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How do you crush the Philidor Defense?


  • 3 years ago · Quote · #1

    Musikamole

    I am getting way too many Philidor Defenses. Too many! Are there any traps I can set? Any dubious side lines I can play as White to rattle my Philidor friend?

    I had an easy time with this one. No traps, just tactics.



    This opponent is rated higher, and I couldn't get anything out of the opening - plus - I think I hung a pawn somehow in the beginning. I brilliantly exposed my king to checkmate in the end. I let it play out. It was a nice mate to remember, but I want to be the one to deliver it! Laughing



  • 3 years ago · Quote · #2

    Musikamole

    I got beat in this Philidor game, even with my opponent playing the terrible f7-f6 (?!).

    Shouldn't White have some sort of an advantage in all lines against the Philidor? The best players don't play it anymore, right?

    I am playing slower, with the time control set to 15 10. This gives me much more time to think. It's fun.

    Now, when I face someone rated 50-100 points higher than me, as in this game, I can feel it. It really is that much harder to make any kind of progress.



    Ouch! I failed in some basic tactics in the second game that I posted. Tactical variation is in blue.



    Tactics aside, how do you like to play against the Philidor?
  • 3 years ago · Quote · #3

    DonnieDarko1980

    If it's played correctly, it's not terrible and quite solid for Black. However there seem to be many Philidor players who haven't studied the opening but just play it because it looks "natural" and continue with "natural" looking moves, and especially 3. ... Bg4 is such a move that is bad for Black and sometimes allows a nice trap:

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #4

    NimzoRoy

    Pay attention to paulgottlieb. Nowadays many "inferior" openings such as the once dormant Berlin Defense have been resurrected by the world's best players (Kramnik in this case), and the profusion of books and DBs have made many formerly despised openings playable, if not overly fashionable. That said, the Philidor is still a dud defense, but not unsound. Just treat it like any other opening and try to employ tried-and-true methods of development against it such as Lasker's 4 Rules of Opening Play and so forth. And don't forget that someone who knows it very well is just as likely to win with it as with the fashionable Najdorf Variation or other more popular lines.

    Here's a wild and crazy idea for you: start playing it yourself occasionally and see how other players respond to it, you might learn some lines to use as White or even decide to make it part of your own opening arsenal. Even if you end up hating it as Black you'll probably learn a bit from playing it yourself.

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #5

    Musikamole

    DonnieDarko1980 wrote:

    If it's played correctly, it's not terrible and quite solid for Black. However there seem to be many Philidor players who haven't studied the opening but just play it because it looks "natural" and continue with "natural" looking moves, and especially 3. ... Bg4 is such a move that is bad for Black and sometimes allows a nice trap:


    Excellent! I very much like your approach using "natural" moves. Black's moves looked just fine to me, but as you say, are really quite bad. Thank you.

    It's obvious from tonights play and what you posted that I can never get enough tactics training, especially since they pop up in every game at my skill level.

    Time for me to retire for the evening, but if anyone in a different time zone (still awake) can post a few more "natural" moves that Black might make in the Philidor that I should be on the look out for, then please do so.

    Here's my last game for tonight. It's not a Philidor, but a Scandinavian that my opponent played. He made a pawn move that I had not seen before (4...c4 (?!), and I failed to capitalize on it. We both made bad moves. However, that pawn cost him the game after 9...cxd4 (??), losing his queen to a fork.



  • 3 years ago · Quote · #6

    Musikamole

    paulgottlieb wrote:

    You can't crush the Philador, it's a playable opening--if not too popular. If Black plays correctly, you are going to get a small advantage, but no more. And if you treat it with contempt, you may be sorry. 


    I respect the Philidor, as I have lost several games to it. It is a solid main line opening, no doubt about it. I'm simply looking for a few common mistakes that people have seen Black make.

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #7

    Musikamole

    NimzoRoy wrote:

    Here's a wild and crazy idea for you: start playing it yourself occasionally and see how other players respond to it, you might learn some lines to use as White or even decide to make it part of your own opening arsenal. Even if you end up hating it as Black you'll probably learn a bit from playing it yourself.


    I have given this some serious consideration, and it is an excellent idea and a great way of learning an opening by playing it with the opposite colors. Good stuff - thank you. Smile

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #8

    AnthonyCG

    Unfotunately the opening had nothing to do with those losses. Most of those mistakes were tactical ones.

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #9

    TimorousBeastie

    You don't crush the Philidor defense.  It's a good, solid defense, if it's played well at all.  You play patiently, you develop, and you attempt to outplay your opponent in the middle game.  If all goes well, he will be at a disadvantage for having played a little passively.  That's probably the worst that can be said of this defense.

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #10

    Elubas

    I dunno, it's like saying white should have a horrible position because he played 1 h4. Is it an awful idea? Yeah, but take a look at the board -- white is far from mated -- it's not an awful position. Actually, the philidor is probably a better idea than 1 h4, but it's quite possible that white's position after 1 h4 is better than black's position in the philidor! Because with white you get an extra tempo! Miniscule, subtle, opening considerations don't mean anything until you're good at the meat of the game -- Tactics, Endgames, and Planning.

    White is supposed to have an edge against the philidor, but to win games against it, you simply have to play well, like always. I think it's better to try to get better at the game in general than find some line against the philidor you can memorize so that you can beat it without thinking ([Whisper] there's no such thing Smile). If you're better at the game in general, then you will be able to play against this opening, and every other opening better.

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #11

    jetfighter13

    here is how

    Go Morphy!
  • 3 years ago · Quote · #12

    Musikamole

    Morphy is perhaps the best player for beginners like myself to study for attacking ideas. I need to remember to look at his games often. Thank you. Smile

    I stand corrected. No one can crush the Philidor. The word crush was born out of utter frustration, failing to get any kind of initiative or advantage from what I uderstand is a solid, yet passive defense. What I am now looking into are common mistakes beginners make in the Philidor, as in the other openings that I see often at my level. Besides being prepared, it's a good tactical exercise for me, and I need lots of practice in tactics.

    I need some help after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nc6 4.d5. In Game Explorer, 4.d5 is extremely unpopular. Why? It looks like White gains space while kicking Black's knight back to the second rank.

    After 4...Nce7, Houdini gives it + 0.30, a slight advantage for White.



  • 3 years ago · Quote · #13

    Pawnpusher3

    generally, you can go one of two ways. Please view my following diagram:

     

     

     

    Hope I helped! Message me if you need any other opening help. I coach btw.

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #14

    shoop2

    Playing bc4 just because you're hoping for legal's mate is a bad idea.  3.  d4 is much stronger, and most of the critical tries for an advantage against the philidor come after 3.  d4.

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #15

    beardogjones

    Crushing the Philidor is like crushing the leaves of a fine rose

    in order to enjoy the aroma - you must do it delicately...

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #16

    Musikamole

    shoop2 wrote:

    1. Playing Bc4 just because you're hoping for legal's mate is a bad idea. 

    2. d4 is much stronger, and most of the critical tries for an advantage against the philidor come after 3. d4.


    1.  Rated at under 1200, there is much that I have not seen. I'm guessing that my opponents have not seen much, either. Playing Bc4 in the Philidor looks like fun, and it is in keeping with what I like to play, the Italian, always looking for ways to put pressure on f7.

    2. Playing d4 whenever possible is pretty much what I do. It opens diagonals for both bishops, so, that is why it was instinctive for me to push d2-d4 in the Philidor. I am not a big fan of d2-d3, and can't think of the last time that I played it in a 1.e4 opening. I am much happier with giving up the d-pawn, like in the Scotch Gambit.

    I played the Scotch Gambit against a USCF 2000+ rated player OTB (Expert), and enjoyed the usual advantage out of the opening with the White pieces after engine analysis. Of course, the Expert punished my very first mistake in the middlegame, and it was all downhill after that.


    If my opponent plays 4.Bc5, I like to try for the line below.


  • 3 years ago · Quote · #17

    Musikamole

    What would Paul Morphy's tactics trainer score be? Here he is again facing the Philidor, this time in a simul blindfold exhibition against seven opponents! Is there a word that goes beyond genius?


  • 3 years ago · Quote · #18

    GrandmasterAdam

    at the most white has small advantage, its by no means a dubious opening, and isnt seen at top levels because it doesnt offer black chances to play for a win against best play.Employ basic opening principles, and remember, you dont have to play for an early mate or a huge attack, postional play is just fine against it.

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #19

    Musikamole

    ajedrecito wrote:

    Typical blindfold game.

    (Morphy was really good at chess)


    Thanks so much for the tip on playing blindfolded - thinking in terms of diagonals! I can see the f1-a6 diagonal for my light square bishop in my head. :)

    It makes me more aware of the purpose of each square. My current mussings revolve around when and why to place the light square bishop on e2. It started when I saw a main line in the Philidor where Black places the f8-bishop on e7.

    I am doing all of this in my head! :)

    My current thoughts on Bf8 - Be7:

    1. It allows Nf6 to be played without the worry of a pin.

    2. If the e-file becomes open, Be7 blocks check from either Qe2 or Re1.

    3. It prepares Black for castling short.

    4. Not an aggressive post for a bishop, perhaps more for defense.

    Again, all in my head. No chess board. This is fun. Smile

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #20

    Musikamole

    Philidor meets the Fried Liver Attack

    I like White's chances in this wishful variation.


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