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Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense (D07)
1 d4 d5 2 c4 Nc6

Number of games in database: 1181
Years covered: 1889 to 2014
Overall record:
   White wins 45.6%
   Black wins 25.3%
   Draws 29.0%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
PRACTITIONERS
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Lajos Portisch  8 games
Svetozar Gligoric  7 games
Alexander Beliavsky  6 games
Igor Miladinovic  67 games
Mikhail Chigorin  28 games
Robert Rabiega  25 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Alekhine vs Colle, 1925
Alekhine vs Nenarokov, 1907
Wade vs Korchnoi, 1960
Pillsbury vs Chigorin, 1896
D Rogozenko vs Morozevich, 2000
Reggio vs Chigorin, 1901
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 page 1 of 48; games 1-25 of 1,181  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Steinitz vs Chigorin 1-027 1889 Steinitz - Chigorin World Championship MatchD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
2. Steinitz vs Chigorin 1-061 1889 Steinitz - Chigorin World Championship MatchD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
3. Steinitz vs Chigorin 1-035 1889 Steinitz - Chigorin World Championship MatchD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
4. V Tabunshchikov vs Schiffers 0-132 1894 RUS corrD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
5. Pillsbury vs Chigorin 1-057 1895 St. Petersburg 1895/96D07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
6. Blackburne / Pillsbury vs Chigorin / Schiffers 1-048 1895 Hastings ENGD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
7. Pillsbury vs Chigorin ½-½62 1896 St. Petersburg 1895/96D07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
8. Pillsbury vs Chigorin 0-138 1896 St. Petersburg 1895/96D07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
9. Showalter vs Chigorin 1-029 1896 NurembergD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
10. Tarrasch vs Schiffers 1-059 1896 NurembergD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
11. S G Ruth vs W Napier  ½-½48 1896 Brooklyn CC mD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
12. Teichmann vs Chigorin 0-151 1897 BerlinD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
13. Janowski vs Schiffers  1-055 1897 BerlinD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
14. Burn vs Chigorin 0-127 1897 BerlinD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
15. Napier & allies vs Marshall / Allies ½-½49 1897 consultD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
16. K A Walbrodt vs Chigorin  1-056 1898 ViennaD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
17. Steinitz vs Chigorin 1-041 1898 ViennaD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
18. Janowski vs Schiffers  1-065 1898 ViennaD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
19. Steinitz vs Chigorin ½-½46 1899 LondonD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
20. Pillsbury vs Chigorin 0-135 1899 LondonD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
21. Vienna vs St. Petersburg ½-½41 1899 City telegraph corrD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
22. Burn vs Chigorin 0-129 1900 ParisD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
23. Showalter vs Chigorin  1-035 1900 ParisD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
24. Janowski vs Chigorin ½-½45 1900 MoscowD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
25. S F Lebedev vs Chigorin 0-130 1900 RUS corrD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
 page 1 of 48; games 1-25 of 1,181  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-09-08  Alphastar: Well <builttospill>, the apple powerbook immediately went wrong with 3. ..e6?? (I really believe this deserves two question marks as it is completely NOT in line with Nc6) which completely cramps his game. The normal move is 3. ..Bg4.
May-06-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  KingG: After 1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6 3.cxd5 Qxd5 4.e3 e5 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Bd2 Bxc3, does anyone know which move is supposed to be better, 7.bxc3 as played in Kasparov vs Ivanchuk, 1995, or 7.Bxc3 as in the game Topalov vs Morozevich, 1999.

Kasparov's move, strengthening the center seems appealing to me, but the analysis given on the previous page by <acirce> seems quite convincing as well.

Actually, speaking of that Kasparov game, it's interesting to see the huge burst in popularity for the move 7.bxc3 after Kasparov played it. Before then it had only been played a handful of times, including this win by Rubinstein Rubinstein vs Tartakower, 1930. Strange that such a natural move could be so unpopular until Kasparov's game with Ivanchuk.

May-06-08  Open Defence: <KingG> personally I prefer Bxc3 though the win has to be ground out and a very good defender could draw, but it seems to be a no risk line and Chigorin afficionados would hate a line where they have no counter play,

perhaps the retreat 9...Be6 is worth looking at though White has the advantage

May-24-08  Alphastar: <Open Defence> I agree that the line 7. Bxc3 exd4 8. Ne2 Bg4?! has pretty much been refuted.

I would play 8. ..Nf6 however. I believe that move guarantees black a full share of the chances. Ofcourse there will be people who automatically claim that white has an advantage due to bishop pair in position with open centre after 9. Nxd4 O-O 10. Nxc6 Qxc6 and then something like 11. Qf3 Qxf3 12. gxf3.


click for larger view

I find such dogmatism laughable and would gladly play the black side and achieve an easy draw or more.

Seriously, everyone 'knows' that a bishop pair with an open centre should constitute an advantage. But it's like everyone thinks you can then automatically exploit that advantage, the bishops will do it by themselves. I gladly would like to know how white is going to make progress in that queenless middlegame. I would rather play the black side anyway.

May-24-08  Open Defence: <Alphastar> <I find such dogmatism laughable and would gladly play the black side .......But it's like everyone thinks you can then automatically exploit that advantage, the bishops will do it by themselves. I gladly would like to know how white is going to make progress in that queenless middlegame. I would rather play the black side anyway.> I agree that some of these <advantages> are not easily exploited especially below Master and Grand Master level, and of course just because White has an advantage the position is not necessarily winning, I would say White has the better chances but of course Black also has some play and that's why I said the win has to be <ground out> which is more my style I guess and that a good defender could draw or even more if White slips, also most Chigorin players like the active middle game with tactics, but this position may not be to their tastes but of course tastes vary
May-26-08  Alphastar: for your info I think the position is equal or slightly better for black. The knight will be very stable on d5 and white's pawn structure and lack of development make it more important to actually hold on to the bishop pair than to try to exploit it.
Apr-10-09  WhiteRook48: 3. c5
May-08-09  Fanacas: Lasker said in his manual of chess, taht even thought a player has the advantage it doesnt mean he has instantly won een though most chess players thin that way, he also said that the player who has the obvious advantage most of the time grows arrogant and plays worse then the player who doesnt have the iniativ, i my games that is so treu when i stand worse i player better chess then when i have the advantage. So this is probaly playble just like the spanisch exhange where white also has a bishop pare in a open game. (dont mind the spelling mistakes)
May-13-09  blacksburg: i might start playing this, i've been having some issues with the Slav, and the Chigorin seems to be in the same spirit as the Scandinavian - quick development, active pieces, relatively low on the theory.
May-14-09  Fanacas: If you like quick devolepment, The Tarrasch defence is great 2, but you can get a isolatet d pawn.
May-14-09  FrogC: <blacksburg> I thought about the Chigorin, too, but then I discovered the Budapest Gambit, which I think is easier to learn and gives a really interesting game.
May-14-09  blacksburg: <FrogC> Budapest Gambit? hmmm...i'll take a look.
May-14-09  FHBradley: <FrogC:> I think the Chigorin gives an interesting game as well. What you say about the Budapest being easier to learn may well be true. Morozevich said something to the effect that playing the Chigorin (and also the Albin countergambit) helped him to improve his understanding of what one can and what one cannot do with the black pieces. So, apart from anything else, the Chigorin may have an important instructive function.
May-14-09  fromoort: Some grandmaster once said that whoever is afraid of an IQP shouldn't play chess!
May-15-09  Fanacas: That was Tarrasch. He said it becose he thought that th emobilty gain by an isolatet pawn most of all the queen pawn(its more easly gaurded) is worth much more then the isolation of the pawn.
May-15-09  blacksburg: i think my problem with the Tarrasch is that everyone and their mother knows how to play against it - g3, Bg2, and then occupy the dark squares d4 and often c5 after Nxc6, and wait for black to do something silly, otherwise, just suffocate him. i personally play pretty well against the tarrasch, because the plans are so simple, and i don't want to play something that i enjoy playing against so much, if that makes sense.
May-15-09  euripides: <Blacksburg> there is an interesting line in the Tarrasch with ...c4 at about move 9. It's sharp and tricky, has quite a good record, and I suspect many players don't have any idea what to do against it.
May-15-09  Fanacas: Yes the tarrasch also has many intresting side lines you should look into it.
May-15-09  Fanacas: But we are going a little off topic here :P i personally do not use the chigorin defence i most of the time use the klassikel queens gambit declined but it looks intresting to look in.
Nov-05-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: <Akavall: Has Chigorin been 'refuted' at the top level at least for now? I don't see any Top level GMs using it any more, in other words Morozevich stoped using it ;). If so what line is considered to be the strongest for white? I am just curious, I will still play the Chigorin.>

Four years after the above post it's still under a cloud, apparently. Morozevich did write a book on it - after he stopped playing it.

Does anyone know particular games or lines which sent it back into slumber? I've been revisting the defence of late.

Also - Other books on it, please? ---

QGD Tchigorin - Soltis
QG Chigorin Defence - Watson
How to Play the Chigori Defense in the QGD - Schiller

Tchigorin Defense - Chess Digest
Chigorin Defense - Bronznic
The Chigorin According to Morozevich

(It is also covered in a few 1. ...Nc6 Repertoire books.)

Feb-15-10  waddayaplay: It's amazing that the Chigorin was "invented" by Chigorin who was then basically the only one to play it until the 1920s.

The fact that few GMs play it today does not mean much. Kasparov has said something similar to the Chigorin being ridiculous, but objectively it is hardly less sound than the King's Indian.

One main important thing with the Chigorin is that is results in position quite unique compared to other openings: emphasize on the knights and piece play; putting pieces in front of the pawns, instead of pushing pawns and putting pieces behind them.

This does not mean the the opening is unsound. Just think how much theory was necessary to make the King's Indian playable. I bet if Fischer had played the Chigorin, Kasparov would have played it too -- with good results.

A possible combo for the black player who plays Chigorin against 1.d4 is to play French, Tarrasch, Guimard Main line (C04) against 1.e4. Also something of a surprise, and also not an unsound opening.

Apr-10-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: <waddayaplay: It's amazing that the Chigorin was "invented" by Chigorin who was then basically the only one to play it until the 1920s. The fact that few GMs play it today does not mean much. Kasparov has said something similar to the Chigorin being ridiculous, but objectively it is hardly less sound than the King's Indian.

One main important thing with the Chigorin is that is results in position quite unique compared to other openings: emphasize on the knights and piece play; putting pieces in front of the pawns, instead of pushing pawns and putting pieces behind them.

This does not mean the the opening is unsound. Just think how much theory was necessary to make the King's Indian playable. I bet if Fischer had played the Chigorin, Kasparov would have played it too -- with good results.

A possible combo for the black player who plays Chigorin against 1.d4 is to play French, Tarrasch, Guimard Main line (C04) against 1.e4. Also something of a surprise, and also not an unsound opening.>

All true, IMHO. Although the KID almost certainly has more strategic depth than the Chigorin.

1. ...Nc6 as a defensive 'system' has always fascinated me - Chigorin, French Guimard, Nimzovitch, Tango, Bogo Defence. There are three repertoire books which explore that possibility: Chess University's 1....Nc6. A Complete Defense for Black by Keene and Jacobs and the Everyman Play 1. ...Nc6! by Wisnewski.

Jun-20-10  waddayaplay: <All true, IMHO. Although the KID almost certainly has more strategic depth than the Chigorin.> Ok, agreed :)
Dec-19-11  Penguincw: Opening of the Day

Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6


click for larger view

Jul-09-12  e4 resigns: 3.e4 is sometimes played.
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