Owen's Defence (also known as the Queen's Fianchetto Defence or Greek Defence) is an uncommon chess opening defined by the moves:
1. e4 b6
By playing 1...b6, Black prepares to fianchetto the queen's bishop where it will participate in the battle for the centre. The downside of this plan is that White can occupy the centre with pawns and gain a spatial advantage. Moreover, 1...b6 does not prepare kingside castling as 1...g6 does, and it is harder for Black to augment his pressure against the centre with ...f5, which weakens the kingside, than it is to play the corresponding move ...c5 after 1...g6. Owen's Defence accordingly has a dubious reputation. The move ...b6 has been played on the first or second move by Grandmasters Jonathan Speelman, Pavel Blatny, Tony Miles, Edvins Kengis, and Normunds Miezis, and International Masters Bricard and Filipovic.
Instead of fianchettoing, Black can also play his bishop to the a6–f1 diagonal (the Guatemala Defence).
The opening is named after the English vicar and strong 19th-century amateur chess player John Owen, an early exponent. Howard Staunton wrote in 1847 that 1.e4 b6, "which the Italians call 'Il Fianchetto di Donna,' although disapproved of by the earlier writers, may be made by the second player without harm, if followed speedily by [...e6] and [...c5]."
Using his opening, Owen defeated Paul Morphy in an informal game in London, 1858. An additional game in the match featuring this opening, where Owen varied on move 5, was won by Morphy.
King's Pawn Opening (80 Tables with Variances)
1. e4 without 1...e5, 1...d5, 1...Nf6, 1...g6, 1...d6, 1...c6, 1...c5
Continue to Play the Openings. Click on notation.
- Owen Defence: Unicorn Variation
- 1.e4 f6 2.d4 b6 3.c4 Bb7
- Owen Defence
- 1.e4 b6
- Owen Defence: Hekili-Loa Gambit
- 1.e4 b6 2.d4 c5 3.dxc5 Nc6
- Owen Defence: Matovinsky Gambit
- 1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Bd3 f5 4.exf5 Bxg2 5.Qh5+ g6
- Owen Defence: Naselwaus Gambit
- 1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Bg5
- Owen Defence: Smith Gambit
- 1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Nf3
- Owen Defence: Wind Gambit
- 1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.f3 e5