Fast and Furious: Crushing the Philidor

by Robert Ris
2/13/2020 – The refutation of the Philidor? IM Robert Ris thinks so after 6.Bf4 (pictured). On-demand and free to watch for a limited time (or forever for ChessBase Premium account holders. To chat when Robert is live, please visit or login via Playchess for Windows. In the diagram, it's Black to play!

Mastering Pattern Recognition in the Opening Mastering Pattern Recognition in the Opening

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


Blunting an old weapon

The starting tabiya of the Philidor has been reached after 1.e4 e5 2.f3 d6 3.d4 exd4 4.xd4 f6 5.c3 e7, leaving White with a very big choice of various developing schemes. In a recently played game I opted for the setup with 6.g3 and after some opening adventures I managed to outplay my opponent in the long run with the aid of the bishop pair. More ambitious is 6.f4, which I obviously knew about, but wasn't ready to play. After my game I had a look at the sharp consequences of this move and consider it to be the refutation of the Philidor.

In this one hour all the critical lines are covered and make you well-prepared to crush this offbeat opening line.

The live show is free to watch and available on-demand for ChessBase Premium accounts.

Warming-up: White to play!


Move the pieces on the live diagram — solution below!

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Solution to today's problem



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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