Alexander Alekhine – Alekhine’s Gun

Did you just read “Gun” in a chess article? Yes, Yes you read it right. It is indeed about something resembling a gun. Today I am sharing with you one of my favourite strategic ideas. So first I will share a few words about the creator of this strategy. Alekhine’s Gun is a concept named after Alexander Alekhine. Alexander Alekhine was the 4th World Chess Champion. He contributed heavily to chess literature by creating masterpieces. Alekhine’s handling of the following position always brings me joy for the beauty of the sequence. of moves and ideas behind it.


Before you look into the answer, try to think from white’s perspective of what could be a strategy he can use to attack the Knight on c6 and win material. One hint I can give is to try to provide logical defensive moves from black’s side and you will be able to reach the solution.

Here Alekhine playing with white pieces, constructed the Alekhine’s Gun! He played Rc2-Qe8 Rac1-Rab8 Qe3-Rc7 Rc3-Qd7 R1c2-Kf8 Qc1{Completion of Alekhine’s Gun. This formation of two Rooks in front of a Queen is deadly when the target cannot move!}Rbc8 Ba4-b5 Bxb5-Ke8 Ba4-Kd8 h4![Black is paralysed. His pieces cannot move. Once pawns are blocked. It forces resignation.

Now I give you 2 positions to try and find how to execute the knowledge we got from above.

White to play

In the above position, Former World Champion Anatoly Karpov followed the steps of his predecessors to apply the same theme. Try giving a shot at it yourself.

White to play

A recent example from previous year’s Online olympiad, Current World Junior Chess Champion in women’s category, Polina Shuvalova is playing white and she also found a perfect sequence to apply the Alekhine’s Gun.

Above is a video of explanation of Alekhine playing the masterpiece.


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7 Top players in French Defense

The French defense has a rich history. The French Defence is named after a match played by correspondence between the cities of London and Paris in 1834[1] (although earlier examples of games with the opening do exist). It was Chamouilley, one of the players of the Paris team, who persuaded the others to adopt this defense. There are 3 main variations against french defense i.e. Tarrash, Advance, exchange variation. We will see a detailed analysis of these variations in an upcoming blog. Here are the top players in french defense.

Viktor Korchnoi 

Victor Korchnoi was a very strong Russian grandmaster. Unfortunately, he cannot become a world champion. You can find more detail about Viktor in this article. Viktor majorly played french defense in his career. You can say he started French Defense fashion. He has beaten many strong such as Gashimov, Vallejo pons, John Nunn, Nigel Short.

Pentala Harikrishna 

Pentala Harikrishna is an Indian super grandmaster and currently in the top 30 in the world ranking. Currently, he is staying in the Czech republic. Although French is not his main weapon but he is playing regularly and given some beautiful games. He has beaten many players such as Caruana, Mamedov, Evan Saric.

Nikita Vitiugov 

Nikita is a Russian grandmaster. He won many big events such as the Grenke chess classic 2018, Prague chess festival 2019. The French defense is a trademark of Nikita Vitiugov. He’s played it constantly over the last 2 decades, against all kinds of opponents. And in fact, he has also written two books on the French Defense! Both of them are published with Chess Stars.

Emmanuel Berg 

Emmanuel Berg is a Swedish grandmaster. As a youngster, he made solid progress and was consequently selected to represent his country in the various age categories of the European Youth and World Youth Championships. He won various games in french defense against top players. Following is his best game


Alexander Morozevich 

Alexander is a Russian chess grandmaster. Morozevich is a two-time World Championship candidate (2005, 2007), a two-time Russian champion, and has represented Russia in seven Chess Olympiads, winning numerous team and board medals. Morozevich is known for his aggressive and unorthodox playing style. He is also a top player who plays french defense. He won games in french defense with many top players such as Vishy Anand, Vladimir Kramnik, Karjakin Sergey.

Vaganian Rafael 

Veteran grandmaster Rafael Vaganian is an Armenian chess player. He is currently 68 years old and he is still an active player and played almost all top players such as Mikhail Tal to Vishy Anand. He played 478 games out of 575 games with french defense. (As per mega 2020 database)

Surya Shekhar Ganguly

Surya Shekhar Ganguly is an Indian well known, Grandmaster. His current rating is 2635. He plays French frequently. He has won 40 individual gold, 21 individual silver, and 6 individual bronze medals in National as well as international tournaments. In addition, in team competitions, he has won 12 gold, 4 silver, and 3 bronze medals. He has beaten many players in french defense such as Ponomariov, Naiditch, Volotkin. Surya also run his youtube channel, click here to watch his videos with Vishy Anand, Wesley So, Aronian Levon

Bonus Player

CRG Krishna 

Krishna is an international master from India. I have included him on this list for a special reason. Against E4 Krishna played only french for all his life. Currently, in the mega database 2020, he has 113 games against e4, in which he played 110 games with french. With this example, I want to say that you can get to this level by sticking to a single variation. You just have to update your knowledge about that variation every time.


Some Best Games In french Defense

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Book Review – Mastering Chess Middlegames

Author Of Book – Alexander Panchenko

Publishing Date – 1 January 2015

Published By – New In chess


In this book published by New In Chess, Alexander Panchenko has given his systematic knowledge. He used his 11years of experience to write this book. In this book, Alexander explains about improving middlegame technique. He shares some of his real-life experiences with readers. The uniqueness of this book is that you will find positions for playing out after each chapter ends.

Content in the book

The book is divided into a total of 12 chapters. After each chapter explanation, some position for solving and positions for playing out given. Here is a list of chapters covered in the book.

  • The attack on the king
  • Defence
  • Counterplay
  • Prophylaxis
  • Realising an advantage
  • Equal positions
  • The battle of the major pieces
  • Two minor pieces against a rook
  • Opposite coloured bishop with many pieces on the board
  • Same coloured bishop
  • Bishop vs Knight
  • Sample games and endings

What to expect?

Alexander Panchenko was a very famous coach. You can expect some high-level explanation and good positions. Positions for playing out are really difficult to understand. You can understand how players used to play 40 years ago and  after studying this book one can develop his execution skills.

Glimpse from the book

Following is one of my favorite problem from the book

The uniqueness about this book

This book focuses not only on middlegame positions but also on improving overall game quality. After every chapter, some positions for playing out given. You can play those positions with your friends or even on by setting up the board. Each chapter started with some positions with an explanation. Although this book was released in 2015, many positions that contain in this book are before the 20th century.

Who can read this book?

Book level is quite high. Although positions for solving from this book are very interesting and anyone can play with those positions and analyse. It will improve understanding of player about the practical play. I will suggest players above 1600 do the whole book and to others, they can try and play the positions as many times as they can before checking the answers.

What did I like?

I like the way of explanation given by the author. The author selected some amazing positions for playing out and solving. There are very rare books In which you will find positions for playing out. There is no long analysis and positions are also not too difficult, That’s why the reader will not get bored at least for a couple of hours

From where can you purchase this book?

The original price of this book is 24.95USD or 22.95 EURO. If you are an Indian reader then you will get this book in only 1299 rs from Amazon India. If you are from outside India then you can buy from amazon or new in chess official website. We have attached both links.

Buy from Amazon India –

Buy from New in Chess –

PDF excerpt of this book

About the author

Alexander Panchenko is Russian grandmaster and famous coach. He is the owner of website He has taught many students. Some of the famous students include – Sergei RublevskyEkaterina KovalevskayaAlisa Galliamova, and Sergey Volkov





About the publisher

This book was published by new in chess. New In Chess is based in Netherland. This company is famous for a monthly magazine and bi-monthly yearbook. In magazines and yearbook, all top-level players write a various article. New in chess magazine is currently the most popular and bestselling magazine in chess. New in chess publishes the various book every year.

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