Philidor Defence (C41)

The Philidor Defence is a chess opening characterised by the moves:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 d6

The opening is named after the famous 18th-century player François-André Danican Philidor, who advocated it as an alternative to the common 2...Nc6. His original idea was to challenge White's centre by the pawn thrust f7–f5.

Today, the Philidor is known as a solid but passive choice for Black, and is seldom seen in top-level play except as an alternative to the heavily analysed openings that can ensue after the normal 2...Nc6.

The Philidor occurred in one of the most famous games ever played, the "Opera Box game" played in 1858 between the American chess master Paul Morphy and two strong amateurs, the German noble Duke Karl of Brunswick and the French aristocrat Count Isouard. The game continued 3.d4 Bg4, a deviation from modern standard lines.

As of 2004, there are no top players who employ the Philidor with any regularity, although Étienne Bacrot and Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu have occasionally experimented with it. Its popularity in master play has increased slightly over the last twenty years, however.


Philidor Defence

C41 Philidor Defence

 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6

Study Games for Eco Code C41