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French (C10)
1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3

Number of games in database: 3996
Years covered: 1861 to 2019
Overall record:
   White wins 46.3%
   Black wins 17.1%
   Draws 36.6%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Viswanathan Anand  23 games
Nigel Short  19 games
Sergey Karjakin  18 games
Georg Meier  64 games
Yannick Pelletier  36 games
Dragan Kosic  26 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Spielmann vs L'Hermet, 1927
Najdorf vs Gliksberg, 1929
Steinitz vs Bird, 1866
P Charbonneau vs H A Hussein Al-Ali, 2008
J Klavins vs Tal, 1949
E Corzo vs Capablanca, 1902
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 page 1 of 160; games 1-25 of 3,996  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Paulsen vs Kolisch 1-0311861London mC10 French
2. Paulsen vs A Schmorl 1-0301864LeipzigC10 French
3. Steinitz vs Bird 1-0121866London mC10 French
4. Steinitz vs Bird 1-0321866MatchC10 French
5. Steinitz vs Bird ½-½431866MatchC10 French
6. Steinitz vs Bird 0-1291866MatchC10 French
7. Mackenzie vs G Reichhelm 1-0291867MatchC10 French
8. Steinitz vs H Czarnowski 1-0231867ParisC10 French
9. Anderssen vs K Pitschel  1-0431871KrefeldC10 French
10. Blackburne vs Sutton  1-0201871Blindfold simul, 10bC10 French
11. Blackburne vs Worrall 1-0291880ManchesterC10 French
12. J Wisker vs A Burns 0-1261880MatchC10 French
13. Sellman vs J Grundy 1-03718805th American Chess CongressC10 French
14. Paulsen vs W Paulsen ½-½301881BerlinC10 French
15. W Wayte vs E Thorold 1-0441884BathC10 French
16. Gunsberg vs E Thorold 1-0291885Hereford BCAC10 French
17. Loman vs H Kothe  1-0411887DCA Congress 15thC10 French
18. D van Foreest vs H Kothe  1-0321887DCA Congress 15thC10 French
19. Tarrasch vs Gunsberg 1-0401887FrankfurtC10 French
20. Burn vs J Mason ½-½5618893rd Irish CA CongressC10 French
21. Blackburne vs J Mason 1-03218896th American Chess CongressC10 French
22. Gunsberg vs E Delmar  1-05018896th American Chess CongressC10 French
23. Burn vs E Delmar 1-03118896th American Chess CongressC10 French
24. N Miniati vs Olland  ½-½411889Amsterdam-BC10 French
25. Meitner vs Albin 0-1411890Kolisch MemorialC10 French
 page 1 of 160; games 1-25 of 3,996  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-02-06  jamesmaskell: Heres a recent game. TC 100 mins for the whole game. I was White.

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 c5 4. Be3 cxd4 5. Bxd4 dxe4 6. Nxe4 Nc6 7. Nf3 Nxd4 8. Qxd4 Qxd4 9. Nxd4 a6 10. Bd3 Bb4+ 11. c3 Be7 12. 0-0-0 Bd7 13. Bc2 Nh6 14. h3 Rd8 15. Rd3 0-0 16. f4 f6 17. g4 f5 18. Ng3 fxg4 19. hxg4 Nxg4 20. Ne2 Nf2 0-1

Horrible blunder at the end (I just didnt see the knight fork) and Rd3 was poor as well, but for my second game against the French Ive played much worse...

Mar-10-07  drukenknight: World's worst windmill attacks. Most amateurs do not understand the psychological nature of chess. The idea here is to kill as many black pieces as possible w/ the QN in order to produce psychological fear in the opponent. In a subsquent game, I played the Reti opening he resigned immediately!

1 e4 e6
2. d4 d5
3. Nc3 dxe4
4. Nxe4 Nf6
5. Bg5 Be7
6. Bd3 O-O

(23 games got to whites 6th but only Barry/Arizpe 2006 got to this position

7. c3 (the novelty, Barry game went Nf3 b6 but I recalled my earlier game posted above and wanted to use the Q/B battery)

8. Qc2 h6
9. Bh4 Nh5
10. Bxe7 Qxe7
11. g4 Nf4
12. O-O-O Nb6
13. h4 h5
14. g5 Bd7
15. Nh3 Nxd3+
16. Qxd3 Nd5
17. a3 Qd8
18. Rhg1 g6
19. c4 Ne7
20. Qc3 c6
21. Kb1 b5
22. d5 exd5
23. Nf6+ Kh8
24. Nxd7+ Kg8
25. Nf6+ Kg7
26. Nxh5+ Kh7
27. Nf6+ Kh8
28. Nxd5+ Kg8
29. Nf6+ Kh8
30. Rxd8

A few days later I returned to my study and found bits of black pieces stuck to the carpet and walls. Does anyone know a good stain remover?

Jun-17-07  Thorsson: <ganstaman> I don't know if you're still interested in the Fort Knox, but if you are, you could do worse than look for games by Alexander Rustemov, who is undoubtedly its leading GM proponent.

I have done extensive analysis of the FK from the White perspective and can confirm that it is extremely hard to break down.

Jun-17-07  Open Defence: <Thorsson> is the Fort Knox the line where Black plays dxe4, Bd7 followed by Bc6 ?
Jun-17-07  ganstaman: <Thorsson> I had basically given up on the FK in favor of simply more exciting lines (ie give white more chances to win...), meeting 3. Nd2 and 3. Nc3 with 3...Nf6.

But thanks for the suggestion, which I may actually look at. I love the French, but am trying to find a way to add a little variety to my games and may otherwise have to begin to throw in a few 1...e5's (gasp!!).

Jun-17-07  ganstaman: <OD> Yes, that's it.
Oct-29-07  get Reti: Why do people play the Fort Knox variation (1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3/d2 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bd7 and 5...Bc6) when they can fianchetto the light bishop instead without blocking the c pawn from advancing two squares?
Dec-11-07  Freidenker: I'm curious about something, what do you guys think of 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3. Nc3/Nd2 dxe4 4.Nxe4 b6! ?

My database gives a pretty bad % for this line (for black), but the perf. rating suggest this is mosly because black players had lower ratings. I know 3...Nf6 is probably more accurate, but I just feel too uncomfortable with it.

Dec-11-07  centercounter: Freidenker, I think Yasser Seirawan used to play something like that, although I don't know if it was exactly that. You can delay with 3. ... Nd7 also, instead of 3. ... Nf6.

I recently played against 3. ... Bd7, but because of the exposure of the B at c6, I cannot recommend it.

Dec-11-07  mrbasso: <Freidenker> White has a comfortable position after 5.Nf3 Bb7 6.Bb5+ and 7.Bd3. I wouldn't recommend it.
Dec-11-07  Freidenker: I see exactly what you both means... 5.Nf3 Bb7 6.Bb5+ look very annoying for black.

Then, what's the best way to play the dxe variation ? (I think it's called Rubinstein). According the database here, the best way seems to be with an early Bd7/Bc6.

May-19-08  Alphastar: 3. ..Nc6 also falls under this ECO, which is an interesting move.

Not very natural as it blocks the c-pawn but its hard to obtain a tangible advantage as white.

Dec-23-08  patzer of patzers: Could anyone tell me anything about 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 c6? It doesn't seem to be played much and the Opening Explorer gives white a large winning percentage, but I just can't make much sense of it. How is it best refuted? I also posted this in the Caro-Kann (B15).
Dec-23-08  patzer of patzers: I see <Holden> once played it and used 4.e5 ...?
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <patzer of patzers> What's the idea behind your <3...c6>?
Dec-23-08  patzer of patzers: I don't really have one, and wouldn't play it myself. All I can say is that d5 won't be attacked very soon, though I'm not sure whether or not that's very important.
Dec-23-08  blacksburg: there's no real problem with 3...c6, it just doesn't DO anything. it doesn't hang material or anything like that, but it's the definition of passive.

the point of playing the caro-kann is that c6 can be played instead of e6, keeping the line open for the queen's bishop. then after ...Bf5 or something, ...e6 can be played with no disadvantage.

but once ...e6 has already been played, ...c6 has no point. d5 is not under any threat, so another move to defend it is not as good as a developing move.

also, ...c6 is essentially a wasted tempo in the french because black almost always wants to play ...c5 in the french. ...c6 also takes a square away from the knight.

note that the semi-slav, where black plays ...c6,...d5, and ...e6, is a whole nother ball of wax, and the idea there is much different.

so basically, ...c6 doesn't lose material, or create a big weakness, but it also doesn't do anything active, it doesn't help to develop a piece, and it takes away the knight's square and wastes a move since ...c5 is going to be necessary. the only positive thing it does is defend d5, but that's not threatened anyways. ...c6 has a bunch of cons, but no pros.

any developing move is better. Nf6, Be7, Nbd7, Bd7, probably all better. even the immediate ...c5 is playable, check frank marshall's games for examples.

Dec-24-08  patzer of patzers: <blacksburg>, thanks for the explanation. And if I encounter it, I should just continue developing?
Dec-24-08  blacksburg: pretty much. it's not one of those mistakes you can refute with a 3-move tactic. just develop normally, don't exchange pieces unless it benefits you concretely, watch as black suffers and writhes trying to develop his queenside. eventually he will make some positional concession, like another pawn move on the queenside, or he will be playing down a piece, and you must take advantage of this.

note that exd5 is generally good for black, because by ...exd5, black frees his c8 bishop.

Dec-24-08  patzer of patzers: <blacksburg> Before you read this, I want to make it clear that my questions had only the very best intentions and that I actually learned from your helpful thoughts on 3...e6.

You're right about the opening. I have something very shameful to admit: I...I'm...I'm playing...Chess Titans.


(Okay, it got a little weird near the end.) But seriously, I AM that weak. Fortunately, my "opponent" on level 4 blundered a queen for a bishop, and it went downhill from there. I may have to move up to level 5 soon, or maybe I just got lucky.

By the way, if you don't have Chess Titans (ex on Microsoft Vista), don't get it. From what I've read on the internet, its top level (10) could be about 1700, but is probably lower--and without an opening book, it takes forever to think about EACH and EVERY MOVE. It also, as you have seen, trys out blunderous novelties.

Well, thanks for the info! Following your advice, the "game" went wonderfully!

click for larger view

It burns the eyes. Oh, it is sad.

Dec-24-08  blacksburg: have no shame, bro. a win is a win. and don't feel bad that chess titans is weak, trust me, there ain't a lot of people walking around with plus scores against rybka and fritz.
Dec-26-08  patzer of patzers: Well, sure...oh well. Opening novelties, even weak ones, can often take me by surprise. By the way, I see you've changed your avatar--care to elaborate? Or did you just happen to feel like it?
Dec-28-08  KingG: <patzer of patzers> <Could anyone tell me anything about 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 c6? It doesn't seem to be played much and the Opening Explorer gives white a large winning percentage, but I just can't make much sense of it. How is it best refuted? >

Kasparov played e5, which looks logical: Kasparov vs Fritz, 1992

Apr-16-10  rapidcitychess: Any one got any thing on the 3...Be7 line? Thanks.
Jan-25-13  JustWoodshifting: High level Rubinstein variation:
Depth = 27

[Event "Computer chess game"]
[Site "North America"]
[Date "2013.01.22"]
[Round "1.1"]
[White "Deep Rybka 4.1 x64 "]
[Black "Deep Rybka 4.1 x64 "]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C10"]
[WhiteElo "3305"]
[BlackElo "3305"]
[PlyCount "86"]
[EventDate "2013.??.??"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5. Nf3 Ngf6 6. Nxf6+ Nxf6 7. Bd3 c5 8. O-O cxd4 9. Nxd4 Bc5 10. Be3 Qe7 11. Re1 O-O 12. c3 Rd8 13. Bg5 Bxd4 14. cxd4 h6 15. Bh4 Rd6 16. Rc1 Bd7 17. Bb1 Bc6 18. Qd3 Kf8 19. Bg3 Rdd8 20. Be5 Rac8 21. h3 Bd5 22. Rc2 Ne8 23. f3 a6 24. b3 Rxc2 25. Qxc2 Bc6 26. Rd1 Qg5 27. Kh2 Nf6 28. Qf2 Nd5 29. Re1 Qe7 30. Qc2 f6 31. Bg3 Qd7 32. Qh7 Ne7 33. h4 Qd5 34. Be4 Qxd4 35. Bxc6 Nxc6 36. Rxe6 Qd5 37. Re4 Qg8 38. Qf5 Qd5 39. Qg6 Qf7 40. Qh7 Qg8 41. Qf5 Qd5 42. Qg6 Qf7 43. Qh7 Qg8 1/2-1/2

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