Pirc Defence (B07-09)

The Pirc Defence (correctly pronounced "peerts", but often mispronounced "perk"), sometimes known as the Ufimtsev Defence or Yugoslav Defence, is a chess opening characterised by Black responding to 1.e4 with 1...d6 and 2...Nf6, followed by ...g6 and ...Bg7, while allowing White to establish an impressive-looking centre with pawns on d4 and e4. It is named after the Slovenian Grandmaster Vasja Pirc.

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6

The Pirc Defence is a relatively new opening; while it was seen on occasion in the late nineteenth century, it was considered irregular, thus remaining a sideline. The opening only began gaining some popularity after World War II, and by the 1960s it was regarded as playable, owing in large part to the efforts of Canadian Grandmaster Duncan Suttles. Black, in hypermodern fashion, does not immediately stake a claim in the centre with pawns; rather, Black works to undermine White's centre from the flanks. Its first appearance in a World Championship match was in 1972, when it was played by Bobby Fischer against Boris Spassky at Reykjavík (game 17); the game ended in a draw.

Pirc Defence normally refers to the opening moves 1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6. This is the most commonly played line after Black responds to 1.e4 with 1...d6. It has been claimed to give rise to somewhat interesting and exciting games, where Black will have counterplay but has to be cautious about playing too passively. According to Garry Kasparov, the Pirc Defense is "hardly worth using in the tournaments of the highest category", as it gives White "too many opportunities for anybody's liking".

A distinction is usually drawn between the Pirc and lines where Black delays the development of his knight to f6, or omits it altogether; this is known as the Modern or Robatsch Defense. The tenth edition of Modern Chess Openings (1965) grouped the Pirc and Robatsch together as the "Pirc–Robatsch Defence".

The oldest game with the Pirc Defence in the Chessgames.com database is between Josef Noa and Amos Burn in Frankfurt 1887.

 

B07

Pirc Defence 1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6

Pirc Defence

1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6

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Puzzels

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Study Games for B07

B07

B08

Pirc, Classical (Two Knights) System 1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. Nf3

Pirc, Classical (Two Knights) System

1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. Nf3

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Puzzels

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Study Games for B08

B08

B09

Pirc, Austrian Attack 1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. f4

Pirc, Austrian Attack

1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. f4

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Puzzels

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Study Games for B09

B09