Petrov's Defense: Three Knights Game

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3

Against Petrov's Defense, White does not have to consent to the exchange of the e-pawns - instead, he can protect his own e4 pawn by 3.Nc3. If Black responds with 3...Nc6 it will lead to the Four Knights Game; but Black can also play 3...Bb4, aiming to put more pressure on e4 and castle quickly.


  • White avoids the heavily-analyzed Petrov's Defense
  • White avoids simplification
  • Nc3 defends the e-pawn without blocking in the bishop (e.g. 3.d3)


  • Black can transpose to the Four Knights Game
  • White blocks the c-pawn, which could be used to fight for the center

Learn The Petroff Defense

The Petroff Defense is one of the most solid defenses against 1.e4. Learn the key ideas for both sides.
34 min
10 Challenges
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