The French Defense has been a favorite opening of many of the world’s top players, including former World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik and the legendary Viktor Korchnoi.
Today, Wesley So, Ding Liren and Alexander Grischuk all rely on the French Defense as one of their major opening weapons.
Now you can learn this powerful opening from several world-renowned experts, French GM Fabien Libiszewski, GM Damian Lemos, and GM Mihail Marin.
You get 70 hours of rich and deep content dedicated to teaching you the strategic ideas of the French Defense, and also the tactical patterns that you should be aware of so there’s no way your opponent can surprise you in this opening.
You will learn grandmaster strategies that will turn your initial cramped position into total domination of the board, plus discover sneaky ways to lure your rivals into tempting but deadly traps that give you quick wins.
The Complete French Defense Bundle works perfectly as both a complete training course on one of the oldest openings, and as an invaluable reference guide. The French Defense is an opening you can play for life, at whatever level you are, so studying it is time well spent.
About the Authors:
GM Fabien Libiszewski
Fabien Libiszewski is a French chess International Grandmaster. He obtained his grandmaster title at the age of 25, in the year 2009. He is also a leading expert on the French Defense.
He learned chess from his father when he was a child, and he started competing in 1992 but he really only got seriously involved with chess in 2002. When he decided to become a professional chess player, it wasn’t long before he started to obtain some great victories in tournaments and championship as well as international events.
GM Damian Lemos
Damian Lemos is a grandmaster from Argentina with a peak rating of 2559 Elo.
In his lessons, Damian works closely with students to first identify the flaws and weaknesses in their games so that they can be properly evaluated and corrected.
By developing specifically-tailored training regimens for every one of his students, Grandmaster Lemos is able to achieve results that other chess coaches dream of.
GM Mihail Marin
Mihail Marin is a Romanian chess Grandmaster and a very popular chess coach and author. Marin’s first major success in international chess was qualifying for the Interzonal in 1987.
He has won the Romanian Championship on three occasions and has played in Chess Olympiads ten times, winning a bronze individual medal in 1988. For several years he was an editor of the magazine Chess Extra press.
GM Mihail Marin is one of the most respected coaches in the world today having trained the young Judit Polgar and being praised for his ability to explain deep chess truths in a way improving players can understand.
GM Ron Henley
Ron Henley (born December 5, 1956, in Houston, Texas) is an American chess grandmaster, writer, narrator, and producer of chess videos.
Henley obtained the International Master title in 1980 and the Grandmaster title in 1982. He also appeared on the cover of Chess Life in 1982, representing the United States.
Aside from being a strong player in his own right, GM Henley acted as second, analyst and trainer for former World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov in many of his matches in the 1990s.
Ron Henley also trained 7-times US Women’s Champion, GM Irina Krush.
IM Marcin Sieciechowicz
Marcin won many medals in the Polish junior chess championship, from which the most important is the gold medal in the Polish junior chess championship in classical chess won in 2010 (under 18).
He made two of his IM norms before reaching 18, and the last in 2010, and became International Master just after his 18th birthday.
He has been competing three times in the Junior European chess championship (2004, 2007, 2008) and once in World junior chess championship (2010).
He has two GM norms, made in 2010 and 2013, his highest rating was 2462. He is playing French Defense for 20 years and has a couple of wins in this opening with the players rated 2600+.
How do I benefit from this bundle?
If you’re looking for a reliable chess opening for Black against 1.e4, there are several reasons why you should consider playing the French Defense:
First of all, the French Defense is considered to be one of the most successful openings and has an excellent score in chess databases. That means that by playing it, you are automatically maximizing your winning chances statistically.
Secondly, playing the French Defense can be a vital alternative for all Black players who are tired of repeatedly entering the highly theoretical terrain of all the absolute main lines such as the sharp Open Sicilians or the Ruy Lopez.
Playing the French Defense does not force you to learn an endless amount of theory. It’s much more important to know the key strategic ideas and plans.
Every successful player has openings they can always rely on.
One they know inside-out. One that generates killer attacks, is easy to defend and comes with a ton of positional advantages.
This is a complete GM repertoire for Black, combining theory, ideas and model games to give you an opening you understand perfectly. All brilliantly explained by some of the world’s top experts on the French Defense.
Here’s what we’ve included in this bundle:
If you have ever struggled against the French Defense (and most of us have) then this is essential viewing.
Instead of loading you up with a million “if Black plays this, you play this” lines, Jesse explains the strategic ideas in the French Defense Advance Variation (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5).
And this transcends the opening…
Jesse explains how to play with a space advantage, how to break down fortresses, and how to deal with attempts to break down your center.
This is a 6½-hour masterclass on playing this structure – and Jesse teaches every point with perfect clarity.
There are 2 main benefits to the French Defense Advanced Variation:
- It’s only seen in 15% of games after 1..e6 2.d4 d5 meaning your French-playing opponents won’t be as comfortable facing it.
- That space advantage! The e5 pawn pins Black down, forcing them to make timid little one-square moves.
But advantages are only useful if you know what to do with them. And that’s the subject of this course.
GM Damian Lemos is here to give you your first knowledge of the French Defense in this 7-hour Deep Dive.
This is an opening you can use for the rest of your chess life with good results, and it is flexible enough that you can play it in the style you prefer – solid and resilient, or dangerous and attacking!
And that’s not all – understanding the French Defense not only gives you a solid opening repertoire for Black, the various pawn structures that arise also helps you to become a better overall strategic player.
No need to fear 1.e4 anymore; add the French Defense to your repertoire and you’ll soon be dominating the whole board.
GM Lemos introduces you to the main ideas and plans behind the French Defense so you can start playing it in your own games without having to rely on boring memorization of variations.
Now you’re familiar with the key ideas, it’s time for this ultimate study of the French Defense. Over the course of 17 hours, Fabien reveals how to counter all of White’s setups from the main lines to the dangerous gambits and offbeat deviations. He leaves no stone unturned.
GM Libiszewski takes a holistic 3 step approach to teach you this opening:
- You get a great explanation of the plans for both sides.
- You see them in action with instructive model games, cementing the ideas in your memory.
- Fabien upgrades your repertoire to master level with killer lines against all White’s tries.
Here’s what you’ll get with this course:
More wins as Black.
GM-backed lines will get you dominant positions… ready for you to convert ruthlessly with the strategic and tactical insights you learn here.
Rich in resources.
Knowing your opening inside-out means you save time and nervous energy during your first 15-20 moves… while your rival panics in the face of your super-strong moves!
Attacks you’ll love to play.
GM Fabien Libiszewski reveals a ton of killer attacks that will stun and destroy your rivals! Take down the Tarrasch with this f-file battery: 28….Qd1+!! 29.Kf2 Rxf4+! (Diagram)
Study this course and you will have an opening you can rely on in the biggest moments of your chess career.
French Defense with IM Marcin Sieciechowicz
Follow the paths of the likes of Korchnoi, Botvinnik, and Nimzowitsch, and… play the French Defense!
Complex chess strategy reigns supreme in this opening while the slow and steady one often wins the game.
With a few crafty pawn push or slick knight maneuvers, you might end up grabbing free pawns, locking in your opponent’s pieces, and getting strong passed pawns on the queenside.
… Until your opponent lays down his arms helplessly.
A Sneak Peek Into the Training:
- The 3-Point Plan. When one of your pieces is threatened by your opponent’s pieces, what should you do? Defend, escape or counterattack? This is of utmost importance in the French Defense. Choose the wrong one and you end up giving your opponent all the advantage. This course teaches you exactly what to do, move by move…
- The Logic Behind the Move. IM Sieciechowicz goes through some of the most famous games in this opening, explaining each move, one by one, to give you a story-like understanding of how a variation usually progresses. Result? Memorizing a line becomes a piece of cake! In just a few videos, you end up gaining a deep insight into this popular opening for Black.
- Every ‘What If’ Answered. One of the problems in learning a complicated opening like the French Defense is that almost every move has got unlimited options, and every option leads to infinite lines. This course makes it easy by going through every such possible line and giving you a complete picture of what’s happening over the board.
Openings get you good positions, but tactics win games! Every opening has its own stock of tactical motifs. Therefore, you also have to know the typical tactical patterns which frequently occur in your opening.
GM Mihail Marin’s course on the essential patterns in the French Defense gives you a complete understanding of typical tactical and strategic patterns for both sides.
Here’s part of what you’ll learn with this course:
White’s Thematic f4-f5 Plan
One of the most characteristic pawn structures of the French Defense arises after the moves 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 (see the diagram below).
We’ve reached a pawn structure where the position is closed. White has a space advantage in the center of the board due to his advanced e5-pawn.
However, Black’s pawn structure is solid and without any weaknesses. Both sides have their own pawn chains, White’s being c3-d4-e5 and Black’s being f7-e6-d5.
White’s pawn chain points towards the kingside, which indicates on which side of the board he should play. White often gets good attacking prospects on the kingside.
A typical idea for White is to carry out the advance of the f-pawn with f2-f4-f5, putting pressure on the Black pawn chain.
The Blocked Center – Black’s Strategic and Tactical Ideas
According to GM Mihail Marin, there are two principled reactions for Black when he is confronted with a White f-pawn on the fifth rank.
One idea for Black is to capture on f5 with his e-pawn and to bring a knight to e6. Due to the fact that knights are excellent blockading pieces, the knight is perfectly placed on e6.
Black can sometimes keep his extra pawn on f5 for some time or even support it with …g6. What’s more, the move …exf5 allows Black to free his problem piece, the light-squared bishop, which then can be activated via c8.
However, one should remember that …exf5 is only reliable when there are no good immediate breaks for White with e5-e6 in sight.
White’s Kingside Piece Sacrifices
The structure with a closed center in the French Defense offers White another attacking plan. If the Black king has already castled kingside, a piece sacrifice on the kingside becomes an option for White.
With Black pawns on h7 g7 and f7, White has three targets for a sacrifice. The f7-square is usually well defended by a Black rook which decreases White’s chances for a successful sacrifice. Yet, with the Black king still in the center, a sacrifice on f7 becomes an option.
A sacrifice on h7 is possible on some special occasions. Usually, this sacrifice involves a White bishop on the b1-h7 diagonal, a White knight on f3 which can come to g5 with a check and a White queen which then joins the action on the kingside.
A key target for a White piece sacrifice is g7. The g7-pawn has the important task to cover the squares h6 and f6. Once it is no longer there, White gets access to these squares – often with decisive effect.
The aim of this course is to improve your understanding of the typical tactical and strategic themes in the French Defense, as well as to practice them in the included quizzes featuring carefully selected test positions.
Thanks to the asymmetrical pawn structure which arises from most variations, the French Defense is an excellent opening to play when you’re looking for a win with the black pieces.
In this incredible 17-hour course, GM Henley will make you forget what you may think about the French… no cramped positions or development problems here!
He’s eager to share Top Secrets:
Rubinstein secret #2: In most French lines, developing the c8 bishop can be a real problem – in the Rubinstein, it becomes an awesome attacking piece! Ron will show you how and when to get it gunning down the long diagonal opened by the trade of the d5 and e4 pawns!
And that’s just the very beginning of the enormous advantages the Rubinstein gives you.
This variation with 3.Nd2 became popular in the 1970s and 1980s when Anatoly Karpov often played it to great effect, such as in the famous 1974 Candidates final match against Viktor Korchnoi.
In this course you will access the work of 2 great coaches, IM Robert Ris and GM Mihail Marin, who will provide you with a full set of weapons to succesfully face the French Defense with this 3.Nd2 variation.
How is this course going to help me?
So Black has tried several responses over the years, get to know them with these super coaches!
The French Tarrasch 3…Nf6
3… Nf6 aims to keep the center closed, IM Ris will cover the line after 4.e5 Nfd7 and we get into a pawn chain central formation where we will learn a typical Knight maneuver as the f3 square is ofter kept free for the Queen’s Knight! And also the general ideas of play with and against a pawn chain will be shown by IM Ris.
Other possibilities for Black are moves like 3…c5, and 3…Be7, both covered in the following chapters.
The French Tarrasch 3…a6
So Black can try playing directly with 3…c5 but also 3…a6 preventing 4.Bb5+ is a possibility, here GM Marin will show us an important tabiya for this variation that will help us to understand way better the several lines and possibilities for white.
Also, GM Mihail Marin takes a look at how play can develop when Black plays 3…c5, and 3…Nc6.
PLUS over 300 GM games in the French Tarrasch…
We’ve put together a 300+ game PGN of recent (2019-) games in the French Tarrasch – the perfect resource for finding new ideas once you’ve mastered everything in this course.
World expert on the French Defense GM Mihail Marin provides an opening repertoire for Black based on 3…Bb4, commonly known as the Winawer Variation, against 3.Nc3, one of White’s most active weapon against the French.
While both 3…Bb4 and 3…Nf6 are principled as they attack White’s center, the author has a clear preference for 3…Bb4 because it offers an early strategic plot. The point is that in many lines of this variation, the exchange on c3 leads to strategically double-edged positions.
GM Mihail Marin, a renowned expert on the French Defense, will provide you with an opening repertoire for Black based on 3…c5 against the 3.Nd2 Variation (French Tarrasch), one of White’s most frequently used systems in this chess opening.
The author relies on his extensive experience with the isolated queen’s pawn (or Isolani) to guide you through the intricacies of arguably the most important pawn structure in chess.
Marin explains why he prefers 4…exd5 (which leads to the above-mentioned pawn structure) over the fashionable 4…Qxd5. It offers an “early strategic plot in the center” which requires an understanding of positional subtleties first and foremost, while memorization of concrete and forced opening lines takes the back seat.
After that, GM Mihail Marin goes over 20+ different lines and sidelines to help you develop a flawless repertoire against the French Tarrasch.
In this database from Modern Chess, GM Mihail Marin deals mainly with 2 of best White’s alternatives on the very first moves: the Advance and Exchange Variations. He is providing adequate antidotes, both based on strategical ground and by concrete ideas or move orders.
The included material resembles a small encyclopedia from Black’s point of view.
It is structured into 25 chapters.
The last 9 are covering the less popular continuations on move 2, as well as the unusual ways of defending the attacked central pawn after 2.d4 d5 in the final one.
Before them, another 5 are devoted to its exchange – 3.exd5 exd5.
The author examines both the symmetrical position after 4.Nf3 Nf6 (chapters 12-15) and 4.c4 (chapter 16), by which White shows readiness to play with an isolated central pawn himself.
The database starts with a review of 3.e5 and the explanation that “The Advance/Nimzovich System is the third most important way to meet the French. By defining the central structure at once, White strongly restricts Black’s possibilities, which may be psychologically effective against players who prefer to answer 3.Nd2 and 3.Nc3 with 3…dxe4 or other lines with an open center”. In reply Marin recommends 3…c5.
And more courses!
So, what’s in the course?
As you’d expect from a 17-hour course, this is a completely comprehensive repertoire, preparing you for anything you might face at the board.
The 3-point plan. Ron makes the strategic aims clear: trade or challenge White’s best pieces, develop our own to their best squares as quickly as possible, undermine White’s center. GM Henley’s lines give you the very best way of achieving this 3-point plan.
Story mode. Variations and move-orders are like the sentences in a story. They make sense on their own but it’s much easier to understand them when you hear the whole story. It’s the same with chess. Ron Henley helps commit the ideas to memory by showing how they play out in complete GM games.
What about the sidelines? Some ‘repertoires’ fall apart if your opponent plays something unexpected. Not this one. Ron shows you how to deal with sidelines like 6.g3 and the King’s Indian Attack while also explaining which moves you have to deal with and which just give you a free tempo!
Every ‘what if?’ answered. What if White castles queenside, or delays castling? What if White tries to stop our queenside fianchetto by playing g3? What if White plays something offbeat like 2.Qe2 or the King’s Indian Attack? Black has fantastic responses to each situation but it’s important you learn them. GM Henley covers all these and more.
Killer counterattacks. Trust your position! Black’s free movement allows for some brilliant counters.
It doesn’t matter whether White plays the Winawer (3.Nc3) or Tarrasch (3.Nd2) formation. We can still play our move.
GM Damian Lemos, GM Fabien Libiszewski, GM Ron Henley and GM Mihail Marin, will show you everything you need to know in order to play the French Defense like an expert and dominate your opponents.
Enjoy this bundle!
|Type of Video|
Chapter 1: White plays 3.Bd3
Chapter 2: The Exchange Variation
- The Exchange Variation, Part 1
- The Exchange Variation, Part 2
- The Exchange Variation, Part 3
- The Exchange Variation, Part 4
- The Exchange Variation, Part 5
Chapter 3: The Advance Variation
- The Advance Variation, Part 1
- The Advance Variation, Part 2
- The Advance Variation, Part 3
- The Advance Variation, Part 4
- The Advance Variation, Part 5
- The Advance Variation, Part 6
Chapter 4: The Tarrasch Variation
- The Tarrasch Variation, Part 1
- The Tarrasch Variation, Part 2
- The Tarrasch Variation, Part 3
- The Tarrasch Variation, Part 4
- The Tarrasch Variation, Part 5
Chapter 5: Main Line: 3.Nc3
- Main Line: 3.Nc3, Part 1
- Main Line: 3.Nc3, Part 2
- Main Line: 3.Nc3, Part 3
- Chapter 1: Introduction to the French, part 1
- Chapter 2: Introduction to the French, part 2
- Chapter 3: Introduction to our repertoire
- Chapter 4: Introduction to the Exchange variation
- Chapter 5: Exchange variation 4.Bd3
- Chapter 6: Exchange variation 4.Bd3 c5, Tatai-Korchnoi
- Chapter 7: Exchange variation 4.Bd3 Nc6 in practice, Tipu-Psakhis
- Chapter 8: Exchange variation 4.Bf4 & 4.c4
- Chapter 9: Exchange variation 4.c4, Miezis-Arizmendi
- Chapter 10: Exchange variation 4.Nf3
- Chapter 11: Introduction to the Advance variation
- Chapter 12: Advance variation, minor lines
- Chapter 13: Introduction to the Milner-Barry gambit
- Chapter 14: Milner-Barry gambit main line
- Chapter 15: Advance variation 6.a3 part 1
- Chapter 16: Advance variation 6.a3 part 2
- Chapter 17: 6.a3, two model games
- Chapter 18: Advance variation 6.Be2 part 1
- Chapter 19: Advance variation 6.Be2 part 2
- Chapter 20: Tarrasch Variation (3.Nd2) Introduction
- Chapter 21: Tarrasch Variation 5.f4
- Chapter 22: Tarrasch Variation, universal set-up with Ngf3
- Chapter 23: Tarrasch Variation, Main line with 9.Nf4
- Chapter 24: 9.Nf4 line in practice, Van der Wiel – Timman
- Chapter 25: Introduction to Tarrasch with 9…Qf6!?
- Chapter 26: Tarrasch 9…Qf6, countering White’s plan
- Chapter 27: Tarrasch 9…Qf6 Theory Part 1
- Chapter 28: Tarrasch 9…Qf6 theory Part 2
- Chapter 29: 3.Nc3 introduction
- Chapter 30: Refuting 5.Qg4
- Chapter 31: The Two Knights variation
- Chapter 32: Nce2 setup
- Chapter 33: Steinitz variation introduction
- Chapter 34: Steinitz variation theory
- Chapter 35: The 4.Bg5 line, introduction
- Chapter 36: Chatard-Alekhine Attack, Introduction
- Chapter 37: Chatard-Alekhine Attack, Theory
- Chapter 38: Classical variation, sub-lines
- Chapter 39: Classical variation, main line
- Chapter 40: Minor lines without 2.d4
- Chapter 41: King’s Indian Attack, with Qe2 setup
- Chapter 42: King’s Indian Attack, main line
- Introduction: About this course
- Chapter 1: White’s Thematic f4-f5 Plan
- Chapter 2: The Blocked Center – Black’s Strategic and Tactical Ideas
- Chapter 3: White’s Kingside Piece Sacrifices
- Chapter 4: Destroying Black’s Center – Typical Sacrifices
- Chapter 5: Black’s Kingside Play with …g5
- Chapter 6: Destroying White’s Center – Typical Sacrifices
- Chapter 7: Black’s Bad Light-Squared Bishop
- Chapter 8: Black’s Central Break …e5
- Chapter 9: The French Isolani (1)
- Chapter 10: The French Isolani (2)
- Chapter 11: The French Open Center
- Chapter 12: Unbalancing Ideas in the Exchange Variation
- Chapter 13: French Defense Classics (1)
- Chapter 14: French Defense Classics (2)
- Chapter 15: French Defense Classics (3)
- Chapter 1: Introduction to The Rubinstein Variation (35 min)
- Chapter 2: The 7.Bd3 Attack (38 min)
- Chapter 3: Khalifman’s System, 6.Bd3 (43 min)
- Chapter 4: Kasparov’s System 7.c3 (33 min)
- Chapter 5: White’s Minor 7th Moves (55 min)
- Chapter 6: White Plays 6.Bg5 (1 h 25 min)
- Chapter 7: White’s Castling Options (1 h 30 min)
- Chapter 8: White’s Fianchetto Systems (53 min)
- Chapter 9: French Advance 3.e5 – Drazic System (3 h 13 min)
- Chapter 10: French Advance 3.e5 without 4.c3 (1 h 34 min)
- Chapter 11: The King’s Indian Attack (1 h 28 min)
- Chapter 12: Chigorin’s 2.Qe2 (26 min)
- Chapter 13: French Exchange Variation (1 h 55 min)
- Chapter 14: White’s 2.b3 System (51 min)
- Chapter 15: The Wing Gambit (30 min)
- Lesson 1 – Tarrasch 3…Nf6 – IM Robert Ris
- Lesson 2 – Tarrasch 3…c5 – IM Robert Ris
- Lesson 3 – Tarrasch 3…Be7 – IM Robert Ris
- Lesson 4 – Tarrasch 3…a6 – GM Mihail Marin
- Lesson 5 – Tarrasch 3…c5 – GM Mihail Marin
- Lesson 6 – Tarrasch 3…Nc6 – GM Mihail Marin
- Part 1 – Space, The Final Frontier! (50 min)
- Part 2 – Space vs The Fortress (57 min)
- Part 3 – Punishing 6..c4 (1 h 10 min)
- Part 4 – Black Trades the Light-Squared Bishop (56 min)
- Part 5 – Black Works Against b4 (43 min)
- Part 6 – The Mosh Pit (48 min)
- Part 7 – Space vs Time (1 h 5 min)
- Part 8 – Final Thoughts (4 min)