Chess is a strategy game that involves a lot of attacking and defending at the same time. When a player knows how to protect their chess pieces smartly, the road to victory begins to appear. That being said, we will look at the ten best defences in chess in this article.
While playing a game of chess, each player must have a good defence strategy to absorb the pressure received from the other end. Generally, since the white pieces start a match, the person with the black pieces gets to face the first round of attack.
So, the player with the black pieces must be knowledgeable about the methods through which they can counter the white opening round attacks. In chess, the best players know how to balance their offensive and defensive stances; this is the only way anyone can excel in chess.
The following are the ten best defences in chess for a player competing with black pieces:
The Sicilian Defence is one of the most popular defensive moves in chess, and it happens to be one of the most reliable of all chess defences. While there is more than one variation of this defensive style, there is a style that is played the maximum number of times.
There is always something new to learn from this technique, no matter how many times you use it during a game. The Sicilian Defence can be applied to a game when the person handling the white pieces moves their pawn to e4.
In most cases, the opponent would counter by moving their pawn from e7 to e5. But in the case of the Sicilian Defence, the pawn on c7 would be placed on the c5 tile. This is a brilliant move as the black pawn proceeds to control a different part of the centre.
The Pirc Defence chess method is another excellent way to check the approaching danger from the white side. This is a newer defensive technique that has become part of chess folklore relatively recently.
The Pirc Defence is based on the idea that one can begin a game without focusing too much on trying to control the centre. When the white starts taking control of the centre, the person using the Pirc Defence gathers their minor from the flanks on both sides of the chess board.
To give you an overview of what might happen when a chess opening involves the Pirc Defence, we will provide you with an example. Suppose white plays pawn to e4 to gain control over the centre of the board. Black will refrain from doing the same and instead go with a black pawn moving to g6.
The Scandinavian Defence is the oldest opening move applied by black in modern chess, which has been the mainstay in the modern era of chess for more than a hundred and fifty years.
Here the white attacks the centre with a pawn to e4, and the black steps up its pawn to d5. The Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings classified the Scandinavian Defence under the code ‘B01’. This defensive method is also known by the name ‘Scachs d’amor’.
Caro Kann Defence
One of chess’s most played defensive tactics, the Caro Kann Defence, is based on countering the white side’s ‘pawn to e4’ strategy. It all starts when the player with the white pieces places a pawn to e4.
In response, a black pawn takes its place on c6, followed by another black pawn going forward to d5. This defence makes the black pieces stand on somewhat equal footing with the white pieces in the centre of the board.
One of the principal advantages of playing the Caro Defence is that the black side cancels out the initial superiority of the white side early in the game. This goes a long way in determining how the match would turn out.
Another notable opening defensive move favoured by the black side, the French Defence is ranked as the second most go-to move after the Sicilian Defence. Its popularity stems from the black side throwing the white off-balance with this technique.
For the French Defence to gain ground, the white has to first play its pawn to e4. As a counter, the black will now move its pawn to e6. This move can be a big surprise when your opponent expects the more common pawn to e5 action.
The Dutch Defence is a brilliant way for the black side to take partial control of the centre of the chess board while attacking the kingside of the white pieces. One can play this technique when a white pawn is moved to d4.
By moving a black pawn to f5, the channel is opened for several counter-attacking options by the player handling the black pieces. However, one has to be careful using this move since it leaves the ‘f7’ tile of the chess board an easy target for the white side.
The black uses this defensive move to play an aggressive game of chess. What happens here is that white plates, the usual e4, move. In response, black refrains from playing a pawn to a higher square. Instead, black moves one of its knights ahead.
This gives white to begin chasing the black knight all over the board. However, using this distraction, black builds up its other major pieces to inflict an attack on the white king.
This is another aggressive technique that is used by black in competitive games. When white starts a game with the typical pawn to e4 move, black responds by moving two of its pieces, usually a pawn and a knight, to two light squares.
This technique aims to gain control of the dark centre squares of the chess board by the black. The bishops become vital pieces for the black while applying this technique in the opening rounds of the game.
The Slav Defence is a favourite of many global grandmasters (GMs). This defensive technique is the most common response to the white’s Queen’s Gambit opening trick.
While using the Slav Defence, black targets the centre of the chess board early to seize its control from white. The Slav Defence is played by many GMs in elite tournaments to check the advancing white.
A hypermodern defensive technique, the Grunfeld Defence is a tactical approach that does not look to take control of the centre in the opening rounds of the match. On the contrary, black builds up its flanks to better prepare for the white’s impending onslaught in the middle game.
For the black side, minor pieces take centre stage in this style of play, and this is because it is the minor pieces that attack the centrally located white pieces on the board once the build-up is more or less complete.
As you have seen, the best defences in chess take shape in the opening minutes of the game, and this is when the game’s tone is set. Therefore, it is always helpful to be thorough with the best defence moves in chess. Always remember that the best way to defend in chess is to continuously update one’s tactical knowledge.
Now that you have learned about the best defences in chess, check out our other blog discussing the best chess openings. Click on the link now!