Beginner French questions


I am a low intermediate player, not sure my otb rating at this point tend to be around 1500 online. 

I like playing the French defense, but I frequently get opponents that play slightly unusual or inaccurate move orders. 

The one if face most often is 1. e4 e6 2. Nc3 which usually goes into exchange French 

and another is 1. e4 e6 2. e5 which usually transposes into advance variation. I was wondering if there is anything to do against these weird move orders to spice things up a bit. 

I get tired of playing the exchange so I could transpose into a Sicilian in the first example but don’t play that opening, so I’m not sure what variation that would be called. 


Tom Lancia

Tom Lancia 2 weeks ago

If you want to play the French and play for a win, you need to deal with the Exchange Variation.  After all, white can play it on  move 3 no matter what.  

Play over the Winter-Alekhine (Game 8) in the classical games section and study it very carefully.  Then play it over again.  It’s an excellent but subtle template for how to beat the exchange variation.  Good luck, comrade.
Christoph Serrer

Christoph Serrer 2 weeks ago

3.c5 is also intereseting
Courtney Frey

Courtney Frey 1 week ago

Banh Gia Huy

Banh Gia Huy 2 weeks ago

Yeah, i see that the exchange variation is drawish.But if our opponent wants a draw, they will  fight for a draw so they won't play aggressive move.If you want to win, there are some rules

-Castle in the opposite side of the white king

-Try to exchange their light square bishop via f5

-Play f6 to cover e5, then follow with g5,h5 and a pawn storm


T K 2 weeks ago

Yeah you are right.I won a lot of games with this setup.But there is a problem:

If white castles queenside,no more f6 g5 h5.But Also white can't attack.So game is very drawish after these moves.But there is some resources like a good endgame technicue.

I stopped playing French because of exchange variation.But there is not a rule that everyone plays exchange French.

Courtney Frey

Courtney Frey 1 week ago

Christoph Serrer

Christoph Serrer 2 weeks ago

I would buy giris french course, it is super sound and covers more or less everything
An Illusion

An Illusion 2 weeks ago

This discussion reminds me of a conversation I had with an author who I met in a server chess game.

I was complaining about people playing for draws and he said...

Those lines certainly are annoying for dynamic players, but it is difficult to fully prevent White from equalizing.   :-)