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French (C13)
1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Bg5 Be7

Number of games in database: 902
Years covered: 1866 to 2017
Overall record:
   White wins 46.5%
   Black wins 30.0%
   Draws 23.5%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Max Euwe  13 games
Simon Winawer  12 games
Alexander Alekhine  12 games
Gideon Stahlberg  14 games
Geza Maroczy  14 games
Wolfgang Heidenfeld  11 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Alekhine vs Fahrni, 1914
L Forgacs vs Tartakower, 1909
Alekhine vs A Asgeirsson, 1931
E Sobernheim vs S Langleben, 1895
Charousek vs Maroczy, 1897
J Smeets vs Yifan Hou, 2008
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 page 1 of 37; games 1-25 of 902  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Steinitz vs Bird ½-½32 1866 London (England)C13 French
2. Steinitz vs Bird 1-040 1866 London (England)C13 French
3. Anderssen vs K Pitschel 1-030 1872 GERC13 French
4. E Thorold vs T H Archdall 0-145 1873 4th C.C.A. CongressC13 French
5. L Goldsmith vs C M Fisher ½-½46 1875 Match - Game 10C13 French
6. Anderssen vs Paulsen 0-129 1876 Leipzig mC13 French
7. Anderssen vs Paulsen  0-133 1876 Leipzig mC13 French
8. Anderssen vs Paulsen  1-043 1876 Leipzig mC13 French
9. Anderssen vs Metger ½-½66 1877 LeipzigC13 French
10. Schiffers vs Chigorin 0-141 1878 Chigorin - Schiffers First MatchC13 French
11. Schiffers vs V Lizel 0-136 1879 Best Russian PlayersC13 French
12. J De Soyres vs A Skipworth 1-020 1880 Counties Chess AssociationC13 French
13. E Delmar vs Sellman  ½-½66 1880 5th American Chess CongressC13 French
14. Mackenzie vs M Judd 0-149 1881 Judd - MackenzieC13 French
15. Winawer vs Meitner 1-035 1882 ViennaC13 French
16. Englisch vs J Mason  ½-½42 1882 ViennaC13 French
17. Winawer vs J Mason  0-143 1882 ViennaC13 French
18. Winawer vs Max Weiss ½-½142 1882 ViennaC13 French
19. Steinitz vs C A Seguin 0-141 1883 SimultanC13 French
20. E Schallopp vs Blackburne / Allies  0-142 1883 NurembergC13 French
21. Steinitz vs Mackenzie 1-068 1883 New York (USA)C13 French
22. Mackenzie vs A Skipworth  1-062 1883 LondonC13 French
23. Winawer vs Blackburne  ½-½58 1883 LondonC13 French
24. Englisch vs Sellman  1-061 1883 LondonC13 French
25. Winawer vs J Mason  ½-½63 1883 LondonC13 French
 page 1 of 37; games 1-25 of 902  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Knight13: I had this kind of position before. I would play 5. e5 Ne4 6. Bxe7 Qxe7 7. Nxe4 dxe4 8. Qe2, having white to castle queen side and attacking the e4 pawn.
Sep-21-04  jmcd2002: A good plan, but 5...Ne4 is probably wrong (it's at the very least unorthodox). Better is 5 e5 Nfd7 6. Bxe7 Qxe7 and now black has prepared to push ...c5 and support it with Nc6. Then black will have lots of pieces pointing at c5/d4. Black will play to attack d4, thereby undermining the pawn on e5. In response white will likely play f4 and Nf3 to support d4 and e5. An example line: 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e5 Nfd7 6. Bxe7 Qxe7 7. f4 c5 8. Nf3 Nc6 where both sides have good chances.
Sep-21-06  Bartleby: My preferred variation against the classical variation of the French Defence is the Richter attack, which follows: 4) Bg5 Be7 5) BxN BxB 6) e5 Be7 7) Qg4, often followed up with Bd3, O-O-O, and either Nf3/h4/Nce2 or f4/Qh3/g4 depending on the position. The prophylactic a3 also features.

Some nice games featuring this variation:

Tarrasch vs Walbrodt, 1894

Tarrasch's treatment here is archetypical of the attacking possibilites of such a position with opposite castled kings. Nicely conducted by Germany's reknowned teacher.

Showalter vs Lasker, 1893

Another example, this time by the Kentucky Lion, Showalter, defeating Em. Lasker the year before his title match bid. I prefer 15) Bd3 to white's 15) Qg3, however.

J Mason vs Bird, 1895

Mason shows the possibilities against a centralized king by a slow and gradual build up before launching the javellin of f4. Note his excellent use of the d4 post.

Showalter vs Jasnogrodsky, 1894

Here Showalter slyly keeps his options open until he realizes which burrough the enemy king will move to, then shifts his enemy forces in that direction (Q-side). In this closed then semi-closed position his twin knights coordinate very nicely against black's surprisingly inept bishops and dominate all the worthy posts.

Gunsberg vs M Judd, 1889

Gunsberg's go at it, using a slightly modified move order but very similar thematic ideas.

Lastly, merely for humor and maybe an idea for Thursday night chess at the coffeeshop, a Schlechter & Pillsbury miniature production, in two acts:

Schlechter vs H Wolf, 1894

Pillsbury vs Chaseray, 1902

Jan-10-15  edbermac: On 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e5 Nfd7 6. h4 O-O 7. Bd3 c5 8. Qh5 g6 9. Qh6 cxd4 10. Nf3...

Can black get away with 10...dc?

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