Chess Opening Theory/1. e4/1...e5/2. Nf3/2...d6/3. d4/3...exd4

< Chess Opening Theory‎ | 1. e4‎ | 1...e5‎ | 2. Nf3‎ | 2...d6‎ | 3. d4
Philidor Defence: Exchange Variation
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 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 exd4

Philidor Defence: Exchange Variation edit

The Exchange Variation of the Philidor Defense is a well-known response from Black in the game of chess, aiming to immediately address the central tension.

Overview edit

Initial Moves edit

  1. e4 e5
  2. Nf3 d6
  3. d4 exd4 Black elects to take White's d4 pawn using the e5 pawn, instigating the Exchange Variation.

Initial Moves edit

  • By taking on d4, Black instantly relieves the central tension.
  • White has a choice: recapture the pawn with the Knight (Nxd4) or the Queen (Qd4). Both options carry their implications:
    • Queen Recapture (Qxd4): This move exposes the Queen to potential tempo gains from Black, particularly the 4...Nc6 move.
    • Knight Recapture (Nxd4): This seems more logical, positioning the Knight centrally. In response, Black often plays 4...Nf6, directly attacking the e4 pawn. To counter this, White usually defends with 5. Nc3.

Initial Moves edit

  • By opting for the Exchange Variation, Black sacrifices considerable center control, particularly White's well-positioned pawn and Knight.
  • The immediate and most common response from Black, 3...exd4, eases the central tension but at the cost of central control.

Initial Moves edit

  • The Exchange Variation tends to be less advantageous for Black. Unlike other variations, Black neither retains a strong grip over the e5 square nor effectively counters White's central pawns.
  • Novices frequently use this move to swiftly resolve central tension and steer clear of advanced variations, especially those leading to Queen exchanges.

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 exd4


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References edit


External links edit

  • ChessBase (2023). Philidor Defence.
  • Chess Openings for Beginners (2009). Philidor Defense: General Information.
  • ChessPathways (2019). PHILIDOR DEFENSE.
  • ChessPathways (2019). The Philidor Defense.
  • Chess Simplified (2019). Philidor Defence.
  • HangingPawns (2019). Introduction to the Philidor Defense.
  • Marsh, Sean (ChessAble) (2021). Chess Opening Basics: The Philidor Defense.
  • Prem, Krishna (2012). Chess openings - Philidor Defence.
  • The Chess Website (2012). Philidor Defense - Chess Openings.
  • Solomon, Ruddell (TheChessGiant) (2021). Chess Openings: Learn to Play the Philidor Defense!.