Pirc Defense | Ideas, Principles and Common Variations

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The Pirc Defense is a very versatile hyper-modern opening and it provides great fighting chances for black.

The opening was named after the Slovenian Grandmaster Vasja Pirc, who popularized it in the second half of the 20th century. It has been played before, but it was never really taken seriously. As all modern openings, it neglects the classical chess principles. In fact, it goes directly against them.

Th idea behind the Pirc Defense is for black to fianchetto his kingside bishop and castle quickly and to strike at white’s center later on with the moves c5 or e5. Meanwhile, white is given a free hand and is able to form a strong center with pawns on e4 and d4 (often on f4 as well).

It’s similar to other modern openings, such as the King’s Indian or the Benoni, and it has similar ideas, so those types of openings may complement the Pirc well in your repertoire. Playing the Pirc against e4 and the KID against d4 would be most logical.

There are sic common variations of the Pirc, and every one results in a different type of middlegame. Every variation will be covered in detail in a separate video.

After the opening moves:

1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6, white gets too choose a system. The Pirc can be a slow, maneuvering opening, but it can also be tactical and sharp. On move 4, white shows his cards and steers the game.

4. f4 Austrian Attack is the most aggressive setup white can choose. Bringing the third pawn to the center, white prepares a strong central and kingside attack. This variation almost always leads to attacking games with no time to waste for either side. The Austrian Attack is also the most popular way for white to play with thousands of grandmaster games.

4. Nf3 Classical Variation is the most solid approach for white. White doesn’t allow black to have any initiative and hopes to hold a minute opening advantage straight into the endgame. If white plays properly this is true in practice as well. Black, on the other hand, has to be quick to develop and to open up the center and he can’t waste any time. If he does, his pieces will be cramped, he will lack space and be worse.

4. Be3 150 Attack is a very aggressive attacking setup for white, similar to the Yugoslav attack in the Sicilian. White goes for castling queenside, f3, Qd2, g4, g5, h4 and storms the black king in his sleep on g8.

4. Bg5 Byrne Variation is a seldom used system which can be venomous if black isn’t prepared for it.

4. g3 Sveshnikov System is an interesting idea in which white fianchettoes on the kingside too. Games tend to be positional and often easier to play for white due to his space advantage.

4. Bc4 Kholmov System develops the bishop to the most natural square from where it eyes the f7 weakness. It’s a rather new idea and it can be very sharp. White isn’t as solid as in the classical where the bishop goes to e2.

#chess #pircdefense #chessopenings

97 Comments

  1. Bro telling us how to play pirc defence ❌ bro telling us how to counter pirc defence ✅ 😂 one of the best guy I ever seen

  2. Any chance to see movie about Czech Pirc 3…c6?

  3. Its hard to understand….1st white is on my side but im supposed to learn with black,instead learning to play against the pirc…try to change that plis🙏teach from the black side if its a defense opening

  4. I think '150 attack' is called like that because in England they said it was so easy to carry on that even a 150 level player could use it successfully. I think they use ECF rating (English Chess Federation). Another version I found is because all white pieces except from pawns sum up 150 points… ¿?

  5. Excellent! Would like to see more videos on hypermodern openings.

  6. It is called the 150 attack after English players. They have a separate rating system to Fide and it was popularized by players with a rating around 150. That’s as much as I know🤷🏼‍♂️

  7. What if white decides to chase the knight in the opening with 3. e5? I assume it leads to the exchange of queens by black, followed by 5. Kxd1 Ng4. But isn't that just worse for black?

  8. I've been watching your videos for some time now, and i have got to say, your dedication, discipline and workrate is just inspiring to a Chess novice as myself. Amazing! Best Chess videos on YouTube! I was wondering if you have any plans for a Kings Indian series in the near future? Its my favourite response to d4. Best of luck to you!

  9. #Woww….Sir, You are Really Great Teacher!!! #Im_learning_Too_much_from_Ur_Videos!! #Very_Good_Explanation_in_Each_Part☺️!!

  10. Nice video and I'm happy to see the Pirc covered because right now I do not really have anything against the it. Are you going to cover the Modern after the Pirc because of their similarity or are you going to cover something else?

  11. will you cover it as a repertoire for white or for black? thanks !

  12. I used the analysis with chess dot com in this position you are actually better after Bb5, Be2, takes takes, then take d7 even after knight takes e4, you castle and have a better position if you play accurately.

  13. 150 attack used by lower rated player to beat higher rated player easy 🙂 I think it might be stronger than the austrian attack or the Nf3 because black seem to have slightly slower counter play than in the dragon.

  14. I think you should cover the main openings first like QGD, Slav or Benoni first why are you covering openings like King gambit and Pirc those are rare.

  15. In austrian attack. Isnt Na6 bad?.. 12:10
    B×a2 would disrupt the structure. Double pawns at corner…..?????

  16. i love the pirc defense please make more videos about it, and please talk a little bit more about the tricks that black can play, thanks

  17. Thank you very very much I love this openning but I can not find materials thanks

  18. i was searching for something against it and the 150 attack is coming

  19. Another amazing and instructional video! I love how you compare other openings structures to the one you're talking about! It helps so much with my broad understanding of Chess! I can't thank you enough! I admire your consistency in making these awesome videos and training hard!! I know you'll make GM! Keep being awesome! I'm learning so much! Knowledge is truly the most valuable thing in this world, so thank you so much for sharing!!!

  20. I've been pronouncing it wrong. Thanks for giving the correct pronunciation and explaining how the opening should work. I'm not a fan of the Pirc because of what it allows for white. Engaging instruction as usual.

  21. Another brilliant video. Very informative. I have always got into a cramped position leading to a very sharp attack and quick loss. Looking forward to learning some ideas… Thank You For Your Efforts!!

  22. I am a modern defense player but I was recommended by a FM to consider the pirc because it leads to similar positions, but with less theoretical knowledge required. I'm impressed by this video and will enjoy your other pirc vids, and will continue to watch your modern ones too 🙂

  23. thanks…please make videos on slav and semi slav opening theories

  24. aye, Mr. Hanging Pawn, you are the real MVP. Thank you for sharing your seemingly encyclopedic knowledge

  25. Great instruction video , easy to understand , i also play the Pirc. I'm 1600-1700 so this is good additional info. i will add you to one of my favorites including GingerGM . :))))) I just subscribed :))))

  26. Do you cover positions exclusively from the white perspective? I'd like some videos focusing on openings from the black perspective.

  27. At 9:18 ; why shouldn't black take Nxd4? It gives him perfect counter play!

  28. This defense is a complete mystery to me. Thank you for this buddy!

  29. If you play the Pirc against e4, what would be a sister black opening to use against d4?

  30. Perfect video, … I like Pirc defence,,,, it is good opening for future….rhk, Stephan

  31. Hi, I just came across your videos while searching for insights on Pirc defense. I like your content a lot, insightful and to the point. I have a question – as a beginner I often face opponents that do not go for 2.d4 but play something more passive, like 2.d3 or 2.Nc3. What should I do in such case? Stick with development along the main line, or take the opportunity to play 2….e5 uncontested? Thanks!

  32. I play the Pirc Defense and the 150 Attack bothers me. It's like being on the black side of a Saemisch King's Indian.

  33. Just played a game like this and had no clue what I was doing although I did win

  34. As black I will never employ this stupid defense, as white, I would never bother to study it in-depth.

  35. GM Akobian is known for playing the Czech pirc and GM Simon Williams for playing the black lion. These are worth knowing and not included in the series.

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