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Chess. Defense of two knights
Chess. Defense of two knights

Defending two knights in chess is one of the most popular openings today. This is an old open debut. The first discovered recordings were made by Polerio, the greatest chess player and theoretician of Italy in the 16th-17th centuries, who was considered the strongest in Rome. Due to the numerous possibilities of the two sides, the opening is still common even at the professional level of chess play. It was used with great success by the strongest chess players of different eras. Mikhail Chigorin contributed to the development of the opening.

defense of two knights variants

Debut features

Its advantage is that from the beginning of the game Black tries to seize the initiative, in some variations even sacrificing material. When playing most variants of the two-knight defense, complex double-edged positions are obtained on the board, in which either side can easily gain an advantage. Analytical analyzes have been devoted to this beginning for several centuries. Some of the modern variations are worked out for 25 moves.

Two Knight Defense Theory

Starts with White's pawn moving to e4. The opponent responds in kind to e5. SecondWith this move, White makes a logical maneuver with the knight on f3, immediately attacking the pawn that has just entered the game. Black defends it by bringing his knight to c6, developing a piece along the way. On the third move, White brings the light-squared bishop to c4, preparing for the short castling of the king, while Black develops the second knight, bringing it to f6. This ends the defense of the two knights.

defense of two knights chess

Kf3 continuation - Kg5

There are different options for defending two knights, but this one is probably the oldest one that is still played today. With this maneuver, White is trying to exploit the weakness of the f7-square. There are various continuations, but the main one is the pawn's move to d5. With this move, Black blocks the diagonal for the light-squared officer, thereby forbidding White to immediately attack the f7-square.

On the fifth move, White takes the d5-pawn with his own, simultaneously attacking the knight, and Black takes it to a5, counterattacking the white bishop. Then the officer announces check to the king from b5, and Black blocks the way, bringing the pawn to c6. On the seventh move, White captures the c6-pawn from d5, and the opponent, in turn, captures its counterpart from the opposite camp with a pawn from b7, simultaneously attacking White's bishop. Further, the best retreat for an officer is point e2.

Black immediately offers the enemy mount to decide on a new station by attacking it with the pawn from h6. The white knight retreats to f3, and Black immediately attacks again by advancing the pawn to e4. On the tenth move, he has to make the fourth maneuver in the game, which has a bad effect on the development of the player's pieces. He takes a newa parking lot on the e5-square, and Black brings the dark-squared bishop to c4, aiming at the weakened f2-square, which covers the enemy commander.

This position in the defense of two knights is evaluated by the computer as equal, but everything changes with one wrong move by White, because they are far behind in development, and Black, on the contrary, has no problems with this. The pieces are active, they have room for further maneuvers and the possibility of attacking the king in the future. White has an extra pawn.

defense of two knights for black

Ponziani Gambit - Steinitz

A very sharp continuation, in which Black on the fourth move instead of defending the diagonal from White's light-squared bishop and the f7-square, White counterattacks, taking the pawn on e4. On the fifth turn, there are three main options for the development of the party:

  1. White can take Black's knight with his own and offer Black to move the pawn to d5 with the opportunity to win back the piece.
  2. They can take on e7 with the bishop, which will declare the black king a check and be invulnerable, which will force him to move and lose castling.
  3. Or the greedy option is to take the knight to f7 with a further plan to win the exchange from the opponent. But this variation is the most dangerous, because Black, by bringing the queen to h4, starts a dangerous counterplay.

Playing the Two Knights Defense for White must be done carefully, because one wrong maneuver can make your position defenseless.

defense of two knights for white

The variant with the capture of the pawn by the knight on f7 in the Ponziani-Steinitz gambit

White takes a pawn onf7, and Black brings the queen to h4, threatening checkmate! The naked eye, not knowing the theory in this position, can choose from good moves, the most greedy of which is to capture the rook with the knight, which cannot be done because of the checkmate described above. If White takes the queen to e2, Black puts the second knight on d5, threatening with a fork on c2.

The best seventh move in this variation for White is g3 with a queen counterattack, after which Black goes to exchange queens, taking the enemy queen. After that, a series of simple moves follows, during which the opponents take one rook from each other. As a result, both are left with one heavy piece, three light pieces each, and Black has one extra pawn and an advantage in position.

variation of the Ponziani-Steinitz gambit

Variant of the Ponziani-Steinitz gambit with the capture of the knight on e4

The most reliable continuation of this gambit. You simply take the enemy knight with yours, after which your opponent moves the pawn to d5, declaring you a fork, and you are forced to part with one of your minor pieces. Today the computer shows that it is necessary to capture this pawn by an officer in order to get a better position. Material equality and approximate equality in position will remain on the board. In this way, Black simplifies the game by removing a couple of minor pieces from the board, and gets a good and easy position for further play. It is possible to declare a check from f6 after the d5 poke, forcing him to take the knight and double his pawns along the f-file, keeping his strong light-squared officer. He will have an extra pawn, but it will be doubled, and weaknesses will appear in his camp due to the newstructures.

Playing the two-knight defense for black is very convenient. Especially if the opponent is poorly versed in theory. If you like a sharp attacking game that starts from the very beginning of the game, with mutual chances, then this opening will suit you. But before you start using it, it's better to learn the theory, at least for five to ten moves.

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