French Defense: Volume One, The

By Emanuel Berg


French Defense: Volume One, The
French Defense: Volume One, The
Quality Chess (2013)
328 pages (paperback)
$27.95
Reviewed by John Donaldson
THE FRENCH DEFENSE: VOLUME ONE by GM Emanuel Berg is the first of a planned three-volume work on the French and deals exclusively with the Winawer variation excepting 7.Qg4, which will be the subject of a separate volume.

The lines which are covered are as follows:

4th Move Options
1 4.Bd2 and 4.Bd3 7
2 4.Qg4 21
3 4.Bd3 35
4 4.a3 49
4.Ne2
5 Introduction 69
6 6.e5 85
7 6.Be3 99
4.exd5
8 Introduction and 8.Qf3 111
9 Main Line with 8.Qh5 123
5th Move Options
10 5.Nf3 and 5.dxc5 139
5.Qg4
11 Introduction 145
12 6.dxc5 without 8.000 and 8.Nf3 159
13 Main Lines with 8.000 and 8.Nf3 173
5.Bd2
14 Introduction 185
15 6.Bxh6!? 197
16 6.Nxb5 209
7th Move Options
17 7.Bd3 and 7.h4 221
18 7.Nf3 235
7.a4
19 Introduction 251
20 9.Qd2 261
21 9.Bd2 Bd7 Move 10 Alternatives 281
22 10.Bb5 291
23 10.Be2 301

Berg consistently selects aggressive continuations for Black. One is his advocacy of the challenging 4...Nc6 after 4.Ne2 meeting 5.a3 with 5...Ba5. This is much more ambitious than 4...dxe4 and receives 40 pages. Another is the choice of meeting 5.Bd2 with 5...Nh6 which merits another 35 pages. Both chapters feature a wealth of original analysis.

Main-line Winawer enthusiasts will find THE FRENCH DEFENSE: VOLUME ONE compelling reading and a must buy.

Highly Recommended