The Art of Defense

The Art of Defense, Building a Solid Fortress.

28 Games
It seems sad but true that so many young people simply do not have the patients to try to read and fully understand the importance's of defense and positional play. They want the excitement of the attack. Fast games, quick attacking plays and quick wins and then on with another game. To try to achieve the skill as a good positional player is just too time consuming. Its far easier to just find a unorthodox opening to surprise your opponent with.

And so this is what you find so many young people interested in, constantly switching from one opening to another trying to win games with the openings instead of spending their time in honing their chess skills. The results are that so many young players rarely improve very much, they just stay at their present inept and incompetent level for ages may be not ever achieving any level of competence.

If you do go through the games and read all of this, I guarantee that you will never play an opening or defense again as you have been doing so in the past. You will see the folly of spending countless hours in the study and memorization of openings and defenses to win games until you are thoroughly familiar with chess basics. Spemding your time in the study of the basics is going to be far more productive in winning games. Good defensive play requires all-around chess ability, from calculating ability to positional judgement, imagination and a cool nerve. While chess literature has lavished attention on the art of attack, relatively little has been written about defense. Yet good defensive play has been one of the outstanding hallmarks of every World Champion since Steinitz.

There are two kinds of players that are hard to beat, great tacticians and great positional players. Tigran Petrosian had a reputation as the hardest player in the world to beat and was regarded as history’s finest defensive player by many. Petrosian defeated Botvinnik in 1963 and defended his title successfully against Boris Spassky in 1966 before being unseated by Spassky in 1969.

The Advantages of being a Positional Player over a Combinational Player One of the reasons why some chess players reach the heady heights of a 2600 ELO rating is because their resilience in defense is impenetrable, like Vastly Smyslov, from Russia who has developed a first rate smooth positional style. When we look at the techniques of two great World Champions; Capablanca and Alekhine, their styles provide an interesting contrast with Capablanca being mainly a positional motivated player while Alekhine was always on the lookout for tactical shots.

The former World Champion Jose Raul Capablanca lost fewer games in his career than any other player of similar stature. He lost only 35 games out of a total of 567, a loss rate of 6.2%. Alekhine at 10% and Lasker at 11%

Positional Play is defined as a move, maneuver or a style of play that is based on an exploitation of small advantages. But Aron Nimzovich says that the accumulation of small advantages is only of second or third significance. A much greater importance is of a prophylactic approach.

A positional player is one who understands how to safeguard his position. A combinational player may only have attack on his mind. A positional player will bring his pieces into contact with some key point there by protecting that point from attack from the combinational player or to prevent him from using that key point himself. He may also protect a key point to use it latter on to gain strength in a position or to prevent his opponent from using it. A positional player may be thinking far into the endgame so that a pawn may be promoted to a queen and thus setting up a pawn structure to make this possible.

Aron Nimzovich talks of using a systematic prophylactic approach to over-protect a position. This prophylactic positional player approach makes sure that no enemy freeing moves may take place, no unfavorable, premature opening up of the game will develop. Weak points, strong points, in short evey thing that we can include in the collective conception of strategically important points, ought to be over-protected. Generally the law of over-protection applies only to strong points. Weak points can only lay claim to over-protection in such cases as where they help to support other key points and in supporting strong points.

A typical and very wide-spread misconception is the assumption of many amateurs that each and every single move must accomplish something directly, so that such a player will only seek for moves which threaten something, or for a threat to be parried, and will disregard all other possible moves such as waiting moves, or moves calculated to put his house in order, etc. Positional moves in general are neither threatening nor defensive ones, but rather moves designed to give to the position security in the wider sense, and to this end it is necessary for the pieces to establish contact with the enemy's strategically important points or your own.

A positional player's style may differ from the combinational player in a totally different way. Instead of trying to win the game by attacking, he may just beat his opponents by just letting them lose the game! The combinational player may not be able to match the positional player move for move. They may have to make serious concessions on each move and eventually their weakened position will so fall apart that the positional player will finish him off in a blaze of glory.

Every chess player has had the experience of seeing a promising looking attack crumble into dust, whereupon the enemy counter-attack sweeps aside everything in its path. It was the enemy's superior positional play and strong defense that stopped your attack in its tracks and destroyed your attacking forces. Your then weakened position provided the enemy with a superior attacking threat and also enabled the enemy the opportunity to mobilize an unstoppable mate against you.

Do you seem to think that losing many games is due to your lack of learning all the classical openings and defenses thoroughly? Do you wish you could find a way to circumvent learning this knowledge? To try to attempt to be a specialist in every opening and defense is a futile task. As soon as you find a line to deal with the Sicilian Dragon you lose because you were not aware of a wrinkle in the Scheveningen Keres Attack. Things may not get any better not knowing the nuances of so many other openings and defenses either to get an edge no matter what lines you chose.

Your problem is that you want to play a game of chess that has less of a theoretical understanding of the openings and defenses. This approach is called "Getting out of Book" and getting out of this large body of opening theory. After all the whole purpose of opening theory is to prescribe the best set of opening moves and counter moves so that a player can have a decent middle game position. Does then getting out of book mean being at a disadvantage, since your no longer following the recommended moves of the top grandmasters?

The answer is a resounding NO! There is no single best opening or best defense. What is important is to try to find openings and defenses that are comfortable for you to play and enhance your own abilities and special skills. Ones where you can best understand the formation and the plans that will give you the type of positions you are most comfortable playing.

But no matter what opening or defense you chose to learn you still may have trouble playing it if you don't follow certain basic rules of chess regarding the opening. The first and most important one is looking after the safety of your King!

More games are lost to this one single rule than all the other factors there are in Chess. After all is not the purpose of chess to checkmate your king? Then why is it that so few pay any attention to this one important rule? Many are simply too much in a hurry to attack you and try to get a quick mate. Others are complacent and think they are a better chess player than you are and don't really have to pay much attention to wasting time castling their King.

In your coming games try to pay attention to why you won or lost that game and how important was it to the safety of the King? Both your King and your opponents King. You may find a whole new way of looking at your games when you do this.

But if castling is not that important than why are masters and GM's so paranoid about doing this as quickly as possible? You should notice that experienced successful players rarely start their attacks until their King is first nicely tucked away and protected, only then do they really start to worry about such things as center control and attacks.

Are you one of those players with too little patience?
Many players in a hurry to checkmate their opponent's king and win the game in a few moves often leave their own King vulnerable to attack. They are so locked in targeting the opponent King that they constantly leave their own King inadequately protected. Defending aficionado enthusiasts, indulge in a strong defense first before attacking and usually win by checkmating your king or win on time as they chip away at your weak King's fortress.

In defending your king it is best to visualize you building a safe place for your king with a strong stone castle, a moat and gatehouse with a drawbridge. You're going to put a solid stone wall of pawns between you and the enemy. You also place pieces like the Kings elite guards, a strong knight and bishop and a solid round tower, the rook on one side to provide support. Your gate house drawbridge is the Knight on f6 or h6 and the gate is the Bishop on g7. As long as that Bishop stays on g7 the gate remains closed to the enemy. Once the drawbridge is lowered and opened and the Bishop is removed the gate is now open for the enemy to enter the gatehouse and attack the king. To protect the Bishop the f6 knight can also go to e8 if necessary to provide additional support to the Bishop and keep the gate intact.

If you think of the knight on f6 or h6 as the drawbridge and the bishop on g7 as the gate in that gatehouse you can see how such a solid castle is going to protect your King from attacks from the enemy. What sort of strong castle is this that provides such a superior solid fortress? What kind of place is this that is offering such resistance to a hostile force?

It is in the flank games of the hypermodern openings. In the thoroughly hypermodern openings, the plan shirks the responsibility of building the ideal pawn center and instead tries to control that critical area of the board the center, with piece pressure involving a fianchetto at g2, for White and g7 for Black.

For White it is the Barcza System in the Reti Opening, the King's Indian Attack, The Catalan, The Hungarian Attack/Pirc Fianchetto, and The King's English.

For Black it is in the Modern Defenses. The Mongredien double fianchetto, and The Pirc Defense. It is in the Indian Games in the King's Indian Defense, The Classical Variation, and The Queen's Indian Defense, The Classical Lines.

After looking at many games and finding out how important King safety was as to the success of those games you may begin to doubt the importance of spending a great deal of time in the study of opening theory.

When you finally decide that the learning of opening theory and the memorization of openings and defenses is not that important as to whether you are going to win or lose the game, you will then become more interested in the basic principles of the opening. You may then concentrate on a new move order for the safety of your King. Your new move order may begin with 1.Nf3 if you are White.

Instead of trying to occupy the center with either 1.e4 or 1.d4, your new opening moves are going to be the start of your castle building. The new move of 1.Nf3 controls the d4 and e5 squares and leaves it up to Black to choose his defense.

1...Nf6 2.g3 This is the second step in building your castle if you are White. The Bishop is to be fianchettoed on the long diagonal. You are going to concentrate on building a new home for your King. One with a solid pawn shield, covered by a knight, a Bishop and a Rook.

Your soon going to realize that after you get this solid formation, a safe haven for your King that then it is possible to simply play chess with out any disadvantages from not knowing the opening. The center is still left to be defined, but since your King is nice and safe you can face the future with confidence. No longer are you going to worry not knowing the latest wrinkle of a Open Ruy Lopez. You can now try to outplay your opponent with just playing your own moves.

As Black you can do the same with 1...Nf6 2...g6 3...Bg7 4...d6. You're under no obligation to occupy the center. You can put pressure on the center after you first complete your Castle and protect your King.

How as Black do we proceed to use our knowledge of defense to control the center? Black should neither seek symmetry in the center nor try to control it. He should cede the center, finish development as soon as possible, and then try to fix and undermine the opponent's center by side blows.

The key is to fix the center, which means to provoke a blockade, and sap the center of its dynamic potential. You rely on the simple, universal truth that whatever is fixed, and immobile has a tendency to grow weaker. It is exactly on these new propositions that the new modern openings were introduced with the King's Indian Defense among them.

Do you know how to make a solid defense?

Steinitz was the first great player to make the transition from young attacking master to mature defensive master. And being a great chess thinker had asked himself what made an attack succeed? It wasn't just the genius of the player marshaling the attack or the lack of skill of the defender. Even with the best defense, some attacks can obtain a major advantage, but also even with the best attacks some defenses also can obtain major advantages. It can just depend on how much you know about the positional aspects of both. Don't just study one wiht out spending an equal amount of effort and time on the other, and them maybe you will be as diversified as Steinitz.

Steintz thought, may be there is some form of superiority in the hands of the attacker before the first attacking move. After much thought, he finally concluded,

An attack against a solidly positioned opponent cannot succeed!

A successful attack is nothing more than the correct exploitation of an exploitable weakness. It may be a king side weakness in the opoonent's camp or an edge in space or in development in a certain sector. Of course, this justification alone will not make a successful attack, but it is necessary for any real attack to proceed.

Leaf through any collection of great games and pick out a dozen kingside attacks with sacrifices. In almost every case the amnotators have discovered that the defender could have held out much longer, in fact, should not have lost at all in some instances. Yet in the vast majority of these games, the defender misses his best chances. Mikhail Tal became world champion because he won many of those games. Occasionally he was upended by a minor master who refuted his attack, but Tal made up for it by winning five or six extra games that might otherwise have been drawn. Tal was able to do this because he was not only able to find a saving defense but a winning defense! Tal was not only a great attacker but also a great defender.

What kind of defensive player are you going to be?

Black's Defenses

In the first three defenses we will look at some solid Black defenses in detail that use this Castled fortress approach. The others are noted to be the most solid and safe defensive weapons against White that Black can use.

1.The Mongredien Defense
The Mongredien Defense uses a double fianchetto against White's 1.e4 opening.

  • The Mongredien Defense

    2.The Pirc Defense
    The Pirc Defense is a solid defense against 1.e4. It intends to improve on the Modern Defense by forcing White to play 3.Nc3. Only then does Black fianchetto the Bishop on g7. Pay attention to how Black keeps his fianchettoed Bishop on g7 in place near his King during the whole game. In fact his fianchettoed Bishop on g7 is mostly responsible for winning this game.

  • Pirc Defense

    3.King's Indian Defense.
    The King's Indian Defense is currently the most popular defense to 1.d4 for Black. It is built on solid principles of development and counterattack that typify the Hypermodern School of chess. Maneuvering behind the ranks bring vicious attacks. Of course the ability to calculate accurately is essential. Crucial to Black's aspirations is the powerful Bishop at g7, which can exert a powerful influence in the center. Even if Black plays ...e5 and the center becomes closed, it can open up later and the Bishop can wake up from its hibernation and inflict serious damage.

  • King's Indian Defense

    4.Queen's Indian Defense.
    The Queen's Indian Defense is considered one of the most solid defensive systems available against 1.d4, the Queen Pawn Opening. The simple plan of straightforward development with queenside fianchetto and a bishop at e7 and Kingside castling is carried out without fear of any major White initiative in the opening.

    The Queen's Indian Defense is Black's major response to 3.Nf3. Players use the opening set of the Nimzo-Indian and Queen's Indian to make a complete defense to the queen pawn. The Queen's Indian was considered so safe and solid for much of the twentieth century that players intent on winning with White avoided 3.Nf3 in favor of the greater complications of 3.Nc3. This has changed somewhat in the later twentieth century as White has found new ideas to try for the advantage, but the solid reputation of the opening persists.

    In the Queen's Indian Black restrains White's center without weakening his pawn structure, ceding the bishop pair or making another significant concession. He must be willing to live with a bit less space, but not so much that his pieces are restricted. Black seeks to find good posts for his pieces and then to deploy his central pawns, typical of most Indian defenses.

    The exchange of one or two minor pieces is usually enough to solve Black's spatial problems, the most common exchange being ...Ne4 and exchanging for the White knight on c3. The e4 Square is important in the scheme of this opening; if White can control it without making serious concessions he will have the advantage.

    The Queen's Indian was developed by Nimzovich and other "hypermoderns" in the early twentieth century. While many top players use it today, it's most notable exponent is Karpov, whose style is exactly like this opening, correct and safe, with possibilities for active play.

  • Queen's Indian Defense
    5.The Dutch Stonewall Defense
    What a marvelous name for a defense against 1.d4. Just as the name implies, Black creates a fortress with four pawns, (d5,f5,c6 and e6) in the center and plays for control over the e4 square keeping the position closed.
    There are great rewards for Black, especially if White does not take care to protect the king sufficiently. The pawns on the f, g, and h files can come storming forward, aided by rooks, queen, knights and even the famous bad bishop which can emerge at h5 after visiting d7 and e8.
  • The Dutch Stonewall Defense - Castagna - Leow
  • The Dutch Stonewall Defense - Jung - Tauchert

    6.The English Opening, Hedgehog Defense
    Although the Hedgehog is usually used as a defensive weapon against the English Opening 1.c4 it can also be used against White's Barcza opening 1.Nf3.

    The Hypermodern Hedgehog is another defensive formation for Black that allows him to attack from the flanks and build up a solid defense to White's Barcza opening.

    The Hedgehog Formation can be reached from many different openings, but the most common is the method seen in the English Opening. Black counter's White's fianchetto plan with one of his own in order to neutralize White's g2 Bishop. From here on it is difficult to determine the very best moves, and a great deal of subtlety and foresight is needed.

    The Hedgehog Defense with 3…e6 and 4…b6 is a development of the 1970's and 80's. As recently as the early 1970's, the "Hedgehog" was a generic term describing any setup that was cramped, defensive and difficult to attack. Now it refers to a specific formation in which Black's c-Pawn is exchanged for White's d-Pawn and Black's minor pieces are developed as in a Queen's Indian. Black allows White a central bind with pawns on c4 and e4, but Black's chances to achieve ...d5 or ...b5 give Black's game dynamic potential.

  • English Hedgehog 1
  • English Hedgehog 2
  • Hedgehog 3
  • Hedgehog 4

    6.The Boleslavsky Wall
    The Boleslavsky Wall is another solid defense that was popular in tournament play 44 years ago but has fallen off into obscurity. Nevertheless it is still a great defense that is based on the King's Indian Defense Classical Variation. If you are looking for something new to throw at your opponent, this is definitely worth a try. It is based on solid development and conforms to logical opening principles.

  • The Boleslavsky Wall
  • The Boleslavsky Wall 2

    The Power of Defensive Play
    Have you ever considered that you can win games by not attacking at all? You may develop a new strategy of just letting your opponent lose his game! How is this possible? If you can get your opponent to waste time in attacking your solid defenses with out you suffering any serious damage he may just lose on time. Also because you are defending and not attacking the pressure is on your opponent to be successful in his attack or suffer a material loss if he sacrificed a piece. If he is not successful the loss can be very demoralizing. If you do not make any serious blunders you can also win by just capitalizing on his mistakes, which he is more likly to make in attacking than defending. Remember, Most chess games are not won, they are lost! They are mostly lost because of mistakes. Try to make your defensive strategy one of winning the game by making less mistakes than your opponent does. Its easier to do this by playing long games where you are not hampered by time pressure and have the time to be more through in the thinking process and can calculate to minimize your mistakes. You can win with out attacking in the middle game by using these strategies. lose less material, gain a positional advantage, gain space, get ahead in tempo, get control over key squares, diagionals and files, improve your pawn stucture, get a passed pawn to queen, and creating Imbalances Finally in the endgame your position will be so superior he will have to resign if not before that time. So now as you can see its not necessary to always be an attacking player. You can change your style to that of the Great defensive masters and become a master in positional defensive play.
    I suggested this type of strategy in

  • Beating The Bots
    You can just sit back and wait while your opponent beats his brains out hammering against your solid Stonewall Defense, The Boleslavsky Wall or Hedgehog Defense. If your defensive techniques have been honed to such a fine edge that he can not get a advantage in his attacks he simply will run out of time and material trying.

    Many strong players are good at attacking but weak in the techniques of defense, so although attacking techniques are essential to winning games knowing how to defend is equally as important, and maybe more so against a strong attacking player. You may get the edge against strong players knowing more about defensive techniques than your opponent strong player does, if your attacks take advantage of his lessor knowledge of how to defend well. Some strong players may feel that it is a waste of time to spend much time in the study of defense if their superior attacking skills lets them win games. This complacent attitude is what gets them in trouble.

    Most strong players have three times as much trouble in defending than at attacking play. So you will do well if you study up on your attacking play and make the difficulty of your opponent so great in trying to defend that he makes serious errors in his play. If you are more skillful and have more knowledge in defensive play than he does, you can develop strategies to take advantage of his lessor abilities to quickly develop defenses to your attacking play.

  • Beating a Stronger Player

    ! The Blockade

    A blockade is the blocking of a passed or isolated pawn by an enemy piece, or the restraining of a pawn's advance by guarding and occupying the square in front of the pawn, also called the blockading square. Once the pawn is fixed by the blockade, a generalized attack can be launched against it.

    In Diagram 1, White's knight blockades Black's d-pawn by occupying the d4 blockading square and preventing the pawn from moving. White's king and e3-pawn also guard d4.

  • Diagram 1

    Occupy the square in front.
    Such a blockade, occupying the square in front of and isolated enemy pawn, is possible because there are no unfriendly pawns on adjoining files to prevent it. Since the blockading square can't be guarded by a pawn, the blockading piece has nothing to fear.

    First restrain.
    It makes good sense to restrain a pawn's advance before assailing it because it's easier to attack a sitting than a moving target. Generally a pawn can be stopped from advancing by controlling the blockading square. And when you control it you can occupy it safely.

    Diagram 2 shows the value of guarding the square in front.

  • Diagram 2

    Blockades: The good and the bad.

  • Diagram 3
    Occupying the blocking square with a piece is optimal in most cases. Some pieces are particularly effective as blockader's. Knights for example, can function beautifully in front of an isolated or passed pawn.
    Bishops as blockader's. Consider Diagram 4.
  • Diagram 4

    Rooks don't make it
    Rooks tend to be the worst blockader's, because their mobility can be restricted in a blockading position. Consider Diagram 5.

  • Diagram 5

    Replace the rook with a Black bishop and White's king can't break the blockade. Diagram 6 shows that both d7 and b7, the approach squares, are guarded by the bishop.

  • Diagram 6

    Blockade tips
    Try to blockade enemy passed and isolated pawns. Guard the blockade square with pieces and pawns and occupy it with pieces. In particular, aim to maneuver knights into a blockade position.

    If you have an isolated pawn and your opponent is attempting to blockade it, try to advance the pawn and exchange it for a healthy enemy pawn. If you have a passed pawn and the enemy is blockading it try to drive away the blockader so your pawn can move ahead.

    The Masters of Defense
    * Indicates difficulty level in ELO to understand their style of play

    1. Botvinnik, Mikhail (1911-1994) Russia
    *2000-2200 Positional. Botvinnik's style A profound technician and iron logician, Botvinnik will always seek the objectively best move. Excellent endgame technique and a varied, solid opening book, especially where the French Defense, Dutch Defense, Semi- Slav and English Opening are concerned.

    2. Capablanca, Jose Raul (1888-1942) Cuba
    *1400-1700 Positional. Capablanca's style is the most straightforward and classical. His personality shuns unclear complications and generally tries to keep everything under control, steering for simple positions that allow him to build on tiny advantages, often converting seemingly drawn games into wins. Jose Raul Capablanca was a defensive player who would slowly grind you down by taking away your space, and tie up your pieces leaving you with virtually nothing to do. During the first two phases of a game, he was content to gain some small advantage in space, convert it into a small material edge, like one pawn ahead and then trade pieces. In the endgame, he would convert his extra pawn into a Queen and win the game easily. He was a quiet positional player, and a man considered in his prime to be virtually unbeatable. He was probably the most feared Cuban genius chess player of his time.

    3. Evans, Larry (1932-) USA
    Evans's style is fond of the English as White and the King's Indian and Sicilian as Black. A fierce defender and avid pawn snatcher, he has been known to suffer for hours nursing a lowly pawn all the way to victory.

    4. Karpov, Anatoly (1951-) Russia
    2500+ Positional. Karpov's style is accurate positional play. Karpov hides the fact that he can be aggressive when called for. He likes to build small yet persistent advantages without incurring unnecessary risks or making mistakes, and is quite fond of 1. e4 as White and the Caro-Kann and Queen's Indian Defense as Black

    5. Victor Korchnoi
    *2000-2200 Unorthodox. Korchnoi's style is a defensive player who revels in ferocious counter-attacks, Korchnoi was tough and tenacious, fighting every game to the bitter end with grim determination. As you might expect, he was partial to the French Defense and the English Opening.

    6. Lasker, Emanuel (1868-1941) Germany
    *1000-1400 Positional. Lasker's style will more often play the opponent as much or more than the board. He was a fabulous defensive player and fine tactician, equally at home in open or closed positions.

    7. Leko, Peter (1979-) Hungry
    Leko's style is a cautious, solid defensive. He seldom loses but draws many games. He tends to shun sharp openings, and is partial to the Sicilian and Gruenfeld Defenses.

    8. Morphy, Paul (1837-84) United States
    Paul Morphy was the first chess player to appreciate the value of development. While his opponents would bring out two or three pieces and start a berserker style of crazed, maniac type of attack, Morphy would quietly defend against their threats, continue to develop his whole army, and then shatter their defenses with his superior greater force. Thus is the awesome power of defensive play.

    9. Paulsen, Louis (1833-1891) Germany
    Paulsen's style preferred to let opponents weaken their position. His style was notable in that it stresses defense, and employed several openings that complemented his counter-attacking style.

    10. Petrosian, Tigran V. (1929-1984) USA
    *1700-2000 Positional. Petrosian's style had a unique defensive bent not terribly popular for many fans, though connoisseurs might find subtle features to savor. He excelled in closed, constricted positions, snuffing out attacks even before foes begin to mobilize their forces, and shunned sharp lines in favor of the Caro-Kann and French Defense. He was regarded as history’s finest defensive player by many.

    11. Seirawan, Yasser (1960-) USA
    Seirawan's style is basically defensive, with a highly refined positional style that shines in the endgame. He is fond of the Caro-Kann Defense and is very tough with Black.

    12. Steinitz, Wilhelm (1836-1900) Austria
    Steinitz's style is the forerunner of modern positional play. He was quite at home in the closed game with barricaded pawn structures, and would even move his king in the opening to gain material.

    13. Tartakower, Savigly (1887-1956) France
    *1400-1700 Unorthodox. Tartakower's style will usually try to use superior opening preparation to build up an early advantage that can later be exploited either positional or tactically. He played a wide range of openings for both White and Black. While he could attack when needed, Tartakower could defend as well, and was perfectly happy to embrace many of the new ideas of the Hypermodern chess movement. Known as one of the leading exponents of openings theory.

    An encapsulation of the openings of the masters.

    Defense as Black
    Caro-Kann - Karpov
    Dutch Stonewall Defense - Botvinnik
    French Classical - Paulsen
    Grunfeld Defense - Leko
    Kings Indian Fianchetto - Evans
    Queen's Indian Defense - Karpov
    Semi-Slav Defense - Botvinnik System
    Sicilian - Tartakower
    Queen's Gambit - Lasker
    Caro-Kann Petrosian 1
    Caro-Kann Petrosian 2
    French Defense Petrosian

    Opening as White
    English - Evans
    English - Botvinnik

    Books on Defense

    The Art of Defense in Chess by Andrew Soltis $15.95
    In this book you will learn about such basics defensive weapons as;
    1. Keeping attack lines closed or under control
    2. Repairing weaknesses
    3. Trading pieces for endgame safety
    4. Elimination of the strong attacking piece
    5. Relieving pressure
    6. Confusing the opoonent's pieces
    7. Maneuver and redeployment
    8. Braking the attacking front
    9. Seizing a foothold in the center

    Art of Defence in Chess by Lakov Damsky $24.95

    Attack and Defence by IM Mark Dvoretsky & GM Artur Yusupov $26.95
    This book is for players with a USCF rating of 2000 and above

    Back to Category Five