Originally posted by Sam The Sham
It's a fine opening for black. Every world champion and all master and above players have made it part of their repertoire.
Did I spell repertoire right?
I agree it's a perfectly good opening, although it depends on your style of play. Personally, I find you often end up in positions which I wouldn't like to play either side of. Obviously, that doesn't mean they're bad (can't be bad for both sides), they just don't suit my style. Specifically, the centre often ends up totally locked and I never really know how to make progress or defend those type of positions. So I avoid it. But you may love it - give it a go.
I suspect one advantage of being a French defence guru is that, because the positions tend to have a character all their own, over time you will probably become more familiar with the style of play than your opponents (except the minority who also play the French regularly). I know you could say this about a lot of openings, but somehow, to me at least, it seems especially true of the French.
Incidentally, I don't think it's quite true that all world champs have played it (can't recall seeing it from Kasparov, for example, but you may know better) and it's certainly not true of all masters - I doubt you could say that about any reply to 1e4. But it does have a very respectable pedigree at the highest level.