Advanced French Defense
- What To Do After
- Further Resources
The advanced french defense opening can be played by black or white. I’ve been playing it every game and started winning most of my games, just from playing the advanced french defense.
There are over 70 different chess openings. Not all are created equal. Some are better than others depending on:
- level chess player you are
- level of chess player your opponent is
- whether you are white or black
The advanced french is the best chess opener at the beginner level. And by beginner level, I mean you can use nothing but this opener until you reach 2200 or 2300 rating.
Here’s the basic step-by-step instructions for Black.
Advanced French Opening Sequence
- White: Pawn E4
- Black: Pawn E6
- White: Pawn D4
- Black: Pawn D5
- White: Pawn E5
Here’s an example of what it looks like, we’ll be doing the Advanced French Opening with White:
White: Pawn E4
Most players that are playing white go with the standard Pawn E4 move.
Black: Pawn E6
White: Pawn D4
Black: Pawn D5
At this point, white can take your pawn or push the pawn forward to take space.
White: Pawn E5
If white pushes the pawn forward instead of taking your pawn, the next move is to push your pawn forward to C5
White: Knight C3
Black: Knight C6
White: Bishop B5
Black: Bishop E2
White: Pawn C3
Black: Queen B6
If you want a thorough introduction.
- You learn basic pawn structure
- You learn how to develop pieces
- Be careful attacking with your Queen after moving it to B3. Even if it’s just grabbing a free pawn.
- May take extra moves in order to castle
What To Do After
So now what?
After you push your pawn to C5, you’ll notice your Bishop on the Queen’s side will just be sitting there for the time being since it’s blocked by your pawn on E6. For this reason, the Bishop in this position is known as the French Bishop.
The next move white usually plays is Pawn to C3. White wants to keep their center nice and organized.
At this point, you can move your Knight to C6.
You can castle on the King or the Queen side. I find myself castling more on the queen side when playing the french defense.
Note: The goal is to keep non-stop pressure on the center of the board.
Another common move after this is for white to play Knight to F3.
Your next move can be Queen to B6.
How To Play Against It
So what do you do if your opponent is playing the french defense against you. What’s the best strategy to combat it?
Building a triangle of pawns in the center around their two center pawns is very effective.
Hikaru mentions this as a good strategy.
Is The Advanced French Good For Beginners?
The Advanced French is very good for beginners to learn and start playing. In Fact, Grandmaster Hikaru says that he played the Advanced French until ratings 2200-2300 which is a big statement.
Practice this opening and perfect it, you should be good with just this opening for a while.
If you’d like to watch a video tutorial, check out this video by GothamChess