French Advance and Other Lines - Pedersen
In the third and final volume of his series on the French Defence,
Steffen Pedersen covers all of White's alternatives to 3 Nc3 and 3 Nd2.
These include the aggressive Advance, the quiet Exchange, and
side-variations such as the Two Knights, King's Indian Attack and the
Wing Gambit. In these lines, it is White who determines the central
structure and sets the pace of the game.
With the Advance Variation, White establishes a space advantage, and
will often seek to exploit this by creating attacking chances on the
kingside, or a bind on the queenside. Both sides have a variety of
systems at their disposal, and the player who is better acquainted with
the intricacies of these lines will tend to come out on top. It is a
perennial favourite among players with a direct aggressive style: Shirov
has played the Advance many times in recent years, while it has been
employed by Sveshnikov and Kupreichik throughout their careers.
The Exchange Variation leads to open and generally symmetrical
positions. Pedersen carefully examines White's attempts to seize the
initiative, and also recommends ways for Black to create play if White
adopts a more stolid approach.
The French: Tarrasch Variation - Pedersen
This book continues the coverage of the French Defence that was begun by Pedersen in The Main Line French: 3 Nc3. It is essential reading for all those who play the French, and for those who meet it with the popular and flexible Tarrasch Variation.
The Tarrasch Variation provides a stern test for the French Defence, and has always been a favourite of strategically minded players, such as Michael Adams and Anatoly Karpov. By putting his knight on d2, White seeks to give his opponent little scope for counterplay, and in many of the traditional lines ends up with a slight positional advantage that can prove extremely difficult to neutralize.
This has led to Black developing various sharper approaches, which complicate the play considerably at the cost of greater risk. Notable among these lines are systems with 3...Nf6 where Black sacrifices material to gain the initiative, and the modern main line 3...c5 4 exd5 Qxd5, where Black keeps his pawn-structure healthy at the cost of some tempi. To get the most out of these lines as either colour, thorough up-to-date knowledge is essential, and this book supplies it in abundance.