French Defence, Classical Steinitz Variation Edition

“A dream becomes a goal when action is taken toward its achievement”
Bo Bennett (businessman)

I am going to admit it and say this is a variation I have not tried yet. It is a bit strange since I played the French defence as my main weapon against 1. e4 for a number of years. The truth is this looks like a fun variation and I should give it a try at the next opportunity. It all starts with 4. e5 … Given the pawn structure already established, the battle ground is clearly delimited: white will attack on the King side, while on Black will attack on the queenside.

If white wants to play it, it should be aware that three moves later Black could choose how it will attack from one of the four plans available:

  • 7… a6
  • 7… cxd4
  • 7… Be7
  • 7… Qb6

This week we are going to focus on how the game could lead into an exciting draw after 7… cxd4. Why would Black consider this plan? It is a tempting one because it clarifies the tension in the center and it could create unpleasant pressure along the dark squares. The b2-pawn becomes a target and Be3 needs to be protected. I hope you also like the 2 sample games I found and presented below as appetizer for this variation.

The first game shows an aggressive approach by white, not afraid to sacrifice material for achieving its goal:

The second game shows that White can also try a more positional approach:

Eugen Demian

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Valer Eugen Demian

Author: Valer Eugen Demian

The player – my first serious chess tournament was back in 1974, a little bit late for today’s standards. Over the years I have had the opportunity to play all forms of chess from OTB to postal, email and server chess. The journey as a player brought me a lot of experience and a few titles along the way: FIDE CM (2012), ICCF IM (2001) and one ICCF SIM norm (2004). The instructor – my career as a chess teacher and coach started in 1994 and continues strong. I have been awarded the FIDE Instructor title (2007) for my work and have been blessed with great students reaching the highest levels (CYCC, NAYCCC, Pan-Am, WYCC). I am very proud of them! See my website for more information. I have developed my own chess curriculum on 6 levels based on my overall chess knowledge and hands-on experience. A glimpse of it can be seen in my first chess app:
I can help you learn chess the proper way if this is what you seek! View all posts by Valer Eugen Demian

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