French Defense: What is the French Defense Opening?

French Defense is a chess opening featuring the next move.

1. e4 e6

It is followed by 2.d4d5 and black will attack the white ping center for c5 later and take up space. queenside. The French have a reputation for solidity and elasticity, but some lines, such as stomach and work deformation, can cause serious complications.

Following the gap moves 1.e4 e6, the inject of the French Defence continues 2.d4 d5). White sets up a pawn center, that Black at once challenges by attacking the pawn on e4. a similar position will be reached by transposition from a Queen’ Pawn Game once 1.d4 e6 2.e4 d5 or the declining of a Blackmar–Diemer Gambit after 1.d4 d5 2.e4 e6.

White’s choices include defensive the e4-pawn with 3.Nc3 or 3.Nd2, exchanging it with 3.exd5, or advancing it with 3.e5, every of which results in differing kinds of positions. defending the pawn with 3.Bd3 permits 3…dxe4 4.Bxe4 Nf6 once Black gains either a tempo or the advantage of the 2 bishops.

Simply, the following are steps to reach the French Defense:

  • First, White needs to pass the King’s pawn squares (1.e4).
  • Then, Black replies with the aid of using shifting his King pawn one rectangular only (1…e6).
  • White takes over the middle with the Queen’s pawn (2.d4).
  • Black replies with the aid of using looking to construct a sturdy and supported middle (2…d5).

Why is the French defense played?

Learning the French Defense is an excellent time funding due to the fact it could be used on the beginner stage in all of the manners to the best tiers of chess.

Most White gamers aren’t well-organized in opposition to the French Defense and discover it tough to get a bonus out of the hole at all.

The concept at the back of the French Defense is that Black performs e6 to put together to increase d7-d5, as a way to straight away undertaking White’s pawn on e4. The French Defense is a stable however foxy opening, and it’s been performed via way of means of a number of the best chess gamers withinside the world.

Advantages Of French Defense

1. One of the most successful openings for Black

According to current stats, Black stands at a 60% possibility of triumphing or drawing the game.

It might be extra drawish than the Sicilian Defense or the Caro-Kann Defense.

That is going to reveal that in case you are playing in opposition to a more potent opponent, the French Defense is probably a higher preference than others.

2. Just just like the Spartan Phalanx

When a number of the world’s exceptional shielding gamers of all time like Korchnoi, Nimzowitsch, and Petrosian select an opening for life, you ought to understand that the outlet is certainly strong and resilient without a doubt.

A maximum of 1.e4 players is searching out open, tactical positions on the pinnacle of that. When you play the French Defense, you maximum possibly spill water on his plans.

3. Perfect for Positional Players

The French Defense frequently ends in closed positions wherein White profits area at the kingside whilst Black at the queenside. White has a sturdy pawn chain strolling from c3 to e5. Black’s pawn chain runs from e6 to d5. Black commonly is going for a c5 or f6 break, however that commonly can backfire until the timing is proper or the portions are on their meant squares.

That means, as a French Defense player, you need to do quite a few piece maneuvering and strategic calculation to make it work.

4. No spending hours reading it

Disagreeing with Svidler here, we agree that the French Defense, not like the Sicilian or the King’s Indian, no longer has that a great deal concept to study. You want to undergo a number of the maximum, not unusual place setups, apprehend the basic ideas, and be geared up for a gradual and “quiet” sports maximum of the time. It ought to be mentioned even though that it isn’t always uninteresting at all. Especially in versions just like the Winawer. Sparks will fly now and then. Every flow runs the danger of being a blunder. Even an easy pawn push can lose you the sport.

5. Helps you examine chess as a beginner

This is one of the few openings that now no longer handiest win you video games as Black however additionally allows you to examine chess as a beginner. Whether it’s far the way to coordinate your portions in cramped positions and initiate weaknesses and exploiting them for your opponent’s position.

This establishing might be pleasant to examine in case you are a chess beginner. Giri says that this is his “childhood” establishing. But we believe, toddler or now no longer, every person who desires to grasp chess has to examine the French Defense.

6. Easily playable up to a complicated stage

We can’t make certain of the Super-GM stage however the French Defense is certainly playable as much as the GM stage.

For example, Akobian, closing rated at 2614, closely performed the outlet as Black.

Even the well-known Simon Williams aka Ginger GM, who isn’t always definitely a passive type of participant, prefers defenses for Black, the French, and the Dutch.

Also, IM Anna Rudolf aka Miss Strategy is an everyday participant of the French Defense.

Variations of the French defense 

French Defense


The Exchange Variation seems at the board after the subsequent moves.

  1. e4 e6
  2. d4 d5
  3. exd5 exd5

The Exchange Variation is a secure line to play towards the French. White is going for asymmetrical shape proper from the third movie, this means that this modification ends in impartial positions.

For this reason, it’s miles best to keep away from heavy principle or tactical intricacies, and lots of strategic gamers pick it as their important weapon to stand the French Defense.


The Advance Variation of the French Defense seems at the board after the subsequent moves:

  1. e4 e6
  2. d4 d5
  3. e5

The thoughts at the back of the Advance Variation are very logical and regular of the French Defense.

White desires to advantage area withinside the middle and fasten Black’s pawn shape in mild squares so that it will lock in Black’s Bishop on c8.

A long-time period plan is to push f4-f5 so as to interrupt aside Black’s strong significant pawn shape and in the end begin a Kingside attack.


The Tarrasch Variation seems at the board after the subsequent moves:

  1. e4 e6
  2. d4 d5
  3. Nd2

The Tarrasch Variation is solid but ambitious. It stocks many plans with the primary line (3.Nc3), despite the fact that one of the primary variations is that 3…Bb4 isn’t excellent for Black withinside the Tarrasch, due to the fact White can truly assault the Bishop with 4.c3.


The Mainline of the French Defense seems at the board after the subsequent moves:

  1. e4 e6
  2. d4 d5
  3. Nc3

It is a bold and competitive setup, complete of tactical intricacies whether or not Black performs the Winawer Variation (3…Bb4) or the Classical Variation (3…Nf6).

There is lots of concept withinside the essential line of the French Defense, however, it’s miles extensively diagnosed because of the quality manner to neutralize the French with the White pieces.

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