A Surprise Weapon against the Philidor Defence

The Philidor defence is a popular opening for club players. Black gets their usual set-up and a lot of standard patterns. So, what can be nicer than playing an unusual set-up against it? The most standard set-up is with 5.Bc4. In case White wants to spice it up 5.g4 is the well-known option - the only drawback is that this is a pawn sacrifice. The move suggested in this 60 minutes course is 5.Rg1, with the idea g4. The plus side is that you still get all the g4 ideas without losing a pawn. Aside from that the move is very new - the author even managed to surprise another International Master with it. Funnily enough his opponent faced the Philidor the day after and played 5.Rg1 as well! Even though both games ended in a draw, it was White who had all the fun. The course includes a complete repertoire, which is easy to learn and has a lot of fresh ideas.


Sample video


  • Introduction
  • Theory
  • 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nf3 Nbd7
  • 5.Rg1 Be7
  • 5.Rg1 exd4
  • 5.Rg1 c6
  • 5.Rg1 g6
  • 5.Rg1 h6/h5

Philidor Defence

François-André Danican Philidor (1726–1795) is the name associated with the defence 2... d6, in which Black adopts a completely different way to protect his king’s pawn from those e5-openings in which the latter is protected by 2...Nc6. In the Philidor System the queen’s pawn supports the e5-pawn with the help of the queen’s knight from d7, which avoids any pin by Bb5. Black then goes on to develop his kingside with ...Nf6, ...Be7 and ...0-0 without being disrupted and finally completes his solid setup with ...c6 and then ...Qc7. His intention is to hang on to the e5-point.

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