Upgrade to Chess.com Premium!

Beating Philidor Defence/ Morphy Gambit


  • 4 years ago · Quote · #1

    samredway

    Hi everybody. First of all: my main weapon as white is the Scotch Gambit where I use the flexible move order:

    1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 ...  

    This allows me to either transpose into a gorring gambit or even a two pawns sacrifice with black taking on g2, or try to move back into Guiocco Piano or two Knights, really depending on blacks next move. However black often does not follow the script and one common deviation is the Philidor Defence which I want to discuss:

    1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6

    I've tried a range of systems but being a scotch player obviously I want to play d4 here ideally and try to transpose into the oppening I WANT to play rather than playing the line he is steering me towards. Also I generally feel that if someone plays Philidors they are looking for a quiet game where they achieve equality then grind out small edges, so what would please them less than just oppening up the game, gambiting a pawn and mixing things up and getting crazy!?

    3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4

    This line is called Morphys gambit. I stumbled across it trying to transpose to scotch which is what will happen if black now plays 4... Nc6 and it is a favourable line with the pawn on d6 too, so I think that 4 ... Nc6 is bad for black and allways makes me happy. 

    4... Nf6 leads into a kind of Urusov Gambit which is quite pleasant for white if you like a fast paced game after 5.Nxd4 eg this line from the game Thomas Nichols - Wall Gavin(2006)

    ... 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.Nxd4 Nxe4 6.Bxf7 Kxf7 7.Qh5 g6 8.Qd5 Kg7 9.Qxe4 

    So there is just one answer here from black which I'm not really comfortable with which is the 4... Be6 line and I think this is the best move for black here, but I'm not sure. I wonder if anyone would take the time to give me some analysis of this line. I am thinking in terms of:

    4... Be6

    5.Qxd4


  • 4 years ago · Quote · #2

    samredway

    Yeah I was looking in the Database on here. It's quie an uncommon line so there is not that much data on it. After 5... Nc6 6. Bb5 you transpose into a standard Philidor line that looks much better for White, but there are plenty of other moves available for black. What about 5... c5. Just as a general idea, I mean I think white is ahead here. You have better development and centralized pieces and it's hard to think that black has done anything but gone behind further after the first four moves, but just wondered what people think. Either way I think players should look into this line as Philidors is really common, at my level that is (1500) so it's good to have a strong line against it, which I feel this is. And especially if like me you are a Scotch Gambit player this must surely be the only way to approach Philidors!!!!

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #3

    SMesq

    As black I always play  Phillidor's to 1.e4.......hasn't let me down [yet!]

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #4

    samredway

    orkneylad wrote:

    As black I always play  Phillidor's to 1.e4.......hasn't let me down [yet!]


    Yeah, but what would be your specific response to the move order I'm suggesting

    1.e4 45

    2.Nf3 d6

    3.d4 exd4(most players take here although some play Nf6 which I like to play Bc4 against although also Bb5 is good going into a nice Line of the Ruy Lopez which favours white)

    4.Bc4

    Bear in mind my aim is for a position like (4... Nc6 5.c3 where I am into a comfortable line of the scotch gambit)!

    I'm interested as this is an oppening I face a lot and actually feel it is a very weak line for black to take, as if they transpose into other oppenings with this move order they are usually playing inferior variations to the mainline and I dont see any good line for black here. Let me know your thoughts...

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #5

    SMesq

    samredway -  4....Nc6 I don't fancy this early as I like to retain options with my c-pawn, so:

    1.e4 e5  2.Nf3 d6  3.d4 exd4  4.Bc4 Nf6  [5.Nxd4 Nxe4] or [5.0-0 Be7  6.Qxd4 0-0]. Pretty level IMHO.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #6

    samredway

    orkneylad wrote:

    samredway -  4....Nc6 I don't fancy this early as I like to retain options with my c-pawn, so:

    1.e4 e5  2.Nf3 d6  3.d4 exd4  4.Bc4 Nf6  [5.Nxd4 Nxe4] or [5.0-0 Be7  6.Qxd4 0-0]. Pretty level IMHO.


    I think that the Nf6 line is interesting. It transposes to Urusov Gambit after 5.Nxd4 Nxd4 like you suggest. The line I provided in my first comment after this (6.Bxf7+) Is quite pretty but does after correct play from black only lead to a situation where white has a small advantage, its quite a testing line though. You saw that? You should probably know that line if you play this for black as any deviation from black from the mainline there after 6. Bxf7 leaves black much worse.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #7

    samredway

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #8

    shaun023

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #9

    SMesq

    samredway wrote:

    You should probably know that line if you play this for black as any deviation from black from the mainline there after 6. Bxf7 leaves black much worse.

    Yeah it needs precise play from Black but I know it well, after 11.....Be7 it's a good game.  :-)

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #10

    samredway

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 4 years ago · Quote · #11

    samredway

    Yeah I agree, there is nothing wrong with that line if black knows his stuff, I would probably rather not sac there and play on with my compensation looking for something more concrete later down the line, just think its a pretty little combination. He he - I just crushed some guy in 20 odd moves using the Paul Morphy line though(have to show you cause by coincidence it was shile we were actually discussing it!). he clearly didnt know what was going on in the oppening at all. Have a look:


    By the way he had a similar rating to me at approaching 1500 and I feel that he played well bellow his abbility in this game, and I guess that thats because I took him out of his comfort zone and into a place he didnt really want to be!!!
  • 4 years ago · Quote · #12

    SMesq

    Nice win.

    Yes that's why I've stuck with Phillidor against 1.e4, I think it's pretty solid if you know what to avoid & to look out for.....avoiding the Spanish has always appealed to me as I don't have the inclination [or time!] to learn masses of opening theory.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #13

    SMesq

    Ended in a draw but was an enjoyable experience.....he was a tough cookie!
  • 4 years ago · Quote · #14

    samredway

    Yes your defence there seems pretty flawless. THIS IS the type of game I meant though when I said I think that Phillidor players seem to generally want to find equality first then maybe accrue small advantages to get some kind of drawn or if possible winning end game. That is exactly why I think the Morphy Gambit line is the best to mix it up and take them out of their element. But you sir are clearly a well prepared Phillidor player!!!! :)

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #15

    angelcalo

    why did u go bxe4 knowing that d5 was there

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #16

    SMesq

    Thanks Sam, I've been playing 'Philidor' for years [long-time club player] so it's pretty refined by now.   :-)

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #17

    trigs

    i personally play the scotch/goring gambit as well (also sometimes the tartakower in the sicilian defense which is quite similar). even though that's my preferred opening, i love it when my opponent plays the philidor defense. it pretty much opens up the attack on Black's f7 pawn which is one of the main goals in the scotch/goring gambit. i'm actually undefeated against it on turn-based chess. here's one of my more recent games with it:

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #18

    SMesq

    3....Bg4    yuk!  ;-)

    Black on the backfoot the whole game afterwards......I really like your style though.  :-)

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #19

    samredway

    Yes what a pretty mate too! He clearly thought the queen trade could save him but he was totally pinned down and out gunned... nice game and one will try to bare in mind if somebody plays that funky 3... Bg4 move on me.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #20

    blake78613

    1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nf6 is the mainline although I think 3...exd is playable.


Back to Top

Post your reply: