The Sicilian is black’s main response to the move 1.e4. Many 1.e4 players spend a considerable amount of time studying the main lines of the Najdorf Sicilian or the Dragon and, no matter how much time they dedicate to these variations, preparation never seems sufficient. There are simply too many choices, too many possible weapons for black and during a tournament you can easily become a victim of not knowing a theoretical line or even forgetting it.
The Slav defense is possibly among the top three choices for black against 1.d4. After the moves 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3, white not only must know the main line of the Slav with 4…dxc4 but also, but he should also be prepared against the move 4…e6, the Semi-Slav variation. The amount of theory written in these two possible choices for black is quite big and can be overwhelming for the player not interested in memorizing the principal lines.
The French defense (1..e6) is one the most popular responses to 1.e4 in contemporary chess tournaments. It gives black possibilities to create unbalanced positions in a very early stage of the game. Unlike the Sicilian, the positions arising are considerably more closed, with pawns chains in the center.
The King’s Indian Defense remains one of the main weapons to play for a win against white’s 1.d4. This ever popular defense has had its ups and downs through the history of modern practice. It started getting very popular during the 50’s, with the help of players like Bronstein, Geller, and Gligoric.
Before starting the actual presentation, we will first address a basic question to the understanding of this article: “What is the ‘Carlsbad pawn structure’?” This notion refers to the pawn structure arising in the Exchange Variation of the Queen’s Gambit, which made its debut in Carlsbad, in 1923. We can see this pawn formation in the following diagram:
In previous article WGM Raluca Sgîrcea and IM Renier Castellanos have explored the Saemisch variation of the King’s Indian Defense, especially focusing on what happens after white take the pawn 7.dxc5. This article will concentrates its attention on a more popular variation 7.d5.
In this article WGM Raluca Sgîrcea and IM Renier Castellanos cover in great detail the Saemisch variation of KID. This is one of one of the most important weapons that white can use against a very popular on all levels from club to super-GM King’s Indian Defense. Ready to learn more?
The French is among the most popular defenses against 1.e4 and for a good reason. It is a very solid choice, but at the same time quite aggressive. Black’s counterplay on either wing (this depends on the specific variation) offers him an opportunity to unbalance the game and take white into a very sharp and double edged battle right from the very first moves.
For most of the 1.d4 players, the Nimzo-Indian defense is one of the toughest defenses to get advantage when playing against. It is a defense that has remained a solid, flexible, and active weapon throughout the years, surviving the test of openings trends every time. Many grandmasters consider this defense the best choice against 1.d4 because of its strategic foundations.