Chess Opening Theory/1. e4/1...Nf6

Alekhine'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)
Moves: 1. e4 Nf6
ECO code: B02-B05
Parent: King's Pawn Opening

Alekhine's Defence

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1...Nf6

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The main idea of the Alekhine is to allow White to advance and push pawns, which Black can pick at later. While it is not played very often at master level, it is not unsound. White's most popular continuation is 2. e5, and White has dreams of advancing in the center with d4, later c4, and sometimes even f4. Black hopes to attack and destroy White's pawn center in the future.

If White doesn't want to follow the main line, they may simply defend the pawn with 2. Nc3 (which may transpose to Vienna Game).

A sharp variation called the Krejcik Variation consists in playing 2. Bc4. It looks like a gambit, but in fact, if Black plays 2...Nxe4, White can regain the pawn and prevent Black from castling with 3. Bxf7+ Kxf7 4. Qh5+.

The opening is named after Alexander Alekhine, who introduced it in 1921; however, the theory and mainlines were created much later.

Theory table

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

1.e4 Nf6

2 3 4 5 6
Main Line e5
Nd5
d4
d6
Nf3
Bg4
Be2
e6
O-O
Be7
∞/=
Nc3
d5
exd5
Nxd5
Bc4
Nb6
Bb3
Nc6
Nf3
Bf5
=
d3
e5
Nf3
Nc6
g3
Bc5
Bg2
O-O
O-O
d6
=
...
...
f4
Nc6
Nf3
d5
fxe5
dxe4
exf6
exf3
=/+
Krejcik Variation Bc4
Nxe4
Bxf7+
Kxf7
Qh5+
Kg8
Qd5+
e6
Qxe4
d5
=+
...
...
...
...
...
g6
Qd5+
e6
Qxe4
d5
=+
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Ke8
Qxe4
d5
=+

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References

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  • Nunn's Chess Openings. 1999. John Nunn (Editor), Graham Burgess, John Emms, Joe Gallagher. ISBN 1-8574-4221-0.