Fast and Furious: Sharp and fun to play

by Robert Ris
2/7/2019 – Today's topic: The Steinitz Variation of the French Defence. Every two weeks on Thursday's at 18:00 UTC (19:00 CET, 1 pm EST), IM Robert Ris shows sharp and double edged opening lines. If you fancy sacrificing or playing gambits, this show is a must see. Not only will you profit from specific opening ideas but you'll learn a lot of interesting general opening concepts too. The live show is free to watch, and available on-demand for ChessBase Premium account holders (but FREE for a limited time!). To chat, please visit or login via Playchess for Windows.

Extreme Calculation Training Extreme Calculation Training

Special attention will be paid to Intermediate Moves, Quiet Moves, Sacrifices on Empty Squares, Mating Patterns, Ignoring Opponents Threat, Calculation in Defence and Method of Comparison. Plus 50 interactive examples to test your knowledge.


French: Steinitz Variation

The live show is free to watch and available on-demand for ChessBase Premium accounts.

The Steinitz Variation in the French is potentially very sharp and fun to play, especially when the kings are castled on opposite wings. Which move enables Black to start a devastating attack on the white king? 


Black to move

This week's show

To chat, please visit or login via Playchess for Windows

Robert is live at 19:00 CET (18:00 UT, 1 pm EDT)

Classical Steinitz French With 5.Nf3

The Classical Variation of the French Defence (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6) has many different playable options for Black after either 4.Bg5 of 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4. Yet by playing 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Nf3 White can sidestep these and get the game back onto his own turf. In the main line, White can choose between two different approaches, purely positional play or a violent plan involving castling long. The first of these plans has been used extensively by Australian GM Ian Rogers whilst Alexandra Kosteniuk has played the second with great effect. Both these plans are explained making this product suitable for players of every style. A number of transpositions are also mentioned by which the lines covered can be reached via a 1.e4 e6 2.Nf3 move order or even an Alekhine's Defence!


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Born in 1988, Robert Ris is an International Master who has represented The Netherlands in various international youth events. Nowadays his main activities in the Amsterdam area consist of teaching in schools, chess clubs and giving coaching sessions to private clients. On top of that, he is also an active online trainer with a number of students from a host of different countries. Between 2009 and 2013 he contributed to the online magazines ChessVibes Openings and ChessVibes Training and now has a monthly endgame column in the Masters Bulletin at On the PlayChess server The Fast and the Furious is a popular show where he explains sharp opening lines for a wider audience. He has also made a number of contributions to ChessBase Magazine, and has had several appearances as a live commentator for prestigious events, including the Dutch National Championships 2011-2013 and the Tata Steel Chess Tournament in 2013 and 2014.And he is a popular ChessBase author who produced a number of DVDs on how to play the opening.
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