French Defense – Beating the Advance Variation (Pt 4/4) – Beginner Chess Openings

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The basic principles of the French Defense still apply – black should strive to undermine white´s center by first applying pressure on d4 via moves like …c5, …Nc6, and …Qb6. Once white´s pieces are tied down to the defense of the d4 pawn, black should aim to open a frontal attack against white´s center with …f6 – breaking open the f-file and substantially increasing the pressure.

To learn an excellent set-up and basic plan on how to play as black against this sharp set-up for white, in the above video I have examined a few games by a legendary player in the history of the French Defense — GM Viktor Korchnoi. Below you will find the interactive PGNs for these 2 examples from Korchnoi´s games.

Learn more about the French Defense:


  1. What if after rd8 white played Ng5? threat is nxh7 kxh7 then qh5+ and if bxg5 bxg5 attacking the rook.

  2. try to grab a copy of Nikita Vitiugov. French Defense: A complete black repertoire. lot's of instructive games there.

  3. Cool stuff, I want more live blitz chess!

  4. hmm that sounds like a sketchy idea as black will have lost a lot of time moving his knight around. and the knight is not in the best spot on b6 as you say. Cheers, Will

  5. although, the format of the book often times misleading.

  6. the Milner-Barry is a very interesting opening. I can´t believe it is still played at the highest levels the days – but it still is!

  7. that locked pawn line at the center is so common, would like to see followup on breaking it, not so comfortable with the n capture on g, but i do see that offer quite often from opponents.

  8. yes but the strong pawn chain for white on c3 d4 e5 f4 can be attacked with c5, Nc6, Qb6, and later f6 as well!

  9. I never play the French defence lol but it's always good to see the motives behind the ideas, I never face the French defence either as I always play 1.d4 or 1.b3 never 1.e4 but I like the transposition into a Sicilian defence with 2…c5! Great analysis and ideas 🙂

  10. thanks! glad to hear you liked the video. also – that transition to the Sicilian (or vice versa from the c3 sicilian to a french) is a nice way to avoid some lines you might feel uncomfortable with

  11. thanks Madaxe – i´ll be working on that again soon. Cheers, Will

  12. How do I find a playlist of the videos uploaded by you, Will?

  13. i have various playlists set up for different video series i have done, but i dont have one huge playlist with my new videos on the channel yet. Thanks! Will

  14. yes! also i think 3. …Qb6 is better and more accurate b/c it prevents white from easy development with 4. Be3 by attacking the pawn on b2. Cheers, Will

  15. Mhm, you did not explain what happens when we play f6 and the knight is on g6. White could give up the lightsquared bishop for a double g pawn.

  16. In the last few days (maybe weeks) I studied the French defense more deeply, and I never thought that learning a defense against 1.e4 would need so much time.
    So I want to thank you for all your videos on the French defense, your explanations are easy to understand, your accent is easily understandable even for a non-english person.
    Now I feel that I am ready opening-wise, I use the Colle System as white, French for 1.e4 and Semi-Slav for 1.d4.
    What do you recommend, what to study or do next ?

  17. What do you think of this line:
    1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 f6
    I know it doesn't look much, but in case White comes 3.e5, I am thinking of coming3…f6 and in case White takes 4.exf6 then I would recapture with my Knight, that way I will deploy that Knight with tempo and White would have some trouble in the midle.

  18. OMG I almost forgot, I love the piano music at the beginning and at the end of the video !

  19. Nice video Will, but sometimes you tend to clog your chess vlogs with too many variations. Keep it simple and short, one or 2 variations in a 7min video is enough. Good job though.

  20. 7:40 is a favorable Milner-Barry for White if Black takes the pawn (but if he doesn't he just seems worse to me). I was surprised Korchnoi played this way, since it allows White smooth development with Bd3 and Nc3. Instructive play by Korchnoi in the middlegame, but I think the opening is risky, especially for a beginner. 6.a3 Nh6 is maybe the most active approach, but this opening tends to become sharp. Kraai had a nice game against Shabalov in this line IIRC.

  21. 18:16 Not so quick, not so quick. I think g6 is a serious move to consider. If gxf5 gxf5 black might have a nice attack on the king's side.

  22. every body can tell how to beat the french, can somebody please tell me how to win with it?

  23. Instill come back to revise my French strategy, thanks Will 🙂

  24. white should being his/her knight f3 to g5. Then whit's queen to h5! Game over!

  25. Rather than Qb6 A clever waiting move is Bd7 and this avoids Milner Barry

  26. What about Tal's 'refutation' of the Milner-Barry: …a6? It puts a lot of ice on White's plans after Black takes the gambit pawn.

  27. Right before 24 minutes that Milner Barry analysis that follows is wonderful

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