Chess Defenses

A chess defense is an important way to prevent the loss of material or being checkmated. It also helps to neutralize threats from the opponent’s pieces.

There are several different types of chess defenses. One of the most popular is the Modern Benoni, which was used by Tal and Fischer to avoid sharp lines for White.

1.e4 e5

Every chess player needs to have a solid, reliable answer to 1.e4. This opening claims central space and sets up lines for Black’s pieces. The follow-up 2. Nf3 develops a knight to its best square, attacking the e5 pawn and further exerting control over the center.

There are many dependable defences to 1.e4 e5, ranging from sharp, attacking gambits to more solid systems. In Playing 1.e4 e5 – A Classical Repertoire, IM Nikolaos Ntirlis demonstrates how to build a repertoire based on sound positional principles that doesn’t require excessive memorization of theory.

In particular, the author shows how to defend against the Philidor Defense (with 2…d6), the Latvian Gambit (2…f5?!), and even the so-called Brazilian Defence (with 2…Qe7). In addition, he provides a reliable defence to White’s most popular attacking try in the Open Games, the Ruy Lopez.

1.e4 c5

The Sicilian Defense is a frequent choice at the grandmaster level, and is known for creating dynamic positions with counterattack potential. It fights for control of the central d4 square, and opens lines for Black’s queen and king bishop. It was Bobby Fischer’s favorite opening, and he once said it was “best by test.”

After 1.e4 c5, Black has several options. He can play 2…d6, which blocks the development of his king’s bishop but leads to solid but passive positions. He can also play 2…Nc6, which usually transposes into the Alapin or Maroczy Bind lines.

The Philidor Defense (2…Qe7) and the Gunderam Defense (2…Nf6) are less common, but still seen occasionally at the grandmaster level. The main alternative is 1…c5. This move prevents White’s d4 advance and allows Black to prepare kingside castling. It is a risky option because it denies White’s e4-square and makes his c5-pawn vulnerable.

1.e4 d5

The Scandinavian Defense, or the Center Counter Defense is one of Black’s most popular responses to 1.e4. The opening has been used in numerous high-level games and is a reliable way for Black to challenge White’s central control.

It is an effective defense because it attacks White’s pawn on d5 without letting the queen go to a5 and attack the c3-pawn. It also allows Black to develop their queen’s pawn and exert pressure on the center.

White can respond to the Scandinavian Defense with 2.exd5, which is not a very good idea because it leads away from open positions and into blocked center positions. However, if White plays 3.Nc3, this opens up opportunities to develop the knight and gain a tempo by attacking the black queen. This setup has been used by players such as Tiviakov and Karpov. It is not often seen by 2600+ GMs, but it can be an effective weapon for Black.

1.e4 d4

When deciding whether to play e4 or d4 as white, it depends on your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. In general, e4 openings lead to sharper lines while d4 openings often result in more positional play. However, it is important to remember that neither option is objectively better than the other – both have advantages and disadvantages.

One of the biggest reasons why d4 has become more popular is that it allows you to establish a pawn on d5 and share the centre (a key square that contains four squares for White). This can be an advantage if your opponent’s plan is to attack your king or queen. Additionally, d4 can also speed up king-side castling. However, if your opponent plans to defend his or her d-pawn, e4 may be a better choice because it offers more options. In addition, e4 often leads to more forcing positions than d4. This can make the game faster and more exciting.

1.e4 d3

A move that immediately claims a central square for your own pieces and prevents Black’s from developing there. It also blocks e4 for Black’s f5 knight or b7 bishop, meaning that Black has to make concessions with their own development.

This defense has seen extensive use at the grandmaster level, demonstrating its soundness and validity as a competitive opening. It has been used by many of the world’s best players including Vladimir Kramnik, Anatoly Karpov and Fabiano Caruana.

This defense is a bit more flexible than the Petrov and can lead to different types of positions depending on how you play it. It can lead to a quieter, positional middlegame or more exciting lines such as the Boden-Kieseritzky Gambit. It is also more solid than the Ruy Lopez and can provide White with an edge in the endgame. This opening is particularly popular amongst younger players due to its dynamic middlegame and strong central control.

1.e4 c4

Black’s goal is to prevent White’s c5 advance and create an asymmetrical position of attack and counter-attack. 1…c5 is one way of carrying out this plan, but there are many variations to choose from.

For example, the Sicilian Defence offers Black a solid pawn structure with control of d4. In the Pirc Defense, Black develops the knight to c3 and prepares for an e5 break. The Four Knights System involves both sides developing their knights to optimal squares for center control, and Black’s kingside fianchetto can lead to flexible pawn structures.

The Caro-Kann is another popular defensive option. This opening allows Black to gambit a pawn, which can open lines for development and counterplay. This defensive system is known for its complex middlegames with dynamic play and tactical possibilities. It also offers a variety of plans for Black, including the Panov-Botvinnik Attack and a Queen’s Gambit Declined.