After the opening moves

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1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3

one of Black's fashionable answers is


What is the aim of this seemingly useless check?

  • 4
    The first point is that it accelerates castling for Black. Other points are that after ...Bb4+ c3 Bd6, White cannot play Nc3 anymore, which would be possible after the immediate ...Bd6. If ...Bb4+ Bd2 Bxd2. And this is my opinion but White's bishop has more potential than Black's, so we should be content to swap it.
    – B.Swan
    Jul 29 '20 at 16:29

5...Bb4+ looks like a weird move because you wouldn't play a move like that often, but it makes perfect sense because the white bishop in on b3.

White would definitely want to develop his knight with Nc3 on the next move and put pressure on Black's pawn center. By playing 5...Bb4+ you prevent 6.Nc3 (it'd lose a piece). If White goes for 6.c3, then Black can put his bishop on d6 without his position in the center being at jeopardy.

That's why the most successful move here is 6.Bd2!. Now 6...Bd6 is met with 7.Nc3!, so Black usually prefers to trade bishops.


I think that this would be a mistake. White easily counters with Bd2 or c3. I don't think you would see this move unless the players were lower-rated (think sub-1000).


To prevent castling later on in the game. It limits White's defensive options

  • 1
    Could you be more detailed please? Jul 29 '20 at 18:11

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