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Petrov, Modern Attack (C43)
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 d4 exd4 4 e5 Ne4 5 Qxd4

Number of games in database: 1659
Years covered: 1837 to 2017
Overall record:
   White wins 41.1%
   Black wins 18.7%
   Draws 40.2%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Sergei Movsesian  17 games
Emil Sutovsky  17 games
Sergei Rublevsky  16 games
Artur Yusupov  52 games
Boris Gelfand  27 games
Dusko Pavasovic  19 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Fischer vs E German, 1962
Anand vs Ivanchuk, 1993
M Bonch-Osmolovsky vs B Baranov, 1953
H McMahon vs Marshall, 1897
Kamsky vs Karpov, 1996
Macieja vs Rozentalis, 1999
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 page 1 of 67; games 1-25 of 1,659  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. A Petrov vs Allies 1-0271837RUS corrC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
2. Von Der Lasa vs Jaenisch 1-0251842BerlinC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
3. A Petrov vs Jaenisch 1-0261844St PetersburgC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
4. H Buckle vs Brown 1-0201849LondonC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
5. Anderssen vs Eichborn 0-1281853CasualC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
6. Anderssen vs Eichborn 1-0481853CasualC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
7. Mohishunder vs Cochrane  0-1441855CalcuttaC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
8. T Lichtenhein vs H Montgomery  1-0371861Philadelphia mC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
9. Steinitz vs NN 1-0161863LondonC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
10. E Schallopp vs K Kaehler 1-0151868BerlinC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
11. H Wernich vs J Mason 0-1251876Clipper Free Centennial TournamentC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
12. Bird vs H Davidson 0-1251876PhiladelphiaC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
13. Bird vs J Mason 0-1471876New York mC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
14. A W Ensor vs E Delmar 1-0521876New YorkC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
15. L D Barbour vs H Davidson 0-14518764th American Chess CongressC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
16. A Roberts vs J Mason  ½-½2118764th American Chess CongressC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
17. L D Barbour vs J Elson  0-12318764th American Chess CongressC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
18. J S Stanley vs C Brocklebank 0-1401888Australian ChampionshipC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
19. P Lampe vs C Brocklebank 0-1381888Australian ChampionshipC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
20. J Blake vs W Gunston  1-0481889Dublin Evening Mail corrC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
21. Blackburne vs J Mason 0-1891889USA-06.Congress New York (24-2)C43 Petrov, Modern Attack
22. Gunsberg vs J Mason  ½-½231889USA-06.Congress New York (25-1)C43 Petrov, Modern Attack
23. Schiffers vs Alapin  1-0251889BreslauC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
24. Schiffers vs J Mason  ½-½441889BreslauC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
25. Lipschutz vs E Delmar  0-1561890New York mC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
 page 1 of 67; games 1-25 of 1,659  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-27-04  marcus13: Some1 played me this opening. We played 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 Nxe4 and he played 4.Bc4 ?!. Is there a refutation to this move ? Is 4.Bc4 sound?
Jan-27-04  Helloween: No, it is not sound. the lines arising after 4...d5 are more than good for Black.
Feb-02-04  marcus13: Thanks, actually i played 4. ... d5 and I drew against a much better player than me
Feb-13-04  marcus13: I think there is an error on this page the line written over the diagrams doesn't correspond whit the position on teh diagram.
Mar-27-04  Checkmate123: Do you think this opening is too drawish? The stats seem to suggest this.
Mar-27-04  ruylopez900: <Checkmate 123> Sure its a bit drawish, but checkout how horrible Black does. Wins less then once every five games! Definitely a solid opening in the right hands.
Apr-14-04  infinitehope: there is surely something odd going on with the stats here. if these numbers were relatively accurate, black would be just as well off playing the philador (actually, black would be a bit better off playing the philador). to my knowledge, despite kostens book, there are no high level adherents of the philador. there are several high level devotees of the petroff (yusupov being among the greatest, but certainly karpov, etc.). something seems a little fishy with the numbers. anyone have any guesses whats going on?

side note: in some 15 yrs of tournament chess ive only been on the white side of the petroff once, and that person didnt have a clue what they were doing. its just not an opening one sees very often in swiss events.

Aug-31-04  e4Newman: There are many ways you can analyze the white-black-draw %. In other openings with many new lines, the older games aren't very representative. Here, if my counting is accurate, since 2000 the stats are:

white 75 (41.4%)
black 36 (19.9%)
draws 70 (38.7%)

Aug-31-04  Helloween: The most interesting line in this variation is probably 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 Nxe4 4.Bd3 Nc6!? as debuted by Murray and played by Timman. Some interesting tactics can occur in the open positions that follow, as in A Acosta vs W Rodriguez, 2001.
Sep-01-04  e4Newman: Interesting <Helloween>. After 5.Bxe4 d5 6.Bg5, I see 6...Qd7? isn't so good.

I would have thought 6...f6 7.Nxe5 dxe4 8.Qh5+ g6 9.Nxg6 hxg6 10.Qxg6+ Kd7 11.Bxf6 Bb4+ would be better but my old version of crafty sees it as +0.88.

It suggests 6...Qd6 7.Bd3 e4 8.O-O f6 9.Bh4 exf3 10.Qxf3 Nxd4 11.Qh5+ Kd8 12.Re1 Qc5 +0.36 which I'm going to look into some more.

Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: Janjgava has the following to say about Helloween's line in his "The Petroff":

<It is a tribute to the depth of chess that the Petroff Defence had been played for over 150 years before this move was first seen, in the game Timman vs Murey, 1993 Unfortunately for Murei, his amazing idea did not put Timman off his stride, and the Dutch grandmaster won the game. Since then, there has been a flurry of interest in Murei's idea and currently no really effective reply is known. However, despite the relatively positive theoretical status, there still seems to be a certain amount of suspicion regarding Murei's idea. A more objective reason, perhaps, is that the ending arising in note 'b' to White's 6 move is slightly unpleasant for Black while offering no winning chances. Nevertheless, 4..Nc6 is an interesting way to avoid the main variations.> The unpleasant ending he's referring to is the one that occurs after 5.Bxe4 d5 6.Nxe5 Nxe5 7.dxe5 dxe4 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Nc3 and the main line he gives ends with the assessment <and Black should be able to hold this ending, albeit with some difficulty> after move 18 of Shirov vs Timman, 1998 (Timman obviously failed).

Sep-06-04  e4Newman: I take that back about 6...Qd7 in 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 Nxe4 4.Bd3 Nc6!? 5.Bxe4 d5 6.Bg5.

But after trying a few games with 6...Qd6 and 6...f6 I think they're all playable. You never arrive at the horribly-cramped or pawn-deficient position that the computer says you will.

And as for analysis in the Petroff, there are many lines as of yet unanalyzed or even discovered. Most people I know just don't think it's worth the effort for a drawing response to 2.Nf3.

Sep-14-04  e4Newman: A possible refinement on the crafty line <It suggests 6...Qd6 7.Bd3 e4 8.O-O f6 9.Bh4 exf3 10.Qxf3 Nxd4 11.Qh5+ Kd8 12.Re1 Qc5 +0.36 which I'm going to look into some more.> would be 11...g6 or 12...Ne6. 12...Qc5 is outright losing to 13.Qe8#.

A major problem with Murei's 4...Nc6!? is black has trouble castling in the short term. Moves like 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 Nxe4 4.Bd3 Nc6!? 5.Bxe4 d5 6.Bg5 Qd7 7.Bd3 e4 8.Qe2 Be7 might help in this regard.

I'd love to know what Murei he was thinking with his move. I also see a number of possibilities with white's move 5,6& 7. Back to the board...

Sep-14-04  e4Newman: 2 good examples where black gets to castle in the Petroff. Both games won by black BTW. I suppose in Neubauer-Petrosian, black could have gone Q-side.

Lee-DAdams G Lee vs D Adams, 2004

Neubauer-Petrosian M Neubauer vs T L Petrosian, 2004

Jan-05-07  Rocafella: What is the best move for black in the diagram, trying for a win?
Jan-15-07  Bob726: There is almost no way for black to try for a win if all white wants to do is to accomplish a draw. The main line here is Nxe4 Bd3 d5 nxe5 Nd7 Nxd7 Bxd7= With 3.d4, white gets better winning chances because now his knight can't be kicked out with d6 since the pawn already avanced to d5.
Feb-21-07  WarmasterKron: <<Rocafella> What is the best move for black [...] trying for a win?>


May-08-07  WTHarvey: Here is a collection of traps and zaps in c43 miniatures:
Sep-30-07  thom: I am analysing the position:

1. e4 e5 2. ♘f3 ♘f6 3. d4 ♘xe4 4. dxe5 ♗c5

click for larger view

the database has one 4 games of this system ( and white has won 3, but most for black's mistakes. seems that against a solid player white would has no chance.

anyone know some morden ideia about this position to improve white game in books or blogs?

Oct-06-07  Nasruddin Hodja: <thom>: The position above is what I like to call the KGB Variation (I hope the name sticks) given its cutthroat character, and the possible continuations tend to resemble the Traxler or Wilkes-Barre Two Knights Defense in that both players give up castling and have to defend their king in an open position.

Unfortunately, this variation is little played, as players of the Petroff on both sides usually prefer a more positional struggle. For reference's sake, here's the complete analysis (with only one reference game not in our database) in Raetsky and Chetverik's _Petroff Defense_:

"(a) 5. Bc4 Nxf2

(5. ... Bxf2+!? 6. Ke2 Qe7 7. Qd3 f5 8. Nc3 c6 9. Be3 Bxe3 10. Qxe3 with unclear play is also possible)

6. Bxf7+ Kf8

(or 6. ... Kxf7 7. Qd5+ Ke8 8. Qxc5 Nxh1 9. Bg5 d6 10. Qe3 Qd7 11. Nc3 h6 12. Bh4 g5 13. Nd5 Kf8 and Black is under attack, but nothing is clear)

7. Qd5 Nxh1 8. Bh5 Qe7 9. Bg5 Bf2+ 10. Ke2 Qe6 11. Nc3 h6 12. Bd8!? Nc6 13. Qxe6 dxe6 14. Bxc7

with a position almost impossible to understand without dedicating days or weeks of your life to it!

(b) 5. Qd5 Bxf2+

(5. ... Nxf2? Qxd5 Nxh1 7. Bg5 f6 8. exf6 gxf6 9. Bh4 is probably losing for black)

and now:

(b1) 6. Kd1!? f5 7. Bc4 Rf8

(after 7. ... Qe7 8. Nc3 c6 9. Qd3 Bc5 10. Rf1 b5 11. Bb3 Nf2+ 12. Rxf2 Bxf2 13. Qxf5 white has a strong initiative for the exchange)

8. Nbd2 c6 9. Nxe4!?

(after 9. Qd3 d5 10. exd6 Qxd6 11. Nxe4 Qxd3+ 12. Bxd3 fxe4 13. Bxe4 Bf5 14. Bxf5 Rxf5 the position has rapidly turned drawish)

9. ... cxd5 10. Nd6+ Ke7 11. Bg5+ Rf6

(11. ... Ke6?! 12. Bxd8 Rxd8 13. Ng5+ Kxe5 14. Ndf7+ Kd4 15. Nxd8 Kxc4 16. Rf1 and white has the advantage)

12. Bxd5 Nc6 13. exf6+ gxf6 14. Nxf5+ Ke8 15. Nd6+ Ke7 16. Bf4

with very unclear play. Of course white could take a draw by perpetual with 16. Nf5+.

(b2) 6. Ke2 f5 7. Nc3

(black would get away too easily after 7. exf6 Nxf6 8. Qe5+ Kf8 9. Bg5 Bb6 10. Nc3 Nc6 11. Qf4 h6 12. Bxf6 Qxf6 13. Qxf6+ gxf6, after which white cannot fully justify the loss of a pawn)

7. ... c6

(7. ... Nxc3 8. bxc3 Bh4 9. Nxh4 Qxh4 10. g3 Qe7 11. Kf2 Nc6 12. Bc4 Qe6 13. Qc5 with unclear play might be an improvement)

8. Qd3 0-0 9. Nxe4 fxe4 10. Qxe4 d5 11. exd6 Re8 12. Qxe8+ Qxe8+ 13. Kxf2 Bg4

(13. ... Be6!? looks safer; after 14. Bd3 the position remains very unclear)

14. Bc4+ Kh8 15. Re1 Qf8 16. Re7 Nd7 17. Bd2

and white had good attacking chances in Lozenko-Titlianov, Sverdlovsk 1974"

Very interesting, I think, and I hope more people start to play this variation in order to give the lie to the prejudice that the Petrov is boring.

Dec-11-07  cannibal: Looking at the World Cup, it almost seems as if the Modern Attack with dxe5 (on move 4 or 5) is the new critical line for the Petroff.

In 10 Petroff games in the World Cup, this has been played 6 times, with +5 -1 for white (NO DRAWS!). If we exclude rapid, it's even 4-0 for white! (with Carlsen being the latest victim)

In the other 4 Petroff's white tried Nimzovich Attack (twice), classical and "Millenium" attack (Bd3?!), and scored only =3 -1.

And of course, many will still remember Shirov's fine win against Adams with this line in Elista (in a must-win game).

Still many opening books (and also chessdom's coverage of Kamsky-Carlsen) call this line "not very ambitious", compared with the main line Nxe5. Time to change evaluations? Or just flavor of the month?

Feb-20-09  FiveofSwords: 3...ed is really a sign that black is trying to achieve nothing but a draw in this opening. 3...Nxe4 is far more interesting. If you do not want a draw as white, Its worth considering another option of playing 4 Bc4 against 3..ed rather than 4 e5, transposing to an urusoff attack, which can be very strong. 4 Bc4 is very weak, however, against 3...nxe4, ESPECIALLY against a strong player, because you will probably wind up being unable to avoid a transposition to positions that he will understand very well, except it will be his turn to move instead of yours.
Feb-20-09  FiveofSwords: <helloween> I appreciate the creativity of murray's idea and it does have potential to get interesting. However, I feel that its really up to white to try too hard to win. My short investigation in the move seems to suggest that there are multiple appraches white could have where black just has to defend a slightly inferior position for a long time. Improvements are quite possible I guess. And the same accusation honestly could perhaps be made of the more typical 4..d5 line- but at least in those lines in the 4..d5 line a lot of material is still on the board so there are more possibilities.
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: <There is almost no way for black to try for a win if all white wants to do is to accomplish a draw. The main line here is Nxe4 Bd3 d5 nxe5 Nd7 Nxd7 Bxd7=>

Yes, and White continues 7.0-0. Now your statement is more or less correct if Black plays the - probably objectively better - 7..Bd6 and White knows his stuff. In this line Black accepts a very slightly worse position aiming for a draw. However, after 7..Qh4 things tend to get wild and unbalanced and I don't know of an easy way for White to force a draw. He does have a theoretical advantage, but anything can happen.

click for larger view

After 8.c4 Black will castle long and aim for play on the kingside.

Sep-26-09  muwatalli: are there any decent gambits in the petroff modern var. after nxe4, not that white doesn't have a good game anyway, i'm just looking for something interesting to add to my repertoire,
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