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When Black replies to the double move of White’s king’s pawn with 1...e6 we have the French Defence. Its name goes back to a correspondence match between the cities of London and Paris in 1834, in which the French made successful use of the move 1...e6. In the 19th century the move was the most important alternative for Black to 1...e5 and even nowadays it still occupies third place in the ranking of the most popular replies to 1.e4 after the Sicilian and 1...e5.
The Steinitz Variation in the French with Be7
The Steinitz Variation in the French Defence is characterised by the move 4.e5. White closes the center and Black tries to build up pressure by playing c5. Pähtz favorite variation is playing 7...Be7 which is the topic of this 60 Minutes course.
by Elisabeth Pähtz
The Classical French - Main Line
After 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3, the author takes a detailed look at a daring line with 7... cxd4 8. Nd4 Qb6, as well as the quieter plans with 7...cxd4 8. Nd4 Bc5, and the main line with 7... a6 and b5.