[May 15, 2018] Updated Opening Line by Aleksandar Kovačević:
French Defense, Normal Variation – Classical Variation (Boleslavsky Variation with 7… cxd4)

[Line 338 : 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3 cxd4]

The Boleslavsky Variation with 7… cxd4 often leads to sharp and demanding positions. After 8. Nxd4 Black has the choice between 8… Qb6 and 8… Bc5.

Against the first of the two, White is practically obliged to sacrifice the b2-pawn and play for the compensation. 8… Qb6 9. Qd2 Qxb2 10. Rb1 Qa3 11. Bb5 is one of the critical positions in this opening line. Black should be able to neutralize White’s strong initiative, but only at the cost of returning the extra pawn: 11… Nxd4 12. Bxd4 a6 13. Bxd7 Bxd7 14. Rb3 Qe7 15. Rb7. Black’s position is sensitive, but not without counterplay.

The other important line is 8… Bc5 9. Qd2 O-O, where for club level players we recommend 10. g3 followed by Bg2 and O-O.

More complicated is 10. O-O-O, and after 10… a6 our suggestion for White is 11. Qf2, 11. Nb3 or 11. Kb1, in either case with double-edged positions.

[Diagram: White to Move] White only needs to activate his Queen, and when it’s finally coupled with his menacing rooks Black will be in big trouble. What is the best way for him to exploit the poor placement of black King?

Click here to see the line in our viewer…

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