Chess Opening: Petrov’s Defense 3…Nxe4 | Ideas and Traps


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The Petrov’s Defense (also called Petroff’s Defense, Petrov’s Game, Russian Defense, or Russian Game) is a chess opening characterised by the following moves: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6. It was first popularized by Alexander Petrov, a Russian chess player of the mid-19th century. In recognition of the early investigations by the Russian masters Petrov and Carl Jaenisch, this opening is called the Russian Game in some countries.

The opening offers attacking opportunities for both sides, and a few lines are quite sharp. Often a trade occurs and Black, after gaining a tempo, has a well-placed knight. The Classical Variation is when White plays 3.Nxe5.

In this video lesson, the RCA guest coach IM Asaf Givon is presenting the variation 3…Nxe4, quite an unusual response as Black because White has the move 4.Qe2, which creates strong attacking play for White. However, Black can play 4…Qe7 and what comes after that is quite an adventure with a plenty of attacking opportunities and traps.

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