THE PETROV’S DEFENCEA chess opening strategy


It is already well known that the best way of defence is the attack. That is a strategy not just for games using the body, but also the mind, such as chess. It is not enough just to have a good defence while playing chess, but also gaining more pawns. The combination of that comes from a strategy that a well known Russian player invented.

It was in the 19th century that Alexander Dmitrievich Petrov, a Russian chess player, that used the strategy which is called nowadays the “Petrov’s defense” or the “Russian defense”. After his analysis, tactics and performances on chess, the defense 1.e4e5,2.N73N76(C42) carries his name. Also, he is the writer who first brought in the Russian language the chess manual and a number of endgame studies.

The Petrov’s defense is considered as a good choice for those players who don’t want to follow common moves and normal defenses. Although it has a reputation of being a boring opening, for the other side it is an opening that produces defensive positions. Both sides are attacking to fill in the centre, the symmetrical opening that requires that defense is what the most players hate.

There are players though, such as Frank Marshall and World Champion Vishi Anand that worked on that very much. Even it’s not that good reputation that defense can create so many combinations that were loved from so famous players on games such as: Caruana F. vs Gashimov V., Polgar Ju. Vs Gelfand and Howell D. vs Krammik V.

More often, White follows the main line 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3, where he will try to drive Black’s advanced knight from e4 with moves like c4 and Re1. White can instead force simplification with Lasker’s 5.Qe2 Qe7 6.d3. This is generally only good enough for a draw, which Black should be satisfied with. Another possibility, explored by Keres, is 5.c4, known as the Kauffmann Attack.

This Petrov has a trustworthiness of becoming uninteresting and uninspired. Even so, it offers fighting chances intended for equally factors, and a few lines may be sharp. Normally a business happens, and Dark following attaining some sort of tempo gains some sort of well placed knight.

In the Petrov’s defense the black pawn should be always careful with its moves. While the white moves first, there is a possibility that it captures the black pawn, which can move then to mirror and take the e4. That step is crucial for the black one, it has to back down the whit one and take the e4, after playing first the d6. If both players decide to play really aggressively they can move to c3 and exchange knights. That will probably result to a queenside castle for the white player.

The solidity that offers that defense on how things will move on the game is intriguing and that is why the players use that tactic as a safe beginning. What someone could do is copying, which is annoying of course, but safe, since you can avoid other strategies, such as Ruy Lopez (Spanish Opening), the Italian or the Scottish Opening.