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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) C00-C19: Best book for NEW french players (Read 14556 times)
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #22 - 11/27/08 at 18:13:30
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Q#1

You seem not "beginner" in French Defence and the thread deals here for "NEW" french players.
I am wondering why you feel your "old" books are not enough.
Maybe if you collect uptodate top level games with comments, you have enough good material to work with.
It's the basis of **best** websites and chess magazines, like Chesspublishing ofr NiC, but I admit, sometimes the "low" rated player doesn't know if it is useful for him to know the novelty at the end of one theoritical line. (Sometimes chesspublishing updates recalls of "well known classical  theory" and it's great help).
Myself, I prefer the "historical" way with for example the Kindermann&Dirr "oo Winawer": use history to explain how systems are born, which players leads to dramatic changes in assessments and so on. But "Kindermann&Dirr" is for Winawer. For the Advance, you have Sveshnikov books (Kosten and Collins books are good too), for the King's Indian d3 you have Dvoretsky&Yusupov, for some line of Winawer you have Uhlmann's book, for gambits you have Harding book 4 gambits to beat the French and so on....and maybe if you know old russian MI-GMI, you can ask them about their youth studies with the French.

Q#2

Why do I need another system vs 1.e4 ?  French is good enough...I can change after move 2, no ?


  

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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #21 - 11/27/08 at 10:03:57
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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.).

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.
  
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #20 - 11/26/08 at 18:54:50
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HoemberChess wrote on 11/26/08 at 16:45:26:
Thanks.
Does 4..Be7 5.e5 Nfd7 6.Bxe7 Qxe7 give more chances of winning than the Burn Variation?
I have access to Moskalenko's book but only in Russian, which I don't understand.

Definately. If white is just looking for a draw, the Burn imo is worse than the exchange.
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #19 - 11/26/08 at 17:07:39
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There are a copule of good sources for those who are just taking up the opening that I don't see mentioned yet:

Nesis: Tactics in the French
Luther: Französisch 1-2 (Chessbase DVDs)

The Nesis book is probably hard to find (maybe used?) but I think it makes a good companion to the excellent McDonald/Harley book when it comes to recognizing the themes (obviously with an emphasis on tactics and attacks). I think there is a more recent updated edition in Russian, with Khalifman as co-author, which shoud be even better. Maybe there is a book on the French in New in Chess' "Tactics in the Openings" series as well?

The Luther DVDs look at many different lines without going into too much depth, but they are in German. If you want English instead try the Ziegler DVD, which is also good but more of a repertoire.
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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HoemberChess
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #18 - 11/26/08 at 16:45:26
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Thanks.
Does 4..Be7 5.e5 Nfd7 6.Bxe7 Qxe7 give more chances of winning than the Burn Variation?
I have access to Moskalenko's book but only in Russian, which I don't understand.

Willempie wrote on 11/25/08 at 14:36:52:
Moskalenko's book is indeed very good.
Since you have Uhlmann already I suggest going through the games in that one. It is sortof learning by example in particular on the middle games and endgames you get from the French. Of course a big chunk is Winawer, but you could skip that (though they are very interesting games)

PS dont play the Burn/Rubinstein lines with dxe4. They are sortof the poor man's Caro-Kann.

  

as
*W 1d4) Torre/Barry/Pirc/Philidor/ early _d5:early c4(QGD/Slav/QGD/etc)
*B) 1e4:e6 [+1_c5 2Nf3 a6]| 1d4:e6 2c4 Bb4+ BID/pseudoNID [+1_Nf6 NID]| 1c4:c5,_Nc6,_e5,_g6| 1Nf3:c5
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #17 - 11/25/08 at 14:36:52
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Moskalenko's book is indeed very good.
Since you have Uhlmann already I suggest going through the games in that one. It is sortof learning by example in particular on the middle games and endgames you get from the French. Of course a big chunk is Winawer, but you could skip that (though they are very interesting games)

PS dont play the Burn/Rubinstein lines with dxe4. They are sortof the poor man's Caro-Kann.
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #16 - 11/25/08 at 14:14:08
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i am black and looking for a repertoire book.
i wish i had the one by moskalenko.

MilenPetrov wrote on 11/24/08 at 16:05:15:
Moskalenko's book is also very useful.
Another good sourse is Tsermiadianos's How to beat the French.
Kasimdzhanov's three volume DVD set is also very useful.

  

as
*W 1d4) Torre/Barry/Pirc/Philidor/ early _d5:early c4(QGD/Slav/QGD/etc)
*B) 1e4:e6 [+1_c5 2Nf3 a6]| 1d4:e6 2c4 Bb4+ BID/pseudoNID [+1_Nf6 NID]| 1c4:c5,_Nc6,_e5,_g6| 1Nf3:c5
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #15 - 11/25/08 at 14:12:00
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it was not alien chess. it was me. it was already a new question. i simply did not want to open a new topic.

urusov wrote on 11/25/08 at 12:40:20:
I think Alien Chess is clearly asking for a book that explains principles and ideas for people starting out.  Few of the suggestions here fit the bill.  And, honestly, I do not think there are a lot of good French books for beginners out there -- certainly no new ones.  The Jacobs book in the Starting Out series would not be my recommendation, for example.  I can think of two books to recommend, which you might find used:

Shaun Taulbut's How to Play the French (1990?)
McDonald's -- already mentioned

The old Taulbut book is a great overview with discussion of just a few games.  It is short and readable and offers some good ideas, despite its age.


  

as
*W 1d4) Torre/Barry/Pirc/Philidor/ early _d5:early c4(QGD/Slav/QGD/etc)
*B) 1e4:e6 [+1_c5 2Nf3 a6]| 1d4:e6 2c4 Bb4+ BID/pseudoNID [+1_Nf6 NID]| 1c4:c5,_Nc6,_e5,_g6| 1Nf3:c5
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #14 - 11/25/08 at 12:40:20
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I think Alien Chess is clearly asking for a book that explains principles and ideas for people starting out.  Few of the suggestions here fit the bill.  And, honestly, I do not think there are a lot of good French books for beginners out there -- certainly no new ones.  The Jacobs book in the Starting Out series would not be my recommendation, for example.  I can think of two books to recommend, which you might find used:

Shaun Taulbut's How to Play the French (1990?)
McDonald's -- already mentioned

The old Taulbut book is a great overview with discussion of just a few games.  It is short and readable and offers some good ideas, despite its age.

  
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #13 - 11/24/08 at 16:05:15
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Moskalenko's book is also very useful.
Another good sourse is Tsermiadianos's How to beat the French.
Kasimdzhanov's three volume DVD set is also very useful.
  
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #12 - 11/24/08 at 13:44:27
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Hi,

I have two questions.

(Q#1 - Question One)
Could any of you suggest me books or other material froms which I can build a French _repertoire_ well at _my level_?
I played the opening about 11 years ago when I when I was still an 1700 with some good results. (I even defeated a 2200+ opponent with it.)
I have been reading Mastering the French by Neil McDonald for getting a taste of the opening but the material is eleven years old.
I play around 2200 and mostly on weekend tournaments where my opposition ranges between 2000 and 2350.

(Q#2 - Question Two)
Is the French enough for you? What do you play as No#2 defenses? (I often feel I like many positions so I ocassionally need to play something else.)

I am looking forward to your replies.



P.S.: I have experienced a lot with openings. As White I have stuck to 1.d4. As Black I have played almost everything to 1..e4 except 1..e5 and 1..c5 (actually, I like the Classical Sicilian, but it seems to me that all players of the white pieces had some pet line against 1..c5). I experienced a lot with 1..d6 but I don't like the pure Pirc move order because of the knight-harrassing 4.f4.
Now my "repertoire" against 1.e4 consists of
(1) 1..d5 (w/ 2..Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5) //easy to learn, but I don't like it if must play for a win vs. a strong opposition
(2) 1..d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 (endgame variaton + 4.Nf3 Nbd7 Philidor Hanham) //it is a little passive for me, but 3..c6, the Pirc Czech, witch which I experimented lot, is suspicious.
(+) 1..g6 (3..d6 and mostly 4..a6) //I like to attack the center from the flank but...I let White make whatever setup he/she wants.
I like it if the tactical struggle is delayed when playing Black, so I'd like to put the French to the 1st place.
I find the French a most complex opening, which needs much more study than (1), but I don't care.
I don't like exchange variations in general, but I think I should rather be happy meeting 3.exd5 with the black pieces. What I don't want to play at all is the Winawer -- I prefer 3..Nf6 4.e5 lines. Also, 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e5 exchanges my good bishop, so I intend to study 4..dxe4 plus 4..Bb4.)



BTW, I have
* [e-book] The Complete French by PSAKHIS (1992)
* [e-book] Winning w/ The French by UHLMANN (1995)
* [e-book] Play the French by WATSON (the 1996 edition is the newest I have)
* [e-book] Mastering the French by McDONALD (1997)
* [e-book] French Defence Modern Practice by KALININ (2003)
* [e-book] French Defense vol. #4 by PSAKHIS (2004)
* [Chessbase Fritz Trainer] French Repertoire for Black by ZIEGLER (2006)
* [e-book] Dangerous Weapons - The French by WATSON (2007) //not a repertoire book, I think
  

as
*W 1d4) Torre/Barry/Pirc/Philidor/ early _d5:early c4(QGD/Slav/QGD/etc)
*B) 1e4:e6 [+1_c5 2Nf3 a6]| 1d4:e6 2c4 Bb4+ BID/pseudoNID [+1_Nf6 NID]| 1c4:c5,_Nc6,_e5,_g6| 1Nf3:c5
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #11 - 03/22/07 at 20:39:31
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One of these or all three made Tal give up the French:

Nezjmetdinov, Moscow 1957.
Bannik, Riga 1958.
Portisch, Oberhausen 1961.

and his choice was confirmed against

Andruet, Marseille 1989.
Spasov, Manilla 1990.
  

The book had the effect good books usually have: it made the stupids more stupid, the intelligent more intelligent and the other thousands of readers remained unchanged.
GC Lichtenberg
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #10 - 03/22/07 at 13:01:36
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Quote:
Would someone care to contradict that?  I'm just talking about the typically French blocked center, not the funny stuff after 3. Nd2 c5  4. cxd5 Qxd5.  That's why I don't think that the French should be viewed as such a daunting opening to take up.  But who am I to contradict the immortal Tal?


Well, the problem is that black often 'opens the positions' by winning pawn d4 and white resigns shortly...

Besides, Tal did win a lot of games with the French in his earlier days. I'm not sure who beat him so badly that he gave it up, but I would suspect it was someone who knew the French inside out, which is why I don't agree with the following either:

Quote:
I don't think that it's necessary to look at whole games.  It should be enough to look at the key variations from a theory book, such as Pedersen's.


since black's gameplan is a counter attacking one. So one must've seen how often and badly white's early initiative can backfire before one would be competent to judge the positions after 15-20 moves, when black is usually still in the 'coiled spring' phase...
  
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #9 - 03/22/07 at 07:49:11
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I'd add endgames (especially playing with knights) and "half open" centers. Those are centers which are neither totally open (such as with e6-d5 hanging pawns) nor closed (d4-e5 vs e6-d5). This can happen quite a lot if black pushes c5-c4 and f6.
Ie in the winawer this is a very important weapon as white's c-pawns are doubled. You'd get something like this 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 Ne7 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 c5 7.a4 Nbc6 8.Nf3 Bd7 9.Bd3 Qc7 10.0-0 c4 11.Be2 f6 and now there is the option of exchanging on f6 or let black exchange on e5, both are what I call "half open center", for lack of a better term.
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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Re: Best book for NEW french players
Reply #8 - 03/21/07 at 18:53:37
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Paddy wrote on 03/11/07 at 18:55:35:
First, as has been said by many of us here in many different threads, most inexperienced players would probably benefit from spending a fairly long period of time playing open games as Black ( 1 e4 e5) before even considering half-open defences such as the French.

Second, even when the time is right to start considering playing something other than 1 e4 e5 for Black, the French is definitely not for everyone. Consider these comments on the French by the great Mikhail Tal, World Champion 1960-61.

" One of my most unsuccessful openings. Almost all the games in which I chose it ended in my defeat (...) I feel that these losses were not accidental. Black, in the French, has to play with great accuracy, and this is a quality I never had a great measure of, neither now nor in my earlier days." (in Learn from the Grandmasters, 1975.)

Third, if you must play the French, I don't see a lot wrong with the book "Starting out: the French" as a first book on the French.

Fourth, I love Uhlmann's collection of his annotated French games, but potential readers should be aware that it does not deal with 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Nf6.

I hope this helps.



I think you're right that a number of French positions should be examined before deciding that this system is for you.  And I agree that Uhlmann's collection is very good.  But I don't think that it's necessary to look at whole games.  It should be enough to look at the key variations from a theory book, such as Pedersen's.

Anyone undertaking the French should be comfortable in open postions, since the foremost of Black's three main strategies, from the blocked center, is to blast away at the white pawns and transform the position into an open one.  So if I were having trouble in open positions (after 1...e5, for example) I wouldn't view the French as a potential refuge. 

Black's other two strategies from the blocked center are play on the queenside with pieces (as in the MacCutcheon and Winawer) and play on the queenside with pawns (as in the Classical).  You resort to one of these when you can't destroy White's center.

Would someone care to contradict that?  I'm just talking about the typically French blocked center, not the funny stuff after 3. Nd2 c5  4. cxd5 Qxd5.  That's why I don't think that the French should be viewed as such a daunting opening to take up.  But who am I to contradict the immortal Tal?
  

The Great Oz has spoken!
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