Understanding Petrov's (Russian or Petroff) Defense C42 - 43
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6

The Petrov's Defense or in Russia its called The Russian Defense was named after the nineteenth-century Russian master Alexander Petroff (1794-1867) who practiced it. It is your plain, steady workman type opening. It presents your opponent with no surprises, doesn't force him into long complicated lines and seems to show no imagination by simply copying white's moves. There are no frills or glamour it is just a simple opening. This is probably the reason for its relatively little use, considering that it's a first rate defense where White must struggle hard to gain even a small advantage. White, it is true can virtually force a draw by trading down to a dull symmetrical endgame, but this is not a concern if the job Black seeks to do is equalize chances.

Black starts out by mimicking White's moves, though that can't last for long. The Russian Game is very solid and it is unlikely that White can achieve a significant advantage with it, but on the other hand the sterile positions which arise are usually a bit more comfortable for White. Black has few ambitions early in the game but is content to postpone the main battle until after both sides have finished development.

The most heroic defenders of the Russian, are appropriately enough, FIDE World Champion Antoly Karpow and GM Artur Yusupov, both Russians. They are willing to adopt this unpretentious defense, waiting for their opponents to make positional errors before trying to claim the full point. Both are capable of showing the extreme patience necessary to achieving success with the Black pieces in this opening.

Basic Petrov

Main Line Continued
Main Line

Fritz Plays The Main Line

ChessBase Opening Report for the Petroff

Black scores below average 42%
White wins 39% Draws 36% Black wins 24%
The drawing quote is Average 12% Less than 20 moves

Moves and Plans
a) 3.Nxe5
You should play: 3d6
Main line:
4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Be7 7.0-0 Nc6 58%
4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Bd6 56%
4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Qe2 Qe7 6.D3 Nf6 7.Bg5 53%
Critical line:
4.Nxf7 Kxf7 5.Nc3 29% Black

You should play 3Nc6
Main line:
4.Bb5 Bf4 56%
4.d4 exd4 5.Nxd4 Bb4 6.Nxc6 57%
4.Bc4 47%
Critical line:
4.d4 exd4 5.Nd5 Nb4 42% Black
Alternative: 3Bv4

c) 3.d4
You should play: 3Nxe4
Main line:
4.Bd3 d5 5.Nxe5 Nd7 Bxd7 7.0-0 61%
4.Bd3 d5 5.Nxe5 Bd6 6.0-0 0-0 7.c4 63%
Critical line:
4.Bd3 d5 5.Nxe5 Bd6 6.0-0 0-0 Nc6 42% Black

d) 3.d3
You should play 3Nc6
Main line:
4.Be2 d5 5.Nbd2 59% 4.Nc3 Bb4 44% 4,c3 59% 4.g3 52%
Critical line:
4.c4 d6 28% Black

you should play 3Nc6

f) 3.Bc4
You should play: 3Nxe4
Alternative: 3Nc6

g) 3.Bb5
You should play: 3a6

h) 3.c3
You should play: 3Nc6

i) 3.Bd3
You should play: Nc6

j) 3.a3
You should play: 3d6

k) 3.Be2
You should play; 3Nc6

The Games of the Petroff
Petrov, Alexander - NN 1-0
Petrov, Alexander - Von Jaenisch 1-0
Huebner - Smyslov 1/2-1/2
Tarrasch - Walbrodt 1-0
Didler - Marshall 0-1
Capablaanca - Marshall 1-0
Alekhine - Rabinovich 1-0
Schallopp - Fritz, A 1-0
Zuniga - Boyer 0-1
Shoulders - Boyer 0-1
Stone - Boyer 0-1
Van Den Doel - Greenfeld 1-0 (Latest Grandmaster Game)

Traps and Zaps
1. Kaspereit - Paulsen
2. Robinson - Davie
3. Dekker - Copier
4. Bishop
5. Fischer - Chalker
6. Queen
7. Queen
8. Queen
Hess - Born
10. Queen
11. Yin - Zamora

The Cochrane Gambit (Russian Game)
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nxf7 Kxf7

The Cochrane Gambit or Russian Game, is an ancient opening which has found a new following in the 1990s. White sacrifices a whole piece to expose the enemy king. White can follow the sacrifice with three distinct plans. 5.Bc4+ is the most obvious, but taking the center with 5.d4 and developing with 5.Nc3 also have strong followings.
Anyone interested in this opening should pick up W. John Lutes thorough study of the opening.

The sacrifice was worked out by John Cochrane, who used it in a number of games against Mohescunder Bnnerjee in India in the late 1840s. The opening remained in obscurity for some time because it was generally felt that a piece was just too much to gambit in the opening

In recent years it has been reconsidered and a lively debate has taken place both on the chessboards of the world and on the internet.
Basic Cochrane Gambit

ChessBase Opening Report for the Cochrane
White scores above average 58%
White wins 50% Black wins 33%
White wins are shorter than average (32) Black wins are shorter than average (35)
Drawing quote is very low 2% Less than 20 Moves.

Moves and Plans
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nxf7

a) 4Kxf7
You should play 5.d4
Critical line: 5Bg4 6.f3

Strong Grandmasters who used this line as White:
Joris Breninkmeijer Result-1/2
Denis Y. Salinnkov Result-1/1
Nigel D. Short Result-1/1

Games of the Cochrane
Cochrane - Mohishunder 1-0 1848
Vuckovic - Govedarica 1-0
Brenninkmeijer - Hoekesma 1-0
Reinderman - Van der Sterren 1-0 (Latest Grandmaster Game)

Traps of the Cochrane
9. Queen
Wall - Fritz
Beaver - Alder