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john_wr 100 ( +1 | -1 )
Philidor Defense Does anyone play this opening? I have played the French for years but recently
reverted to a line recommendedd by English GM Jonathon Mestel 'Mestel Philidor'

1. e4 e5, 2. Nf3 d6, 3. d4 f5.... is it sound? I recently played an OTB game against
a player with an ELO rating of 2032 (BCF 179) and ended up agreeing a draw in a
won position in the final time scramble. Game below...

1. e4 e5, 2. Nf3 d6, 3. d4 f5, 4. dxe5 fxe4, 5 Ng5 d5, 6. e6 Bc5, 7. Nf7 Qf6, 8. Qe2
Bxe6, 9. Nxh8 Nc6, 10. c3 0-0-0, 11. Nd2 Nh6, 12. Nb3 Bg4, 13. Qc2 Bb6, 14. Bb5
Ne5, 15. Be3 c6, 16. Be2 Bxe2, 17. Qxe2 Nd3+, 18. Kd2 d5 (thought about Rxh8 but
unsure if Black is better?) 19. Bxd4 Bxd4, 20. cxd4 Rxd4, 21. Nxd4 Qxd4, 22. Kd1
Nxb2+, 23. Kc2 Nd3, 24 Rhb1 Nf5, 25. g4 Qa4+, 26. Kd2 Qa5+, 27 Kd1 (I was
offered a draw under time pressure and accepted thinking I had no more than a
perpetual with 27... Qa5+ but later examined and it seems that Nd4 wins.

I think my opponent could have improved with 15. Bxh6 instead of playing Be3

There is also the possibility of White playing 6. Nxe4!

So does anyone play it and is it sound? (up to move 8. was played in 1858 in a
game between TW Barnes and Paul Morphy (Black won)
wreimann 23 ( +1 | -1 )
I played the Philidor for a while but its tough to get your pieces in good positions. Specially with the f5 variation, white can explore your white square weaknesses. I only would recommend it if you are a defencive master as Steinitz or Nimzowitsch who occasionally played it...
myway316 60 ( +1 | -1 )
3...f5 is unsound... ...as a matter of fact,that line has been pretty much refuted by GM Paul Motwani in his book C.O.O.L. Chess. His line goes:4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Neg5! h6("6...e4 7.Ne5 leaves Black facing the terrible threats of Ngf7 and Qh5+")is met by the bombshell 7.Nf7!!,intending 7...Kxf7 8.Nxe5+ with a crushing attack for White. If you play the Philador as Black,and White plays 3.d4,then the best move is Nimzovitch's 3...Nf6.(On 3.Bc4 play 3...Be7,as 3...Nf6? is met by 4.Ng5,winning a pawn.) Now on 4.dxe5 Nxe4 5.Bc4(threat:Qd5)5...c6(stopping the threat and preparing d5.)6.exd6 Nxd6(protecting f7) is =. Or if you don't care for such a "dynamic" line,after 3.d4,play the simple 3....exd4.
chris21 7 ( +1 | -1 )
If your interested Kasparov gives 3...f5 a ?! in "My Great predecessors" Volume 1.
soikins 38 ( +1 | -1 )
Yes, unsound 3. ... f5?! -- it is really unsound. Thought in blitz it is fine if you know theory. But 1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 f5 is not worth then.
As white I usually respond to this Philidor variation with 4. Bc4, thought myway316 line is also fine. After Bc4 black is in trouble, he can't take on e4 due to Nxe5! winning. So how can black defend from the threat Ng5?
umpito 8 ( +1 | -1 )
I think that this ... f5 variation was originally Philidor's idea, not Mestel's.
myway316 36 ( +1 | -1 )
It was Philador's idea He believed it was a mistake to block in the f7 pawn with Nf6.The name Philador's Defense is rather unwarranted-altho Philador analyzed the opening,there is no record of him ever playing it,in the 60 odd games of his that survive. NM James West wrote an awful book on the 3...f5 line,an "effort" that rates as one of the absolute worst chess books ever penned.