So I was reading "An Opening Repertoire for the Positional Player", by Gufeld and Kalinich, and found the title's assertion. And I just can't think why after "1. e4 e5 2. Nc3", d6 would be bad for black.

Also, I find it as a playable option in the Lichess Master database, https://lichess.org/analysis"

  • 1
    At least trivially, 2...d6 wouldn't be called the Philidor. But you're right, it mostly seems to be ruled out here by the fact that 2...d6 is completely unnecessary in this position. Nov 21, 2019 at 13:03

1 Answer 1


While d6 is passive, it is probably not the end of the world there at levels below Master. After Nc3, it is not so much that it "rules out Philidor's Defense" as when white played 2.Nc3, it became a Vienna opening proper.

More typically, when white plays the Vienna, he is looking to attack, and often plays an early f4. With f4 played, you can see how you might want your Bf8 on c5, and after d6, you already ruled that out.

  • Ok, I get it's more a "d6 is playable but not in the spirit of the Philidor's, to which white can transpose if they desire so" than "d6 is bad here". The thing is the authors also mention to rule out Scandinavian (evident) and Latvian Gambit (2...f5) (not evident to me, but for sure I trust authors here). So putting all three moves in the same "ruled out moves" category just made me think should there be something terribly wrong about 2...d6.
    – emdio
    Nov 22, 2019 at 9:29
  • 1
    @emdio Again, I think it is the natural tendency of stronger players, who play other stronger players, not to play passively, especially at the GM level. I would say that d6 at that level is dubious, if not outright bad. That said, at lower levels, d6 is not a blunder, or even close, and there is a lot of chess left to be played from any of those positions. I simply do not like giving up the center so easily to either d4 or f4 by white...maybe both. Thank you for accepting my answer too. Nov 22, 2019 at 10:29

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.