Another French cruncher

by ChessBase
2/22/2008 – You can not take the solid 3...dxe4 fortress in the French by storm. But former world champion Kasimdzhanov in his Beating the French vol.3 shows you where to set your pieces and how to increase the pressure step by step. "Watching this DVD has strengthened my understanding of the French probably 100-200 rating points!" says Bob Long. Buy it now or read his review with sampler.

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French cruncher vol. 3

Review by Bob Long (

I thought I would skip vol. 2 this time and concentrate on that damnably solid 3… dxe4 line—I’m glad I did. Over the years I've won my share of these games, but very few, if any, were easy. Sometimes we went Rubinstein (1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 dxe4).

Former FIDE world champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov is perfect for his understanding of the French Defense—as White! (Although he shows some tricky maneuvers for Black too). I am still thinking how much the advantage and the initiative is with White in what Kasim covers. He starts out with an easy win over Keith Arkell (GM, Great Britain).

The book on the French has not yet been written which explains the French Defense the way Kasimdzhanov does. Yes, he gives variations that are important and sometimes even minor, but better, he explains, in words WHY something can or cannot be done and then flips out some moves. He is EASY to understand even though he talks quickly and covers a ton of ground.

In his next win, he plays Korchnoi and kills him. At the end, when Korchnoi is leaving he pops in his oft-repeated little joke, “But can he still play chess?” Yes Viktor, can you?

Next is Motylev-Roiz in a quick understanding of another line—the demonstrations of superiority are superb.

All top notch games, the next is a lengthy but very accurate win by Adams over Anand! Technical work at its best. Watching this DVD has strengthened my understanding of the French probably 100-200 rating points! No joke.

Kasparov struggles a little but his opening novelty helps him beat Ponomariov.

Then there is some “history,” by accident (with Fischer’s passing) when Kasimdzhanov wheels out a favorite, but not well-known game, Fischer-Pachman! Crunchy granola—a man with a plan. 1-0.

Other games include: Karjakin-Rychagov (a swift 22-move beating), Svidler-Vaisser, Topalov-Anand (!), Shirov-M Gurevich, and Svidler, again, facing M. Gurevich.

Click here for replay of a sample video from Topalov-Anand (2001).

I’m not advocating tossing out your books on the French. In fact, I am encouraging you to get this set of DVDs, watch them and THEN go study your books. When you start watching these DVDs, especially this one, it is difficult to do anything else. The explanations and the game choices offer no puzzlement—they are EXACTLY what you need!

The detail is amazing, the convincing is right on, and I am sure that A. Martin and R. Kasimdzhanov are ChessBase’s secret DVD selling weapons.

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