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Article about the opening of four knights
Article about the opening of four knights

The opening of four knights in chess is one of the oldest beginnings. If you're new to chess, unsure about your opening preparation, or just don't want to think too much in the opening, then this opening will suit you best. It is simple and reliable.

Designing the opening

At the moment, at the high level of the game, the debut of four knights is almost never found. Records of theoretical developments are first found in Polerio's notes of the 16th century. Subsequently, Louis Paulsen, Akiba Kivelevich Rubinstein and Frank James Marshall made a great contribution to its development. The debut of four horses appeared in the fights of the world champions: Emanuel Lasker, Raul José Capablanca and Mikhail Botvinnik. Despite the symmetrical opening, which leads to a calm positional struggle, sharp continuations are developed in it.

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Beginning of debut

The defense of four knights begins with the advancement of the pawns from position e by both sides to the e4 and e5 points, respectively. In the next two moves, the opponents alternately take two pairs of horses from their initial positions to the cellsf3, c6, c3 and f6. According to the theory of chess, the knight is the first minor piece that should be moved from the starting position. Subsequently, it will be necessary to withdraw the officer from the kingside, and castling of the king to the short side will be possible for both sides. This is a very simple opening, but at the same time it is quite reliable. It is great for beginners because it is almost impossible to make a mistake in it. After several moves in the Four Knights Opening, several systems with traps have been developed, but more on that later. If you don't feel like playing boring openings like the Russian or Spanish game, you can always choose this simple opening.

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Option with the bishop's move to b5

After three initial moves, White activates the officer by attacking the knight. Black's main continuations are the bishop on b4 and the knight on d4. The first is called the double Spanish variation and leads to a complete equalization of the game. Mutual castling and further positional play follow. The computer evaluates this position as equal. The opening continues, the opponents continue to develop pieces and fight for space in the center of the board. White exchanges his officer for the enemy horse on c6. Then they take the pawn to e5. Black activates the rook from the kingside by attacking the knight on e5. White takes his knight to d3, after which the black officer exchanges himself for the enemy white knight on c3. White captures dxc3, and the opponent takes the pawn on e4 with the knight.

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Rubinstein Countergambit

Knight's move to d4called the Spanish variant, Rubinstein's countergambig. White takes the pawn on e5, while Black exchanges his knight for White's light-squared officer on b5. After that Black kicks the knight with the pawn from c6. He retreats to his former camp, after which they play d5. White is forced to pick up an enemy infantryman. Black places his knight on d5, which offers his opponent an exchange, after which the queen comfortably moves to the center of the board.

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Traps in the Four Knights Opening

The famous trap called the crooked mirror. After playing this Four Knights Opening for White, Black is checkmated after a symmetrical play on his part. After the withdrawal of two pairs of horses, opponents develop kingside officers. They go to c4 and c5, respectively. Then comes the mutual castling. Behind it is the advancement of the d-pawns by one square. By doing this, the opponents strengthen the e-pawns and prepare the diagonal for their light-squared bishops. On the seventh move, the officers go to g5 and g4, pinning the enemy knights. On the eighth move, opponents attack the tied knights with their own, moving them to d5 and d4. On the ninth move, the queens get out of the pins on d2 and d7. On the tenth move, the officers exchange themselves for enemy horses that protect the king. On the eleventh, the absurdity of the idea of ​​the mirror game is revealed. White checks with g7, and according to the rules of the game, black is forced to take the bishop, since this is the only possible move. Then White announces checkmate in two moves. First, a check is announced from g5, and after the retreat of the king, checkmate is put in the corner of the board withf6.

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Trap in Rubinstein's countergambit

A rather long, but no less beautiful trap when playing for Black in the Four Knights Opening. After the black knight moves to d4, White takes the pawn to e5. The queen then moves to e7, and White defends it with a pawn on f4. This move is a mistake. It was better to bring him back to f3. The black knight then exchanges itself for a light-squared bishop from the enemy camp on b5. Black kicks the enemy horse with d7 and it retreats to f3 where it was before. The black queen with a check takes the infantryman on e4, and the king retreats to f2, where he again receives a check from the enemy horse. He retreats to g3, and the enemy queen pursues him, choosing a parking lot behind his horse on square g6, threatening the king with an exposed check. The white knight attacks the enemy queen, who retreats to h5. White, taking advantage of the moment, takes the pawn on c7, announces check to the king and prepares to bite off the rook on a8. The king retreats to d8 and White again attacks the piece in Black's camp, this time with the pawn from h3. The knight retreats to f6, and its counterpart takes the rook to a8. And then suddenly the black queen sacrifices herself, taking the knight on h4. The white king takes the queen, and here the idea with the queen's sacrifice becomes clear. The knight moves to e4, blocking the g3 square for the king to retreat back, and plans to call check with the bishop from e7. And, since the king is in real danger, White brings his queen to g5, offering Black to take the material back. They temporarily do not react to this, declaring a check from e7, and this queen covers the king fromcheck, followed by the exchange of the bishop and queen. Black moves h6 and White drops a pawn to him, advancing it to g6. The opponent accepts the challenge by taking her. White moves the rook to the open f-file, after which he gets a check from g5. He is forced to move to h5, and there he is overtaken by a check with a fork from g3, and Black gets a decisive material advantage, given that the enemy knight is stuck on a8 and will soon fall.

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