Queen’s Knight Defence

The Queen’s Knight Defence is an unusual and rarely seen response to a White Queen Pawn opening. The move “Nc6” is provocative and looks like a beginner’s move (or a Nimzowich Defence), as it invites White to advance with “d5”. But the Knight then moves to “e5” and we get a kind of mirror reverse of an Alekhine’s Defence. It is surprisingly playable. White’s best may be to play “2.e4” instead, transposing to the Nimzowich Defence.

Diagram: Queen’s Knight Defence

White replies include:

  • 2.d5 … Accepting the provocation. Black plays 2..Ne5.
  • 2.e4 … Transposing to the Nimzovich Defence
  • 2.c4 … Transposing to the Chigorin Defence (after Black plays “2..d5”)
  • 2.Nf3 and 3.c4 … Also transposing to the Chigorin (after “2..d5”)

Transpositions: White can actually transpose immediately to the Nimzowich Defence by playing “2.e4” instead of “2.d5”. Most strong players would be happy to play White rather than Black in either of those opening positions.

White can also transpose to the Chigorin Defence in the Queen’s Gambit. The second moves are “2.c4 d5”, simply ignoring Black’s Nc6 move.

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