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cpocf 44 ( +1 | -1 )
French Defense right on! The French Defense, I don't know. Been looking at it closely. The Exchange variation , the Leningrad Variation,Rauzer Variation ,even the Winawer Vaaiation. It looks good and reads well but can you trust it when it counts. I think not. I do not like it. It's rather fickle. I think I will boycott playing it. Pawn to king four is what I'll do. Poo poo pee doo. I love Chess. I would not want to play me. I am that good. Stay cool....Charlie
bartlebie 88 ( +1 | -1 )
As it is quite modern in our forums to get on with quite unprovable and a bit unsound sounding beliefs, here I have another one:

The french defense is incorrect.

Of course I am not in the position...but, really, my score against the french is far better than it should be considering my rating here and in OTB as well. My only problem is this: I too do think that the alapin variation in the Ruy lopez in incorrect (3. ... Bb4) but I'm scoring good as well. And I think that the two knights defense with early d4 (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3.Lc4 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.e5 d5) is ok for white, but my score doesn't show that always. Another annoying thing: The Keres variation (as it is sometimes called) 1. d4 d5 2.c4 Lf5 seems to be incorrect at first glance and I'm really not doing well with it mostly.

Finally I have to commit: My feelings about openings have nothing to do with the score I am about to achieve in them nor have they anything to do with their putative correctness.

Can anybody help me?
lordnguyenvo 73 ( +1 | -1 )
to bartlebie I dont get what you are saying so im afraid i cant help you yet.Are you saying that you think a certain defences are "incorrect" but your scores against them arent very good?.If that is the case,then you are the one who should reconsider.I never dare to say some openings in general are incorrect until i beat all the strong players in that the way,the french is a great opening for black,they have potential counterattack in the queen side with c5 and the queen at b6 or somewhere on that line,the knights.the lack in it is the out of air white-square bishop and somewhat lack of king side defences.maybe thats why you score easily at your opponents.Sorry if I failed to understand your post correctly.
tryfon 153 ( +1 | -1 )
Incorrect Hi there

Fischer after losing to Spassky in the Kings Gambit tried to prove this gambit was "incorrect". However Fischer was quite a strong player!

To say an Opening is incorrect without being one of the leading world players is clearly ridiculous unless the Opening has been clearly refututed. A particular case of this can be argued with the Benoni defence to 1.d4. After Kasparov smashed John Nunn with it, players started thinking that the benoni has been refuted with f4 and Bb5+

But even with this, there is some controversy whether it has been refuted or not:-

In the case of the French defence which has been used by players like Kortchnoi, Short, Uhlmann extensively through their careers, it is a ridiculous assertion. The French defence is a very powerful system which can often lead to black having much better pawn structure in endgames.

The lengendry Fischer in fact had a very hard time against the French defence, losing to it on a number of occasions in the main line Winawer. Here is an example game in the section entitled "The good endgame for black" :-

Fischer,R - Petrosian,T [C12] Curacao ct, 1962

Best wishes
More: Chess
atrifix 42 ( +1 | -1 )
Fischer is also quite possibly the most dogmatic and self-absorbed player in the history of chess. Everyone's heard the "1. e4 - Best by test," from MSMG, which is halfway joking but also somewhat serious.

While I think the French is perfectly sound, someone could easily make a logical case given the bashing the French has taken at recent tournaments like Linares.
komei 13 ( +1 | -1 )
Reading between the lines... ...some people are saying they don't like the French Defence simply because they don't like the French... I wonder why?
bartlebie 74 ( +1 | -1 )
Between the sheets is peace. Perhaps cpocf should start to play freedom defence, it could help.

But the incorrectness is rather obvious, just look on the board after 1.e4 e6. Just look! The pawns! The bishops! The knights! The rooks! The queens! And last but not least the kings!
But what I was saying, just to make it a bit more clear, is that the property of an opening to be considered incorrect by me is not dependent on the real quality of an opening. The independance becomes clear by considering the four possible cases of the real quality of an opening and my assessment. Just to make things a bit more unclear, I underlined my assessment with the again independent score I usually make with the putative incorrect or correct openings. Any correlation is completely spurious.
cpocf 36 ( +1 | -1 )
Ouch! The french defence has it's place! The french defence is disturbing in my opinion. I try try the classical variation, e4,e6 ,d4, d5, Nc3, Nf6 but so what. Big deal. Am I missing something! You just can't trust it. You loose at least a pawn unless you a 2000 plus player. The french defence is just not good chess. I can't trust it. I will never play it again. Pawn to rook four is much better. Stay cool.
nelsonnewman 49 ( +1 | -1 )
Disagree! I dont play the Classical as Black, but I do like
to play the sharp Winawer lines. It creates an
unbalanced position, with chances for both sides,
as chess should be. I have a very good win percentage with this defense, and, perhaps more to the point, I feel COMFORTABLE playing it.

I will say this, however; the French is not for everyone...but a lot of very good players here on
gameknot like it.. including.. heck what is that guy's
name.. oh yea.. Cyrano. :-)

atrifix 3 ( +1 | -1 )
cpocf Which rook four?
raimon 8 ( +1 | -1 )
1. e4 is incorrect My score with the french so far on this site is:
18 wins, 1 loss and 7 draws.
bartlebie 27 ( +1 | -1 )
raimon, that is a claim I really should think about deep. I will let you know, if I come to further deep insights. Perhaps typing is in itself already incorrect?! As my all-in-all score is not very good at the moment, perhaps this is, where all my trouble comes from. :)
werwolf 7 ( +1 | -1 )
Play it with me play the French with me and you'will lose more games :)
raimon 24 ( +1 | -1 )
Yes bartlebie it is true 1.e4 gives players a superiority complex which in turn leads to their downfall.
How often do these sheeplike players reach a good position only to see it disappear because they overestimated their attacking chances!!
brucehum 69 ( +1 | -1 )
1.e4 is correct, you ruin the game later! Dear fellow gameknotters:

Some patzer once said "e4: best by test". His name was Fischer.

Another patzer named Kasparov also plays it.

It was once said by another patzer that "the only sound alternatives for black to 1.e4 are 1...e5 and the Najdorf."

1.e4 is not a bad opening move, in fact, together with 1.d4 they are probably the best opening moves.

It is quite often that a player that plays the French defense, opens with 1.d4 as white. This is interesting, as it seems to point to the style of play you'll probably find.

The French defense is completely playable. To be frank, at a normal level (under 2300) almost anything is playable.

raimon 11 ( +1 | -1 )
didn't take long to get a bite! I want to thank all you 1.e4 players - if it wasn't for you, us french players wouldn't be able to haul in all these wins!
baseline 27 ( +1 | -1 )
top 90 players at GK I recently downloaded all of the available games of the top 90 players here at GK. I sorted the games and eliminated doubles. check all games with 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 I get the following stats.

1-0 262 games
1/2 152 games
0-1 267 games

thats a very good result for black in games involving the top 90 players here at GK.

bartlebie 60 ( +1 | -1 )
I can easily explain the last statistic: if one of the top players is challenged by another player, the challenger is quite likely worse than the challenged one. So the challenger will play worse, but he will prefer white (not only because it is default value, but to make the difference between his strength and his opponents strength not even larger).

It should not take us wonder, when the top players score quite well with the blacks. To rule these things out, you should only look at the games between top players.

I hope you didn't do that, my whole theory I thought about for at least 2 minutes would crash immediately.
raimon 12 ( +1 | -1 )
baseline those are interesting stats - I guess to put them in context you would need to do similar stats for all main replies to 1.e4
peppe_l 56 ( +1 | -1 )
1.e4 - best by test Is pretty funny statement - actually acording to statistics 1.d4 scores better :-)

Only sound alternatives are 1...e5 and Najdorf? Yeah, until it is changed to 1...e5 and Scheveningen, or 1...e5 and Sveshnikov. Or 1...e5 and Caro-Kann, or 1...e5 and French. Depending on who the current champion is and what he likes to play.

Naturally everyone between 1200 and 2500 jumps to the bandwagon - "I play Najdorf because Kasparov plays it" :-)

1...e5, 1...c5, 1...e6, 1...c6 etc are all sound on any level, and if we are talking about openings that are sound enough on amateur level, you can play pretty much anything...

It doesnt necessarily have to be Najdorf vs 1.e4 and KID vs 1.d4 :-)
brucehum 80 ( +1 | -1 )
more statistics These statistics are taken from GM play only, from a website by Adam Bozon . They are games played after 1993, but not sure until when.

w% b% d%
French: 39 34 27
Sicilian: 37 34 29
Pirc: 37 34 29
Caro-Kann: 39 30 31
Alekhine: 38 32 30

As can be seen, all of them are highly playable, with very similar results. White does VERY SLIGHTLY better against French, but Sicilian is more drawish!

So, if we want to see the score %:
French: 52.5% for white, 47.5% for black.
Sicilian: 51.5% for white, 48.5% for black.
Pirc: 51.5% , 48.5%
Caro-Kann: 54.5% , 45.5%
Alekhine: 54.0% , 56.0%

Once again, the French, Sicilian and Pirc give almost the same exact results.
tryfon 63 ( +1 | -1 )
Openings correctness Hi all

There is another angle with respect to "correctness" which is worth mentioning. Many openings in the field of high level correspondence chess are simply not played as much as in over the board chess.

I think the Pirc is one of these openings. I think it is because any inherent weaknesses of these openings which are "got away" with in over the board games, are not got away with as much in cc games where players have days instead of minutes to disover all the issues.

We would have to look at an ICCF database to review the stats for correspondence chess openings.

Best wishes
jean_marc 11 ( +1 | -1 )
"I have never in my life played the French Defence,
which is the dullest of all openings"
(Wilhelm Steinitz)
raimon 6 ( +1 | -1 )
jean_marc If Steinitz never played the French, how did he know it was dull?
bartlebie 21 ( +1 | -1 )
raimon Steinitz took a deep look in Kantian philosophy. "The french defense is dull" is an analytic statement a priori. You need no experience to make such a decision, it all lies in the concept of the french defence.
raimon 11 ( +1 | -1 )
bartlebie maybe his vision was blinding his vision.
It is usually white who decides whether to make the game dull or not.
lordnguyenvo 46 ( +1 | -1 )
people looks at positions differently over time Steinitz was the first official world champion alright but that doesnt prove anything because at that time in my knowledge people dont play any other openings much except for e4 e5 or d4 d5.Thats maybe the reason why he saw it as dull?But i think GM who been playing successfully with the french defence such as GM M.Botvinik will gladly show him how white lose.;)(different generation oops,im talking if they have a chance)