The French Defence is one of the most popular and reliable responses to 1.e4. Grandmaster Repertoire 15 – The French Defence 2 covers the most critical variation of the Winawer, which occurs after the opening moves 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3† 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4. This volume presents three contrasting ways of meeting White’s aggressive opening system: 7...cxd4 leading to the notorious Winawer Poisoned Pawn; 7...0–0 8.Bd3 f5, a solid yet strategically complex system; and 7...0–0 8.Bd3 Nbc6, which leads to a tense, full-blooded battle.
Emanuel Berg is a grandmaster with a peak rating of 2627. Twice Swedish Champion, he is known both for his aggressive playing style and for his thorough opening preparation. He is a lifelong devotee of the French Defence, having played it successfully for more than two decades.
ISBN 978-1-907982-42-2 - 304 pages - Published 18 December 2013
"Chess is so deep that you can dig so deep into an opening variation that you feel close to the other side... Swedish (honorary Norwegian) grandmaster Emanuel Berg has done just this with the Winawer variation in the French Defence. In a two-volume work, Emanuel has performed a piece of research worthy of a doctorate on these rich lines. Especially on the Poisoned Pawn Variation Emanuel has a lot to say.
This is a book on World Championship level; but also brilliant for the ordinary club player fascinated with chess openings and the aesthetic aspects of chess."
GM Simen Agdestein
"Let me say right now that Berg is a leading expert on the French Defence and that all of his excellent books are essential reading if you want to play the opening."
GM Matthew Sadler, New in Chess
"The first two volumes of Emanuel Berg's trilogy on the French Defence offer a repertoire against White's best move, namely 3 Nc3. Nothing else tests Black's skill as much as this classical developing move. On the other hand, nothing else offers Black as much as fun and adventure either; it represents a true challenge for players on both sides of the board, especially if Black selects the Winawer Variation (3 ...Bb4) as recommended here by Berg...
The depth of both books is impressive and there is a fine blend of explanatory prose and variations."
Sean Marsh (full review)