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The Four Knights Opening

The Four Knights is one of the most popular openings in the world. It has been used millions of times by amateurs and grandmasters alike. The Four Knights opening is fairly simple, starting with 1. e4 e5, then bringing the four knights out onto the board, hence the opening's name. This gives both white and black control of the center, with pretty much equal positions.

      However, you should avoid playing the Classical Variation: 1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6, 4. Bc4, because black can then play 5. . . Nxe4 6. Nxe4 d5 7. Bd3 dxe4 8. Bxe4, as shown below.


 


      So, instead, white should play 4. Bb5. There are several different continuations to this opening, which are shown below:

If Black plays d6, white should play e4, and here, black has some options:

1) 5... Be7 6. d5 a6 7. Ba4 b5 8. Nxb5 axb5 Bxb5 (winning material)


2) 5... a6 6. Bxc6+ bxc6 7. dxe5 dxe5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. Nxe5 (winning material)

3) 5... exd4 6. Nxd4 Bd7 7. 0-0 Be7 8.Bxc6 bxc6 9. b3 0-0 10. Bb2 (With a good position)

4) 5... Bd7 6. 0-0 exd4 7. Nxd4 Nxd4 8. Qxd4 Bxb5 9. Nxb5 c6 10. Nc3 Be7 11. Bf4 0-0 12. Rad1 (with better control of the center, piece activity, and space)




The next variations will be posted in my next chessopedia article, so stay tuned!

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