The Deadly French Defense –

Last year, I wrote about the French Defense. I am bringing this up because this new article is all about the French Defense and many of you will learn a lot if you read the old one too. You can find it here.

During the Batumi Olympiad in 2018 I noticed a young lady on the Japanese team wipe out her Israeli opponent (rated 600+ points higher) in the first game.

The opening of the 2018 Olympiad.  Photo: Maria Emelianova/ opening of the 2018 Olympiad. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

The Japanese woman, Misaki Shibata, was Black and played the French Defense. I think you’ll like this game, and if you’re a French Defense player, you’ll love it!

In the third round, a very strange thing happened: White played the same moves that Michal Lahav (from the first game) played!

A USEFUL RULE: Whenever your opponent makes a “threat,” your first thought should be, “This is probably rubbish!”

Then look at it in a calm manner and if you really have to protect something, do so. But in many cases, the “threat” isn’t a threat at all.

Try to create three ways to get a slight advantage.

Once again, after 24…Qa6 is 25.Rxd4 good?

Here is the rest of the game:

Misaki Shibata had one more French Defense. However, the first two French games were very dynamic, while the third was purely positional.

I hope this article, and the older one, will help you understand the French Defense better.

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