I have tried to resurrect an old line and use it in my repertoire. Every single time I play it I reach positions similar to this:

[Title "White to move"]
[fen "r2q1rk1/pbpnbppp/1p2pn2/8/3PNB2/3B1N2/PPP1QPPP/R4RK1 w - - 0 1"]

Usually, engines and most human opponents continue with c4. I almost always go for Re8 + Qc8, so I can safely play ...c5 (the Queen is off the d-file so there will be no pressure from a potential Rd1, and Be7 is protected so there will be no d5 tricks).


Can we confirm that this is the correct plan, or does Black have better moves at his disposal?

If my plan is viable, how should I proceed when White exchanges on c5-> recapture with a pawn or with a piece?

What would be my long-term plan in the resulting position-> minority attack with ...a6 + ...b5 or fighting for ...e5 push?

Thank you.

  • 2
    This looks like the Rubinstein Variation of the French Defence. If so, it's probably worth adding the french-defense tag.
    – Stephen
    Dec 8, 2014 at 21:15
  • I don't see a lot for Black here. I would say Black should mind the d6 square. 1. c4 c5 2. Nd6 and at best Black trades a Bishop for a Knight. It could be annoying.
    – Tony Ennis
    Dec 9, 2014 at 0:51
  • @TonyEnnis: After c4 I can exchange the knights and bishops, I am not obliged to immediately play ...c5... Dec 9, 2014 at 5:56
  • @Stephen: It was Scandinavian defense with ...Qd8. I am working on a completely new approach for Black... Dec 9, 2014 at 5:57
  • 3
    @AlwaysLearningNewStuff: That's interesting. This position does occur in the Rubinstein French though (e.g., Peovic-Tasev, Belgrade, 2012: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Be7 6.Bd3 Ngf6 7.O-O O-O 8.Bf4 b6 9.Qe2 Bb7), so you might find some relevant material in books on the French.
    – Stephen
    Dec 9, 2014 at 11:23

1 Answer 1


c5 is, by far, the preferred idea and line here, because it not only frees up the light squared bishop, breaks and challenges the d4 pawn, as in some Rubinstein lines, but also allows your queen to visit in e7, and park your rooks on c8 and d8 respectively.

It is by far, in terms of breaks, the most effective, and does not allow white the luxury of a kingside attack.

Therefore, as white, it would be beneficial, tactically, to park your a-rook on d1 to prevent c5 and then try to play on the d-file with doubled rooks and c3 (to prevent counterplay).

  • Upvoted. I like the idea of parking the queen on e7 but can not see how will I achieve that, can you provide a specific plan for that? Dec 9, 2014 at 6:20
  • C5, dx, nx, nx, by, re1, qe7 is one line. Or you can just take and park it in two extra moves Dec 9, 2014 at 17:10

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