The Classical Pirc in 60 minutes

by Albert Silver
8/2/2013 – Promising a complete answer against the Pirc in a mere 60 minutes might seem bound to come up short on some account, but not so. Not only does Dejan Bojkov avoid turning theory study into an efficient sleeping pill and keep the viewer engaged, he balances teaching theory, plans, and tactics, and goes the extra mile to leave the student armed with rarefied weapons.

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Meeting the Pirc Defence - The classical way!

Review by Albert Silver

Among the many trainers who produce theoretical DVDs in the ChessBase stable, whether International Master or Grandmaster, Dejan Bojkov is one of my favorites. The reason is that he seems to really cover all the necessary points that make for a positive experience. His  latest contribution in the 60-minute series is no exception, and Meet The Pirc the Classical Way provides students with a solid weapon to meet Black’s attempt at a King’s Indian against 1.e4.

Trying to present a complete answer against the Pirc in a mere 60 minutes might seem like a promise that is bound to come up short on some account, but not so. There are many ways to tackle the Pirc, the most aggressive and cutthroat being the Austrian Attack. The problem with such approaches is that it is more often a battle of memorization and theory than of chess and over-the-board struggle. Bojkov assures the viewer that the quieter looking Classical approach holds just as much promise and it is not enough for Black to just wait and hold. Against a prepared opponent, Black will need to play precisely or find himself in serious trouble.

The material is divided into six presentations (seven if you include the introduction) covering the main replies, starting with the slightly less common 6…c5, 6…Nc6, and 6…Ng4, followed by two videos spanning nearly 30 minutes against 6…c6, and finally culminating with a quick look at the rare replies that are rare for good reason. That isn’t to say they cannot be tricky if you don’t know what to do, but the Bulgarian grandmaster makes sure that won’t happen.

The table of contents

Balanced with the necessary evil of retaining moves and lines, is a clear presentation of the plans and ideas that justify the choices made by the players, and here too Bojkov goes above and beyond the call of duty as he not only shows typical development plans and maneuvers, but also much less obvious ideas to harry your opponent. It is this attention to detail, and effort to truly arm the student with something special, that helps lift this work above others.

Naturally the typical development plans are shown...

... but it is the effort to show less obvious methods and maneuvers that sets
this product apart.

Even if this provides a positional though dynamic approach, there are several tactical ideas lurking behind a number of lines that can still earn the online or club player some quick points. The good thing is that there is no need to be playing for tricks at the expense of proper play, they are just a part of the dangers Black has to be careful of. Of course, when there is a trick or trap White can fall for, you are warned loud and clear and shown what the danger is and how to avoid it.

The introductory video to Dejan Bojkov's 60-minute course on the Classical Pirc

Ultimately, the greatest difficulty of teaching or studying theory is that if not done properly, it can be an efficient replacement for sleeping pills. It is in such cases that true teaching talent shines, since beyond the necessary instruction, there is a balance in Bojkov's presentation that keeps the student engaged, and even if you do not absorb it all in a single sitting, there is no need to dread watching it again.

If you are seeking a way to fight the Pirc and want the process as painless as possible, you can’t go wrong getting this concise and inexpensive series of lectures. Don't worry if you don't own a copy of ChessBase or Fritz, the video course can be watched with the new ChessBase Reader 2013 that is free for download.

Meeting the Pirc - The Classical Way! can be purchased in the ChessBase Shop.



Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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