I must admit out of all the openings I chose to do a shock and awe article against, the one I had most trouble with was the French. It seemed so solid that the only serious way to take it on was by choosing one of the main lines with 3.Nd2 or 3.Nc3.
The problem is for this series I only want to cover openings that haven’t been analysed to death, and there’s a SERIOUS amount of analysis that comes with either of those choices. I thought about a system involving an early 1.b3, but somehow combining 1.e4 with b3 has never made a lot of sense to me.
So, to cut a long story short, I finally settled on a system which might not be completely sound, but seems a lot of fun and at a lower level at least, is bound to score a lot of easy victories.
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To sum up, this way of playing a gambit against the French has gone out of fashion, mostly because people just turn on their engines and the evaluation is in favour of Black. In this computer era we don’t like to play lines that the engines don’t agree with, but that’s to forget that games are contested between two flesh and blood entities that frequently make mistakes.
Danny Gormally is a talented English Grandmaster. He lives in the bustling market town of Alnwick, somewhere near Scotland.
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