# French, Advance variation with 5...Nge7

I call it "Maxa system" because my first coach, IM Branimir MaksimoviÄ‡ (whose nickname is "Maxa"), was - and probably still is - well-known "french", who always played this 5...Nge7 line. I accepted the same concept of repertoire, so french and Nge7, following the*advance variation*, was my choice then, when I was nine years old, and still is. Let's see how it goes:

**5...Nge7**is not the main line. It's not even the second option, according to CB11. More played moves are

**5...Bd7**, and the main line:

**5...Qb6**. But

**5...Nge7**seems more logical then any other line after 5.Nf3: black is developing another piece, with an idea to establish more pressure on the most vulnerable of white's - pawn d4, via

**Ne7-f5**. Of course, c5 pawn is indirectly protected (after

**6. d:c5 Ng6**, and one of two pawns - e5 or c5 - is going down).

White has few good options here:

**6. Be2?!****6. Bd3****6. Na3****6. a3**

**6. Be2**

French: Advance variation with 5...Nge7 | 21 Dec 2010 | ECO: C02

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Nge7 6. Be2 Nf5 7. g4 ( 7. b3 cxd4 8. cxd4 Bb4+ 9. Kf1 O-O 10. a3 Be7 11. g3 Qb6 12. Bb2 f6 ) ( 7. O-O cxd4 ( 7... Qb6 8. dxc5!? ) 8. cxd4 Qb6 9. Nc3 Nfxd4 ) ( 7. Na3 cxd4 8. cxd4 ) 7... Nh4 ( 7... Nfe7 ) 8. Nxh4 Qxh4 9. Be3 Bd7 10. O-O Qd8 11. Nd2 Qb6 12. Rb1 cxd4 13. cxd4 a5 14. Kh1 a4 15. f4 h5 16. gxh5 Ne7

So white was in trouble to defend his d4-pawn, and it's the main reason why white often choose other options, rather then

**6. Be2**. Let's see what is going on with**6. Bd3**. French: Advance variation with 5...Nge7 | 21 Dec 2010 | ECO: C02

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Nge7 6. Bd3 cxd4 ( 6... Nf5 7. Bxf5 exf5 8. dxc5!? Bxc5 9. O-O Be6 10. Nbd2 O-O 11. Nb3 Be7 12. Re1 ) 7. cxd4 Nf5 8. Bxf5 ( 8. O-O Nfxd4 9. Nxd4 Nxd4 ) ( 8. Bc2 Qb6 ( 8... Be7 9. Nc3 ) 9. Bxf5 exf5 10. Nc3 Be6 11. O-O Be7 ) ( 8. Be3 Be7 9. Nc3 Nxe3 10. fxe3 O-O 11. O-O f6 12. exf6 Bxf6 ) 8... exf5 9. Nc3 Be6 10. O-O ( 10. h4 h6 ( 10... Be7 11. Bg5 ) 11. O-O Be7 12. h5 Qb6 13. a3 Rc8 ) ( 10. Ne2 Be7 11. h4 ( 11. O-O g5 ) 12... h6 12. Nf4 Qb6 13. Rh3 g6 14. Kf1 O-O-O ) 10... Be7 11. Ne1 ( 11. Rb1 g5 ) ( 11. Qa4 g5 ) ( 11. Qe2 g5 ) ( 11. Qd3 g5 ) ( 11. g3 g5 ) ( 11. Bf4 g5 ) ( 11. Qb3 Qd7 12. Rd1 h6 ( 12... O-O 13. Bg5 ) ) ( 11. a3 g5 ( 11... O-O 12. b4 ( 12. Be3 ) 12... Rc8 13. Bb2 f4 14. Ne1 f6 15. Ne2 g5 ) 12. b4 f4 13. Ne1 Qd7 ) 11... O-O ( 11... g5 12. f4 h6 13. Nc2 Qb6 14. Qd3 O-O-O 15. Bd2 Kb8 16. Na4 Qc7 17. b4 ) 12. Be3 ( 12. f4 Rc8 13. Kh1 Qb6 ) ( 12. Ne2 Qb6 13. Kh1 Rfc8 ) 12... Rc8 13. Nd3 Na5

It seems that trading glorious light-square bishop for knight on f5 is not very well for white, so let's see what is happening when white decide first to defend d4-pawn, and then to form an attack concept. There are two possibilities of that kind:

**6. Na3**and**6. a3**. First is played in order to defend d4 with knight on c2 (after Na3-c2), and the other one is usually followed by b4, and then bishop goes to b2. First we will check**6. Na3**. French: Advance variation with 5...Nge7 | 21 Dec 2010 | ECO: C02

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Nge7 6. Na3 Nf5 7. Nc2 cxd4 8. cxd4 Qa5+ 9. Bd2 Qb6 10. Bc3 Be7 11. Bd3 ( 11. h4 h5 12. Bd3 g6 13. Qd2 Bd7 14. g3 a5 15. a3 a4 16. O-O Na5 17. Bxa5 Qxa5 ) 11... Bd7 ( 11... a5 12. Ne3 Nfxd4?? 13. Nxd4 Nxd4 14. Bxd4 Qxd4 15. Bb5+ ) 12. O-O ( 12. h4 h5 13. Qd2 a5 14. a3 g6 15. Qf4 Na7 16. Ne3 Bb5 17. Nxf5 gxf5 ) ( 12. Qd2 a5 13. a3 ( 13. g4 Nh4 14. Nxh4 Bxh4 15. g5? h6 16. g6 O-O ) 14... h5 14. h4 ) 12... a5 13. a3 ( 13. Qd2 h5 ( 13... Nb4 14. Bxf5 exf5 15. Bxb4 axb4 16. Ne3 Ra5 ) 14. Bxf5 exf5 15. Qf4 Be6 16. h4 Nb4 17. Bxb4 axb4 18. Ne3 g6 ) ( 13. a4 Nb4 14. Bxf5 exf5 15. Nxb4 axb4 16. Bd2 h6 17. h4 O-O 18. b3 ) 13... a4 14. g4 Nh4 15. Nxh4 Bxh4 16. f4 Be7 17. Kg2 ( 17. f5 Nxe5 ) 17... g6 18. Rc1 Na5 19. Qe2 h5 20. h3 Nb3 21. Rcd1 O-O-O 22. Rh1 Kb8 23. Rdf1

White wants to secure d4 pawn with knight on c2, which is also mobile in transporting to attack on the king side by square e3, if it's neccesary. Bad side of this manouvre is that white is making many moves on defending himself, so black often succeed in making diferent kind of initiative on the queen side.

At the end, probably the strongest line for white (also most played, according to CB11):

**6. a3** French: Advance variation with 5...Nge7 | 22 Dec 2010 | ECO: C02

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Nge7 6. a3 Nf5 ( 6... c4 ) ( 6... cxd4 7. cxd4 Nf5 8. Nc3 ) 7. b4 cxd4 8. cxd4 Bd7 ( 8... Qb6 9. Bb2 Bd7 10. g4 ) 9. Bb2 ( 9. Nc3 Rc8 10. Bb2 Nh4 11. Nxh4 Qxh4 12. Na2 Qe4+ ) 9... b5 10. Nc3 ( 10. Bxb5 Nxe5 ) ( 10. g4 Nh4 11. Nxh4 Qxh4 ) ( 10. Nbd2 a5 11. Bxb5 axb4 12. a4 Be7 13. O-O O-O 14. h3 Na5 ) ( 10. Bd3 a5 11. bxa5 Nxa5 12. O-O Nc4 ) 10... a5 11. Nxb5 ( 11. Bxb5 axb4 12. axb4 Bxb4 ) ( 11. bxa5 Rxa5!? 12. Bxb5 Nxe5 ) 11... axb4 12. a4 Na5 ( 12... Be7 ) 13. Rc1 Rc8 14. Bd3 ( 14. Rxc8 Qxc8 15. Bd3 Nc4 16. Bc1 h5 17. Bg5 Bxb5 18. axb5 Nb2 19. Qb3 Nxd3+ 20. Qxd3 Be7 21. Ke2 Bxg5 22. Nxg5 Qd8 23. Nf3 Qa5 24. Rb1 ) 14... Be7 15. O-O O-O 16. Rxc8 Qxc8 17. Bc1 Bxb5 18. Bxb5 Qc3

White's idea is to support his d4 pawn by b4 and Bb2, and also to grab some space on the queen side by his b-pawn, which in some occasions can stop black in developing an initiative on the same side. On the other hand, white is going to try to focus on the king side, exploiting given space by e5 pawn.

This short introduction in a specific line of Advance variation in French defence is aimed to help those who are at intermediate level of understanding chess. I do not recommend closed openings - such French defence is - to beginners, and especially do not recommend it for young players. They should play open positions, with many opportunities for tactical sacrifices.

For those beginners who would like to be familiarised with basics of French defence, I will make another article soon.

» posted in mizant's Blog

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