[February 15, 2018] Updated Opening Line by GM Dragan Šolak:
French Defense, Tarrasch Variation with 3… Nf6 (incl. Leningrad & Botvinnik Variations)

[Line 326 : 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6]

Line 326 covers the dynamic 3… Nf6, where White gets more space after 4. e5 Nfd7, while Black usually either exerts pressure on the d4-pawn, or undermines White’s center with f7-f6 (or both).

For club level players we recommend 5. c3 c5 6. f4, with mostly maneuvering play from both sides.

The Botvinnik Variation, occurring after 5. Bd3 c5 6. c3 b6 (with the idea Bc8-a6) should leave White with a small advantage, like in the 7. Nh3 Ba6 8. Bxa6 Nxa6 9. O-O line.

The Leningrad Variation 5. Bd3 c5 6. c3 Nc6 7. Ne2 cxd4 8. cxd4 Nb6 is another old line, which is not so popular nowadays, since it is mostly favorable for White.

The most promising line for Black is 5. Bd3 c5 6. c3 Nc6 7. Ne2 cxd4 8. cxd4 f6, where 9. Nf4 leads to very sharp positions, while after 9. exf6 Nxf6 10. O-O White can probably count on a slightly more pleasant position.

[Diagram: White to Move] White’s next move 18. Nxd5 first comes to mind, but how should he proceed after 18… Qd8?

Click here to see the line in our viewer…

Comments are closed