7

How sound is 1.e4 e6 2.c4!?, the Steiner Variation in the French Defense, and would you actually recommend it? Does it work well in normal games, or is it more a surprise weapon for blitz?

7

It's undoubtedly sound in the sense that it does not by force lead to any sort of catastrophic disadvantage for White, but it offers very little if any objective possibility of obtaining a theoretical edge.

If you're specifically trying to reach an IQP position, it's probably preferable to play the Exchange Variation and only then follow up with c4, since Black has other reasonable options against c4 on move two besides an immediate d5 thrust. 2... c5, for example, can reach positions similar to those found in the Sicilian (i.e., various Maroczy Bind structures that crop up against the Kan, Taimanov, or Accelerated Dragon variations) and English Opening Hedgehog systems. That said, an immediate d5 seems to be the most popular response, and it's probably what one would typically expect from a French player (and what I would likely play myself).

It's certainly a viable way to play if you enjoy IQP positions and you want to avoid the well-trodden paths of main-line theory. It shouldn't lead to any advantage against correct play, however.

2

Against 1. e4 e6 2. c4, I'd play 2...e5.

Yes, this moves the e pawn a second time, but White has weakened his black squares and created a "hole" on d4 with the pawn move to c4. It can't be moved back to c3, where it would have formed part of a pawn chain.

If White now plays d4 to repair his pawn position, capture the pawn from e5, then chase the queen with Nc6 when it recaptures.

  • 2
    Nothing I'm afraid of. I'd play d3. The hole is easy to defend with Nf3 or Be3. – Landei Aug 12 '12 at 15:34
  • "The hole is easy to defend." You've just gone over to the defensive, and ceded the initiative to Black, even though you had the first move. Also, you've made your light squared bishop a "bad" bishop with the pawns on c4 and d3. – Tom Au Nov 24 '17 at 0:52
  • If you do 2...e5, as White, I would play 3. Nf3 and then d4. I don't think the hole is something to be bothered about especially after 2 moves. – Leg Nov 23 '18 at 16:37
-2

Я сам играю правильно 2.d5 ed 3.ed a)cd5 +0.22 b)d4 +0.06

cxd5

4 Qd5 5 Nc3 Qa5 6.d4 Nf6 7.Nf3 Be6 4 Nf6 5 Bb5+! Bd7 6.Qe2 Be7 7.Nf3 0-0 8.Nc3

  • 3
    What do you intend the given line to be showing? – ETD Jan 10 '15 at 12:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.