The French is a sound and resilient defense, which also provides abundant opportunities for counter play. As a result it has been favored by such great fighting players as Lasker, Botvinnik and Korchnoi. Current adherents include Short, Shirov, Morozevich and Khalifman. By playing 3 Nc3, White confronts the French head-on. The upshot is often a ferocious battle as Black tries to destroy or damage White's central pawn phalanx. Some of the variations, such as the notorious Winawer Poisoned Pawn, are among the sharpest in opening theory. However, both sides have quieter, more positional, options at their disposal, so there is truly something for everyone in the Main Line French. This book, the first of two volumes by Pedersen on the French, covers all lines after 3 Nc3, including the Winawer (Nimzowitsch), Classical (including the Steinitz), MacCutcheon and Guimard Variations. There is also a full discussion of 3...dxe4, a move that has found favor among those seeking to avoid theory. 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 Defense, Sicilian Scheveningen, Benko Gambit and the Semi-Slav.