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I was watching Lichess TV the other day and I saw a game between two IMs go something like this:

[FEN ""]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Nc6 4.Nf3 f5 5.Bd3 Nh6 6.O-O Nf7

The computer evaluates this as something like +1.5 for White so it's technically unsound, but I think it still seems interesting. If White isn't careful it seems like Black can go for a kingside pawn storm and put White under lots of pressure, and the plans are completely different from the regular Advance French. Does this have any potential as a playable opening in shorter time controls?

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  • my first thought is that white should have taken have played 6Bxh6, followed by plans of Nc3 Ne2 Nf4. Looks pretty bad. Apr 20 '21 at 20:58
  • I casually played f5 myself in French structures (read: Alapin Sicilian). Plus, nobody ogling at your h7. Minus, no more f6 levers. Apr 21 '21 at 7:33
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well, having seen f5 in my game, I would probably reply with h4 and then bring a knight from b1 to f4 and a rook to g3 (if necessary). I remember something like this being discussed in one of the Dvoretsky's books as a response to early f5. I don't think black has any potential of developing a king side play after that. Of course, in short time control everything is playable, especially if white is expected to premove Bd3 and 0-0

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