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Understanding Middlegame Strategies Vol.8 - French - Winawer

The French is a complex opening and can lead to a wide variety of middlegames. The Winawer after 3...Bb4 is Black’s most proactive option, immediately weakening White’s pawn structure by doubling their c-pawns.

While Black gets to play against the weak square d4, White often gets attacking chances on the kingside and a space advantage. Structurally, this line can lead to closed positions after ...c4, or open and dynamic play by white’s structural exchange dxc5. “My game selection is aimed at explaining the most important plans of these strategically complex positions.” (Author GM Ivan Sokolov)

  • Video running time: 3 hours 55 minutes
  • With interactive training including video feedback
  • Extra: Training with ChessBase apps - Play “French: Winawer” positions against Fritz on various levels

This is what is delivered:

  • Fritztrainer App for Windows and Mac
  • Available as download or on DVD
  • Video course with a running time of approx. 4-8 hrs.
  • Repertoire database: save and integrate Fritztrainer games into your own repertoire (in WebApp Opening or in ChessBase)
  • Interactive exercises with video feedback: the authors present exercises and key positions, the user has to enter the solution. With video feedback (also on mistakes) and further explanations.
  • Sample games as a ChessBase database.
  • New: many Fritztrainer now also available as stream in the ChessBase video portal!

That's what the FritzTrainer App can do for you:

  • Videos can run in the Fritztrainer app or in the ChessBase program with board graphics, notation and a large function bar
  • Analysis engine can be switched on at any time
  • Video pause for manual navigation and analysis in game notation
  • Input of your own variations, engine analysis, with storage in the game
  • Learn variations: view specific lines in the ChessBase WebApp Opening with autoplay, memorize variations and practise transformation (initial position - final position).
  • Active opening training: selected opening positions are transferred to the ChessBase WebApp Fritz-online. In a match against Fritz you test your new knowledge and actively play the new opening.

Even more possibilities: Start FritzTrainer in the ChessBase program!

  • The database with all games and analyses can be opened directly.
  • Games can be easily added to the opening reference.
  • Direct evaluation with game reference, games can be replayed on the analysis board
  • Your own variations are saved and can be added to the own repertoire
  • Replay training
  • LiveBook active
  • All engines installed in ChessBase can be started for the analysis
  • Assisted Analysis
  • Print notation and diagrams (for worksheets)

Muestra de vídeo


  • Introduction
  • French - Winawer
  • 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4
  • Game 1: Fischer - Larsen
  • Game 2: Spassky - Korchnoi
  • Game 3: Ivkov - Portisch
  • Game 4: Anand - Nikolic
  • Game 5: Santos - Rapport
  • Game 6: Anand - Ponomariov
  • Game 7: Ponomariov - Ivanchuk
  • Bonus: 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 Nunn - Korchnoi
  • Exercises
  • Description
  • Exercise 1: Anand - Nikolic
  • Exercise 2: Anand - Ponomariov
  • Exercise 3: Anand - Ponomariov
  • Exercise 4: Fischer - Larsen
  • Exercise 5: Fischer - Larsen
  • Exercise 6: Ivkov - Portisch
  • Exercise 7: Ponomariov - Ivanchuk
  • Exercise 8: Spassky - Korchnoi


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.

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