Chess Opening Theory/1. e4/1...e5/2. Nf3/2...Nf6

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Petrov's 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/pppp1ppp/5n2/4p3/4P3/5N2/PPPP1PPP/RNBQKB1R

Petrov's Defence[edit]

2...Nf6[edit]

Black chose to counter-attack. Many continuations are possible for White.

  • 3. Nxe5 is the main line (or Classical Variation). In this line, it's not advised for Black to take White's pawn before having chased the knight. There is a famous trap : 3...Nxe4 4. Qe2 Nd6?? (or 4...Nf6??) 5. Nc6+ and Black's queen is lost.
  • With 3. Nc3, Black can easily transpose into the Four Knights Game with 3...Nc6. This option is sound when White wants to avoid the sharp lines of Petrov's Defence.
  • 3. d4 is the Steinitz Variation. Both players will usually plant their knights in advanced positions. Exchanges often occur in this line to avoid having too powerful an enemy knight in front of the king.
  • 3. Bc4 usually transposes into the Two Knights Defence (a variation of the Italian Game).
  • 3. d3 is, according to statistics, a much more effective move than it looks, though it's rarely played. White builds a strong fortress and Black is now forced to abandon the Petrov's lines and to defend his pawn.

Theory table[edit]

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

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Classical Variation Nxe5
d6
Nf3
Nxe4
d4
d5
Bd3
Nc6
0-0
Be7
c4
Nb4
Be2
0-0
Nc3
Bf5
a3
Nxc3
bxc3
Nc6
Re1
Re8
cxd5
Qxd5
Bf4
Rac8
=
Steinitz Variation d4
Nxe4
Bd3
d5
Nxe5
Nd7
Nxd7
Bxd7
0-0
Bd6
c4
c6
cxd5
cxd5
Nc3
Nxc3
bxc3
0-0
Qh5
g6
Qxd5
Qc7
=
Two Knights Defence Bc4
Nc6
=
Four Knights Game Nc3
Nc6
=
d3
Nc6
=

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References[edit]

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