French Defence: Reloaded
Preface to the New Edition
I received, quite unexpectedly, many comments and opinions following the publication of my first book on the French Defence. These were quite varied, both in form and content. There were renowned experts, who pointed out that some of the variations were not analyzed to perfection. Some meticulous readers looked for, and found (!), possibilities for both sides, which I had omitted in several important, and even not so important, lines. There were people who criticized my rather ambitious concept, according to which I tried to present the opening the way I saw it, instead of just following the branches of the database. However, there were also some appreciative comments.
It took me some time to think about everything I had written, done, read and heard... In the meantime I realised the objective defects of my work. Chess develops so rapidly that writing a book devoted to opening theory which will be valid for a long period of time is "mission impossible" nowadays. What was fashionable a year ago quickly becomes outdated, while some dead and forgotten variations rise from the ashes. Nevertheless, I believe that the foundations which I laid eighteen months ago can be enriched with new variations and ideas, while the essence remains the same.
You are now holding in your hands a new book, in which the author ventured to revaluate certain lines and enrich them with a new supply of fresh, contemporary information.
I should like to express my sincere acknowledgement to GM Vasily Yemelin for his invaluable collaboration in the process of writing of this book.
Saint-Petersburg, January 2012