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The French Defense begins with 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5. Black plans to play a solid setup and contest white's center with moves like c5 and Nc6. The biggest drawback to the French Defense is that black's light square bishop is hemmed in by the e6 pawn.

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Peter Svidler answered this in a recent video for Chess24: Why do the majority of GMs and almost all super-GMs play 1…e5 or 1…c5 in answer to 1.e4 rather than the French Defence (1…e6)? Pet …
answered Nov 16 '15 by French-d-fence