I just wanted to ask which is the best way to play against the Glek system. It's quite a rare opening.

So there are two lines. One line is with Bc5 and the other is with d5. Which line according to you is better for Black, or is there any other system that will bring a better position for Black?

  1. e4 e5
  2. Nf3 Nc6
  3. Nc3 Nf6
  4. g3

and the other one is

  1. e4 e5
  2. Nc3 Nc6
  3. g3

and in this position one of my opponent developed his knight on e2 instead of f3, cannot call it a Glek system though! But can any one tell the plans to fight this line too?

  • For black, I know that the bishop usually comes out to c5. You could also go crazy on e4 e5 nf3 nc6 nc3 nf6 g3 nxe4, a kind of reverse halloween gambit that isn't too bad. The system is very similar to lines in the vienna game and vienna pualsen. Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 2:44
  • The Bc5 line is good too, idea is to play a6, keep the bishop and something like Bg4 and return to e6 after h3, h6 to prevent Ng5 motives and finally have in mind Qd7 with long castle possibility. Also instead of Bc5 the tricky Nxe4 is interesting while you already have a broad answer here for another good line d5.
    – hoacin
    Commented May 3, 2017 at 10:15
  • That's not a dangerous weapon. Black can develop pretty much any way he wants and will have an OK position regardless
    – David
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 13:26

3 Answers 3


At one point, I considered picking up the Glek variation, but I found the variation of 4... d5 to be far too problematic. Keep in mind, that the principle idea of the variation is to retain a knowledge advantage, but most importantly, retain plenty of opportunity for out-playing the opponent.

On this line, the d5 line puts direct challenge to the idea. Further, 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nxc3 7. bxc3 From here, you should find a nice niche line. I recommend starting with 7... Bc5 or Bd6.

If you put any length of study into this line, you will face no issue what so ever in this variation. Most important though, especially for this line, is to master the principles of the strategy here instead of long series of lines.

Sample Game

Here is a nice execution by the French GM Laurent Fressinet where he managed to win against this opening (played against the eponym himself, the German GM Igor Glek)

[FEN ""]
[Site "Katernberg GER"]
[Round "13"]
[White "Glek, Igor"]
[Black "Fressinet, Laurent"]
[WhiteElo "2537"]
[BlackElo "2658"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C47"]
[Opening "Four Knights"]
[PlyCount "111"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. g3 d5 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nxc3 7. bxc3
Bc5 8. O-O O-O 9. d3 Bg4 10. h3 Bh5 11. g4 Bg6 12. Ng5 h6 13. Ne4 Bb6 14.
Ba3 Re8 15. Kh2 Qd7 16. Rb1 Nd8 17. f4 exf4 18. Rxf4 Ne6 19. Rf1 c6 20. Kh1
Bxe4 21. Bxe4 Ng5 22. Bg2 Re6 23. Rf5 g6 24. Rf4 Rae8 25. Qf1 Bc7 26. Rf6
Bb8 27. Bc5 Re2 28. Bg1 Rxc2 29. Rf2 Rxc3 30. Re2 Rxe2 31. Qxe2 Rxd3 32. h4
Ne6 33. Rxb7 Qxb7 34. Qxd3 Qc7 35. Qb3 c5 36. Bd5 Qf4 37. a4 Be5 38. Qf3
Qxf3+ 39. Bxf3 Bd4 40. Bh2 c4 41. Kg2 c3 42. Bd1 Bf6 43. Bg1 Nd4 44. Bxd4
Bxd4 45. Kf3 Kg7 46. Kf4 Bf2 47. h5 Kf6 48. Kf3 Bb6 49. Ke4 Kg5 50. Kd3 Ba5
51. Be2 gxh5 52. gxh5 f5 53. Bd1 Kf4 54. Ke2 Kg3 55. Kf1 f4 56. Bc2 0-1
  • Thanks a lot.Are there any model or important games for Black in this line?
    – koravi
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 7:01
  • 1
    Could you also be clear about the move order? You don't want to play 3... d5 in any of the lines the OP is suggesting. Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 9:03
  • 1
    Sorry, I intended 4... d5. Fixed. Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 1:09
  • 1
    @koravi Added a nice one :) Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 1:26
  • ...d5 appears to be the answer to all sidelines!
    – David
    Commented May 11, 2022 at 6:47

First, you should read my series on overcoming hangovers. Long story short, gatorade and alka-seltzer.

If you don't immediately see the weaknesses in white's position, then you're asking me to teach you the entire game of chess. I can't do that in one post.

I'll give you a head start though. g3 slows white's development and creates weak squares. Black should be able to equalize easily with d5. After that, it's just playing chess. If you can't do okay from an equal position as black, then your problem isn't in the opening...especially a mediocre opening like this.


Since White is going to fianchetto, I suggest castling queenside and attacking. First play a7-a6, Bf8-c5-a7, d7-d6. Then set up the bishop trade with ...Be6 and Qd7, and then 0-0-0. Now you can trade off the bishop and go for a pawn storm.

Another method is to play an inverted form of the Halloween Gambit - 4...Nxe4!? Push your pawns up the board and have fun kicking the knights about! This is most effective in blitz games, but you can play this in any time control.

  • I believe your first suggestion is unsound. Your plan is too slow, and you will face a crushing attack against b7 long before your kingside counterplay amounts to anything.
    – Evargalo
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 11:28
  • Your second suggestion, the reverse Halloween Gambit, however, might well be playable: a nice point compared to the real Halloween gambit is that the square g3 isn't available for th retreating Ne4. However, this is not a solution for Black from a theoretical point of view: after 4...Nxe4!? 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Nc3 d4 (6...e4 7.Nh4!? makes use of the extra g2-g3 move) White can transpose to the mainline Glek varaition with 7.0-0(!) dc3 8.bc3, and you have to know your way from here anyway (cf Colin Evans' answer)...
    – Evargalo
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 11:32

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