French Defense

Chessboard showing the French Defense with the moves 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 played
Learn the Opening
Play against Stockfish

The idea for black in the french defense is to undermine whites center as soon as possible. With e6 and e5 black immediately fights for control in the center.

Video Content

The french defence is covered a lot on YouTube.

For example, Hanging Pawns has a series on the opening with 8 videos. In the series he discusses the main variations of the opening and explains the ideas of the theory in an understandable way.

Ben Finegold also has a lecture on the opening for the Saint Louis Chess Club: Introduction to the French Defence | Kids’ Class


The name of the French defense dates from 1834. In the middle of a correspondence chess competition between a London team and one from Paris, the French responded to the opening move 1. e4, by the Londoners, with the move 1. … e6 and won the game.

Studies about the French Defense

Learn the French Defense using public studies.

French Defence
180 by Ja

A study about the French Defense. Going over the important themes and covering multiple sidelines. Created by lichess user Mr_Pennings:

Rozman French Defense by Gotham Chess
45 by alphadave

The Rozman French Defense as studied by IM Levy (GothamChess). Link to the youtube video:

French Defense by GM Simon Williams
17 by Pantoufle

GM Simon Williams has played the French Defense throughout his whole career and it has served him well, even against strong opposition. Now Simon presents an in-depth course on how to handle every line of the French. It's a great system, allowing you to play for a win against all levels of opposition.

The French Defense - Intro
9 by Painterpainter

Intro to the French Defense for Black

French Defense study by Lenin Perez
5 by fatewind1

Practicing the variations of Lenin Perez's French Defense study from Lichess.

GothamChess French Defense
4 by pat219

Learn the French Defense | 10-Minute Chess Openings from IM Levy -> Crush Opponents with the Rozman French Defense from IM Levy ->

Play against Stockfish

Play the French Defense
Play against the French Defense

Do you want to try out the French Defense? Train this opening against Stockfish.

Play against Stockfish either as white or black and explore the opening.