Could you put the move orders as well as briefly explain the idea of the defenses?

  • 2
    Popular where and at what level? What club players play in one place may not be what GMs play, or club players play in another place.
    – Herb
    Apr 25, 2016 at 2:56
  • @HerbWolfe What about popular in contemporary GM play?
    – user122965
    Apr 25, 2016 at 4:13
  • 2
    Well if Carlsen-Anand WCC games have shown us anything, I think you should prepare against the Berlin defense. Apr 26, 2016 at 5:04

1 Answer 1


The mainlines and key ideas are highlighted in wikipedia. The article covers:

Morphy Defence: 3...a6

  • Exchange Variation: 4.Bxc6
  • Norwegian Defence: 4.Ba4 b5 5.Bb3 Na5
  • Variations combining 3...a6 and ...Bc5
  • Steinitz Defence Deferred: 4.Ba4 d6
  • Schliemann Defence Deferred: 4.Ba4 f5
  • Arkhangelsk Defence: 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 b5 6.Bb3 Bb7
  • Mackenzie Variation 4. Ba4 Nf6 5.d4
  • Russian Defence: 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 d6
  • Open Defence: 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4

Closed Defence 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7

  • Delayed Exchange Variation Deferred: 6.Bxc6
  • Centre Attack: 6.d4
  • Worrall Attack: 6.Qe2
  • Averbakh Variation: 6.Re1 d6
  • Trajković Variation: 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 Bb7
  • Marshall Attack: 7...0-0 8.c3 d5

Main line: 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0

  • Pilnik Variation: 9.d3
  • Yates Variation and Bogoljubow Variation: 9.d4
  • Chigorin Variation: 9.h3 Na5
  • Breyer Variation: 9.h3 Nb8
  • Zaitsev Variation: 9.h3 Bb7
  • Karpov Variation: 9.h3 Nd7
  • Kholmov Variation: 9.h3 Be6
  • Smyslov Variation: 9.h3 h6
  • Smyslov Variation: 9.h3 Qd7

Black defences other than 3...a6

  • Cozio Defence: 3...Nge7
  • Smyslov Defence: 3...g6
  • Bird's Defence: 3...Nd4
  • Steinitz Defence: 3...d6
  • Schliemann Defence: 3...f5
  • Classical Defence: 3...Bc5
  • Berlin Defence: 3...Nf6
  • Great list. If OP could narrow to specific line(s), we could answer the question better.
    – Mike Jones
    Apr 28, 2016 at 13:17

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