you say French, I think "cramped", is this true? Any of your games you could put up?
Answers to the questions
Does the f6 push weaken the castled position? After exf6, black usually captures with Nxf6. There are sufficient defenders on the kingside. I don't think attacks occur that often. After exf6, there is a black hole on e5 though. Not to worry, black usually covers it very well with the knight on c6 and possibly Bd6. Sometimes, even Bxf6 is played. Black can even play e5 and get rid of the backward pawn busting the position wide open.
How big a problem is the c8 bishop? I'm not going to lie. It is inactive a lot of the time. Sometimes, black plays Bd7, a6, and Bb5 to trade it off. Sometimes black plays b6 and Ba6. It tends to get active later in the game (and after the e5 push I mentioned above). Be warned one of the worst endings you can have as black is Bd7 with pawns all on white squares vs a knight. Luckily that doesn't happen very often, and has yet to happen to me here.
When you say French, I think "cramped", is this true? White does get that pawn on e5, but black gets a lot of space on the queenside after c5. White has a little more space, but it's nothing to worry about.
Any of your games you could put up?
I'll look into that. Maybe I will later. I hate to post wins over others in these forums though. It may hurt someone's feelings. I may find a few and send them to you with no name playing white.