Alekhine Defense Brooklyn Variation

How to Play the Alekhine Defense Brooklyn Variation

The Alekhine Defense, Brooklyn Variation, is an unconventional opening in chess. It is characterized by initial moves that aim to unbalance and confuse the opponent from the beginning. Below are the specific moves of this opening:

  1. 1. e4: White advances their king’s pawn two squares. This is a classic move that controls the center and opens lines for the bishop and queen.
  2. 1… Nf6: Black responds by moving their knight to the f6 square. This move challenges the center controlled by white and prepares the ground for future actions.
  3. 2. e5: White advances their pawn one more square, threatening the black knight and aiming to gain space in the center.
  4. 2… Ng8: An unusual move and a distinctive part of the Brooklyn Variation. The black knight returns to its original position, a move that may seem passive but aims to divert white’s pieces from their normal development.

Variations of the Alekhine Defense Brooklyn Variation

Modern Variation

In the Modern Variation, black plays more standard moves after 1… Nf6, such as d5, aiming to counteract the center of white in a more direct way.

Classic Variation

In this variation, black may choose to develop other pieces like the bishop or queen early, instead of retreating the knight to g8, leading to a more dynamic and centralized game.

Exchange Variation

It is characterized by the early exchange of pawns in the center, which can lead to a more open and tactical game from the beginning.


The Alekhine Defense, named in honor of the former world champion Alexander Alekhine, is an opening in chess that starts with the moves 1. e4 Nf6. It is characterized by an immediate counterattack against the white central pawn. The Brooklyn Variation occurs after the moves 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Ng8. It is a less common line that brings the knight back to its initial square, aiming to reorganize for a new advance.

Strategic and Tactical Objectives:

For White:

  • Central Control: With 1. e4 and 2. e5, white seeks to control the center and limit black’s development options. This central control is crucial in determining the direction of the game.
  • Rapid Development: After the retreat of the black knight, white has the opportunity to develop their pieces freely, aiming for a quick mobilization to key positions.
  • Continuation Options:
    • d4: Further strengthens central control and opens lines for the bishop and queen’s development.
    • c4: Expands central control and prepares for a possible advance with d5, aiming to open the position and exploit black’s lack of development.
    • Nc3: Develops a piece toward the center, supporting the e4 pawn and preparing for castling.

For Black:

  • Force Reorganization: The move Ng8 may seem like a step back, but black aims to regroup for an effective counterattack. It is vital to find a way to challenge white’s central control.
  • Cautious Development: Black must develop their pieces in a way that allows them to respond to white’s central advances. The bishop on f8 and the queen on d8 are ready to be activated.
  • Tactical Counterattack: Although initially passive, black must be alert to tactical opportunities, especially in the center and on squares weakened by white’s pawn advances.


The Brooklyn Variation of the Alekhine Defense presents an intriguing battle for central control. White enjoys spatial advantage and opportunities for rapid development, while black seeks to challenge this supremacy with careful reorganization and tactical counterattacks. The decisions made in the upcoming moves will be crucial for the course of the game.