Chess Opening Theory/1. e4/1...e5/2. Nf3/2...Nc6/3. Bc4/3...Nf6

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Two Knights 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)

r1bqkb1r/pppp1ppp/2n2n2/4p3/2B1P3/5N2/PPPP1PPP/RNBQK2R

Two Knights Defence[edit]

3... Nf6[edit]

The Black Knight move 3... Nf6 announces the Two Knights; this aggressive defence results in open and often complex play. David Bronstein suggested that the term "Chigorin's Counterattack" would be more appropriate and this is certainly borne out with current theory. The Two Knights has been adopted as Black by many aggressive players including Chigorin and Keres, and World Champions Tal and Boris Spassky.

Theory table[edit]

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

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6

4

5

6

7

8

9

10
Traxler Counterattack
or Wilkes-Barre Variation
1 Ng5
Bc5!?
Bxf7+
Ke7
Bd5
Rf8
O-O
d6
c3
Bg4
Qb3
Bb6
Bxc6
bxc6
+/=
Lolli Variation 2 ...
d5
exd5
Nxd5!?
d4
Bb4+
c3
Be7
Nxf7
Kxf7
Qf3+
Ke6
Qe4
Rf8
+/=
Fried Liver Attack 3 ...
...
...
...
Nxf7!?
Kxf7
Qf3+
Ke6
Nc3
Ncb4
a3
Nxc2+
Kd1
Nxa1
+/=
Morphy Variation 4 ...
...
...
Na5
d3
h6
Nf3
e4
Qe2
Nxc4
dxc4
Bc5
Nfd2
O-O
=
Main Line Ng5
5 ...
...
...
...
Bb5+
c6
dxc6
bxc6
Be2
h6
Nf3
e4
Ne5
Bc5
Steinitz Variation 6 ...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Nh3
Bd6
d3
O-O
Bogoljubow Variation 7 ...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Qf3
Rb8
Bd3
h6
Ne4
Nd5
Ulvestad Variation 8 ...
...
...
b5
Bf1
h6
Nf3
Qxd5
Nc3
Qe6
Bxb5
Bb7
Qe2
O-O-O
Fritz Variation 9 ...
...
...
Nd4
c3
b5
Bf1
Nxd5
Ne4
Qh4
Ng3
Bg4
f3
e4
Classical Variation 10 d4
exd4
O-O
Nxe4
Re1
d5
Bxd5
Qxd5
Nc3
Qh5
Nxe4
Be6
Bg5
Bd6
=
Max Lange Attack 11 ...
...
...
Bc5
e5
d5
exf6
dxc4
Re1+
Be6
Ng5
Qd5
Nc3
Qf5
=
Modern Variation 12 ...
...
e5
d5
Bb5
Ne4
Nxd4
Bc5
Be3
Bd7
Bxc6
bxc6
O-O
Bb6
=
13 ...
...
...
Ne4
Qe2
Nc5
O-O
Ne6
Rd1
d5
Bb5
Bc5
c3
O-O
=
14 ...
...
...
Ng4
O-O
d6
exd6
Bxd6
Re1+
Be7
h3
Nf6
Nbd2
O-O
=
Giuoco Piano
by transposition
15 d3
Bc5
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
16 ...
d5!?
exd5
Nxd5
O-O
Bc5
Re1
O-O
Nxe5
Qh4
Nf3
Qxf2+
Kh1
Nf6
+/=
17 ...
Be7
Bb3
O-O
O-O
d6
c3
Na5
Bc2
c5
Nbd2
Nc6
Re1
Re8
=
Boden-Kieseritzky Gambit 18 Nc3
Nxe4
O-O
Nxc3
dxc3
Be7
Qd5
O-O
Nxe5
Nxe5
Qxe5
Bf6
Qh5
c6
=
19 O-O
Nxe4
Nc3
...
...
f6
Nh4
g6
f4
Qe7
Kh1
d6
...
...
=+

Statistics[edit]

Estimated next move popularity d3 47%, Ng5 24%, d4 15%, Nc3 10%, O-O 2%, Qe2 1%

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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.