Welcome to the Wonderful Winawer Variation

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The Winawer variation of the French Defense will have you wondering why the French Defense is considered boring by so many chess players. The position becomes unbalanced early, and Black is always ready to sacrifice a knight on e5.

Although it got named after the Polish player Simon Winawer in English-speaking countries, it is sometimes called the Nimzowitsch Variation in many others. The similarities between the Winawer and Nimzo-Indian Defense are easy to see.

Fortunately, for those looking to play the French Defense, knowing the strategic ideas and thematic sacrifices in the Winawer are of much greater importance than the opening theory. There is naturally some must-know theory, but it is more important to know the ideas for both sides.

 Knowing the French Defense Inside Out will give you a massive advantage over your opponents! Learning the ideas for both sides is a lot of fun if you do it with help from IM Boroljub Zlatanovic.

Why Would You Want to Play the Winawer Variation?

Apart from Simon Winawer and Aaron Nimzowitsch, the Winawer variation was played by Mikhail Botvinnik and Wolfgang Uhlmann. They played it for many years with considerable success.

Other well-known players who used the Winawer with great success were Tigran Petrosian and Viktor Korchnoi.

The French Defense is known as an excellent choice for club players. This includes the exciting, asymmetrical Winawer variation that offers you excellent winning chances!

There’s more to the French Defense than the Winawer variation, and IM Boroljub Zlatanovic will help you learn the French Defense Inside Out.

What is the Winawer Variation?

The Winawer Variation starts with 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4

The Winawer Variation starting position is reached after 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4

By pinning the knight, Black threatens to win the pawn on e4. White’s most common response, by a vast majority, is 4.e5.

In the most challenging variation, play is likely to continue after 3…Bb4 with:

4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 cxd4 8.Qxg7 Rg8 9.Qxh7 Qc7 10.Ne2 Nbc6

Winawer Variation main line with 7.Qg4

In the French Defense, one of the thematic pawn breaks for black is …c5, and this move is the standard response to e5. Playing …c5 early allows Black to develop the knight to c6 without blocking the pawn and gives the black queen access to b6.

The pawn on c5, a knight on c6, and a queen on b6 all place tremendous pressure on the base of the pawn chain – d4. After the capture on c3, the black queen often goes to a5, where it applies pressure to the c3 pawn and the isolated white a-pawn.

There is nothing better than playing with the initiative early in the game, and sacrificing the g7 pawn early ensures you get the initiative.

After 9…Qc7 be ready to play …Qc3+ if your opponent plays the opening on autopilot. This check wins the rook on a1.

One of the thematic sacrifices for black in the Winawer Variation is a knight sac on e5! In this game, Wolfgang Uhlmann uses it with devastating effect against David Bronstein.

David Bronstein – Wolfgang Uhlmann, 1977.02.23, 0-1, Keres Memorial Round 3, Tallinn URS

Here is the game IM Boroljub Zlatanovic narrated in the video from his exceptional course “The French Defense Inside Out.”

Ivan Cheparinov – Alexander Grischuk, 2008.04.21, 0-1, Baku Grand Prix Round 1, Baku AZE

In Conclusion

The Winawer Variation is an exciting variation for both sides in the French Defense. Both sides must know their strategies to get the best out of their pieces and avoid losing quickly.

Exciting chess is not without risks, but it increases the fun you will have on the chessboard.

Remember, the player who knows and plays the position better comes out on top, and thanks to IM Boroljub Zlatanovic, you will be well-prepared to play the French Defense.

Thanks to his help, you will know the French Defense Inside Out and can take on every opponent without fear.

Grab your copy of “The French Defense Inside Out” today! There’s no better time than now to introduce this reliable defense into your opening repertoire.

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