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  1. 02 Apr '07 03:55
    For a few weeks, I have been eagerly studying the French with databases, engines and even my own brain (imagine that!). I was not trying to memorize lines, I wanted to find the strongest variation against the French. If the resulting position does not scare me away, I can have full confidence in the opening.

    From my research, I think that this is the most difficult position:

    1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3 a6/cxd/Be7 (not sure which is best)

    However, I'm sure there are many other difficult positions I missed.

    What do you think is the most difficult variation in the French defense? Please list at least the first 5 moves. I'm desperately trying to find some holes in this defense. I don't want to have to switch openings again. (I can't continue playing the Accelerated Dragon because the main line is just too strong for White, regardless of what I do. I've studies the positions for over 30 hours (and several weeks if you count engines) and with best play, White is significantly better. This is why I'm looking for a new opening.)
  2. 02 Apr '07 05:33
    Could you reveal to me the line you're talking about that is +- for White in the Accelerated Dragon? You can message me if you want to keep it a secret.

    As for the french, I haven't encountered a line that has given me any problems to discourage me from using it as my main defence. Also, you could play the winawer variation if you don't like that position as black.
  3. 02 Apr '07 07:03
    I will make a separate thread about the Acc. Dragon. In any case, the variations I'm talking about are not refutations, it's just that White is better and with the initiative.

    As for Bb4, I don't think it's as solid as Nf6. (although it is a bit more active)
  4. 02 Apr '07 07:30 / 3 edits
    I can't disagree with that. The winawer is a crazy mofo.

    I don't usually play the classical variation, but I got a book somewhere on it. I'll see if I can shed any light on that line.

    I have Watson's Play the French 3rd Edition and he recommends cxd4 saying "...a solid and extremely well-established variation that will always be playable"

    Come to the dark-side exigentsky. The french defense offers true power.
  5. 02 Apr '07 15:52
    A line I have struggled with recently is
    1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5. Bd2 Ne7 6. Nb5 when ... Bxd2+, Qxd2, 0-0, Nd6 seems excellent for white.
  6. Standard member Dragon Fire
    Lord of all beasts
    02 Apr '07 16:50
    Considering who I beat here this must be the best refutation Game 2211536 although I prefer the French Advance as in Game 2506568 although recent results are not as promising as I hoped for.
  7. 02 Apr '07 17:02
    The most solid variation for Black in the French Defense is probably the so-called "Fort Knox" Variation. It goes, 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 de 4 Ne4 Bd7 5 Nf3 Bc6. In one of his FIDE World Championship matches, Anatoly Karpov won the Black side of this variation against Gata Kamsky.

    An amusing idea designed to irritate White players who like to play against the Classical Variation is: 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 h6!?
  8. Standard member eldragonfly
    leperchaun messiah
    02 Apr '07 18:15
  9. 02 Apr '07 18:39
    Thanks, this is it. I would appreciate more advice here.
  10. 02 Apr '07 18:48
    How should white avoid such lines as in this Thread 66209 ?
  11. 03 Apr '07 10:41
    Personally I had a lot of trouble while playing black when the other player used the Advance variation against me. (2.e6)
    I wonder how you normally would turn this around then?
    Watch out with comments on the game as it's still iin progress.Game 3390907
  12. 03 Apr '07 10:51 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Meneer Dries
    Personally I had a lot of trouble while playing black when the other player used the Advance variation against me. (2.e6)
    I wonder how you normally would turn this around then?
    Watch out with comments on the game as it's still iin progress.Game 3390907
    That is not the advance. The advance is
    1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5


    In your game after
    1. e4 e6 2. e5?
    just play d5 either when white has a few options
    3. d4 and you are in the advance
    3. exd6 Bxd6 and you have a lead in development.
    3. Nf3? c5 to be followed up by Nc3 and perhaps Qc7 when black has an advantage.
  13. Standard member Dragon Fire
    Lord of all beasts
    03 Apr '07 11:12
    Originally posted by Meneer Dries
    Personally I had a lot of trouble while playing black when the other player used the Advance variation against me. (2.e6)
    I wonder how you normally would turn this around then?
    Watch out with comments on the game as it's still iin progress.Game 3390907
    Game 2506568 is the Advance not what was played here.
  14. 03 Apr '07 13:45 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Dragon Fire
    Game 2506568 is the Advance not what was played here.
    The Advanced has scored some nice wins for me. I picked it up based on the "Opening Repertoire for the Attacking" article on chessville. Unfortunately I've been trying to use the Milner-Barry gambit in blitz games with basically 0 success - things get tough if black declines and you aren't prepared for that! So I'm thinking about forgetting the Milner-Barry and using the Be2 variation instead.

    Hm, actually maybe not - just looked it up and it seems that if black declines white can play dxc5! and get a nice edge. IDK, I'll have to play around with it I guess.
  15. 03 Apr '07 18:08
    I looked a lot at cxd4 and haven't found any serious problems. White gets a small edge, but only enough for a draw with best play on both sides.

    7. ...cxd4 8. Nxd4 Bc5 9. Qd2 O-O 10. O-O-O a6 11. Qf2 Bxd4 12. Bxd4 Nxd4 13. Qxd4 b5 14. Bd3/Be2 Bb7

    Black is doing OK.

    Any tough lines you think I missed? If this is the worst White can do, then, I think the position is still sound for Black.