B02-05 Alechine Defence

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The Alechine is a sharp defence in which Black counterattacks since move one, luring White’s central pawns forward in the expectation of destroying them later on.   This approach is not without risk, but those players who have used the Alechine with continuity with Black have achieved good results.

White can accept the challenge and build an overextended center with 2.e5 Nd5; 3.d4 d6; 4.c4 Nb6; 5.f4.  That is the complex Four Pawns Attack in which Black has sufficient counterattack chances to avoid being crushed. 

More dangerous for Black is the Main Line (or Modern Variation) in which White builds a less extended but more sustainable pawn center and aims to leverage in the long term on his spatial advantage: 2.e5 Nd5; 3.d4 d6; 4.Nf3.     

The Exchange Variation (2.e5 Nd5; 3.d4 d6; 4.c4 Nb6; 5.exd6) is even more prudent than the main line, being the safest option for White but less ambitiuous:  play is levelled, especially in the symmetric position deriving from 5...exd6, and White can count only on a slight spatial advantage.

Finally it's worthwhile to mention the tricky Chase Variation (2.e5 Nd5; 3.c4 Nb6; 4.c5) and the solid 2.Nc3 with which White practically avoids the Alechine but should be ready to play a Vienna after 2...e5.


Alechine defence

ChessBase file


PGN file

Last Update

December 2017