How exactly do you beat the Pirc Defence?

andy

I have played against this defence as white probably 30 times in recent years.. and I think I have about 29 loses and one draw.  (I once played a 60 move game to fight for a draw).

 

Even if the guy is rated hundreds of points lower, I just can not seem to ever find a way to get any kind of advantage. I always build up a nice center, of course, but nothing ever comes of it. I am tired of losing to this opening (yes I do hate.. HATE.. playing against it :) I generally play 1.e4 as white, so I play alot of Ruy Lopez/Sicilian games as white, and I generally do very well against black in these games.

 

So, I'd appreciate some advice from someone who has had success against this opening as white. And no I don't feel like posting a game. I try to limit the amount of times I embarass myself in public.

 

erik

i'll do my best :)

thing is, pirc players are always booked out to the teeth because they play this uber-sharp opening that requires precision. in my opinion you have 2 ways to counter this:

#1 play quietly with a king's indian attack and aim for an equal but less edgy middlegame.

#2 pick one line and study the monkeys out of it!

andy

Yeah, I've never really tried a king's indian against it. I'll look into it. I really rarely encounter this defence, but when I do it always makes me so mad to see it, because I almost invariably lose to hypermodern defences like the Modern and Pirc. I always want to punish them for their seemingly inferior position (although it isn't of course.. but it looks like it should be to me :) Hypermodern is just not my style at all so I don't like playing it, and I HATE losing to it :)
Pavrey
The Pirc defence is my favourite. I have won many games using this defence. It has the capability of transforming into different openings depending on what White plays. I agree with erik that to play the Pirc means to be ultra sharp in the opening. But the resultant middle game can be pretty open which suits certain styles of play.
JEH

There is a way to play against the Pirc called the '150 Attack'. You play e4, d4, Nc3, Be3, Qd2, Nf3, Bd3. So pieces are developed, centre protected, easy to remember so far as Black probably won't have done anything to disturb you. Now you castle Queenside, Play Bh6, take the Black Bishop on g7, play h4, h5, hxg, opening the h gile for your rook, Play Qh6 and then it's mate. Easy!

Err, ok, so Black gets some moves too, and it's not that easy (otherwise nobody would play the Pirc), but you've got a plan, and unless Black has you can win almost as easy as this. So Black will come at you with moves like e5 or c5 or c6/b5/b4 to attack your King, but you've got a good position to play from in any case. 

 

 

 

erik
anyone have any good PIRC games? i'm thinking of re-adopting this line as black...
gabrielconroy

I'm into the middle of a Pirc game (as white) at the moment. Looking at the theory now, it seems I should have played Nc3 instead of Nf3, but apart from that it seems pretty equal to me so far.

 

Usually I try to restrict black's space slowly with piece maneouvering and careful pawn advances. I've found that being too intrepid can result in white coming unstuck pretty easily when his attacks crash against black's defensive walls.

Graw81

JEH wrote:

There is a way to play against the Pirc called the '150 Attack'. You play e4, d4, Nc3, Be3, Qd2, Nf3, Bd3. So pieces are developed, centre protected, easy to remember so far as Black probably won't have done anything to disturb you. Now you castle Queenside, Play Bh6, take the Black Bishop on g7, play h4, h5, hxg, opening the h gile for your rook, Play Qh6 and then it's mate. Easy!

Err, ok, so Black gets some moves too, and it's not that easy (otherwise nobody would play the Pirc), but you've got a plan, and unless Black has you can win almost as easy as this. So Black will come at you with moves like e5 or c5 or c6/b5/b4 to attack your King, but you've got a good position to play from in any case. 

 

 

 


The '150 Attack' is definaley one of the lines i consider when facing the Pirc. Instead i opt for the Classical variation with h3 and Be3 as opposed to the old Classical setup with Be2 and 0-0. I struggled against the Pirc in the past but finally i have found a line that i am happy with.

There is another good way to play against the Pirc and that is my second line against it. In fact, a Pirc player recently created a thread on how to combat Whites approach in this line. The line is a taken from the Austrian attack move order but deviates quite early. It goes: 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4 Bg7 5.e5!? Bronstein has played a good few games using this and more up to date GM Jonny Hector has played it too. Recommended by NCO is 5...dxe5 6.dxe5 Qxd1+ 7.Kxd1 Ng4 8.Ke1 c6 9.h3 Nh6 10.g4! +/=. Black has an awkward knight on h6 and the resulting position is not a typical pirc position.

The best way to prepare for the Pirc is probably to try learn it as Black to get to know the ins and outs of Blacks plans/ideas. There are two good books on the Pirc. Pirc Alert and Pirc in Black and White (this covers the 150 attack). Both are a good investment for white and black players.

chessfreak978

I would advise you to get GM Lev Albert's book call Pirc Alert!! Awesome book to help you play Pirc Defense or to Defend against it!!

BillyIdle

Andy, 

 

 The Austrian Attack is best.  Keep Black cramped.  Play out your KBP .     

 4.f4 is the call.  Keep Black cramped, but don't over extend.  This should give you space and initiative in the long run.  You should win on move 60. 

k123163

The pirc defense is the defence i play against 1. e4 (and on occasion even 1.d4).  In my opinion, the austrian attack does not give White a good advantage.  In these lines I am often able to find good counterplay against White's center.  Also, you should be aware about a couple things in the 150 attack.  Black (or when I play black), when facing the 150 attack, does not follow the basic Bg7, 0-0 build.  Instead, I stay uncastled so I don't waste a tempo when White's bishop on e3 tries to trade off dark square bishops.  This often frustrates players of the 150 attack who often play overly agressive to prove my king is unsafe in the center (when they become overextended to accurate defense.)

I might recommend 1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. f3 With the idea of playing c4 and Nc3 to transpose to a Kings Indian Saemish.  You will get a strong center and a nice attack and if the pirc player doesn't know what he is doing he will be in trouble.

CarlMI

Realize that a Pirc game is going to be fundamentally different than your normal e4 games.  It is more akin to a d4 game and thus has different considerations.  You're not going to get many tactical shots unless you slowly displace black and then blast open his redoubt.

Dmaster995

When I was rated 1450 (a few months ago) I drew a 2096 after some time pressure mistakes in a winning ending. I played the g3 system against his pirc. The bishop goes to g2, the knight goes to e2, castle kingside, and build up w/ h3, g4 (knight comes to g3 after g4), aand f4.  My opponent even said to me after the game that he wasn't sure what the correct moves for black were. Black should be okay if he knows what to do, but it is tricky for both sides.

Data_Pillars

There's an interseting Q sac line which gives you pretty good development.

 

Tnk64ChessCourse

You could transpose into the Sämisch variation of the KID.

eaglex

like this one

tigergutt
erik wrote:
anyone have any good PIRC games? i'm thinking of re-adopting this line as black...

you could do worse than buying nigel davies good dvd on it. make yourself some snack, put in the dvd and enjoy:)

Fromper

I was going to respond by recommending the 150 Attack and giving a slightly better explanation than the one earlier in the thread, but then I noticed that this thread is over 2 years old, so I don't know if the original poster still cares.

Polar_Bear

Years ago i played against Siberian (DOS based russian free chess program) and it played only Pirc, but it had excellent book knowledge about this opening. I figured out, if i play 1. e4 d6 2. f4!?, computer was immediately out of book and always decided the best answer is 2. ... e5, transposing it to King's Gambit. I adopted this method, however against experienced opponents it wasn't that easy, i usually obtained position similar to Sicilian Grand Prix.

benonidoni

Pirc is my favorite black line and the 150 seems best to me although I am average to a bit below depending on the day. White wins most often with heavy attack on the king with bishop king and H,G,F pawns and Rook.

I've been so frustrated by losing in that manner all the time I've switched to the najdorf and done much better.

With 2. F4 I still go KnF6 and transposes to pirc. Also the ..1 G6 might not want a pirc as ...1 D6 gives you the pirc.