Fast and Furious: Alekhine Defense Four Pawns Attack

by Robert Ris
6/4/2020 – This week Robert Ris takes a look at the Four Pawns Attack in the Alekhine Defense, a variation that can lead to fascinating positions. "Fast and Furious" is available from 17:00 UTC (19:00 CEST / 15:00 EDT) on-demand with a ChessBase Premium Account. You can register a Premium account here. | Photo: Lennart Ootes

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Pattern recognition is an important tool in modern chess, as it helps you to understand better the characteristics of a position. Particularly when you have been confronted with a surprise opening system played by your opponent, it helps when you can just


Alekhine Defense Four Pawns Attack

The Alekhine Defense is one of the most provocative opening systems for Black against 1.e4. By developing the knight to f6 as early as move 1, Black invites his opponent to occupy the centre with his pawns, in order to challenge it and exploit the weaknesses created by the earlier expansion. Although White can chose between various setups, the Four Pawns Attack (1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.f4) is considered to be critical test for its viability.

In the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge World Champion Magnus Carlsen used this weapon with Black in his game vs. Fabiano Caruana. In this episode of the Fast & Furious show I will have a closer look at the current state of this particular variation and explain the main ideas for both sides of this ambitious system.

But first a warm-up exercise: Which move best fits with Black's opening strategy? Back it up with some concrete calculation!?


Move the pieces on the live diagram – solution below!

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Robert is an International Master who mostly spends his time training and coaching talented youngsters. On the PlayChess server The Fast and the Furious is a popular show where he explains sharp opening lines for a wider audience. He is also a well-known ChessBase author who produced numerous DVDs and regularly contributes to ChessBase Magazine as well. Since 2015 he is the organizer of the Dutch Rapid Championships in his home town Amstelveen. He has started a YouTube channel with chess analysis as well.


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