[October 09, 2018] Updated Opening Line by Bojan Vučković:
French Defense, Winawer Variation – Main Line

[Line 345 : 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 Ne7 without 7. Qg4]

Apart from 7. Qg4 (Line 346), which is the most aggressive line of the Winawer Variation, White has a couple of choices that are more positional.

A natural developing move 7. Nf3 is often associated with the a3-a4-a5 advance, and if Black moves c5-c4 or goes for the exchange with cxd4, White dark-squared Bishop can become a very powerful piece on a3. An exemplary line can be 7. Nf3 Bd7 8. a4 Qa5 9. Bd2 Nbc6, with a balanced position.

The idea of 7. h4 is to gain some space on the kingside. In this case, Black usually avoids short castling, and either opts for a queenside castling or leaves his King in the center. Black is able to get even chances in more than a one way, as in 7. h4 Nbc6 8. h5 h6 9. Nf3 Qa5 10. Bd2 Qc7.

White can go for 7. a4, where the occurring positions greatly resemble those appearing in the 7. Nf3 line.

[Diagram: White to Move] White Bishop is under attack, and Black is ready to play f7-f6 against the g4-g5 threat, creating some counterplay. How should White continue in the diagrammed position?

Click here to see the line in our viewer…

Comments are closed