Chess: Pirc Defense (Austrian Attack)

1 e4 d6 2 d4 Nf6 3 Nc3 g6 4 f4:

E-Four To E-Five: Envy Of Eden!

What's the Basic Strategy for White?

* Aim for the attacking push e4-e5
* If Black plays ... dxe5 in response to e4-e5,
take back the material with either dxe5 or fxe5.

Option 1: dxe5

* Limits the g7 bishop's scope along a1-h8
* dxe5 is especially powerful if the f1 bishop
is on d3 because then Black can't exchange

Option 2: fxe5

* Sets up for a likely kingside attack, a goal
that's usually helped by the half open f-file.

What's the Basic Strategy for Black?

Option 1

* After White pushes e4-e5, trade pawns on e5
(... dxe5) and then retreat the knight

Option 2

* Following e4-e5, move the knight back right
* d7 seems to be the best retreat square because
from there the knight can then help to threaten
White's center (... c7-c5, ... c5xd4 and ... d6xe5.)
* The drawback to the d7 retreat is that it shuts
in the c8 bishop and allows a likely dangerous
e5-e6 pawn sacrifice. For instance, if the king is
still uncastled, Bf1-c4-xf7+ and Nf3-g5+-e6 could
be decisive.

* Moving ... Ng4, Ne8 and ... Nh5 are safer
approaches than ... Nd7, but, they give less
promise for advantageous play. Following
... Ng4 and h2-h3, the knight is forced back
to h6. Hope of relocation to f5 is usually
removed by a quick g2-g4. ... Ne8, played after
castling of course, is safe but it cuts the army
in two. ... Nh5 is rather too neutral; it doesn't
get in the way of Black's play but neither does
it hamper White's.

* Overall, ... c5 is the move to play for.
It begins the attack against White's mighty
looking center.