The Importance of Playing d4 Against The Alekhine Defense
In this game in which I play Black, my opponent plays a variation that could transpose into a number of mainlines against my Alekhine defense. Instead he plays a variation in which he refrains from playing d4. The result is that he cramps his position and is unable to freely develop his pieces.
Before looking at the game it is helpful to look at several variations of the Alekhine defense.
In all of the variations we have considered white has played d4. This allows white to reinforce his advanced e pawn while opening up the diagonal for the dark squared bishop without imprisoning the light square bishop. Now that we have seen how d4 fits into White opening, let's move on to the game. Please pay attention to how difficult it becomes for white to free his position without the move d4.