Chess Opening Theory/1. e4/1...e5/2. Nf3/2...Nc6/3. Bb5/3...a6/4. Ba4

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Morphy 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)

r1bqkbnr/1ppp1ppp/p1n5/4p3/B3P3/5N2/PPPP1PPP/RNBQK2R

Parent: Ruy Lopez

Morphy Defence[edit]

The last two moves ...a6 and Ba4 have made no substantial change to the position, therefore Black's options are much the same as they were on his previous move, although they are now known as deferred defences.

4...Nf6 is the most often played move and is referred to as the main line (rather than the Berlin Deferred). It attacks White's currently undefended e-pawn and helps prepare kingside castling.

4...d6 is the Steinitz Deferred. Much more popular than the true Steinitz Defence, it cuts out any threats to the e-pawn and reserves the option of an f5 push.

Theory table[edit]

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

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4
4 5 6
Main Line Ba4
Nf6
O-O
Be7
Re1
b5
=
Steinitz Defence Deferred ...
d6
c3
Bd7
d4
Nge7
=
...
b5
Bb3
Na5
O-O
d6
=
Classical Defence Deferred ...
Bc5
O-O
Nf6
c3
b5
=
Schliemann Defence Deferred ...
f5
d4
exd4
e5
Bc5
+/=

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References[edit]

  • Batsford Chess Openings 2 (1989, 1994). Garry Kasparov, Raymond Keene. ISBN 0-8050-3409-9.