This book continues the coverage of the French Defence that was begun by Pedersen in The Main Line French: 3 Nc3. It is essential reading for all those who play the French, and for those who meet it with the popular and flexible Tarrasch Variation.

The Tarrasch Variation provides a stern test for the French Defence, and has always been a favourite of strategically minded players, such as Michael Adams and Anatoly Karpov. By putting his knight on d2, White seeks to give his opponent little scope for counterplay, and in many of the traditional lines ends up with a slight positional advantage that can prove extremely difficult to neutralize. This has led to Black developing various sharper approaches, which complicate the play considerably at the cost of greater risk. Notable among these lines are systems with 3...Nf6 where Black sacrifices material to gain the initiative, and the modern main line 3...c5 4 exd5 Qxd5, where Black keeps his pawn-structure healthy at the cost of some tempi. To get the most out of these lines as either colour, thorough up-to-date knowledge is essential, and this book supplies it in abundance.

Steffen Pedersen is an international master from Denmark. He scored a grandmaster norm when he was 16, and played in several World and European junior championships. In 1998 he was joint winner of the Hampstead Grandmaster tournament, and achieved his second grandmaster norm at the Aars get2net Cup in 1999. He has written several highly-regarded opening books, with subjects including the Dutch Defence, Sicilian Scheveningen, Benko Gambit and the Semi-Slav. Other Gambit titles: Test Your Chess, The Botvinnik Semi-Slav, The Meran System, The Gambit Guide to the Bogo-Indian, The Gambit Guide to the Benko Gambit.

Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.

"I do not detect any real bias toward either side in either book, but rather a plain, objective perspective with suggestions and improvements offered for both players." - Lou Mercuri, Chess Horizons

"Steffen Pedersen has written a classic openings book: comprehensive, topical, and colour-neutral. A book for learning and reference for the discriminating French-player. The new standard work on the Tarrasch." - Dr. Erik Rausch, Rochade

"Despite the strong competition in this field, these books can be recommended to anyone interested in playing either side of the French Defence. They are very suitable for keen club and tournament players, but even quite strong players new to these lines will find very useful instruction." - Phil Adams,

"...I like the way Pedersen builds on the efforts of other authors, adding more recent developments, in conjunction with his own ideas and improvements over existing theory. The presentation is very fluent and, with Pedersen's explanations of typical plans, you get a good education on how to play these lines, along with the current state of theory. This book will appeal to a wide range of players, and if you play these lines with either color, you will benefit from it." - Carsten Hansen,

"These three volumes [on the French] offer an extremely comprehensive coverage of all the variations, and present an unbiased and objective survey of the whole system, so are equally useful for both Black and White." - Alan Sutton, En Passant

"Steffen Pedersen provides excellent coverage of an important modern chess opening in The French: Tarrasch Variation." - PHL Hughes, Chess Post

"Pedersen writes clearly and helps the reader to understand the ideas arising from the various lines. This series of books covering the French Defence will prove invaluable to French devotees and those that want to learn more about this most resilient of defences. Recommended." - Michael Blake,, IECG