Chess Opening Theory/1. e4/1...e5/2. Nf3/2...d6/3. d4

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Philidor 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)

rnbqkbnr/ppp2ppp/3p4/4p3/3PP3/5N2/PPP2PPP/RNBQKB1R

Philidor Defence[edit]

Black has now to deal with the dxe5 threat, but he has to be very careful as there are many traps here!

3...Bg4 is not a good idea. After 4. dxe5 Bxf3 5. Qxf3 dxe5 6. Bc4, White has a strong initiative.
3...exd4 is strange as Black gives up the center he tried to strengthen, but remains playable.
3...Nc6 leaves Black in a little trouble after 4. Bb5.
3...Nd7, the Hanham Variation, is a path filled with traps after 4. Bc4, but may be playable if Black is careful enough.

Better variations include:

3...f5, the Philidor counter-Gambit which is quite risky but may lead to victory.
3...Nf6, the improved Hanham Variation is the main line.

Another option would be:

3...f6, countering Queen exchange and gaining center if dxe5

Theory table[edit]

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

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4

3
d4
exd4
=
Improved Hanham Variation ...
Nf6
=
Hanham Variation ...
Nd7
+/=
Philidor Counter-Gambit ...
f5
+/=
...
Nc6
+/=
...
Bg4
+/-
...
f6
+/-

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References[edit]

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