The Fort Knox Variation in the French Defence

If you're one of those French Defence players who has been desperately searching for a reliable and easy-to-learn system against White's two main 3rd moves (3.Nd2 or 3.Nc3) then this is the 60 Minutes for you! Presenting: the Fort Knox variation (3...dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bd7!?). This opening does exactly what it says on the tin! By developing the notoriously bad French c8-bishop to c6, followed by a natural and methodical development of the kingside pieces, Black manages to erect a super-solid structure — like Fort Knox — that is designed to frustrate White, who will often overextend, leaving himself exposed in his quest for glory. This variation has been endorsed by some of the most classical players (like Karpov), as well as the most creative (like Jobava) Grandmasters in the world with fantastic success. It’s a perfect choice for those with a positional style of chess who enjoy counterattacking and taking advantage of overzealous opposition.


Sample video


  • 01: Fort Knox - Introduction [03:49]
  • The Fort Knox Variation: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2/Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bd7
  • 02: 5.c4 - Analysis [08:11]
  • 03: 5.Nf3 Bc6 6.Nge5 Bd6 - Analysis [16:17]
  • 04: 5.Nf3 Bc6 6.Bd3 Nd7 7.Qe2 Ngf6 8.Nge5/0-0 - Analysis [10:06]
  • 05: 5.Nf3 Bc6 6.Bd3 Nd7 7.Qe2 Ngf6 8.Ned2- Analysis [18:00]
  • 06: 5.Nf3 Bc6 6.Bd3 Nd7 7.Qe2 Ngf6 8.Ng3 - Analysis [17:01]
  • Quiz section
  • 07: Puzzle 1- Larino Nieto,D - Mirzoev,A [01:51]
  • 08: Puzzle 2- Bluvshtein,M - Rozentalis,E [02:12]
  • 09: Puzzle 3- Frolyanov,D - Rustemov,A [02:08]
  • 10: Puzzle 4- Rogers,I - McDonald,N [01:59]
  • 11: Puzzle 5- Guseinov,G - Nguyen,N [01:35]
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