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loreta 31 ( +1 | -1 )
Philidor's defence Long ago i asked opinion about possible alternative openings for Black after 1. e4
Finally, i stood at Philidor's defence, as pretender to try.
Now it's a question about your opinion about it....
And... it's interesting, how many would like to try it at thematic mini-tournament? Not for actual play in it but to have a readiness (a will)?...
kansaspatzer 10 ( +1 | -1 )
I find it to be one of the dullest openings in chess, behind the Queens Gambit Declined and the Giuoco Piano.
far1ey 70 ( +1 | -1 )
Agreed kansas. However, a recent game between me and ganstaman was quite interesting. Hope he doesn't mind me posting.

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. Bc4 Be7
6. O-O h6 7. Be3 c6 8. a4 Qc7 9. Qd2 Nf8 10. a5 g5!? Interesting.
11. dxe5 dxe5 12. Rfd1 Be6 13. Bf1 Ng4 14. Bb6!?
Probably not the best move (according to the computers) by me but my point is that the Philidor can be rather interesting. Now its rather unclear for both sides to see whos better.
14... axb6 15. axb6 Qc8 16. Rxa8 Qxa8 17. Nb5 cxb5 18. Bxb5+ Nd7 19. Bxd7+ Kf8 20. Bxe6 fxe6 21. h3 Nf6 22. Nxe5 Kg7 23. Nd7 Rd8 24. Qc3 Qa4 25. Rd4 Qc6
26. Qxc6 bxc6 27. Nc5 Rb8 28. Na4 c5 29. Rc4 Nd7 30. b4 Nxb6
31. Nxb6 Rxb6 32. bxc5 Rc6 33. Kf1 Rxc5 34. Rxc5 Bxc5 35. Ke2 Kf6
36. f3 Ke5 37. g3 h5 38. c3 h4 39. gxh4 gxh4 40. Kd3 Kf4
41. Ke2 0-1
In the end I got rather whipped, in the last 15 moves ganstaman correctly exploited his 'advantage' of a piece for 3 pawns as the pawns. Nice play ganstaman.

spijker 20 ( +1 | -1 )
I like to play 1. e4,d6 2. d4,Nf6 3. Nc3, Nbd7.
In The Netherlands it is sometimes called "De Leeuw" which is "The Lion" in English.
Take a look at ->
ganstaman 156 ( +1 | -1 )
The Philidor is certainly odd. Original idea was to not let your pieces get in the way of pawns (Philidor was somewhat obsessed with these little creatures). 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 (I think?) f5. Turns out 3...f5 doesn't work quite like he wanted, though I've seen some claim it's good. I've personally never played either side of it, so I'm not too sure.

As for the game far1ey posted, there are a few points where things could have gone differently.

1) I could (should?) have played ...a5 at some point (probably 8. a4 a5).

2) 6...0-0 (or even something like 9...0-0) is much safer. White will have all the fun, but it's hard to find a place for him to break in. For those who want to avoid this dullness, like kansaspatzer, the whole ...h6, ...g5, and ...Nb8-d7-f8-{g,e}6-f5 plan is a lot more fun. Maybe a dubious attack, but looks playable. I used to have a link to a site that had a lot of games demonstrating this, but I've lost my bookmarks and would have to look again.

3) 13...Ng6 should have been the only move I considered. 13...Ng4 14. Bb6 lets white take advantage of all black's weak points. Sound or not, it was a bit scary (good move, far1ey).

4) Interesting(?) would have been 25...Qxd4 26. Qxd4 Rxd7. Who can evaluate this material imbalance?

5) I remember thinking that 28. Nxe6+ would have been better for white, but without a board in front of me now I can't be fully sure.

So you can play it dull, and then white can't really stop you. Or you can try to imbalance the position with 3...f5 or the kingside attack I tried but never got off. My opinion of it changes too often, but for now at least I wouldn't reccomend it except for an occasional game.
ganstaman 27 ( +1 | -1 )
So I've taken so long to think of what to type (and I took a break) that spijker posted the link I referred to. If you plan on playing this opening, definitely check out that site.
ionadowman 99 ( +1 | -1 )
Great game ... ...ganstaman and far1ey. Entertaining and imaginative. The "Lion", and the 3...f4 line (that Morphy used to play) seem to make the Philidor after all a viable and good defence.
I think Far1ey might have had better chances to save the game if he could have avoided exchanging his last pieces, which suggests that 30.Rc3 might have been an improvement over 30.b4?, and later, it might have been better to have given up both c-pawns rather than allow the rooks to come off.
It seems to me the boldness of his play (14.Bb6!?! and 27.Nc5!) deserved a better fate! (I thought 27.b7 might have had a better result, but no: 27.b7?? Nxd7! 28.Rxd7 Rxd7 29.b8=Q Rd1+ 30.Kh2 Bd6+ (-+) ).
I'll bet you both enjoyed that game!
Is a Philidor defence MT suggested by loreta a happening thing?
ganstaman 71 ( +1 | -1 )
ionadowman Thanks, that game was fun. Another point about the exchange of rooks is that it seems to me to have brought my bishop to its absolute best diagonal for that endgame. It didn't give the white king enough room to cover everything.

Also, that whole sequence of ...Rd1+ Kh2 ...Bd6+ was certainly a savior to me. I saw it coming up in several sequences that didn't get played. I kept wanting to find a way to reverse my moves (as that would be mate) but of course far1ey would never walk into something like that.

And yes, far1ey should certainly be proud of those moves. Even if things didn't quite work out in the end, they really looked nice and are good.
sough 26 ( +1 | -1 )
I think the Philidor can be awfully passive. If we venture away from the mainlines the f5 variation is nearly busted to my knowledge and the lion is more like the kitty cat in my opinion lol. Still,the Philidor Is a viable option and I often find myself stalled against it.
bucklehead 47 ( +1 | -1 )
Why go passive? I've been intrigued by the possibilities of the rare Albin-Blackburne Gambit: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Bg4 (a night at the opera, anyone?) 4. dxe5 Nd7 5. exd6 Bxd6

(On a random note, while doing an internet search I noticed that I mentioned this gambit in the GK forums almost three years ago...yikes...I probably should have accomplished more in that time!)
loreta 25 ( +1 | -1 )
To ionadowman > Is a Philidor defence MT suggested by loreta a happening thing?
Not at the moment... It is about to happen in the future (after I'll finish current MT for Caro-Kann)...
Now I'm just interested how any could be interested in it... Not necessary to play in it actually, but to have it in their mind...
ionadowman 7 ( +1 | -1 )
Loreta - - Count me as "keeping it in mind", for the time being, at least!
ccmcacollister 122 ( +1 | -1 )
I like the Philidor's .. Play it a lot in otb or especially blitz.
Funny how fashion changes. I met a Philidors in the Mutual of Omaha vs Bell Telephone Corporate Match in the 80's here the Omaha metro. And it was the line that goes 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 , which was the hot thing of the time ("hot" in terms of Philidor play that is :) . Last time I looked it was the 3....exd4 line being recommended tho.
Of course, I play the unfavored Hannam (hanham?!) that is with 3...Ngd7. And there is good reason for being unfavored, with some traps BLACK must avoid, and the WT tactical tricks using g5, f7 and or e6 squares in various ways. So I've started playing it "backwards" in blitz, with e5 delayed until WT uses a tempo to play a move that is not in the critical lines, allowing ...c6 to be played, which pretty much cans all the little tricks wt has. Like the Q-trap etc. And the thing usualy plays out similar to a pretty good Old Indian imo.
I don't think WT gets much with 3.Bc4 or the Petroff like transpositions that may arise there. (oh mygosh, did I really Say that?! Well its not Quite the Petroff ... so guess thats why I can play it and not the real thing...)
YES, I "have a will" to play it in an M/T ... but as a practical matter, I dont think that is going to happen for me. But would be fun to watch. }8-)
sough 23 ( +1 | -1 )
I guess I'm in the minority. Seems like if you want to take up 1 great defense to e4 there are a lot of more interesting,fighting and fluid tries than the Philidor; but perhaps that's more my opinion than fact. I'll be up for a M/T if there is one.
loreta 3 ( +1 | -1 )
... f5 line Is 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 f5 line finally refuted?
ccmcacollister 3 ( +1 | -1 )
loreta ... You mean it was once unrefuted ?! }8-))
ionadowman 21 ( +1 | -1 )
The 3...f4 line... ...Was pretty popular in Morphy's day. He played it himself, now and then. I just think it was regarded as too compromising. I don't know if it has ever been refuted as such... It is surprising how often the refutations are refuted eventually.
ccmcacollister 76 ( +1 | -1 )
ionadowman ... I may be confusing it with the Siesta Variation of the Lopez. Tho I think Capablanca - Marshall may have ended a draw even there. I just can' t seem to get into those ....f5 games. Not even the Fred. Tho I don't mind the Schlieman, aka Janisch. Or the Latvian, tho Silman says its dead I hear.
Perhaps I just have weird sensibilities tho, too ...
I guess if Morphy played it, and Fischer says Morphy is the "Most accurate Chessplayer ever", and Fischer has always seemed right about generalities (despite an analytical error, maybe two, i forget, in 60 Memorable) ... therefore It Must be Good! At least I've always had real good results taking Fischer at his word, I must say. Perhaps I'll get time to d-base some of those. Hope so, but I never know anymore.
ionadowman 55 ( +1 | -1 )
ccmcacollister... ... Now don't tell me the good old Siesta has gone the way of all good things! I would be very sad to find it has been ... discredited.
I think it is fair to say that the ...f4 line in the Philidor's has been discredited, but in my view that isn't quite the same thing as refuted. The latter suggests to me that the line leads pretty much to a forced loss. Having said that, I am aware that you know a hell of a lot more about openings than I do (and you obviously have more experience of the Philidor's than I do!), so your opinion is pretty persuasive!
ccmcacollister 63 ( +1 | -1 )
ionadowman ... Right you are! Openings were my forte' when I had a forte' ... NEXT I plan to learn their NAMES, just as soon as I get all the MOVES memorized! ~ Actually I AM half-way there since I Do KNOW the Names now, just need to learn which Moves they GoTo, you see~!? I give it another 20 years, should do it ... }8-0
To Whom It May Concern:
AN ONGOING GAME ... SO NO COMMENTARY, Please . . . For that would be breaking GK rules~!
I thought some of you might like to watch it unfold, being a high-level game. But I'll only mention it and not hyperlink it, since that is the case. The game number is
Variation 3.d4 exd4
loreta 19 ( +1 | -1 )
Urrrgh... :-) ccmcacollister, i heard and saw nothing :-)
Next, I looked into GK database - and what I saw after 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3
2. ... d6 is second to be used (after 2. ... Nc6)
And more, 3. d4 f5 gives only 60% wins for WT - not so crushing - and 35% wins for Black...
ionadowman 26 ( +1 | -1 )
Couldn't find your game, Craig... ...What's happened? Seems to have become lost somehow (hur, hur, hur ... ahem ... sorry).
loreta quotes some intersting stats. Maybe 3...f4 has retained some vitality?
loreta 15 ( +1 | -1 )
ionadowman Craig had pointed not his own game, follow this link: board #4639598
loreta 24 ( +1 | -1 )
More stats I checked chessgames db. In it 2. ... d6 is 3rd to be used (after 2. ... Nc6 and 2. .... Nf6)
And then, near 62% wins for WT, and more than 26% wins for Black.
(That's worse for Black than Latvian: 51% and 40%, but by victories near to Sicilian with 29% of wins for Black - after main 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3)
loreta 9 ( +1 | -1 )
Sorry, "And then, near 62% wins for WT, and more than 26% wins for Black" -- that's for line 3. d4 f5
loreta 3 ( +1 | -1 )
Is it? Is 3. d4 (After 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6) the strongest move to WT?
cairo 34 ( +1 | -1 )
Check this Philidor here:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 d6
3. d4 exd4
4. Nxd4 Nf6
5. Nc3 Be7
6. Bf4 O-O
7. Qd2 c6
8. O-O-O b5
9. f3 b4
10. Nc-e2 c5
11. Nb3 c4
12. Nb-d4 d5
13. Bxb8 Rxb8
14. e5 c3
15. Qe1 Qb6
16. exf6 Bxf6
17. g4 g6
18. Kb1 Re8
19. Qg3 a5
20. Nb5 Ba6
21. Nf4 Be5

Game ended with a draw and the board number is: board #6501842

Best wishes
loreta 26 ( +1 | -1 )
Sharpness Uf... uf... Final position inmess and hell... many sharp spines as at sea urchin. Could cairo (or somebody else) share hsi/her opinion about it? And some commentaries would be interesting...
john_wr 73 ( +1 | -1 )
f5 is okay?? I think the line; 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 f5.. is okay for black, I have played it quite a few
times over the years I have been playing. Iy wass recommended by British GM Jonathan Mestel
in one of my old books.. I have also played the line used by Morphy.. 1. e4 e5, 2. Nf3 d6, 3. d4
f5, 4. dxe5 fxe4, 5. Ng5 d5, 6. e6 c5, 7. Nf7 Qf6, 8. Be3 d4.. wild but very interesting. I ended
up agreeing a draw against a top county player after reaching a winning position but with very
little time left..

My point is that there seems to be a reasonable reply for Black against almost any White move..
exf5 is met with e4, dxe5 is met with fxe4. Nc3 can be met with fxe4 followed by d5 (although
this can be risky as Nxe6 may be possible for White). maybe I am missing something.
loreta 7 ( +1 | -1 )
Or maybe Alekhin, 1. e4 Nf6 If you went over a choice of Alekhin's and Philidor, - which do you select?
gunnarsamuelsson 85 ( +1 | -1 )
Well it depends. If ur opponent is an avid attacker maybe not as good as u, but only slightly worse I'd go for the Alekhine, cause its a typical guerilla warfare opening, where white is invited to take space/terrain and black plays to undermine the center.
U choose the Alekhine if u want this to happen, a big white pawncenter, and u must have studied this and feel comfortable with the positions.
If black doesnt go for it your perfectly fine since nf6 still is a good natural move.

The Philidor is an opening that is more flexible but more defensive, u avoid letting white choose what position hed prefer but on the other hand u give him more space and options.
There r many ways in which white can get an advantage, but I can't see why it should be a boring opening, quite the opposite since ull never know the forthcoming positions.
gunnarsamuelsson 37 ( +1 | -1 )
About the F5 move. It's hardly ever played, so I guess it's not solid, in many games i looked in a data base it involves black not castling.
I think it's one of those openings black choose cause he thinks white read about why old Morphy openings wasnt good 20 years ago, and has forgotten all about it.

And if that is true all Morphymoves has something that speakes for them.
loreta 5 ( +1 | -1 )
Books But what do modern books say about Philidor?
kewms 16 ( +1 | -1 )
NCO says the Philidor is "playable; somewhat passive but affords Black a solid position," and goes on to declare Petroff's Defence undoubtedly "the main alternative to 2...Nc6."
ccmcacollister 84 ( +1 | -1 )
loreta ... The books all agree, he is deceased. :(
My question is: what are we to think of a guy who says "Pawns are the heart and soul of Chess" ... then moves Two of them ??!
My books say the opening is cramped but playable in general. Barely so the Hannam, which I like. Despite my best efforts; The Secret there is coming to light recently tho, saying that you must play a Backdoor Hannam, rather like an Old Indian, making ...d6 and ...Nd7 first and delaying ...e5 till it can't be stopped anyway :) Then expand-o-matic on the Queen side. Has been a good formula in otb, tho havent tried it in corr. But have seen it called An Advantageous Philidor position, from this approach~! Who ever thought they would see those words in the same sentence?!
[But that's why Chess is fun]
Of course there are often options to transpose to a Pirc there. Or a Hippo~!?
ccmcacollister 12 ( +1 | -1 )
oops ... I already mentioned the Hannam before. Sorry. I guess the only news is Philidors demise.
A fine fellow ...