Chess Opening Theory/1. d4/1...Nf6

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Indian Defence
a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8 8
7 a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2 2
1 a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position in Forsyth-Edwards Notation(FEN)

rnbqkb1r/pppppppp/5n2/8/3P4/8/PPP1PPPP/RNBQKBNR

Parent: Queens Pawn Opening

Indian Defence[edit]

1...Nf6[edit]

Black's 1...Nf6 in response to 1.d4 is characteristic of the various "Indian" defences. Unlike 1...d5, which fights for the center in traditional fashion by occupying it with pawns, Indian systems reflect the hypermodern approach to opening theory. In such openings, Black often allows White to construct a classical pawn center, but then attempts to attack it with pieces and undermine it with timely pawn advances. By delaying the movement of his own central pawns, Black retains a certain degree of flexibility at the cost of ceding the center to White.

It should be noted that while 1...Nf6 often leads to Indian systems, transpositions back into other openings such as the Queen's Gambit are not uncommon. As in any opening, both players should remain aware of these possibilities.

The main continuation for White is 2. c4. In fact, there are many playable moves at this point, but most of them either transpose back into a typical 2. c4 position or into other more or less orthodox 1. d4 openings. Some lines such as 2. Bg5 may lead to strange positions, but even these may transpose or become similar to other mainstream 1. d4 openings.

Hopefully this gives some background as to why 2. c4 is the main move discussed in opening books. Feel free to play 2. Nf3, 2. Nc3, or even 2. c3, 2. Bf4, or 2. Bg5. Even so, learning the main positions (and, more importantly, the strategies) arising from 2. c4 will not be time wasted.

Nd2 is a weak move by White where Black can play the Budapest trap (Nd2 - e5, dxe5 - Ng4, h2 - Ne3)

Statistics[edit]

Estimated next move popularity: c4 62%, Nf3 28%, Bg5 5%, Nc3 2%, g3 1%, e3 1%, Bf4 and other moves less than 1%

Theory table[edit]

For explanation of theory tables see theory table and for notation see algebraic notation.

1. d4 Nf6

2 3 4 5 6
King's Indian Defence c4
g6
Nc3
Bg7
e4
d6
Nf3
O-O
Be2
e5
=
Grunfeld Defence ...
...
...
d5
cxd5
Nxd5
e4
Nxc3
bxc3
Bg7
=
Benoni Defence ...
c5
d5
e6
Nc3
exd5
cxd5
d6
e4
g6
+=
Queen's Indian Defence ...
e6
Nf3
b6
a3
Bb7
Nc3
d5
cxd5
Nxd5
+=
Bogo-Indian Defence ...
...
...
Bb4+
Bd2
Qe7
g3
Nc6
Nc3
Bxc3
+=
Nimzo-Indian Defence ...
...
Nc3
Bb4
e3
O-O
Bd3
d5
Nf3
c5
=
Budapest Gambit ...
e5
dxe5
Ng4
Bf4
Nc6
Nf3
Bb4+
Nbd2
Qe7
+=
Queens Pawn 2.Nf3 Nf3
g6
c4
Bg7
Nc3
d5
cxd5
Nxd5
e4
Nxc3
= Grunfeld 4. Nf3
Queens Pawn 2.Nf3 ...
...
...
...
...
O-O
e4
d6
Be2
e5
= King's Indian 5. Nf3
Queens Pawn 2.Nf3 ...
d5
= See Queen's Pawn 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3
Queens Pawn 2.Nf3 ...
e6
c4
+= See Queen's Indian or Bogo Indian Defence
Queens Pawn 2.Nf3 ...
c5
d5
b5
Bg5
Ne4
Bh4
Bb7
+=
Trompowsky Attack Bg5
Ne4
Bf4
c5
f3
Qa5+
c3
Nf6
Nbd2
cxd4
=
Richter-Veresov Attack ...
d5
Nc3
Nbd7
Nf3
h6
Bh4
e6
e4
dxe4
=
Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Nc3
d5
e4
dxe4
f3
exf3
Nxf3
Bg4
h3
Bh5
=
Bf4
g6
e3
Bg7
Nf3
O-O
=
g3
g6
Bg2
Bg7
=

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References[edit]

  • Nunn's Chess Openings. 1999. John Nunn (Editor), Graham Burgess, John Emms, Joe Gallagher. ISBN 1-85744-221-0.
  • Modern Chess Openings: MCO-14. 1999. Nick de Firmian, Walter Korn. ISBN 0-8129-3084-3.
  • Batsford Chess Openings 2 (1989, 1994). Garry Kasparov, Raymond Keene. ISBN 0-8050-3409-9.