Fast and Furious: French Advance Variation

by Robert Ris
3/12/2020 – Inspired by Alexei Shirov IM Robert Ris examines the latest in the French Advance variation. Live from 18:00 UTC (19:00 CET / 13:00 EST) and free to watch on-demand for a limited time (or forever for ChessBase Premium account holders. To chat when Robert is live, please visit or login via Playchess for Windows. In the diagram, it's Black to play!

Mastering Pattern Recognition in the Opening Mastering Pattern Recognition in the Opening

Pattern recognition is an important tool in modern chess, as it helps you to understand better the characteristics of a position. Particularly when you have been confronted with a surprise opening system played by your opponent, it helps when you can just


The French Advance

While looking for a sharp system against the French, I recently decided to take a gander at the latest developments in Advance Variation. When studying a new opening it does make a lot of sense to follow in the footsteps of the leading experts. Inspired by a convincing win by Shirov against Lomasov in the Nutcracker tournament last week, I was eager trying this system for the first time in my life and was very fortunate to reach a familiar position in a game in the Dutch League only two days later. Despite some mutual errors I managed to win in quite a spectacular way.

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Exercise: Try to calculate the consequences of both 22...♛xe2 and 22...♝c6.


Move the pieces on the live diagram — solution below!

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Robert is an International Master who mostly spends his time training and coaching talented youngsters. On the PlayChess server The Fast and the Furious is a popular show where he explains sharp opening lines for a wider audience. He is also a well-known ChessBase author who produced numerous DVDs and regularly contributes to ChessBase Magazine as well. Since 2015 he is the organizer of the Dutch Rapid Championships in his home town Amstelveen. He has started a YouTube channel with chess analysis as well.


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