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French Defense (C00)
1 e4 e6

Number of games in database: 5318
Years covered: 1827 to 2021
Overall record:
   White wins 40.6%
   Black wins 34.3%
   Draws 25.1%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Mikhail Chigorin  43 games
Lawrence Day  32 games
Vadim Zvjaginsev  28 games
Mikhail Ulybin  24 games
Simon Kim Williams  21 games
Alexei Barsov  20 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Nimzowitsch vs Systemsson, 1927
Keres vs Verbac, 1933
Morphy vs Anderssen, 1858
M Ortueta Esteban vs J Sanz, 1933
Nimzowitsch vs Capablanca, 1911
Larsen vs Petrosian, 1966
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 page 1 of 213; games 1-25 of 5,318 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. C Vezin vs The Turk ½-½571827friendlyC00 French Defense
2. Mrs. Fisher vs The Turk 1-0411827ExhibitionC00 French Defense
3. McDonnell vs W Fraser 1-0371831MatchC00 French Defense
4. McDonnell vs W Fraser ½-½741831MatchC00 French Defense
5. McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais 0-1501834LondonC00 French Defense
6. La Bourdonnais vs L S Lecrivain 1-0281836Blindfold simul, 2bC00 French Defense
7. G Walker vs Saint-Amant 0-1441836Casual gameC00 French Defense
8. La Bourdonnais vs Daniel Wilson 1-0441837Blindfold simulC00 French Defense
9. Staunton vs W M Popert 0-1271840MatchC00 French Defense
10. Kieseritzky vs Saint-Amant 0-1391840ParisC00 French Defense
11. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1381842London m2C00 French Defense
12. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1381842London m2C00 French Defense
13. Cochrane vs Staunton 1-0231842LondonC00 French Defense
14. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1241842LondonC00 French Defense
15. Taverner vs Saint-Amant 0-1421843Great BritainC00 French Defense
16. A Shishmanovich vs Zytogorski 1-0201844RousseC00 French Defense
17. C Stanley vs E Rousseau  0-1281845Rousseau - Stanley MatchC00 French Defense
18. Von der Lasa vs Loewenthal  ½-½321846ViennaC00 French Defense
19. Utrecht vs Wijk bij Duurstede 0-1291848City MatchC00 French Defense
20. E Lowe vs H Kennedy 0-1421849MatchC00 French Defense
21. Bird vs G W Medley 0-1291849LondonC00 French Defense
22. Bird vs G W Medley 1-0331849LondonC00 French Defense
23. Bird vs G W Medley 1-0211849LondonC00 French Defense
24. Zeist vs Amsterdam  ½-½481849correspondenceC00 French Defense
25. Cochrane vs Mohishunder 1-0281850Calcutta mC00 French Defense
 page 1 of 213; games 1-25 of 5,318 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 14 OF 15 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-06-10  Tomlinsky: <gezafan> I'd replace Maroczy with Gurevich personally but they are the boys whose games to study I would agree.
Aug-23-10  xombie: Play the mainlines! Cheapos such as the reti gambit (or the wing gambit) are for people who have no positional thought!
Sep-23-10  rapidcitychess: Today's OOTD Is the Dimer-Duhm Gambit.
1.♙e4 ♙e6 2.♙d4 ♙d5 3.♙c4?!

Is everyone thinking what I am thinking?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: Here's my take on the DD Gambit from Gambit Chess Openings:

[Event ""]
[Site ""]
[Date ""]
[Round ""]
[White "French Defense "]
[Black "Diemer-Duhm Gambit "]
[Result ""]
[Eco "C00"]
[Annotator "GCO: Schiller"]
[Source "Gambit Chess Openings"]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.c4
'passed pawn' The Diemer-Duhm gambit is not just a dumb idea. White gives up the center pawn in the spirit of the ♗lackmar-Diemer Gambit but at the same time keeps control of d5 with a pawn at c4. It is not sound enough for regular use and is not likely to be seen on professional tours, but is a fun opening for use at the club level. Much of the analysis here is a reaction to the web page html which is devoted to the opening. This rare gambit is not even mentioned in ♘CO. %30`2 dxe4 ( 3...dxc4
would be an inferior position for ♗lack from the ♕ueen's Gambit Accepted, cf. 1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 where 3...e6 is considered weak. ) 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.f3 ♘ow capturing at f3 leads to positions where White can build a strong attack. ♗lack has a more effective plan, which is to strike quickly at White's central pawn by attacking it from the flank. c5 This is the ♔eres Variation, and it is the strongest test of White's plan. 6.d5 is the normal move. Supporting the center with 6.♗e3 allows ♗lack the luxury of capturing at f3, as the bishop is too passively placed. exd5 7.cxd5 exf3 8.Nxf3
In contrast to the ♗lackmar-Diemer Gambit, White suffers from a weak pawn at d5 that will require defense as the game goes on. There is only a little better development for White to act as with compensation for the pawn. Bd6 ! ♗lack is now clearly better. As very little has been published in standard books, I have looked at the analysis on the web page, and particularly the suggestions of John Watson, and present the following examples. If the positions below are not comfortable enough for ♗lack, then 8...a6 comes into consideration, controlling the important b5-square. 9.Bb5+ ( 9.Bd3 O-O 10.O-O Nbd7 11.Bg5 h6 12.Bh4 a6 and ♗lack is ready to launch a queenside attack, while the kingside remains safe, Heikkinen-Anonymous, 1996. ) ( 9.Bc4 O-O 10.O-O Bg4 11.Bg5 h6 12.Bh4 Re8 is Watson's defense, and it is a good one. Again, White has no tangible threats. ) ( 9.Bg5 Nbd7 10.Bb5 O-O transposes to the main line. ) Nbd7 10.O-O O-O 11.Bg5 h6 12.Bh4 'passed pawn' Re8 looks like a strong plan for ♗lack. ( 12...a6 was my previous choice but the situation after 13.Bxd7 Bxd7 14.Ne4 Bf4 is not as good as I thought. 15.Nfd2 is suggested in the Diemer-Duhm online magazine, 1/99. ! ( 15.Bxf6 gxf6 16.Qc2 Re8 17.Nfd2 Be3+ 18.Kh1 f5 and ♗lack has the initiative. ) g5 16.Rxf4 Nxd5 17.Rf2 ! ( 17.Qh5 Nxf4 18.Qxh6 f6 ) gxh4 18.Qh5 and White will be able to attack the weak ♗lack kingside. Be6 19.Qxh6 Re8 20.Ng5 Qd7 21.Qh7+ Kf8 22.Nxf7 ! earns White the full point. ) 13.Nd2 can now be met by g5 and if 14.Nc4 then ♗lack can either retreat the bishop or play Bxh2+ 15.Kxh2 gxh4 16.Qf3 Rf8 with an ∞ position, though it can lead to a draw after, say, 17.Qf4 h5 18.Qg5+ Kh7 19.Qf5+ *

Sep-23-10  rapidcitychess: <Eric Schiller> Yet it is still dubious.
Feb-14-11  Shams: Anyone have a nice "active positional" treatment against the Fort Knox variation?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day:
Diemer-Duhm Gambit
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.c4
Jun-02-11  kellmano: Questionon the french. I hate playing against it as white, so much so that I play the exchange. This can be dull though and I'm getting bored. Is there any way to try to steer it into a completely different type of game?
Jun-02-11  kingfu: Two options:

Tarrasch with the intent of steering the game toward your strengths.

KIA with 1. e4 e6 2 d3 with many options including g3 and Bg2.

Apr-07-12  mistreaver: Can some1 say what is the best continuation of line 1e4 e6 2d4 d5 3Nc3 Bb4 4 e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3 6.bxc3 Ne7 7Qg4 0-0. I picked up this line in Kasparov's book OMGP,where he gives black's seventh move exclamation mark and says that this is the main line nowadays. I gave it a try in few internet blitz games, but i couldn't find best replies to 8Bd3 or 8Bg5. In reply to Bd3 i tried c4, when white sacrificed with Bxh7 and got withering attack. Then i switched to Nc6, but didn't like 9Bg5, since this pin is very frustrating (and black can't play f6 and f5). Any suggestions?
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: <mistreaver> The position after 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 O-O 8.Bd3

click for larger view

occurred in the Chessgames challenge the Battle of the Brains II.

Team Black replied to 8.Bd3 by playing 8...f5.

You may find very useful analyses there (<acirce>'s summary on page 89 and a lot of material on other pages).

Chessgames Challenge: Battle of the Brains II, 2008

Apr-07-12  mistreaver: <cro77> Ah, thank you so so much, those comments were just what i needed!
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: In theory the best reply to 8.Bd3 is 8...Nbc6 and if 9.Bg5 then 9...Qa5.

The best answer to 8.Bg5?! is 8...Qa5.

Apr-07-12  mistreaver: True, it really looks strong, i guess my internet opponents will have to recon with that surprise, as it is not very obvious move.
Sep-23-12  kitbitzer31: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Ba5 6.b4 (given by Alekhline), why can't Black play 6...cxb4 instead of 6...cxd4 ? 7.Nb5! (again given by Alekhline) 7...bxa3+ 8.Bd2 Bc7 and how has White any compensation for the pawn? I tried 9.Bb4 in several of my games but then Black replied 9...Nc6 10.Bd6 Bxd6 11.Nxd6+ Kf8 12.Rxa3 Ne7 13.Rf3 (in another game, I tried 13.g4!? to prevent the move in the game and Black replied 13..h5) 13...Nf5 and I don't think White has anything. Where did I go wrong? And why is the 6...cxb4 line in the French defense considered weak? Thanks in advance.
Sep-23-12  kitbitzer31: Sorry it is 12...Nge7 not 12...Nce7. Thanks.
Sep-23-12  thomastonk: <kitbitzer31> 8.c3! is the main line.
Sep-23-12  kitbitzer31: Thanks <thomastonk>.... If you don't mind, can I ask you what happens after 8.c3 Bc7 9. Bxa3 Nc6? Once again, thanks for your help.
Sep-24-12  kitbitzer31: Sorry, upon closer investigation,

Maybe 9... Ne7 is better so as to meet 10.Bd6 with 10...Bxd6 11.Nxd6+ Kf8 12.Qf3 with 12... Nf5

Sep-24-12  thomastonk: <kitbitzer31> White is in no hurry to prove the compensation for the pawn. Black has a long lasting problem with his king. If Black intends 0-0, White can simply develop Nf3, Bd3, and 0-0, and then launch a king side attack. If Black forces White early to do something with Ba3/Nb5, then he won't be able to castle, and Black is permanently badly coordinated.
Sep-24-12  kitbitzer31: Ah... I see.Thanks. You were very helpful. I remember a quote by Petrosian that went something like this, "Many players after sacrificing a pawn aim not to obtain the initiativefor it but to regain the sacrificed material". It certainly applies here to me. Once again, thank you for your great help..
Sep-24-12  kitbitzer31: Once again, sorry to bother you but what would you play after 8...Bc7? Any recommendations for White? Thanks.
Sep-24-12  haydn20: <k31> 8....Bc7 9. Bxa3 Nc6 10. Qg4 g6 11. Bd3 followed up by Nf3 0-0 and Nxc7 and White has a blistering attack with an unopposed DSB, while Black is still trying to get developed. 6...cxd4 looks a lot more sensible for Black. Maybe one of the resident stronger players has a deeper view than I.
Sep-24-12  thomastonk: <kitbitzer31> Maybe this opening explorer can answer some of your questions:
Sep-24-12  kitbitzer31: Thanks to both <haydn20> and <thomastonk> in answering my numerous questions. Thanks or being so patient and kind to an amateur.
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