Question here regarding black responses to Nf3 - at my level 60% of players open with e4, 30% open with d4. The other 10% of the time, it's Nf3.

My issue with Nf3 is that it has the possibility to transpose into many different openings, most of which I am not prepared for. What is the response that allows white the fewest transpositional possibilities?

  • 2
    That would depend on your defense vs. 1.d4.
    – limits
    Sep 19, 2016 at 1:55
  • The formation c6-d5-e6 is quite stable, and White basically has two options: play with d4, creating some kind of (Semi)-Slav, and without d4 (often with g3) which gives an English-type opening.
    – Glorfindel
    Sep 19, 2016 at 8:24
  • 1
    And also on your defence against 1.e4 -- if you play the Sicilian, then 1.Nf3 c5 is an option. Sep 19, 2016 at 9:59
  • 1...f5 almost guarantees a Dutch Defence
    – M.M
    Sep 21, 2016 at 23:51
  • ...Nf6 is relatively noncommital. The knight is probably going there anyway. I don't know if it's worthwhile to stop White from transposing too much, because the quieter he plays, the less chances he has to attack. ...f5 e4!? is really sharp, and I'd be more scared of that than transpositions. If you're a king's indian player (or King's Indian Attack as White,) you can set that formation up easily and don't have to worry about the Samisch and 4 pawns attacks either. But yes, as overtheboard says, your repertoire as black afects this.
    – aschultz
    Sep 24, 2016 at 0:27

2 Answers 2


I would suggest something like a Sicilian Dragon / Sniper attack with moves like c5, g6, Bg7 etc. White will find it very difficult to stop you playing like this after opening with Nf3 and you don't have to worry about learning a boatload of white transpositional possibilities.


I answer 1.Nf3 with 1...e6 followed by 2...f5 and going for the solid Dutch Stonewall or other Dutch. If 2.e4 I go for 2...d5 and go for a Fort Knox French variation. Super solid systems.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.