Alekhine Defense Four Pawns Attack Fianchetto Variation

How to Play the Alekhine Defense, Four Pawns Attack, Fianchetto Variation

The Alekhine Defense, Four Pawns Attack, Fianchetto Variation, is an aggressive and dynamic opening in chess. It is characterized by the early advance of white pawns in the center and the fianchetto of the black bishop. Below, the key moves of this opening are described:

  • 1. e4 Nf6: White opens with the king’s pawn, while black responds with the knight to f6, challenging the center from the side.
  • 2. e5 Nd5: White advances their pawn to gain space and displace the black knight, which repositions itself on d5.
  • 3. d4 d6: White continues to occupy the center with another pawn. Black responds with d6, preparing to free their queen’s pawn and start undermining the white center.
  • 4. c4 Nb6: White aims to solidify their pawn on d5. The black knight retreats to b6, maintaining pressure on the center.
  • 5. f4 g6: White strengthens their pawn chain in the center. Black responds with g6, planning to fianchetto their king’s bishop and control the central squares from the side.

Variations of the Alekhine Defense, Four Pawns Attack, Fianchetto Variation


An alternative for black is to play 1…d5, directly challenging the center from the start. This line leads to more symmetrical pawn structures and a more balanced game.


After 2. e5, black can opt for 2…Nd7, planning to reposition the knight to c5 or e5. This move aims to counteract the white central advance without moving the knight to the side of the board.


A common breakthrough for black is 3…c5, attacking the white center from a flank. This move increases tension in the center and can lead to a more open and tactical game.

Mastering the Alekhine Defense: Four Pawns Attack with Fianchetto Variation


The Alekhine Defense is a bold and dynamic opening characterized by the initial move 1.e4 Nf6, aiming to provoke the white side into overextending their center. The Four Pawns Attack variation, with its ambitious central structure, promises a complex and tactically rich game. In particular, the Fianchetto Variation, which arises after 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.f4 g6, offers fertile ground for strategic analysis.


Current Position: After 5…g6, white has an expansive center with pawns on d4, e5, and f4, and an advanced pawn on c4, controlling the center and seeking to restrict black’s options. Black, on the other hand, has started undermining the white center from the side and is preparing the development of their minor pieces.

White’s Strategy:

  • Central Consolidation: Central control is key. Moves like Nc3 and Nf3 aim to develop minor pieces, protect the e5 pawn, and prepare for eventual castling.
  • King’s Side Play: The advance f5 could be an idea to exploit the black king’s pawn structure and open lines.
  • Positional Play: Ae3, besides developing a piece, aims to reinforce the center and possibly exchange the black bishop on g7, weakening black’s control of dark squares.

Black’s Strategy:

  • Counterattack in the Center: A typical plan would be c5, aiming to challenge the white pawn chain and activate pieces.
  • Development and Castling: Developing the minor pieces (Bg7, O-O) is crucial. Early castling ensures the king’s safety.
  • Queen’s Side Play: Black might seek counterplay on the queen’s side, taking advantage of the fact that white has moved many pieces to the center and king’s side.

Potential Next Moves:


  • Nc3: Develops a piece and supports the e5 pawn.
  • Nf3: Another development move that reinforces the center.
  • Ae3: Increases central control and prepares possible tactical maneuvers.


  • Bg7: Develops the bishop and prepares castling.
  • O-O: Castles and secures the king.
  • c5: Attacks the white center and aims to activate pieces.