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loreta 11 ( +1 | -1 )
French alternatives Has somebody some suggestion for alternatives for White to main French lines (1. e4 e6)? How about 2. b3 or 2. Qe2 (or even Alapin's 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Be3?!) ?...
spijker 20 ( +1 | -1 )
1. e4,e6 2. d3, followed by Nd2 and N1f3 becomes a Kings's Indian attack. This opening can be used against various black systems. I think it's a very solid system, and it can be very dangerous for black.
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spijker 39 ( +1 | -1 )
Of course there are many other alternatives, but imo not so good as the KIA.
1. e4,e6
2. Nf3, d5
3. e5, c5
and now 4. b4 leads to a kind of wing gambit from the sicilian defence.
After cxb4 you play a3 and white has a nice game. Problem for black (as usual in the french defence) is that the bishop from c8 cannot come in play very soon, so maybe this is better than the gambit against the sicilian?
spijker 14 ( +1 | -1 )
Very usefull in blitz games is the Diemer-Duhn gambit:
1. e4,e6
2. d4,d5
3. c4 dxe4
4. Nc3
I don't think it's playable in serious games here on Gameknot :-)
spijker 12 ( +1 | -1 )
Sorry,Duhn must be Duhm. I believe a Swiss player (am not sure) who lived in the early 20th century.
spijker 8 ( +1 | -1 )
I was surprised that I found a lot about the DDG gambit on internet. I googled A Duhm...
ccmcacollister 19 ( +1 | -1 )
Loreta .... I've heard your 3.Be3 line called the Esh or Esch (spelling? First name Steve I think?) Gambit Esh of course, who was playing it in APCT over a decade ago.
What became of it, I know not.
_nw_ 10 ( +1 | -1 )
loreta Just wanted to know why you were looking for alternatives as white? What do you normally play?
loreta 18 ( +1 | -1 )
To _nw_ Why?! Just to go for victory! Much of victory consists of psychology. If you've a position in which your opponent feels uncertain, you already have an edge.
What about 2. f4 (following d3)?
ionadowman 7 ( +1 | -1 )
Didn't Tigran Petrosian ... ... used to play now and then 1.e4 e3 2.d3, leading to a King's Indian Attack?
ccmcacollister 118 ( +1 | -1 )
Fischer and Tal ... Fischer played the KI Attack early in his career. So if he played it vs a Sicilian, I'm sure he must have played it vs the French as well. [Since it is supposed to be a bit more advantageous vs a French start ... and that Opening was something of a sore spot for him anyway ... the French I mean].
I believe Tal also played 2.d3 and has a game with it in GM Larry Evan's fantastic book, Modern Chess Brilliancies [which had games from it online a couple years ago, but cannot recall the site:( ...]
That is perhaps my favorite Chess book. Certainly one of the top 3 anyway.
loreta ... I had a game with xerox vs 2.Qe2, which I beleive is called and attributed to Tchigorin. It was something of a debacle for me, choosing a completely wrong plan in what should have been a more or less closed Sicilian type position. Fortunately, I found a plan more suited to the postion before the end, which i call "losing my lost-game". Since you want WT, with an goal of Victory, my plan for BL would seem to fit in nicely with your own intentions ... }8-))
loreta 10 ( +1 | -1 )
to_nw_, more > What do you normally play?
Currently, experiencing with 2. b3 (1. e4 e6) ... going to play the gambit line 2. ... d5 3. Bb2 de ....
ionadowman 129 ( +1 | -1 )
Tchigorin's 2.Qe2 line... Here's an example, played in the acrimonious match against Tarrasch
White: Tchigorin, Black: Tarrasch
1.e4 e6 2.Qe2 c5 3.g3 Nc6 4.Nf3 Be7 5.Bg2 d5
6.d3 Nf6 7.0-0 0-0 8.Nc3!? (Nd2!?) 8...a6 9.Bg5 h6?! 10.Bf4 b5
11.Rfe1 d4 12.Nd1 Nd7 13.Kh1 Re8 14.Rg1 e5 15.Bd2 Nf8
16.Ne1 Ne6? (16...Na7) 17.f4 Bb7 18.f5 Ng5 19.Nf2 Rc8 20.Qh5? A pawn storm beginning with 20.h4 seems to be indicated.
20...Nh7! 21.Nf3 c4 22.Bf1 cxd3 23.cxd3 Ng5 24.Bxg5 Bxg5 25.Ng4 Kf8!
26.Be2 Bf6 27.h4 Qd6 28.Nfh2 Ne7! (with the idea 29.Nxf6 Qxf6 30.Ng4 Qxf5, exploiting the pin along the long white diagonal)
29.Raf1 Ng8 30.Bd1 Rc7
31.Bb3 Rfc8 32.Nf2 Bd8 33.Qe2 a5! 34.Nf3 a4 35.Bd1 Bc6!
36.g4 f6 37.Nh3 Be8 38.Qh2 Bf7 39.a3 Bb3 The culmination of the manoeuvre begun at move 35.
40.Nf2 Bxd1
41.Nxd1 Rc2 42.Qg3 b4 43.axb4 Qa6! 44.Nf2 Rxb2 45.g5 hxg5
46.hxg5 R8c2 47.Ng4 Qd6 48.gxf6?! ...
It is a commentary, I feel, about the power of the direct attack on the king, that despite fine play by Black, leading to rooks doubled on the seventh rank, and White's Q-side in imminent danger of collapse, White's attack (now that it is going forward at last!) is keeping him well in the game. With 48.Qh3 he might well have enough to draw, at least... Still, even now he's not out of it yet!
48...Bxf6 49.Qh3 (49.Nxf6 Qxf6 50.Qxe5? Qh6+ -+)
49...a3 50.Nxf6 Qxf6
51.Rg6 a2! 52.Rxf6+? The mistake that puts the game out of White's reach. Tarrasch himself thought that 52.Ng5 (threatening Nh7+) Ke7 53.Rxf6 gxf6 54.Qh7+ ought to be good enough for the draw.
52...gxf6 53.Rd1 Rb1 54.Qf1 Rcb2 55.Nd2 Rxd1
56.Qxd1 Rxd2 57.Qc1 Rxd3 58.Kg2 Rc3 59.Qa1 Rc2+ 60.Kf3 d6
61.Qd1 Rb2 62.Qa4 d2 threatens 63...Rb1, so 0-1.
A slowly evolving game that gets pretty fast nmoving towards its close!

schnarre 9 ( +1 | -1 )
2. f4 is a perfectly good line, though it seems to have gone out of view lately.
loreta 13 ( +1 | -1 )
Not so many alternatives ... only few possibilities? 2. e3; 2. Qe2 and maybe 2 f4 - but where are some words about it? And one more - what about 2. Nc3 (1. e4 e6)?...
Question: Why to play 2. Qe2 and not just 2. g3?
ccmcacollister 22 ( +1 | -1 )
Why 2.Qe2 ...? How about this: If a player with a 2450 lifetime postal performance rating in the French can misplay the plan and lose in an ugly way ... there ought to be a Few players that have a little trouble handling it ?! :))
ganstaman 55 ( +1 | -1 )
1. e4 e6 2. Qe2 and now white has temporarily made 2...d5 less attractive, as in 2...d5 3. exd5 and black must gambit the pawn or play 3...Qxd5, with an exposed queen ready to be attacked for tempo gains.

I don't know if it's been mentioned yet, but you have to notice how awkward the queen looks on e2 at first. And so black can try to keep it awkward by playing an early ...e5. Black loses a tempo with the pawn, but surely the queen's placement isn't optimal and almost forces a kingside fianchetto (not a bad thing, but takes time). Or black can go for a more French-feel and keep the pawn on e6.
loreta 30 ( +1 | -1 )
It seems, you're right, ccmcacollister . But Qe2 does not look oddly, - there're many variations where Qe2 is very strog (including some Ruys).
My position is - Black is better always. So if you get a solid even position with WT - it's ok, as you'd try to win with Black. :-))
loreta 19 ( +1 | -1 )
2. d3 After all - it seems, I'll give up 2. b3 and I'm going to 2. d3
What would be expected from Black side as response to it?
Massive pawn attack at queenside or castling to queenside?
Something else?
jstack 18 ( +1 | -1 )
Chigorin I have not actually played Qe2 in any serious games, but a little while back I studied quite a few games by Chigorin and he had some pretty convincing wins against the french.
loreta 3 ( +1 | -1 )
Eventually I saw the 2. c4 (1. e4 e6)... What opinion about it?
raskerino 23 ( +1 | -1 )
I'm a fan of the advance (gambiting the d pawn whenever possible) but if that's not your cup of tea I do like the KIA. It's simple to learn and white will usually prefer for an eventual e5 push with a space advantage on the kingside. I think it's good stuff.
dropcut 67 ( +1 | -1 )
. I understand what you mean with bringing your opponent away from a comfortable game so that you're able to have the advantage by knowing more than him, but surely there are lines in the french that are sharp and not as explored as main respones? The Alekhine-Chatard attack for example.

Personally I have problems with the Ruy Lopez, but that doesn't mean I plan to abandon 1... e5 because of it. I'd rather try out stuff like the Cordel Gambit or something similar to throw my opponent of. There are lines out there, but maybe you need to put some more theory behind you? Aren't there any lines where you feel comfortable?

How about 3.Nd2?
schnarre 35 ( +1 | -1 )
2. c4 This can transpose to an exchange version (after a later d4), but is remeniscent of the similar lime vs the Caro-Kann (after 2...d5, 3. exd5 exd5, 4. cxd5 Black's reassuring pawn at d5 isn't there anymore & if 4...Qcd5 then 5. Nc3 with temp gain. 2. c4 isn't a very common line, but it's worth checking into (at least from my own experiences anyway)!
sf115 7 ( +1 | -1 )
if you play 2. c4 then you get an issolated d-pawn.

e.g. 1. e4 e6 2. c4 d5 3. cxd5 exd5 4. exd5.
jstack 59 ( +1 | -1 )
isolated pawn The question here the resulting isolated pawn weak? Or is it a strength for white(such as in the panov attack of the caro-kann). It looks like a strength to me. After 4...Nf6 5. d4 Nxd5. black has the pawn blockaded but it is with the wrong knight. From the games I have studied of isolated pawn positions I have noticed that the kingside knight is better suited for the defence of the kingside on f6. It is better to post the queenside knight there if possible. Anyway I have not studied any games with this particular move would be interesting to investigate it further.
loreta 8 ( +1 | -1 )
A transposition That position arises at English opening, more often - after 1. c4 e6 2. e4