Chess Opening Theory/1. e4/1...c6/2. d4/2...d5/3. Nc3/3...dxe4/4. Nxe4/4...Nd7

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Smyslov/Karpov Variation
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)

r1bqkbnr/pp1npppp/2p5/8/3PN3/8/PPP2PPP/R1BQKBNR


Smyslov/Karpov Variation[edit]

4...Nd7[edit]

By developing his Knight rather than the Bishop, Black aims to trade for White's central Knight, without compromising his pawn structure.

At one time named after the first world champion Wilhelm Steinitz, nowadays the variation is more often referred to as the Smyslov Variation after the seventh world champion Vasily Smyslov who played a number of notable games with it, or the Karpov Variation, after the twelfth World Champion Anatoly Karpov, in whose repertoire it appeared quite often. The short-term goal of 4...Nd7 is to ease development by the early exchange of a pair of Knights without compromising the structural integrity of his position. Play is similar to the Classical Variation except that Black has more freedom by delaying the development of his bishop, and is not forced to play it to the g6 square. However, this freedom comes at a cost as White enjoys added freedom in taking up space in the center, and often plays the aggressive 5.Ng5!? where Black's development is brought into question as well as the positional weakness of the f7-square. The famous last game of the Deep Blue-Garry Kasparov rematch where Kasparov committed a known blunder and lost was played in this very line.

Theory table[edit]

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

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7

5 6
Nf3
Ngf6
Nxf6
Nxf6
+=
Bc4
Ngf6
Ng5
e6
=
Ng5
Ngf6
Bc4
e6
=
Bd3
Ngf6
Ng5
e6
=
Ne2
Ngf6
N2g3
Nxe4
=
c3
Ngf6
Nxf6
Nxf6
=

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References[edit]

  • Nunn's Chess Openings. 1999. John Nunn (Editor), Graham Burgess, John Emms, Joe Gallagher. ISBN 1-8574-4221-0.
  • Batsford Chess Openings 2 (1989, 1994). Garry Kasparov, Raymond Keene. ISBN 0-8050-3409-9.