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  1. Forum
  2. Game analysis
  3. weird french defense game?

I'm not the best French defense player which can be seen from my awkward opening. Anyway how weird does the game get after whites mistake at move 6? And don't see how black move 17 is inaccuracy because I felt that middle should have been more open for my bishops.

lichess.org/N2c4SJNk

I've never seen 3...Nc6, 3...c5 is far more common. The only justification would be some counterplay with f6 but I doubt the soundness of it. Your move 4...b6 points out the weaknesses of 3...Nc6 once again (no pressure on white's pawn chain (pawn on d4) + no possibility to trade the bad french bishop on c8 with Ba6.

Guess it makes sense that 3..c5 is the main line and 3...Nc6 is not.

Afterwards white went completely crazy and you punished him.

Edit: seems like white had some compensation afterwards. Maybe someone else could look into the queenless middlegame/endgame.

Note: I thought you were white while typing this. The ideas are still good for you to know. tl;dr don't play 3...Nc6

As you SnackYourPawn said, without 3...c5 black only really has f6 to try to break up the center.

4. f4 is the natural move. Since there's no pressure on your d pawn, there's plenty of time to play a move like f4 (which wouldn't be as good in the mainline of 3...c5)

Its important to remember the ideas of the French Advance. Black is trying to break down your center by attacking the d and/or e pawns. If he totally gives up on attacking the d-pawn (with 3...Nc6) then you should be focusing on the defense of the e-pawn (with 4. f4).

In mainline you have to trade off the e-pawn, but if you can keep your center you should have a much better position.

As a general rule of thumb, when your opponent's king is less safe, you should avoid trading queens. (Ask GM Ben Finegold.)
Your move 7...Qf2+ is perfectly fine and maintains your advantage, but to me 7...Nxg4+ is much more appealing.
Just personal preference, that's all.

Your opponent had a bad game after the reckless g4.

3...Nc6 is unusual, but not bad. Petrosian used to play 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Nc6. This has also been played in correspondence.

I thought 3...Nc6 was only played against the Tarrasch. Forget the name of the variation but Nigel Short used to play it. If you have a few spare bucks I recommend buying the GingerGM Simon William's killer French dvd. Gives you a great introduction to the opening.

I didn't feel nice with nc6 from the moment I made it just because it felt awkward. Will watch that dvd.

3. Nd2 Nc6 or 3. Nc3 Nc6 are both playable (and actually not that bad). White's center is a lot "less solid" compared to 3. e5 though (no immediate c3-d4-e5 pawn chain), and black can attack it with fast and concrete play in those variations.
I just thought the move is out of place again 3. e5 because white can easily support the center with a setup like for example c3,Ld3, f4, Nf3 and the c6 knight is somewhat out of play).

Nc6 is a good move, but only AFTER you played c5, so that it reinforces the attack against whites center. Basically the French is about counterattack: you let white build up a center and then atttack and (hopefully) destroy it.

There are two main points where black can stage this attack: d4 and e5. Since both pawns are fixed they can't run away anyway and you need to build up steam before finally serving the "coup de grace". d4 is usually the target of the first attack: you play c5, then Nc6. The queen will go to either c7 (attacking e5) or b6 (attacking d4), depending on what white plays and what your plans are.

There is one motive you should know: the black-squared bishop is blacks most valuable piece. Do NOT easily trade it! But you can trade it, if you get something in return, namely the white structure on the queenside. i.e. the Nimzowitsch-variation, which is one of the main lines:

1) e4 e6
2) d4 d5
3) Nc3 Lb4
4) e5 c5
5) a3 BxN
6) bxB ... etc.

Black has given his valuable asset, but the doubled pawn on the c-file, the possiblity to attack c3 (i.e. with Qa5) and the isolated pawn on the a-file compensate for that loss.

The less obvious attacking plan for black is to attack the e5 pawn: put the bishops to c7 and d7, eventually the queen to b8, the knight on c6 , castle short and play f6. If white takes you need to control the e5 square sufficiently so that you can follow up with e6-e5 (notice that the black pieces in the aforementioned position all point to e5). If white doesn't take you take yourself. It is important to understand that you generally cannot play this plan if white plays f4 to reinforce his center. Also: if you play this plan you generally intend to mount a strong attack against the white (short-castled) king. That means before you play f7-f6 your pieces should be positioned so that they immediately can start this attack once the center is ripped open with f6, followed by e5.

If white plays f4 to support the e-pawn (the "Steinitz Attack") you have to reinforce your attack against d4. Fortunately f4 has a dark side to it too: a bishop defending d4 from e3 will be no longer covered by the pawn on f2, which often allows some tactical motives against the unguarded bishop. (for instance: a knight on c6, queen on b6, white bishop on e3: if white now plays f5 to attack blacks kingside Nxe5! exploits the fact that the bishop is unguarded.)

krasnaya

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