Beat the French Defense with 3. Nc3 Nowadays writing a book on the opening is always quite
demanding, especially from the White side. With strong engines and correspondence games readily
available to almost anyone in the world, it is hard to prove an advantage for White. Being able to come
up with new ideas and having multiple weapons at your disposal, is a definitive must in modern chess,
and besides dealing with various sidelines, this book is really about having a fresh look at the French
The French Defense was my main opening with Black while I was striving towards the GM title at the
turn of the century. Quite often, I was able to use it to drag my opponent into a complicated maze of deep
analysis, so I have intimate knowledge of the tricks used on the other side of the ‘barricades’. This helped
me craft a solid base for our present repertoire, and many of the ideas presented in the book have
brought me fine victories against some of the strongest French exponents as well.
Beat the French Defense with 3. Nc3 Variations are ordered according to their importance – if you are
looking to start building your repertoire against the French Defense ‘from scratch’, the initial chapters
will teach you how to deal with various suboptimal systems Black can employ. Gradually you will work
your way through to 3…dxe4, 3…Nf6 and 3…Bb4, the most principled systems for Black.
I believe this approach will also help you build confidence, learning how to fight for advantages under
objectively better circumstances first, without being burdened by heavy theory. Not to mention the
practical value of learning such lines: these dodgy lines are quite frequent guests in short time controls
and in online blitz.