Review: The Classical French

by ChessBase
2/5/2016 – Former FIDE-World Champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov enjoys the reputation of being one of the world's best theoreticians. A lot of top players and federations are very keen to hire him as opening trainer. For ChessBase users things are more easy: they only need to get hold of one of his DVDs. For instance about the Main Line of the Classical French. Review...

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The Classical French - Main Line: A Review

By Robert Klenk

Rustam “Kasim” Kasimdzhanov, former FIDE-World Champion, is known as one of the strongest opening experts in the world. After his DVD on The new McCutcheon this is his second ChessBase DVD dedicated to the French Defense.


Kasimdzhanov gives an overview about currently popular variations arising after 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3, and now 7. ... a6 or 7....cxd4. The lines beginning with 7. ...Be7 and 7. ... Qb6 are not treated. Kasimdzhanov does not propose a repertoire, but in 26 video-clips he discusses the chances and possibilities the various lines offer both sides. At the end of each clip he offers an evaluation how the line might develop and where best to look for future novelties. Fifteen exercises finally allow the reader to test and to solidify what he or she has learned.

The four main lines are treated in four separate databases which (after adapting them to your personal preferences) might form the basis of a repertoire database. Added to this are 112 illustrative games.

Every sub-variation is given the name of a current top-player: Illustrious names such as Karjakin, Nakamura, Caruana, and many more, show that the world's best players still play and research this ageless opening.


Depending on the character of the position „Kasim“ has a very different approach: in some lines he is very concrete and discusses the critical variations in considerable detail. In more strategic positions he first shows the basic ideas and plans and then goes into more detail.

The DVD is indeed geared to „Tournament player/Professional". If a world class player shows analyses that go 20 moves deep or even deeper, the average punter of course has a lot of questions. Without analysing on your own with the help of an engine or with a strong trainer you just scratch the surface. Personally, it worked quite well for me to have a look at everything first and then pick a variation which I would analyse in more detail - followed by some thematic blitz games with Fritz or an interested club member, and then off we go to test the line in tournaments - the others, after all, put their pants the same way on as you ...

To finish, a word about Kasimdzhanov's presentation: one can only compliment the author whose style gets more fluid and more natural with every DVD. You positively notice his routine and experience.


An ambitious, in-depth work of a world class player, which provides the target group with a lot of general ideas and even more concrete topical lines. And for French aficionados - no matter how strong they are - it is an absolute must-have anyway ...

Sample Video

Rustam Kasimdzhanov: The Classical French - Main Line

• Video running time: 5 hours 05 min (English)
• With interactive training including video feedback
• Exclusive database with over 50 essential games plus analysis of variations by Kasimdzhanov
• Including CB 12 Reader

€25.13 without VAT (for Customers outside the EU)
$27.14 (without VAT)

This DVD can be purchased as a hard copy or it can be downloaded directly from the Internet, that way sparing you the few days needed for it to arrive by post.

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