Two great books from the Everyman Chess Library, Starting Out: The French by Byron Jacobs and Starting Out: The Caro-Kann by Joe Gallagher, brought together in one volume.
The French is one of Black's soundest defences to 1 e4 and is very popular at all levels of chess. Club players enjoy its super-solid structure, while at the top it's played by famous grandmasters such as Vishy Anand and the young Russian star Alexander Morozevich. With his first two moves Black obtains a substantial foothold in the centre, and a structure that is incredibly difficult to break down. In this user-friendly book, International Master Byron Jacobs revisits the basic principles behind the French Defence and all of its variations. Throughout the reader is helped along by a wealth of notes, tips, warnings and exercises. This book is ideal for the improving player.
The Caro-Kann Defence has a well-deserved and established reputation as an incredibly solid and, at the same time, dynamic defence to 1 e4. The Caro-Kann appeals to all types of players, but is especially useful to black players who prefer a sound platform on which to build and who are resourceful in both defence and counter-attack. Star players who enjoy using the Caro-Kann include Vishy Anand, Michael Adams and the legendary Anatoly Karpov. In this easy-to-read guide, Grandmaster Joe Gallagher goes back to the basics of the Caro-Kann, studying the key principles of its many variations. Throughout the book there is an abundance of notes, tips, warnings and exercises to help the improving player, while important strategies, ideas and tactics for both sides are clearly illustrated.