"Good news for French players!"

7/5/2021 – For a long time, the Classical Variation in the French Defence (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Qb6) has been considered as slightly dubious for Black. But recently Black found new possibilities and the line became attractive again. In the new ChessBase Magazine #202, opening expert Rustam Kasimdzhanov shows the latest developments of this variation. The French expert uses the game Alekseenko-Grischuk from the Candidates Tournament 2020/2021 as a starting point. Take a look at an excerpt of his video analysis!

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"Good news for French players!"

Rustam Kasimdzhanov repairs the Classical Variation

If you choose the Classical Variation with 3 ... Nf6, the chances are very good that you will get the variation with 8…Qb6 on the board. Because after 4.e5 there is hardly any promising alternative for White. After 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Qb6

After the (to a great extent) forced moves 9.Qd2 Qxb2 10.Rb1 Qa3 11.Bb5 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 a6 13.Bxd7+ Bxd7 14.Rb3 Qe7 15.Rxb7 we reach the main position of the variation:

Till now Black has often tried 15…Rc8 16.0-0 Qd8. But Kasimdzhanov explains, e.g. by means of the line starting with 17.f5 exf5 18.Qe3!?, that White’s position appears to have more potential. In the meantime Black has been preferring two other moves: 15…Qd8 and 15…Qh4+. Kasimdzhanov provides deep analyses which somteimes go all the way into the endgame. His conclusion: Black is okay in both lines. “Good news for French players!”

Rustam Kasimdzhanov's video (excerpt)


Running time of the complete video in CBM #202: 24:18 min

ChessBase Magazine #202 (July/August 2021) also offers video analyses by Daniel King (Albin Counter Gambit: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ne7) and Mihail Marin (Gruenfeld: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Qb3 dxc4 6.Qxc4 0-0 7.e4 Bg4 8.Be3 Nfd7). The total playing time of all the three opening videos is just under an hour.

ChessBase Magazine #202

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