Originally posted by Crushing Day
Anyone have these? Do you recommend them?
The books are in tree-style instead of complete games style. The main line book is physically shorter in height than the other two which is annoying when you're looking at the French Defense section of your bookshelf (everyone has a French Defense section on their bookshelf, don't they?) As the great player Croissandwich said, the beauty of a chess books lies in its appearance, not in the thought behind it. Or something like that. Okay, all joking aside, I would give these books a positive vote for whatever that's worth. I can at least give a chapter list of them for you which may give you some more input.
The Main Line French: 3 Nc3
Part One: Rubinstein and Burn Variations
1 Rubinstein Variation: 4...Bd7 and others
2 Rubinstein Variation: 4...Nd7
3 Burn Variation: 5...Nbd7
4 Burn Variation: 6...gxf6
5 Burn Variation: 6...Bxf6
Part Two: The Classical French
6 Steinitz Variation: Introduction
7 Steinitz Variation: Main Line (7 Be3)
8 Shirov/Anand Variation (5 Nce2)
9 Classical Variation
10 Chatard-Alekhine Attack
11 MacCutcheon Variation
Part Three: The Winawer
12 Main Line Winawer: 7 Qg4 Qc7
13 Main Line Winawer: 7 Qg4 0-0
14 Modern Main Lines: 7 a4, 7 Nf3 and 7 h4
15 Armenian Variation (5...Ba5)
16 Winawer: Early Deviations
Part Four: Odds and Ends
17 Rare Third Moves for Black
Index of Variations
The French: Tarrasch Variation
1 3...c5 4 exd5 Qxd5 Main Line: 10 Nxd4
2 4...Qxd5: Deviations from the Main Line
3 4...exd5: The Old Main Line, 5...Nc6 6 Bb5
4 4...exd5: Systems with ...Bd7
5 4...exd5: Deviations from the Main Lines
6 4 Ngf3 and other 4th Move Alternatives
7 3...Nf6 Main Line: 11: 0-0
8 7 Ngf3
9 Maintaining a Big Centre: 5 f4
10 Deviations from the Main Lines
Other 3rd Moves
13 3...Nc6 and Minor 3rd Moves
Index of Variations
French: Advance and Other Lines
The Advance Variation
1 Advance: 5...Qb6 6 a3
2 6 Be2
3 6 Bd3 and the Milner-Barry Gambit
5 5...Nge7 and 5...Nh6
6 Various Deviations
Exchange Variation, King's Indian Attack Set-Ups and Rare Lines
7 Exchange Variation
8 King's Indian Attack
9 WingGambit and Other Rare Lines
Index of Variations
From the introduction to The Main Line French: 3 Nc3
The French Defence provides a good evidence that opening theory in chess is far from being exhausted. Take a look at one of the world's best players, Russian GM Alexander Morozevich, and you will quickly notice that even in extensively analysed positions he has been finding plenty of room for new ideas. Therefore this book is far from 'the ultimate truth' of the opening. However, it is rather a detailed coverage of the various lines beginning after White's 3rd move, 3 Nc3.
I have opted for a predominantly theoretical coverage, but I hope that the frequent verbal explanations of plns and strategies help the reader develop a good understanding of the general ideas that are most important in these lines of the French.
This book is the first of two volumes that between them will cover the entire opening complex of the French Defence, 1 e4 e6. The second volume will cover the Tarrasch Variation, Advance Variation, and others.
[Doctor Rat's Note: The Tarrasch volume covered more material than originally anticipated, so Pedersen and Gambit Publications expanded the series from two volumes to three.] This book only concentrates on the positions arising after 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3. I have divided the book into four parts: 1) The Rubinstein and Burn Variations (3...dxe4 and 3...Nf6 4 Bg5 dxe4); 2) The Classical French (3...Nf6); 3) The Winawer (3...Bb4); 4) Rare 3rd moves. I could easily have written a whole book on each of the first three parts. Hence, in many lines, I have ruthlessly cut down on non-relevant lines and endeavoured to give the most important lines for both sides.
The French Defence is full of various transpositions. I have used the system developed by Graham Burgess to navigate around these, i.e. moves which transpose elsewhere are given followed by a dash and the exact move-order where the reader should locate the material in italics (for a more detailed description, see page 4). In most cases, an assessment is also given, so the reader can quickly see whether the transposition is worth following.
I think that the French Defence offers something to all kinds of players. There are sharp lines and there are more strategic/positional lines, but remember: the only way to learn the finesses of an opening is to try it out yourself, so good luck with the French Defence!
Maybe some French Defence Lover's clan members will chime in with their thoughts on this series?