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  1. 20 Aug '11 02:55 / 3 edits
    I don't seem to get a big advantage as white against the Philidor. Any suggestions?
    1.e4 e5
    2.Nf3 d6

    Firmian of the MCO states;

    "The prevailing opinion [is the Philidor] is too passive and that White will obtain a more agressive position in the center. This may be true, but there is no large advantage that White can force and the defense is respectable."



    As white, I like to do 3.d4. (And that appears to be the recommended move by most, with 3.Bc4 falling more out of favor.)




    3 . . . exd4 (most common move here by black).




    I normally 4. Nxd4 but I have toyed with 4. Qxd4, but that also has not been striking for me and it also ignores the principle of not moving the Q early in openings.

  2. 20 Aug '11 03:27 / 2 edits
    Philidor Defense with 4.Qxd4 worked out for me (as White) in this RHP game (Black RHP rating 1600s)

  3. 20 Aug '11 12:22
    Originally posted by moon1969
    I don't seem to get a big advantage as white against the Philidor. Any suggestions?
    1.e4 e5
    2.Nf3 d6

    Firmian of the MCO states;

    "[i]The prevailing opinion [is the Philidor] is too passive and that White will obtain a more agressive position in the center. This may be true, but there is no large advantage that White can force and the defense is res ...[text shortened]... he Q early in openings.

    [fen]rnbqkbnr/ppp2ppp/3p4/8/3QP3/5N2/PPP2PPP/RNB1KB1R b KQkq[/fen]
    I don't think you can get a big advantage against the philidor.Played correctly it's a sound opening choice.
    It's unpopular and has a (undeserved) bad reputation but there really isn't much wrong with it,though I find it hard to play myself.
  4. Subscriber sundown316
    The Mighty Messenger
    20 Aug '11 13:37 / 1 edit
    3...exd4 is OK,but I think Nimzovitch's 3...Nf6 is much sharper for Black. The main line runs: 4.dxe5 Nxe4;5.Bc4(threat Qd5)5...c6(stopping Qd5 and threatening d5)6.exd6 Nxd6(best of the 3 captures as it protects f7 and hits the B at c4. I've used Philador's many times as Black-it is a good counter-punching defense,and it avoids all the theory of the Lopez,Italian,et al.
  5. Subscriber sundown316
    The Mighty Messenger
    20 Aug '11 13:45 / 1 edit
    Moon1969:You played quite well,but Black played poorly. 9...a6? was just a waste of time. White's K-side attack is much more advanced than Black's try on the Q-side. And grabbing that pawn on a2 was terrible-Black had no time for that.
  6. 20 Aug '11 20:02
    Originally posted by sundown316
    Moon1969:You played quite well,but Black played poorly. 9...a6? was just a waste of time. White's K-side attack is much more advanced than Black's try on the Q-side. And grabbing that pawn on a2 was terrible-Black had no time for that.
    True
  7. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    21 Aug '11 00:08
    I played Philidor's Defense OTB for awhile a few years back but did not stay with it.

    It was fine against stronger players, but it was much more problematic when I played it against players lower-rated than me. I had a hard time generating meaningful play without taking on excessive risk--and I tend to play somewhat risky anyway.

    Of the various approaches, 3. Qxd4 gave me the most trouble, in part because I wanted to play the Larsen Variation, and that move nixed it.

    The opening has had a rebirth recently under the pseudonym "The Lion", using an "Old Indian-esque" move order with black playing d6, Nf6, and Nbd7 before playing e5.
  8. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    21 Aug '11 00:51
    I wouldn't play the Philidor in CC unless you have a novelty up your sleeve.
  9. 21 Aug '11 01:28 / 3 edits
    The English GM Aaron Summerscale has dropped a load of books on Ebay
    most starting out 99p. More than 40 (!) on the Sicilian.

    He is also selling 'WINNING WITH THE PHILDOR' by Tony Kosten at 99p. and
    "THE DYNAMIC PHILIDOR COUNTER-GAMBIT" by West at 99p both £3.25 postage.

    Also there is Estrin'S 'TWO KNIGHTS DEFENCE' (99p) which is a book a tactics.
    Simply by playing over the lines and poking about in the notes and you will see
    every tactical trick on the board.

    What you pick up theory wise is a side line.
    The ideas you see on an open board are of more value.

    His Ebay ID is summeraaron if you want to view the entire stock he is selling.
    Some good stuff in that lot.

    A game not this edition. (though of course the line is discussed)
    An idea of what the Two Beasts Defence is all about.
    White has sacced two pieces by move 7.

    Sokolov - Ruzhnikov Russia 1956.

  10. Standard member ChessPraxis
    Cowboy From Hell
    21 Aug '11 02:28
    Originally posted by moon1969
    I don't seem to get a big advantage as white against the Philidor. Any suggestions?
    1.e4 e5
    2.Nf3 d6

    Firmian of the MCO states;

    "[i]The prevailing opinion [is the Philidor] is too passive and that White will obtain a more agressive position in the center. This may be true, but there is no large advantage that White can force and the defense is res ...[text shortened]... he Q early in openings.

    [fen]rnbqkbnr/ppp2ppp/3p4/8/3QP3/5N2/PPP2PPP/RNB1KB1R b KQkq[/fen]
    Here is an old thread with my thoughts.
    Thread 133563
  11. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    21 Aug '11 12:48
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    The English GM Aaron Summerscale has dropped a load of books on Ebay
    most starting out 99p. More than 40 (!) on the Sicilian.

    He is also selling 'WINNING WITH THE PHILDOR' by Tony Kosten at 99p. and
    "THE DYNAMIC PHILIDOR COUNTER-GAMBIT" by West at 99p both £3.25 postage.

    Also there is Estrin'S 'TWO KNIGHTS DEFENCE' (99p) which is a book a tactics ...[text shortened]... tacked and Black has mate in one.} 20. Rxb7+ hxg5 21. Nc6+ Ke8 22. Re7 {Checkmate.}[/pgn]
    I have the Kosten book, and it was a fun read. It was my main source when I played it.

    The best book on the Philidor is The Philidor Files by GM Christian Bauer, and the coverage is excellent.

    To give an idea of the where the Philidor is in modern praxis, here is a gambit line that Shirov uses against it. Bauer thinks that black is fine with correct play, but it is very much in the spirit of the GP approach to the game, and Shirov never disappoints. Two games, one a win and one a better-played draw:



    The second game has GM John Shaw showing a better way to play- at the same tournament the year before!

  12. Standard member wargamer66
    Steve B.
    22 Aug '11 22:17
    I've gone back to 1.e4 in the last few months and have been playing d4 and retaking with Qxd4.... I'll be dropping that line very soon because I'm not getting much of an opening advantage after Nc6, Bb5 followed by Bxc6 when the bishop gets kicked inevitably.
  13. 23 Aug '11 03:38
    Originally posted by ChessPraxis
    Here is an old thread with my thoughts.
    Thread 133563
    Thanks. I read through that thread you listed I think I am going to focus on doing 4.Qxd4 for now as White, for at least the reason maybe White 4.Qxd4 is less expected by Black than White 4.Nxd4.
  14. 23 Aug '11 04:50 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by sundown316
    3...exd4 is OK,but I think Nimzovitch's 3...Nf6 is much sharper for Black. The main line runs: 4.dxe5 Nxe4;5.Bc4(threat Qd5)5...c6(stopping Qd5 and threatening d5)6.exd6 Nxd6(best of the 3 captures as it protects f7 and hits the B at c4. I've used Philador's many times as Black-it is a good counter-punching defense,and it avoids all the theory of the Lopez,Italian,et al.
    Interesting comment. You imply a good point that 3 . . . exd4 may not be the Black move, and instead Black may do 3 . . . Nf6. I do need to be more prepared as White for the Black 3 . . . Nf6 you mention. As an aside, you indicate White 4.exd4 (position below) as the main line in reply to Black 3 . . . Nf6.



    However, the database I use has 4.Nc3 (position below) (not 4.dxe5 you indicate) as White's most common reply to 3 . . . Nf6. And I like the looks of 4.Nc3.



    Many of the variations with 3 . . . Nf6 have greater win percentages for White, though the ultimate move order (position below) you give (and explain well) has a greater win percentage for black. And it doesn't look the greatest for White, as you indicate. Thanks for your comment.



    Back to the beginning, below are some of my notes. For 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4,



    DATABASE
    3 . . . exd4 as the first choice at 4736 games,
    3 . . . Nf6 (you mention) as the second choice at 1801 games, and
    3. . . Nd7 as the third choice at 1685 games.

    The win percentages are about the same for all three moves.

    MCO
    The MCO also addresses these three moves (and as Black's top three moves). Stating that 3 . . Nf6 (cols. 1-2) and 3 . . Nd7 (col. 3) are the two options for Black in "maintaining the e5 strongpoint." Firmian comments that "Nimzovich's 3 . . . Nf6 [avoids for Black] some of the sharper lines White has against 3 . . . Nd7."

    As for 3 . . . exd4, the MCO notes that Black gives up the center and this can lead to "sharp positions" after White retakes with Nxd4 (col. 4) or Qxd4 (col. 5), "where castling on opposite wings is common." The MCO further indicates that instead of White recapturing, "White can play slowly and safely with 3 Bc4 (col. 6) though this gives him little chance for the advantage."

    In all, Firmian asserts all six columns end in equality except the column 3 with 3 . . . Nd7 as a "slight edge" for white, and the column 4 with 3 . . . exd4 4.Nxd4 "slightly favor[s] Black."
  15. 23 Aug '11 04:53 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    I played Philidor's Defense OTB for awhile a few years back but did not stay with it.

    It was fine against stronger players, but it was much more problematic when I played it against players lower-rated than me. I had a hard time generating meaningful play without taking on excessive risk--and I tend to play somewhat risky anyway.

    Of the various a ng an "Old Indian-esque" move order with black playing d6, Nf6, and Nbd7 before playing e5.
    Paul, thanks for the reply. As White, I am going to explore 4.Qxd4 and see how it goes.