Pirc Defence

The Pirc defence, also sometimes the “Robatsch defence” or “Pirc-Robatsch Defence”, is an attacking opening whereby Black fianchettos the King Bishop to attack the center.

Diagram: Pirc Defence

Beginner’s Trap: in the starting position of the Pirc, the White move “e5” seems to be a good attacking move against the Black Knight. But actually it loses a pawn and goes into an endgame. The variation goes:

Diagram: Pirc Beginner Trap for White after 3.e5??

Instead, the normal line is for White to protect the e4 pawn with Nc3, and then Black fianchettos the king bishop.

Diagram: Pirc Main Position after 3. Nc3 g6

White then has various options of attacking setup against the Pirc defence main line:

  • f4: All-out attacking with all 4 pawns in the center.
  • f3: Planning an attacking build-up with Be3, Qd2, O-O-O, and Bh6.
  • Be2: a quieter line.
  • Nf3: a quieter line.
  • Bc4: a somewhat tactical line.
  • Bg5: another type of attacking build-up.

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