[March 07, 2018] Updated Opening Line by Aleksandar Kovačević:
French Defense, Normal Variation – Classical Variation (Boleslavsky Variation with 7… Be7)

[Line 337 : 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3 Be7]

Black has three main choices against the Boleslavsky Variation of the French Defense: 7… cxd4 (covered in Line 338), 7… a6 (covered in Line 339) and 7… Be7, which is examined in this particular Line.

Black’s idea is connected with short castling, while White either opts for short castling with a dynamic positional battle, or captures on c5 and castles long with double-edged positions. In first case, after 8. Qd2 O-O 9. Be2 Black has two interesting possibilities – 9… a6 and 9… b6, both seen recently in top grandmaster games.

If White opts for 8. Qd2 O-O 9. dxc5, Black again has a choice between 9… Bxc5 10. O-O-O Qa5, or  9… Nxc5, that has been heavily explored in recent years.

[Diagram: White to Move] In the diagrammed position a typical Greek gift sacrifice Bxh7+ practically screams to be played, but it’s important to calculate what happens against Black’s most stubborn defense.

Click here to see the line in our viewer…

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