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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) C00-C19: Best book for NEW french players (Read 13585 times)
Willempie
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #37 - 01/19/09 at 09:42:10
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MilenPetrov wrote on 01/18/09 at 18:46:24:
Learning the French is not only learning the concrete moves. I learned a lot about chess in general when working on it. Just an example - look and the Nimozvich and his theory of blockade. Then simply work on Advanced French - so thus you will 'kill two rabits in one way' as we say here in BG.
So I think if one makes a good selection of book to buy then they will not stay at the shelfes for centuries without being opened.
It is a matter of taste and good choice. In my library (and it is not less than 300 books) I do not have books which are not used frequently.

Funny thing is that since I started with the French, I never touched My System again. Precisely because I couldnt make sense of his theories in combination with the French. Eg a move like f6 which is one of the most common attacks on the pawn chain is totally in contrast with these ideas.
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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MilenPetrov
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #36 - 01/18/09 at 18:51:05
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Just to add that in my previous post I did not mentioned some of the other sources like Chess Publishing, Chessbase DVDs etc. which are also worth special attention.

Summarizing my thoughts I think that if one wants to play something he can learn and master it. I can't recall what Kasparov was said about openings but he is quite right. So there is no dubious openings until you get good results.
  
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MilenPetrov
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #35 - 01/18/09 at 18:46:24
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TopNotch wrote on 01/11/09 at 00:17:03:
E) Buy 5 or 6 opening books on the French read the preface of each, place them decoratively on the shelf and never open them again until the next French title comes out.  Grin


I can not agree with this. I played (and still play) the French since almost 10 years. I bought a lot of books about it and still I use them. Just to mention a few of them:
1) Watson - Play the French - all 3 editions - a must for every french defence player
2) McDonald, Harley - Mastering the French - old but still actual book. I highly recommend it to everyone.
3) Psakhis - Complete French (1st ed. and second multi-tome edition) - good reference.
4) Moskalenko - superb
5) Tsermiadianos - very good one
6) Sveshnikov - also good source even it is only about Advanced variation.
Learning the French is not only learning the concrete moves. I learned a lot about chess in general when working on it. Just an example - look and the Nimozvich and his theory of blockade. Then simply work on Advanced French - so thus you will 'kill two rabits in one way' as we say here in BG.
So I think if one makes a good selection of book to buy then they will not stay at the shelfes for centuries without being opened.
It is a matter of taste and good choice. In my library (and it is not less than 300 books) I do not have books which are not used frequently.
  
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amadjambo
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #34 - 01/11/09 at 20:26:30
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I learnt the French by playing through the games over and over in Winning with the French by Uhlmann, a fantastic book IMO. 

Yes the theory in this book might be a little outdated but as an introduction to the opening I think it is useful. 

Chessbase have some good DVD's on the French also.  Kasimdzhanov's DVD are always impressive, and there is a black repertoire DVD by Ari Ziegler which is also useful.
  
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Matemax
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #33 - 01/11/09 at 19:01:41
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drkodos wrote on 01/11/09 at 17:22:01:
... sagacious ... burgeoning ...

I really like your poetic expressions! I wish I could do something alike, but unfortunately I am not a native English speaker (which is easy to see by my grammar and spelling). At least I always have something to look up in the dictonary.

Smiley
  
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drkodos
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #32 - 01/11/09 at 17:22:01
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To the OP:

With regard to the two posters above me and their sagacious reasonings,  I think the NIC Tactics in the Chess Openings series is a good foray into the arena of learning opening ideas and motifs.

Yes, the annotations are light, but I consider this a plus.  It is the modern day version of Tartakower/DuMont 500 Master Games, and a great place for burgeoning players to start exploring chess ideas in a new opening they will play.

Play through the games over and over.  They are not so many long ones, and they give excellent general ideas about what plans and strategies are applicable in various sundry lines of whatever opening selected.
  

I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission.
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Matemax
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #31 - 01/11/09 at 09:29:13
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Quote:
Reasearch what the typical positions are select 100 games featuring them and absorb the re-occuring ideas, tactical devices and common mistakes and how they are exploited.

That's how a real good opening book would look like! In the appendix you can give the opening moves.
  
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TopNotch
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #30 - 01/11/09 at 00:17:03
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Alien chess wrote on 03/11/07 at 06:58:57:
Hello,

I have decided to do something which I promised myself I would never do - learn the french! The sicilian and e5 just dont suit me. Are there any books (or websites?) which are good for new french players? I couldnt find any general french books recommended in this forum, only specific line books. I liked "starting out: kings indian defence" so I would definetly get a book like that if there is on.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!
Alien Chess


A) How long did it take you to reach this conclusion and why.

B) Play the opening, look up the theory, play the opening, look up the theory, then make comparisons and study your games carefully.

C) Poor Opening play often stems from poor Middle Game skills and knowledge. Cure.....study the typical middle game positions that arise from said opening.

D) Reasearch what the typical positions are then select 100 games featuring them and absorb the re-occuring ideas, tactical devices and common mistakes and how they are exploited.

E) Buy 5 or 6 opening books on the French read the preface of each, place them decoratively on the shelf and never open them again until the next French title comes out.  Grin

Chess is a highly interactive game that requires feedback to improve. Play, study, play, study and remember that either one without the other = Patzer for life.  

TN Smiley
« Last Edit: 01/11/09 at 17:56:55 by TopNotch »  

The man who tries to do something and fails is infinitely better than he who tries to do nothing and succeeds - Lloyd Jones Smiley
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Dragan Glas
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #29 - 01/10/09 at 23:22:37
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Greetings,

Not that I'm a French player but...

For a "NEW French Player", would the coverage in Watson's Secrets of Modern Chess Openings (the e-pawn volume) be suitable/sufficient!?

Bearing in mind his particular interest in the defence, I'd have thought that that section would - at least - be good.

Kindest regards,

Dragan Glas
  
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #28 - 01/10/09 at 16:35:18
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I think you should be really lucky if so many people play the exchange...blacks position is already quite safe !? You can even try for more then the draw, look for example at Gurevich-Short, Manila 1990.

If i may copy-paste some text from the internet:


Exchange Variation: 3.exd5 exd5

The Exchange Variation was probably White's most popular response to the French in the 19th century, but has been in decline ever since. Garry Kasparov experimented with it in the early 1990s but later switched to 3.Nc3. Note that Black's game is made much easier as his queen's bishop has been liberated. It has a reputation giving immediate equality to Black, due to the symmetrical pawn structure. Many players who begin with 1. e4 complain that the French defense is the most difficult opening for them to play against due to the closed structure and unique strategies of the system. For example, Bobby Fischer was notoriously poor at playing against the French Defense. Thus, many players choose to play the exchange so that the position becomes simple and clearcut. White does not keep the advantage of the first move, White often chooses this line in hopes of an early draw, and indeed draws often occur if neither side breaks the symmetry. An extreme example was Capablanca–Maróczy, Lake Hopatcong 1926, which went: 4.Bd3 Bd6 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.0-0 0-0 7.Bg5 Bg4 8.Re1 Nbd7 9.Nbd2 c6 10.c3 Qc7 11.Qc2 Rfe8 12.Bh4 Bh5 13.Bg3 Bxg3 14.hxg3 Bg6 15.Rxe8+ Rxe8 16.Bxg6 hxg6 17.Re1 Rxe1+ 18.Nxe1 Ne8 19.Nd3 Nd6 20.Qb3 a6 21.Kf1 1/2-1/2 (the game can be watched here).

However, despite the symmetrical pawn structure, White cannot force a draw. An obsession with obtaining one sometimes results in embarrassment for White, as in Tatai-Korchnoi, Beer Sheva 1978, which continued 4.Bd3 c5!? 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Qe2+ Be7 7.dxc5 Nf6 8.h3 O-O 9.O-O Bxc5 10.c3 Re8 11.Qc2 Qd6 12.Nbd2 Qg3 13.Bf5 Re2 14.Nd4 Nxd4 0-1. A less extreme example was Mikhail Gurevich-Short, Manila 1990 where White, a very strong Russian grandmaster, played openly for the draw but was ground down by Short in 42 moves.[2]

To create genuine winning chances, White will often play c2-c4 at some stage to put pressure on Black's d5-pawn. Black can give White an isolated queen's pawn by capturing on c4, but this gives White's pieces greater freedom, which may lead to attacking chances. This occurs in lines such as 3.exd5 exd5 4.c4 (played by GMs Normunds Miezis and Maurice Ashley) and 4.Nf3 Bd6 5.c4. Conversely, if White declines to do this, Black may play ...c7-c5 himself, e.g. 4.Bd3 c5. This idea was employed successfully by Korchnoi, but it is probably best to reserve this risky strategy for must-win situations.

If c2-c4 is not played, White and Black have two main piece setups. White may put his pieces on Nf3, Bd3, Bg5 (pinning the black knight), Nc3, Qd2 or the Queen's knight can go to d2 instead and White can support the center with c3 and perhaps play Qb3. Conversely, when the Queen's knight is on c3 the King's knight may go to e2 when the and the enemy Bishop and Knight can be kept out of the key squares e4 and g4 by f3. When the Knight is on c3 in the first and last of the above strategies, White may choose to castle on the Kingside or the Queenside. Obviously, opposite side castling leads to dynamic checkmate struggles and when the Kings castle on the same side the players usually putz around and don't do much until a complex endgame is obtained. Black may do the exact mirror image of all of the choices above. The positions are so symmetrical that the options and strategies are the same for both sides.

Another way to imbalance the game is for White or Black to castle on opposite sides of the board. An example of this is the line 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Bd6 6.Nf3 Bg4 7.0-0 Nge7 8.Re1 Qd7 9.Nbd2 0-0-0.
  
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #27 - 01/10/09 at 11:50:12
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I would also recommend Moskalenko's book. I like the fact it's not a repertoir book... It is very instructive though... Moskalenko tries really hard to make you understand what black should try to achive in the french, even though the book it's not without flaws, you can only benefit from it.

The first thing i did when i started playing the french was watch the chessbase dvd. However Ziegler speaks much to slowly for my taste, and i thought that the opening was really boring. Than i watched some morozevich games with black, and fell inlove with the french.

I still play it, however it's almost incredible how many players play the exchange variation in my country, so my main weapon is now 1.e5..

All that said, if you really wan't to enjoy when playing the french, try to play it morozevich style
  
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #26 - 11/29/08 at 15:11:32
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Stigma wrote on 11/29/08 at 09:00:54:
The most annoying gap to me is in the coverage of the Classical Steinitz, "Morozevich's Resources", where the critical 11.Nb3 should at least have been mentioned.


If memory serves that chapter also fails to mention Rh3 as played by Kasparov in that famous game against Short instead of h4-h5 as covered by Moskalenko's book.

That said, frankly, I think one of the reason's the book is so good is because it isn't a repertoire book.
  

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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #25 - 11/29/08 at 09:00:54
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JonathanB wrote on 11/28/08 at 16:24:34:
That said, despite what it says on the cover, and despite what many people will tell you, Moskalenko's book is not a repertoire book.  (I don't think I'm the first person on chess pub to point this out).

[ I should add a caveat here by saying I mean not a repertoire book in the sense that is commonly used - i.e. a book that provides a response or responses to all of White's options and sub-options ]


I agree, and it's a bit strange that they felt the need to advertise it as "...a revolutionary repertoire book for both Black and White"!. Really it's more a mix of theoretical articles, "Dangerous Weapons" and interesting annotated games. Instructive and inspirational for sure, but not a complete repertoire.

The most annoying gap to me is in the coverage of the Classical Steinitz, "Morozevich's Resources", where the critical 11.Nb3 should at least have been mentioned.
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #24 - 11/28/08 at 16:24:34
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HoemberChess wrote on 11/25/08 at 14:14:08:
i am black and looking for a repertoire book.
i wish i had the one by moskalenko.


Not that Willempie needs my backing but I'd have to agree with him and say I found Moskalenko's book entertaining, interesting and useful (far too many chess books I've bought over the years wouldn't score even 1 out of 3 there).

That said, despite what it says on the cover, and despite what many people will tell you, Moskalenko's book is not a repertoire book.  (I don't think I'm the first person on chess pub to point this out).

[ I should add a caveat here by saying I mean not a repertoire book in the sense that is commonly used - i.e. a book that provides a response or responses to all of White's options and sub-options ]

  

www.streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.com  "I don't call you f**k face" - GM Nigel Short.
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Willempie
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #23 - 11/28/08 at 07:19:03
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MartinC wrote on 11/27/08 at 10:03:57:
Well the gf Burns does give excitement! Still I suppose that a white bent on drawing can go Nxf6+ instead of Bxf6....
(so terribly dull as to be mercifully rare.).

Hmm yes the couple of games I got were fun, though I cant remember losing to it.
Quote:
Mind you I'm also not convinced how many winning chances black gets in the main line classical if white focuses on castling kingside and later containment.

It's no Winawer to be sure Smiley
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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