Every Russian Schoolboy Knows: Build you opening repertoire - French Armenian Variation
Opening: C18: French Defense - Armenian Variation
Many years ago I put up a lot of work on the French, but the results didn't match my expectations. There was something about putting my pawns on light squares and then trading away my dark-squared bishop that didn't agree with me. Now I'm taking another look at the Armenian Variation, the 5...Ba5!? line. AT the least that bishop has a chance to stay alive...
My conviction that 3…c5 is a legitimate choice received a boost in 2013, when young Russian GM Dmitry Andreikin rode this opening to an upset World Cup match victory over his more decorated compatriot GM Peter Svidler. Andreikin's idea was to delay recapture on c5, sometimes turning it into a real gambit. In the meantime, his light-squared bishop would bypass the relatively useless f5-square and land on g4. From there it pins Nf3 and contributes to attack White's center.