1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6
Why to play it?
I advocated the Four Knights for the first time in blog post 34 and in many more posts afterwards. Here are the main arguments:
- Active piece play in general > For many players that’s more easy than typical Sicilian trench warfare
- Very combative > playing for three results
- Not well covered by mainstream theory > high surprise potential
- Many positions are difficult for the unprepared white player, many traps > opening advantage possible
- Flexibility regarding position type > Often you can choose between active piece play (initiated by Bb4/Bc5/d5) or a favorable form of the Scheveningen- or Paulsen-structure
What was the impetus for me to start analyzing it?
Actually, I already played the Four Knights in the 80s, for the same reasons as described above. However, back in the day, I couldn’t find a satisfactory answer to 6.Ndb5, and as I didn’t want to play the Shveshnikov, I turned to other openings instead.
In the early 2000s the line 6.Ndb5 Bc5 received some traction. However, it is still considered dubious to date as there is no mainstream coverage available (I offer 37 single analyses to this subject alone). In 2016 I had some ideas for improvements and managed to repair the critical lines. After the 6.Ndb5-problem was solved, I started to analyze all other variations.
What do you get?
The combination of the following features makes this material quite unique:
- You receive ChessBase or pgn files. This format is an order of magnitude more effective for learning or game preparation than a book (see respective hyperlinks here).
- You save many days or weeks of working hours compared to transforming the analog information of an opening book to digital files on your computer.
- All reasonable White options on move 6 are covered. 16 moves in total (don’t worry, it is sufficient to learn the first 7, but its good to have the others for reference purposes).
- 140 detailed sub-variations (single analyses).
- The equivalent of a 450-page book and the result of 8 accumulated months of work.
- I present it as a stand-alone weapon, recommending the underrated line 6.Ndb5 Bc5!?, where I made many important discoveries. Of course, it is also applicable in conjunction with the respectable Shveshnikov-Variation (the choice of Magnus Carlsen).
- Comprehensive coverage of the important line 6.Nxc6 (36 analyses).
- Complete Scheveningen Repertoire after 6.Be2, consisting of robust and easy to handle variations (you simultaneously learn the Scheveningen spirit).
- After my last hardware upgrade (AMD Ryzen Threadripper 16 cores, 32GB RAM) I implemented a search depth of 30 plies (half moves) as a minimum standard.
- New ideas and novelties in every line.
- Comprehensive verbal comments (English), explanations of the underlying strategic concepts and the logic of the position (symbolic annotations cannot offer that, of course).
- Intelligent meta-level repertoire. All lines are carefully chosen to maximize your winning chances against weaker opposition.
- Explanations why alternatives were discarded.
- Alternative options in many cases.
- A complete update will occur in 2022, when all relevant new games will be included. This is living material.
- Small distribution rate due to the low traffic status of my one-man website. Lines tend to remain secret weapons for a longer time.
- After sales service. If you think there are mistakes or something is missing, or if you simply need more verbal explanations in a particular line, I will update the material.