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Pirc (B07)
1 e4 d6 2 d4 Nf6

Number of games in database: 7762
Years covered: 1850 to 2018
Overall record:
   White wins 41.9%
   Black wins 29.4%
   Draws 28.7%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
John Cochrane  33 games
Varlam Vepkhvishvili  33 games
Michael Adams  22 games
Varuzhan Akobian  45 games
Zurab Azmaiparashvili  37 games
Vlastimil Jansa  37 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Liu Wenzhe vs J H Donner, 1978
Short vs R Miles, 1976
E J Diemer vs T Heiling, 1984
V Kovacevic vs Seirawan, 1980
I Blek vs Tal, 1952
Sax vs H Kestler, 1974
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 page 1 of 311; games 1-25 of 7,762 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Cochrane vs Mohishunder 0-1391850CalcuttaB07 Pirc
2. Cochrane vs Mohishunder 1-0191850CalcuttaB07 Pirc
3. J M Calisch vs F G Heijmans  0-1381851AmsterdamB07 Pirc
4. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  1-0361852CalcuttaB07 Pirc
5. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  1-0311852CalcuttaB07 Pirc
6. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  1-0451853CalcuttaB07 Pirc
7. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  1-0331853CalcuttaB07 Pirc
8. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  0-1471853CalcuttaB07 Pirc
9. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  1-0181854CalcuttaB07 Pirc
10. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  1-0271854CalcuttaB07 Pirc
11. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  1-0371854CalcuttaB07 Pirc
12. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  1-0531854CalcuttaB07 Pirc
13. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  ½-½451854CalcuttaB07 Pirc
14. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  0-1361854CalcuttaB07 Pirc
15. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  1-0531854CalcuttaB07 Pirc
16. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  1-0271854CalcuttaB07 Pirc
17. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  1-0331854CalcuttaB07 Pirc
18. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  0-1271854CalcuttaB07 Pirc
19. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  1-0371854CalcuttaB07 Pirc
20. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  1-0301854CalcuttaB07 Pirc
21. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  0-1341854CalcuttaB07 Pirc
22. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  1-0361854CalcuttaB07 Pirc
23. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  0-1261854CalcuttaB07 Pirc
24. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  1-0271854CalcuttaB07 Pirc
25. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  1-0341854CalcuttaB07 Pirc
 page 1 of 311; games 1-25 of 7,762 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 6 OF 7 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-29-06  Kriegspiel: <keypusher: In any line of the Pirc, it's always a good idea to see if Botvinnik has played it.> Sounds like *great* advice. A search for Botvinnik as Black playing the Pirc shows 20 games: of these, Botvinnik wins 15 and draws 5. There are NO losses. Is this a case of database bias, and if not, why didn't Botvinnik play the Pirc more often? In any case, he sure seems to know what he was doing.


Oct-29-06  Kriegspiel: <keypusher> Botvinnik's Robatsch record (as you have noted elsewhere) is also quite remarkable. Only 9 games in the database, but of those he won 7 and drew 2. Outstanding. Since I am considering the Modern Defense (which calls the Robatsch when it begins with 1.e4) I should look at those games too.


Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Botvinnik took up the Pirc/Modern in the 60s, at the end of his career, when he was generally playing in weaker events, which partly explains his very high success rate. But he played it very well and very creatively -- <IMLDay> site has noted on this site his influence on players coming of age in the 60s and early 70s.

It's regrettable that the Botvinnik-Fischer match of 1970 never came off for any number of reasons, but one reason to be sorry is that we probably would have seen some very interesting Pircs. I have the vague impression that Botvinnik's disciple helped drive the Pirc out of style as the 70s wore on--he was a scourge of hypermodern defenses. But Mr. Day or <RayKeene> could speak to that more intelligently.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Softpaw: <Kriegspiel: <keypusher> Botvinnik's Robatsch record (as you have noted elsewhere) is also quite remarkable.>

Quite a few of those Moderns (Robatschs) transposed to Pircs (early Nf6's).

And the Bc4 variations are not considered a main threat to the Pirc these days.

Oct-30-06  mang00neg: 4. Bc4 is a "paper tiger" says Lev Alburt.
4. f4 The austrian attack requires a lot of theoretical knowledge. 4. Nf3 The classical isn't daunting as long as you know the general themes involved. 4. g3 seems nonthreatening but actually has some bite. 4. Bg5 is a serious enemy of the pirc, but for some reason not very popular.

After having played more than 3000 total games with the Pirc as my sole defense to 1. e4, I've 99% left it. I've beaten 2300+ players with this opening and have enjoyed a decent measure of success. However, in my hands it seems that this opening just doesn't pose enough difficulty for white and that it's too easy for him to obtain/retain an advantage out of the opening.

Dec-16-06  mobiegobie: In <starting out:Pirc/Modern> Gallager,Joe 2003 states that 4.Bg5 is played more at the master level and 4. Bc4 is played more on the club level because it is "tricky". I am looking at this opening and playing it right now solely. What i have learned,read and blundered into black can have a tuff game no matter what opening it employed due to white built in advantage. So that said, i feel that i can with the Pirc play a manageable game as black and some games more than managable. Since no opening is bullet proof the un-manageable games that i have had i at least could follow play well enough to make it a bitter-ugly name-calling fight to the end.Which is what i was looking for in this opening. A couple of other points and i'll shut up: the Modern is a transpostional tool to go into the Pirc... and that "classical" is difficult for black to get a good game. Where i got that last one i will have to look and get back to you on that...
Mar-07-07  BohdanL: Good aftenoon,

could someone, please, give some tips for Black on 1.e4 d6 2.Nf3 As player who play mostly on internet or at local chessclub i often meet this move when trying Pirc. I cannot find suggestions in any of Pirc books, also for the White's 2.d3

thanks in advance

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Try the Opening Explorer...
Opening Explorer
Apr-12-07  independentthinker: <mang00neg:
After having played more than 3000 total games with the Pirc as my sole defense to 1. e4, I've 99% left it.>

What do you think of the Modern Defence and the Kings Indian Defence? Have you experimented with these, and if so, have you had any luck?


May-16-07  Tomlinsky: Nigel Short: Playing the Pirc is a bit like wearing flares and platform shoes. One may have done it once, but one does not wish to be reminded of the fact.
Sep-04-07  NitrousPeak: Is 2. Nf3 or 2. Nc3 solid for white?
Sep-04-07  a30seclegend: i think in either case it allows black to play e5 allowing a philidors defense.
Sep-04-07  MaxxLange: Supposedly this gives Black better Philidor options, too:
Jul-11-08  madeinholland: What is considered to be the least theoretical variation for White when facing this defense? I would like to play against the Pirc by mostly using general principles and ideas rather then razor sharp theoretical lines such as the Austrian, Be3 and Bg5 systems. Is the classical variation best suited for that?
Nov-10-08  freeman8201: what is considered to be the least theoretical variation for White when facing this defense? As white try a h pawn attack or f3 system aiming for a king side attack
Mar-08-09  FiveofSwords: <freeman8201> well I often play systems with f3...however it is not avoiding theory at all. For me at least its an attempt to transpose to a saemish king's indian, I play for Be3, c4, f3, Qd2, 0-0-0, etc. It may or may not involve an attack on the kingside but it does generally involve the move g4 to discourage the black freeing move f5. The saemish is quite a nice opening but it is, of course, highly theoretical. Thats the thing with the pirc, you can play moves that attempt to avoid theory but theres a lot of transpositional elements to many opening so if you arent doing something highly forcing to make it an independant character, its fairly impossible to avoid theory.
Mar-08-09  chessman95: Sometimes I play a CK or Sicilian Pirc. Instead of preventing e5 with d6, I open up the diagonal for the queen with c6 or c5, so that it white plays e5 after Nf6 then I have the tactic Qa5+ gaining a pawn. This works well as a Sicilian, because most people play 2.Nf3 looking for an Open Sicilian and then I play 2...Nf6 and go into the Pirc, where white cannot advance the f-pawn because the knight is blocking it, which helps black a lot.
Mar-08-09  geniokov: Well madeinholland,choosing style against Pirc depend upon if the "style" fits you.If you want to use Classical Variation against Pirc,donīt expect for lively play,all you can have is just a small advantage whereas if you are an agressive player...Austrian attack is the best choice.....Why not try Saemisch Pirc?
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: according to the database i have 69 black games -one more than the "leading" black practitioner cited above :azmaiparashvili!
May-25-09  returnoftheking: Ergo: you are not a leading player. Azmaiparishvilli has a much better score with the Pirc anyway. Not to mention the numerous modern games he played, related to the pirc.

Besides all that, I am afraid Mr. Keene's comment makes little sense: there are 151 Pircs (not just B07) of Azmaiparishvilli in the database.

May-25-09  returnoftheking: To illustrate:

Azmai played to times Pirc against Karpov in his prima and got 1,5 point.

Karpov vs Azmaiparashvili, 1983

This happened to our "leading practicioner" in spe..

Karpov vs Keene, 1977

Jun-07-09  WhiteRook48: Oh, man!! That went different
Apr-22-10  rapidcitychess: Recently, I have gotten tired of the solidity of the Caro Kann, and decided to get better at defense and counter attack. This is why I chose the Pirc. Off subject a bit but can some one tell me a little about the Modern/Robatasch? Thanks.
Apr-23-10  Jonzi9771: ...Once, many moons back in time, playing the Black side in reply to White's 1.e4, picked up the c pawn with the intention of placing it to c5, instead, dropped the pawn recklessly at c6 square...that was the last time I played this boring, lousy CK. CK is a Black Hole, it Sucks everything in its gravitational sphere.
Jan-01-11  Sho: I like Pirc.

As a third-rate player, this opening is uncommon to most of my (third-rate) opponents. Moreover it fits my style: wait and build. (I like the double-attack feature of a fianchettoed bishop.)

My rating has improved since discovering the Pirc. I'm a fan.

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