Mastery: Openings

Pirc Defense for Black

Pirc Defense for Black

Join GM Mackenzie Molner as he demonstrates one his favorite openings, the Pirc Defense. GM Molner has played the Pirc with success against countless opponents, including strong Grandmasters. It's also an opening that many chess stars like World Champion Kramnik play in must-win situations. Follow along and learn this fascinating opening.

  • Pirc Defense: The Classical 4. Nf3 and Be2!

    Grandmaster Mackenize Molner continues GM Dzindzichashvili's series on the Pirc Defense, and Mac has "gone over to the dark side"! That's right, he's advocating Black's perspective with his contributions, and he has his own ten plus years of experience to back him up! Molner starts off by displaying black's most basic ideas against the Classical Variation. Enjoy his clear explanations of black's plans, and take notes for your own repertoire!

    • 25 min
    • 5 challenges
  • Pirc Defense: Playing Against Roman's System!

    There's nothing to fear but fear itself! IM Mackenzie Molner takes his life in his hands by challenging the Dzindzinator's recommendation for a White advantage (See the Pirc Defense for White series.), when he claims good counter-play and rough equality for Black with his own recommended system against white's 5.h3 variation. His creative ideas behind the a6-pawn advance are highly interesting and worth taking notes on...

    • 21 min
    • 5 challenges
  • Pirc Defense: The 4. Bc4 Variation

    GM Molner reviews one of the most popular move orders for White against the Pirc Defense; However, Mac highlights the "impotency" of this line, despite the seemingly active position of the light-squared bishop. He recommends an aggressive anecdote for black to put immediate pressure against the d4-pawn, and highlights important tactics that exist in the line.

    • 19 min
    • 5 challenges
  • Pirc Defense:  Facing 4. g3

    GM Molner is back this to continue revealing his secrets in the Pirc Defense! He hopes to "convert" as many Chess.com Members to the Pirc as possible, and he's providing some wonderful analysis and ideas as incentives to do so. He focuses today on black's best approach against the g3-Systems, highlighting the importance of remaining flexible with your e5 and c5 breaks, and to, once again, look to use the b4-square!

    • 18 min
    • 5 challenges
  • Pirc Defense: The Austrian Attack!

    In the first video of two parts on what is potentially white's most challenging approach to the Pirc, GM Mackenzie Molner does what he's done so well in this series: Make black's position look easy, completely playable, and fun! Part one of two reviews the early captures on c5 by white, the Bb5+ variations, and a few other sidelines every aspiring Pirc player must know!

    • 24 min
    • 5 challenges
  • Pirc Defense: The Austrian Attack 2!

    GM Mackenzie Molner shows off a highly topical variation of the Austrian Attack, where both sides walk a tightrope. His pet opening leads to a choice for the first player - either take a perpetual or run the gauntlet. The wild and entertaining game features just about every piece en prise, but Molner keeps his cool and calmly uses his twin knights to mate his 2600+ opponent. For those that like to fight to win with black, you could do a lot worse that Molner's Pirc Defense!

    • 28 min
    • 5 challenges
  • Pirc Defense: Be3

    Higher-rated and need to play for a win as black? That's a situation GM Kramnik finds himself in often, and one of his go-to weapons is the Pirc Defense. Here GM Molner shows the former champion's treatment of the so-called "150 Attack" in which white plays an early Be3 and often follows with f3. Molner continues to advocate for the ...a6 lines, and warns not to fianchetto too early. If Kramnik can play it against a pair of 2600s, surely you can too!

    • 25 min
    • 5 challenges
  • Pirc Defense: Bg5!

    GM Mackenzie Molner concludes his thorough treatment of his pet Pirc Defense. Here he gives the broad strokes for the mostly undiscovered Bg5 lines, whereupon White can continue with moves like Qd2 or the hyper-aggressive f4. Molner will show you his own research, but also areas in which you can carve your own path. He features games with Anand and Nakamura on the White side, but he also hopes you'll become a practitioner of the defense for Black!

    • 27 min
    • 5 challenges
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