Beating Inferior Openings: Beating 4.Bc4 in the Four Knights (part II)

Jun 2, 2014, 2:43 PM |

In the first part ( the Four Knights after 4.Bc4 Nxe4 5.Bxf7+ was analyzed. In all lines black is much better. The lines analyzed here start with 4.Bc4 Nxe4 5.Nxe4 d5, which forks white's pieces, regaining the lost material.

Position after 4.Bc4 Nxe4 5.Nxe4 d5.

 What is the best way for white to give back the material?


In this position, white has a number of options, only one of which does not hand the opening advantage to black. The main moves are 6. Bxd5, 6.Bb5?, and 6.Bd3. Other moves are, of course, possible, but these are the most commonly played ones. Let's consider each of them.

First White Option: 6.Bxd5

This is usually followed up by the following sequence: 6...Qxd5 7.Nc3 Qd8. after which we reach the following position.

Position after 6.Bxd5 Qxd5 7.Nc3 Qd8


The computer engines prefer 7...Qd7, but Qd8 is a more human move, allows the two bishops to immediately develop, and just as good. Let's evaluate the position. Black has better central control due to his pawn on e5 and has the bishop pair, but white has no weaknesses. Thus black is slightly better.

For the analysis of the other two moves and conclusion of my guide to 4.Bc4 in the Four Knights go to