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French, Advance (C02)
1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5

Number of games in database: 5559
Years covered: 1620 to 2020
Overall record:
   White wins 38.5%
   Black wins 35.3%
   Draws 26.2%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Sergei Movsesian  72 games
Petr Haba  72 games
Sveshnikov  67 games
Alexei Barsov  46 games
Viktor Korchnoi  38 games
Simon Kim Williams  30 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Nimzowitsch vs Hakansson, 1922
Reshevsky vs A Vasconcellos, 1944
Nimzowitsch vs Salwe, 1911
J McConnell vs Morphy, 1850
Bondarevsky vs Botvinnik, 1941
J Smeets vs D Brandenburg, 2011
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 page 1 of 223; games 1-25 of 5,559 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Greco vs NN 1-0181620Miscellaneous GameC02 French, Advance
2. NN vs Greco 0-1501620Miscellaneous GameC02 French, Advance
3. Antwerp vs Amsterdam 0-1471827City MatchC02 French, Advance
4. Staunton vs W M Popert 0-1381840MatchC02 French, Advance
5. W M Popert vs Staunton 0-1571840MatchC02 French, Advance
6. W M Popert vs Staunton 1-0231841LondonC02 French, Advance
7. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1261841London m1C02 French, Advance
8. A Zerega vs James Thompson  ½-½321845New York Chess Club MatchC02 French, Advance
9. Haarlem vs Rotterdam 1-0301846City MatchC02 French, Advance
10. E Flower vs E Williams 0-1601849Ries' Divan TournamentC02 French, Advance
11. E Lowe vs H Kennedy 1-0351849MatchC02 French, Advance
12. J McConnell vs Morphy 0-1141850New OrleansC02 French, Advance
13. H Kloos vs W Bruijn  1-0491851AmsterdamC02 French, Advance
14. J S Mucklow vs E Williams 0-1291851LondonC02 French, Advance
15. Mohishunder vs Cochrane  0-1221855CalcuttaC02 French, Advance
16. Mohishunder vs Cochrane  1-0521855CalcuttaC02 French, Advance
17. Somacarana vs Cochrane  0-1611855CalcuttaC02 French, Advance
18. S Leow vs B Wolff  1-0621856BerlinC02 French, Advance
19. Somacarana vs Cochrane 0-1131856CalcuttaC02 French, Advance
20. S Leow vs Bendix 0-1471856BerlinC02 French, Advance
21. A Meek vs W Fuller 0-12418571st American Chess CongressC02 French, Advance
22. Paulsen vs John Irwin  0-1371858Blindfold simul, 10bC02 French, Advance
23. D M Salter vs A Cole  0-1401862BCA Congress Handicap tC02 French, Advance
24. A Zerega vs James Thompson 1-0251867New York Chess Club TournamentC02 French, Advance
25. H D Smith vs O Michaelis 1-0471869Michaelis - Smith MatchC02 French, Advance
 page 1 of 223; games 1-25 of 5,559 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 7 OF 8 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <raskerino: <Questions on the Milner-Barry Gambit:>>

ad a2) <11...Qb8 12.Qf3 Bd6 13.Qxd5 Bc6 14.Qh5 Nf6 15.Rxe6+ Be7 16.Rxe7+ Kxe7 17.Qf5> looks unclear to me

click for larger view

Due to black's unsecure ♔ there should be enough compensation for the exchange.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Opening of the day, however, I'm still looking for <French, Beginner> or <French, Intermediate>!!
Apr-09-08  Tomlinsky: <WannaBe: Opening of the day, however, I'm still looking for <French, Beginner> or <French, Intermediate>!!>

That would be the KIA and Exchange Variation respectively I believe. :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <WannaBe: Opening of the day, however, I'm still looking for <French, Beginner> or <French, Intermediate>!!>

I suggest <a pre-French> for Yu: :D

Apr-09-08  MagisterMusicae: trumbull0042, Is really interesting your cuestion. Your solution 9.h3 is very pasive. I like more 9.Bxg5, with the posible continuation 9... Qxb2 10.Nd2 Nxd4 11.Rb1 Nxe2+ 12.Qxe2 Qxa2 13.Rxb7, with compensation for the losing pawn. Your opinion?
(I speak spanish)
Oct-04-08  drukenknight: A better way to meet f4 in the French? Is there a name for variations that feature this annoying move? There are a number of "waiting" moves for white (e.g. c3) that often throw me off, as usually black can rely on white to follow an agressive plan that runs out of gas and then the counterattack begins. But these quiet lines often mess me up as all my ideas are reacted to.

As for f4, I used to play ..f5 and but would get a lot of closed positions w/ little counter play. So how about this:

1. e4 e6
2. d4 d5
3. e5 Bd7
4. f4 h5!? why not start grabbing space on the edges? A hyper modern tactic for this?

5. Nf3 Nh6 (I just had to play this, why not? the N has to go through e7 in the classical) 6. h3 c5
7. c3 cxd4
8. cxd4 Bb4+
9. Nc3 Nc6
10. a3 Ba5
11. b4 Bb6
12. Be3 Nf5
13. Bf2 Rc8

position after 13...Rc8

click for larger view

14 Be2? Ncxd4
15. Rc1 Nxf3+
16. Bxf3 Bxf2+
17. Kxf2 Qb6+
18. Ke1 Ng3
19. Rf1 Qe3+
20. Ne2 Rxc1
21. Qxc1 and 0-1

A better line is this but still black has some advantage:

14. Rc1 h4
15. b5 Nce7
16. Na4 Ba5+
17. Nd2 Rxc1
18. Qxc1 Ng6
19. Nc5 Qc7
20. Qb2 Nxf4
21. a4 Ng3

Jan-03-09  FrogC: Where do people stand on the Wade Variation in the Advance?

1.e4 e6
2.d4 d5
3.e5 c5
4.c3 ♕b6

I've tried this a few times, and the idea to exchange off the bad bishop seems logical. But I find after exchanging my pawn on c5 for the one on d4, I am left facing a strong centre with pawns on d4 and e5. Try to undermine this with f6, and you get a backward pawn at e6 which is hard to defend without the light-squared bishop. I'm beginning to think this bishop is better kept on the board.

Apr-06-09  drukenknight: that ...f6 stuff often should really wait. In fact I have found it better to wait until ...f5 becomes some sort of forcing move e.g. it hits a B or a Q or something. It seems to me just playing ..f6 at some pt. when there is no reason good or bad tells me it needs to wait until it becomes crucial.

THat ..Qb6 stuff has me baffled as well as you. I think the Q is best on c7 in most of these lines so I just try to get her there and dont over think it. Do you have any examples from master play? That would be of interest.

On your idea about the bad bishop: Why not play ...Bd7 as soon a white adopts a waiting move? I.e. right after he plays c3 then play...Bd7. In fact I have an example of this somewhere...

see this:

French, Tarrasch (C03)

Apr-06-09  FrogC: After reading John Watson's Dangerous Weapons book on the French, I like the line he gives there: 4...Nc6 5.Nf3 Nh6!? Black usually does play an early f6 here, which puts real pressure on White's centre, eg after 6.Bxh6 gxh6 followed by ...Bg7. I haven't tried this line yet (I'm mostly a Sicilian player anyway) but I like the look of it.
Jul-16-09  muwatalli: are there any experts on the milner barry gambit out there? i've been having trouble with the a6! line.

after 10... a6 11 Qe2 Ne7 12 Kh1 Nc6 13 f4 Nb5 14 Rd1 Bc5. white seems worse.

the Bb1 lines give black an advantage as well. after 14 Bb1 Qc4! gives white an ugly decision of trading off queens and getting an inferior endgame or wasting a tempo and allowing the D pawn to harass the knights with moves like 15 Qf3 or Qd1.

in conclusion white doesn't seem to have enough for the pawn in the main line after 10... a6, are there any proposed solutions out there? for instance good deviations off of the main line.

Jul-16-09  schroedingers cat: <muwatalli> I do not claim to be an expert on the Milner Barry Gambit but I think 11.Re1 seems like a better choice than 11.Qe2 since it gives white a better square to develop its queen (and don't keep it busy with securing the d-pawn). After a move like Qf3 or (if white will be able to kick blacks queen from the fourth/fifth rank with moves like i.e 11.Be3 Qxe4 12. Bc5 etc.) Qf4 or Qg5.
Jul-16-09  parisattack: There are five chapters (13-18) on 10. ...a6 in Bickford's tome on the Milner-Barry. I think the consensus is that 11. Re1 is indeed preferable.
Jul-16-09  schroedingers cat: <muwatalli> I think you might find this page useful :) (Strange that the page doesn't mention 11.Re1)

Jul-16-09  muwatalli: thank you two for the prompt responses, i'll start studying the 11. Re1 lines.
Aug-21-09  drukenknight: Here is a nice french advance that features some ideas mentioned above: early ...h5 as well as 4...Bd7 and finally an amusing R/N endgame:

1. e4 e6
2. d4 d5
3. e5 c5
4. Nf3 Bd7 (I dont think anyone has played this but why not get the bad B out early and the possibility of obtaining the long diagonal seems rational as the game so far is closed)

5. c3 Nc6
6. Nbd2 h5 (this idea I think should wait in response to white's h4 but I just got anxious)

Position after 6...h5, okay so far:

click for larger view

7. Nb3 c4
8. Nbd2 Nh6
9. b3 cxb3
10. axb3 Be7
11. Bd3 a6
12. h3

after 12 h3; black seems to be a running out of space:

click for larger view

12Nf5 (..Qc7 is probably better, I hate to leave that e6 open like that)

13. Bxf5 exf5
14. Ba3 f6
15. exf6 gxf6
16. Bxe7 (00 seems to give white some advantage )

17. Qe2 O-O-O
18. Qxe7 Nxe7
19. O-O Rhg8
20. Kh2 Ng6
21. c4 dxc4
22. Nxc4 Bb5
23. Rac1 Kb8
24. Rg1 Nf4
25. Rc2 Bc6
26. Rd2 (white in trouble from here on; 26 Nh4 w/ only slight disadvantage)

26 Bxf3
27. gxf3 Rxg1
28. Kxg1 Nxh3+
29. Kg2 Nf4+
30. Kg3 Ng6 (I put the N here so I could bring the R behind him but I missed 30:...Rxd4!)

31. f4 Rg8
32. Kf3 h4
33. Nd6 h3
34. Nxf5

after 34 Nxf5; what next?:

click for larger view

Aug-21-09  MaxxLange: <drukenknight> I analyze 34...Nh4+! 35 Nxh4 h2 36 Rd1 Rg1 and Black wins
Aug-24-09  drukenknight: yes that's right. I played Nxf6 and won it is probably still a won game either way so maybe not a good study problem, I think the game was lost back on whites 26th move.
Feb-11-10  Caissanist: Looking through Opening Explorer, the main-ish line seems to be 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Qb6 6. a3. But what is the point of that last move, exactly? Is there some white plan which it promotes, or some black threat which it prevents?
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <Caissanist> the mainidea is covering d4 with a timely b4 , followed by Bb2.That I know , but I am not shure about the moveorder.
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <Caissanist> Sorry,normally after c5xd4,c3xd4 , I forgot to mention.
Feb-12-10  nummerzwei: <Caissanist: Looking through Opening Explorer, the main-ish line seems to be 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Qb6 6. a3. But what is the point of that last move, exactly? Is there some white plan which it promotes, or some black threat which it prevents?>

<Caissanist the mainidea is covering d4 with a timely b4 , followed by Bb2.That I know , but I am not shure about the moveorder>

Beside that, 6.a3 has another, less obvious, point. After the natural 6...a5 (to prevent b4, of course, and also to claim some space on the queenside) White can play 7.Bd3 as in

S Zhigalko vs G Kanakaris, 2008

Now both after 7...Bd7 and 7...cxd4 followed by 8...Bd7, White can calmly retreat his bishop to c2, when the inclusion of 6.a3 a5 secures it against knight harassment from b4.

As a result, this line is better for White than the immediate 6.Bd3!?, which is why Black normally plays something like 6...c4 or 6...Nh6 in reply to 6.a3.

Mar-10-10  drukenknight: re position in the 8/21/09 post. A good endgame tip from Dvoretsky is that when it's N vs a pawn, the N has to stop the pawn before he gets to the 7th rank. Its a very simple tip and is very useful to remember. I am terrible with endgames so this stuff helps.
Mar-11-10  drukenknight: Here is another crazy tactical Advance French featuring that N cutback (...Nxe5 Bxd7+ Nxd7 winning a pawn), desperado Bishops, etc.

1. e4 e6
2. d4 d5
3. e5 c5
4. Nf3 Nc6
5. Bg5 (two corr. games from the mid 1990s and a game from 1970 actually got this far

5... Be7
6. Qd2 cxd4 (departing from Greiner/Xandu 1997 that went 6...Nxd4 7 Bxe7 and for some strange reason 7...Qxe7 and not ...Nxf3+

7. Bb5 Bxg5
8. Nxg5 Bd7
9. Qf4 Qa5+!?
10. c3 Nh6
11. Bxc6 Bxc6

after 11 Bxc6 find your way home:

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: In the Advance French, I realize 3...c5 is very Nimowitschian and all, but I don't see why it has to be thought of as a virtually forced response. Every analysis I see in this thread has 3...c5 without comment, as if there is nothing else to consider.

Well, let me suggest an alternative move: 3...b6!? Black's plan is to play ...Ba6 to trade off his queenside bishop, i.e. the bishop that generally gets stuck behind the pawns with nothing to do, anyway. White doesn't have a natural way to prevent this trade. The move ...c5 will come later.

Hey, any French player worth his salt should like this idea. Trading off the queen bishop just about guarantees a won endgame, right? :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: 3...c5 is essential because d4 is the focal point of his central pressure. Other strategies have not succeeded.

Back also uses the move to enable the queen top get to b6, which, combined with ...Nc6, ups the pressure. And the queen also supports the ...Bd7-b5 exchange plan.

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