I am learning the Pirc Defense as black. I am a bit confused when after 1.e4 d6 white plays 2.Nf3. Are they forcing me to transpose into a Sicilian with 2... c5? I kind of like the Sicilian Dragon, so I guess I could play that (if they play 3.d4). But I am still curious what is the best way to avoid the Sicilian?

[FEN ""]

1. e4 d6 2. Nf3
  • Rhetorical question: Assuming the opponent passes eight times if you promise not to hack away e4, so you play g6 Bg7 O-O Nf6 a6 b5 Bb7 Nbd7 and then? Not c5? ;-) Nov 11, 2022 at 15:37
  • 1
    Bg4 Bxf3 Bxd1 etc. :-) Nov 11, 2022 at 17:40

2 Answers 2


White can't force you to play the Sicilian. That is completely your choice. After 1. e4 d6 2. Nf3 there is no reason whatsoever that you cannot continue with the Pirc if you so wish by playing 2...g6.

A more flexible second move for Black would be 2...Nf6 attacking the e4 pawn.

How is White going to defend it? If White plays 3. Nc3 then you can continue with 3...g6 and your Pirc or you can play 3...e5 aiming for a Philidor.

If White defends the e4 pawn with 3. d3 then it looks like White wants to play the Kings Indian Attack. You can't stop this and so you would do well to have some plans what to do against this as it can be quite tricky.


Once you play 2.Nf3 you can't stop Black from going 2...c5 and transposing. You can avoid an Open Sicilian by going for 3.c3, 3.Nc3 or some other alternative.

Why do you need to play 2.Nf3 though? Would 2.d4 work with your repertoire?

  • 1
    I am asking from black's perspective.
    – lanskey
    Nov 10, 2022 at 22:50
  • 1
    As Black you can just play your regular Pirc plan (for example with 2...Nf6). Other options could be ...e5 or ...g6
    – David
    Nov 10, 2022 at 23:13

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