CCD - Second Branch - 3.c4

CCD - Second Branch - 3.c4


In previous articles we saw the lines which can come out of 3.Nf3. We even explored some lines which have not been seen a lot. I believe we have a pretty solid idea on how we would continue in those continuations.

Lets cross 3.Nf3 off our chart. Since we covered most of the interesting lines we will see in it.

Let us move forward to the next move played in this position.

The main moves played are:
  • 3̶.̶N̶f̶3̶
  • 3.c4
  • 3.g3
  • 3.e4
  • 3.Nc3

Move 3.c4 - Many players who are used to playing the Queens Gambit will play this move. They will play it to defend there d5 pawn.

I believe the move 3.c4 is an inaccuracy.

The funny thing is between a certain level (I would say 500 - 1900) This is one of the main moves you will see.

It is the most played move in this position and it is a mistake.

The main reason I believe this move is a mistake is because it gives black very nice counter play.

The Clarendon Court has very similar idea's of the Dutch and the Benoni almost like a hybrid line.

If white plays c4 in this position you can than treat the position like a Benoni!  The difference would be it would be an improved Benoni.

The reason is because in the normal Benoni black tries to get very strong queen side play! White on the other hand tries to counter blacks queen side play by playing in the center.

When white plays against the Benoni they often try to play moves like e4 - f4 than try to push e5 with the pawn support.

The problem that exists in the Clarendon Court for white is black has a nice grip of the e4 square!

How on earth is white going to counterattack in the center with e5 when black has his F pawn on f5 and a knight on f6?

The Dutch similarities are present now. Notice how black has control of the e4 square because of the knight and the f5 pawn contributing to that square. In chess the way to refute a side attack. Is to counterattack in the center. However, if black has a strong grip in the center.

How on earth is white going to counterattack in the center?

The fact is they will have a very hard time trying to pull off a center thrust.

I have a very nice game for you in this position. Notice how black continued with queen side domination.

After white plays 3.c4 black has 2 very good moves they can continue with. I will cover both moves Wink. Both moves can tranpose into each other. However, their is ways of playing different positions from the move order change. Which is why I will cover both.


Move 3...Nf6 - This move develops a piece and add's more control over the e4 square.


Move 3...g6 - This move allows black the chance to develop the dark bishop to g7.


After either continuation whites follow up move is the same against both moves. The move played by white is:

Move 4.Nc3 - White plays this move to give some support to the e4 square and d5 pawn. It is a very common move by Queens gambit players. They often do follow up with this move. It is not a terrible move for sure. I believe this move is the best move in the position. However, I believe the position not as great as it should be because of the move 3.c4 previously.

Yet this is a continuation you will see and if you do not prepare for it or underestimate it. You can find yourself in trouble. Which is why I am going over it.

It reminds me of a time when a person once told me. Just because your opponent doesn't play a move that is the best move which in computer engine terms would give him a 0.30 slight advantage and instead he plays another move which is and inaccuracy or mistake which leads to a equal 0.00 position in computer terms.

It does not mean he can't come back around and slap you all over the board up the street from the A file to the H file!

It may be an inaccuracy but it is one tough inaccuracy lol!

The point is no one will care if it is an inaccuracy if they stomp you with it! Which is why we need to go over this.

OK I'm done with my ranting lets go back to the board position which is below.

In the above position we can see both black moves and whites responses.

After whites move black often follows up with the 2 following moves.

Move 4...g6 - This move allows black the chance to develop the dark bishop to g7.


Move 4...Bg7 - This move develops the dark bishop.



After the above moves white often proceeds the same move yet again.

Move 5.Nf3- This move develops the knight to the center.



After white develops their knight to f3 black can follow up with 2 continuations.

Move 5...Bg7 - This move develops the dark bishop.


The below variation actually lead black into 2 positions.

  • One position is to tranpose the position into the 3...Nf6 continuation which is the Clarendon Court Defence. The way to do this is to play the following move:

Move 5...Nf6 - This move tranposes back into the 3...Nf6 continuation. It develops the knight and allows black the chance to get some more control of e4 square. It also allows black the chance to get castled.



  • Second position is to tranpose the position into another line entirely. The way to do this is to play the following move:

Move 5...Bxc3+ - This move damages whites structure entirely.

Yes, it did just happen! By taking on c3 with the bishop black has inflicted structural damage to the white pawns. This damage will allow black to target the weak pawns the rest of the game.

The bishop has taken the knight which was on c3 to cause structural damage. The position is no longer the Clarendon Court Defence. It has now tranposed into another line entirely. However, This is a continuation which is playable which is why I am sharing it/addressing it. This idea can be used to try and confuse players. I will not go over the other line in great detail simply because this is a Clarendon Court Defence article. However, during the break we can look at the other line briefly. Which will help you understand how the position has tranposed into another line entirely.

It is not to much. I am only showing how the position can be played differently. Some players might do these different move orders to try and confuse/trick their opponents. The lines are reasonable continuations.

It is obvious I have lost my reading audience!

Half of the audience is so confused. The other half is crying their bishop is gone.

It is obvious their is only one way to solve this problem. We need the intermission!!!

Food! solves all problems. TA DA!

For this intermission - I am going to talk about a very interesting line which actually has alot of names lol.

The most common name is known as The Dzindi Indian.

Which was named after Roman Dzindzichashvili.

Other names the line has been called is known as:

Sniper Defence

Pterodactyl Defense

Beefeater Variation

I have found some very funny video's with this line. Where you can see how even Title players can have some issues dealing with this type of line lol.

Here is another funny video. You can see how totally confused white can be in such a line.

Hopefully you have guessed how the positions can be the same. I will show 2 diagrams showing how similar they are:

The below diagram is with the Mainline move order of the Dzindi Indian.

The below diagram is with the Clarendon Court move order which tranposed into the Dzindi Indian.

Which is another way to play out the position. It could be a useful idea to keep in mind if you feel like mixing things up to get your opponent off guard.

In this article we will talk about the continuation which keeps the line in Clarendon Court territory.

The below diagram will show how the sequence of moves happen.

After these sets of move white has 3 main continuations.

  • 6.e3
  • 6.g3
  • 6.Bf4

These 3 moves are very sensible moves. I will explain each one and put them in a diagram so you can see them.

Move 6.e3- The idea with this move is actually multi-purpose.

This move locks in the dark bishop. The idea of locking in the bishop is to allow the bishop to covering the b2 pawn from its home square. Which can come under heavy fire. In a way this move is a quiet yet solid approach. White locks in his bishop;however, does not have to worry about the b2 pawn getting picked at. White makes way to develop the light square bishop and than castle.

Move 6.g3- This move is sometimes played to place the light square bishop on a more active square. By playing 6.g3 it has the idea of placing the bishop on g2. Which can help support the d5 pawn as well as maybe later on during the course of the game white will be able to push the d5 pawn forward to open up the bishop on g2.

White in a way is trying to agrue the bishop is better placed on g2 than it is on d3 or e2.

I do think their is a draw back. The draw back is white could of played g3 at move 3 instead they played 3.c4 than later on played g3 which does limit some of their options.

In a way one could say if they wanted to play g3 why didn't they play it earlier with out commiting the C pawn?

I strongly believe this is a very weaker verison of the 3.g3 continuation. However, It is completely playable and white isn't doing terrible in this position. I would venture to say the position is equal with a slight edge in whites favor because of the center pawn space the d5 pawn is having.

Move 6.Bf4- This move develops the bishop outside of the pawn chain. In some cases this move is threating to play a d6 pawn push which is now supported by the bishop and the white queen.

Compared to the 6.e3 line white in a way has more aggressive intentions with the dark bishop. Instead of being solid and some what passive they are more on an aggressive type of approach. However, The b2 pawn is a sensitive point now. Which white will have to be aware of. Sometimes being aggressive can come at a cost!

It is the same line same koolaid yet different flavors. The black side will obviously have to be aware of these idea's to be able to handle such responses.

In the below diagram you can see the 3 different responses.

We have a very nice idea of what white wants to do.

I will be ending the article here and when we pick up again.

We will see what black's idea's are!


As always, Thank you very much for reading.


Hope you enjoyed yourself.

Have a Happy Day
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