Jim West Talks Chess: Philidor Counter Gambit

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This is a blog written by a National Master who has authored two books on the Philidor Counter Gambit and has won the Best Analysis Openings award in 1996 from the Chess Journalists of America.

The Philidor Counter Gambit has the opening moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5. A more accurate name for it would be the Philidor Defense because the move 3...f5 is what Philidor had in mind when he recommended 2...d6.  But, to avoid confusion, I will refer to it as the Philidor Counter Gambit or simply the PCG.

I am inviting feedback from readers.  Send me any unpublished games that you or a friend may have played in this opening. 

Currently the PCG has an unfavorable reputation.  But refutation, not reputation, is what determines whether an opening is playable.  In more than 17 years of playing it as a National Master, I have yet to encounter the "smoking gun" refutation.