This book completes the coverage of the French Defence that was begun by Pedersen in the companion volume 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 Tarrasch, the aggressive Advance, the quiet Exchange, or one of the rarer side-variations. 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 gives his opponent little scope for counterplay, and in many 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, but also expose himself to greater risk. 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 a young 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 another 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.