Alekhine Defense

Alekhine Defense: Provoking and Attacking to Win

Alekhine Defense creates a dynamic and exciting game right from the start. In this analysis, we'll dive deeper into each move, discussing the key ideas and possible follow-up moves as both sides aim to gain the upper hand.





This line (7 moves) is played in approximately 1 out of every 1000 games

Alekhine Defense is a chess opening that begins with 1.e4 Nf6 followed by 2.e5 Nd5. It was named after Alexander Alekhine, a Russian-French chess grandmaster who used this defense in the early 1920s. The idea behind this opening is to provoke White's e-pawn to advance, and then attack it with pieces.

One of the strengths of Alekhine Defense is that it allows Black to create imbalances on the board and play for a win instead of a draw. It also creates an opportunity for Black to gain a tempo and attack White's pawn structure with pieces rather than just pawns.

However, Alekhine Defense can be difficult for beginners as it requires precise move choices and a thorough understanding of pawn structures. It can also be risky as it leads to an open and dynamic game which can be dangerous if not played correctly.

In the opening sequence, after 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5, the move 3.d4 is usually played by White. Black then typically responds with 3...d6 followed by 4.c4 to attack White's center. In sum, Alekhine Defense is a flexible and aggressive choice for Black that requires careful planning, but can lead to exciting and rewarding games for those who master it.

Alekhine Defense, move by move



Chess is a game of opening moves and tactical maneuvers, and the decision to play e4 is one of the most common opening moves in the game. White plays e4 to control the center of the board, which is crucial for the success of any chess strategy. With this move, White also prepares to bring their pieces into the game, allowing them to launch an attack on the opponent's pieces and put pressure on their position. By playing e4, White signals their intention to take control of the game and set the pace going forward.

Alekhine Defense e4



Black's move Nf6 in response to e4 is an attempt to challenge White's control of the center of the board. By developing the knight, Black follows the principle of bringing out their pieces and putting pressure on White's position. This move also attacks White's pawn on e4, forcing White to respond with a move that will defend the pawn. Nf6 is a flexible move that does not commit too much to any specific pawn structure, allowing Black to adapt to different changes in White's position during the game. In sum, Nf6 is a solid response to White's aggressive opening move.

Alekhine Defense Nf6



White's move e5 in response to Nf6 is a popular attempt to gain even more space in the center of the board. By pushing the pawn, White gains control of important squares on d5 and f5, forcing Black's knight to retreat. This move also opens up lines of attack for White's bishop and queen, and threatens to expand even further with d4 and f4. However, it also creates potential weaknesses in White's pawn structure that Black can exploit. E5 is a sharp and aggressive move that sets the tone for a tactical battle between the two sides.

Alekhine Defense e5



In the Alekhine Defense, Black's move Nd5 is a natural response to White's push of the e-pawn to e5. By attacking the pawn on e5 with the knight, Black creates a double attack on the pawn, since it is also under attack by the black knight on f6. This forces White to either move the pawn again, to defend it, or to exchange it with the knight. If White chooses to exchange the pawns, it can help Black develop their pieces more quickly and reduce White's central control. Nd5 is an accurate move that can make White's position more difficult to play.

Alekhine Defense Nd5



White's move d4 in the position following e5 and Nd5 is an attempt to further expand their central control and to create the possibility of opening lines of attack against Black's pieces. By advancing the pawn, White gains control of important central squares and puts pressure on Black's knight on d5. This move can also open up diagonals for the queen and bishop, making White's pieces more active and threatening. However, it can also leave White open to counterattacks if Black manages to gain control of the center or if the pawn becomes isolated or weak. In sum, d4 is a move that can lead to dynamic and complex positions, with both sides having opportunities to launch attacks against the other.

Alekhine Defense d4



Black's move d6 in response to White's d4 move is a solid and flexible way to shore up their defenses and prepare to develop their remaining pieces. This move defends the pawn on e5, which is currently under attack by White's pawn on d4. It also prepares to further develop the dark-squared bishop and opens up possibilities for the queen to enter the action. Additionally, it can limit the scope of White's bishop on c1, which is currently blocked in by their own pawns. By making this move, Black keeps their options open and avoids making premature commitments to a specific pawn structure or plan of attack.

Alekhine Defense d6



In the Alekhine Defense, White's move c4 is an attempt to seize more space on the board and prepare to expand their control of the center. By pushing the pawn, White gains an iron grip on the d5 square, which is currently being controlled by Black's pawn on d6. It also opens lines of attack and can give the white knight on b1 a path into the action via c3. This move can be a prelude to further pawn advances with d5 or e6, or it can set up tactical maneuvers involving the capture of Black's pawn on d6. However, it can also weaken White's pawn structure and leave them open to counterattacks. In sum, c4 is a bold and dynamic move that sets the stage for the next phase of the game.

Alekhine Defense c4

How to play the Alekhine Defense

Alekhine Defense involves playing 1.e4 Nf6 with Black. The idea is to challenge White's e-pawn and provoke it to advance. Black can then attack White's pawn structure with pieces rather than just pawns.

After 1.e4 Nf6, White will often play 2.e5 Nd5, to which Black responds with 3...d6, attacking the center.

However, Black needs to be careful as this opening can be risky and requires a good understanding of pawn structures. Precise move choices are also necessary, as it can be difficult to recover from early mistakes.

In sum, Alekhine Defense is a flexible and aggressive choice that can create opportunities for Black to play for a win, but it requires careful planning and execution.

How to counter the Alekhine Defense

Alekhine Defense can be a challenging opening to face as White. However, there are some general principles that can be applied to counter it.

One idea is to not move the e-pawn, but instead develop the knight to c3, which protects the pawn on d4.

Another option is to play 2.Nc3, which creates pressure against the knight on d5 and prevents Black from advancing the e-pawn without losing it.

White can also play 3.Nf3 to control the center and develop the knight to a strong position.

In sum, the key is to control the center and prevent Black from creating imbalances or attacking opportunities, while also being aware of potential traps and tactical tricks.

Pawn structure in the Alekhine Defense

The pawn structure in Alekhine Defense typically involves a pawn on e5 for White and a pawn on d6 for Black.

White's pawn on e5 can be a strength, as it controls key central squares and limits Black's options for development.

However, it can also be a potential weakness as Black can target it with pieces, and White's pawn structure can become overextended.

Black's pawn on d6 is a key defensive piece that helps control the center and protects the knight on d5.

In sum, both players need to carefully consider how they're developing their pawn structure and position their pieces accordingly to take advantage of weaknesses and defend against threats.

The papachess advice

In conclusion, Alekhine Defense is a complex and intriguing opening that requires careful planning and precise execution. While it can create imbalances and attacking opportunities that lead to a win, it also exposes Black's kingside, making it risky and challenging to play.

This opening can be countered effectively by White, but only if they understand the key principles and avoid being lured into traps or tactics.

The pawn structure is critical in Alekhine Defense, with White's pawn on e5 and Black's pawn on d6 serving as key pieces in the game.

Players of all levels can benefit from studying Alekhine Defense, whether to use it as Black, or to be able to counter it as White.

Successful execution of this opening requires a deep understanding of the strategic and tactical possibilities at play, and the ability to adapt to changing situations on the board.

In sum, Alekhine Defense is a fascinating opening that can lead to some of the most thrilling games in chess, with both sides fighting to seize the advantage and emerge victorious.

Alekhine Defense in brief

Eco code : B03

7 moves

1 hypermodern 2 semi-open 3 gambit


Creates imbalances

Attacking possibilities

Opportunity to play for a win

Gains a tempo

Can be difficult for beginners

Precise move choices required


Leads to open and dynamic game

Dangerous if not played correctly

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