Alekhine Defense Modern Variation Larsen-Haakert Variation

How to Play the Alekhine Defense Modern Variation Larsen-Haakert

  • 1. e4 Nf6: White starts with the pawn move to e4, a classical opening. Black responds with the knight to f6, challenging this central pawn and preparing the Alekhine Defense.
  • 2. e5 Nd5: White advances their pawn to attack the knight, pushing it to d5. This move is crucial in the Alekhine Defense, aiming to counteract White’s central control.
  • 3. d4 d6: White strengthens their center with another pawn, while Black responds with d6, pressuring White’s advanced pawn and preparing for a counterattack.
  • 4. Nf3 Nc6: White develops their knight to f3, supporting the center and preparing for castling. Black responds by developing their other knight to c6, increasing pressure on the center.

Variations of the Alekhine Defense Modern Variation Larsen-Haakert


A popular variation is 4…Bg4, where Black develops their bishop and exerts pressure on the knight on f3. This move aims to increase tension in the center and prepare for possible exchanges.


Another possibility is 4…g6, preparing the fianchetto of the Black bishop. This move focuses on long-term development, aiming to control central squares from a distance.

Opening: Alekhine Defense, Modern Variation, Larsen-Haakert Variation

After the moves 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 Nc6, we find ourselves in an interesting position of the Alekhine Defense, specifically in the Modern Variation, Larsen-Haakert Variation. At this stage, the game revolves around the struggle for central control and preparation for the future development of minor and major pieces.

Strategy and Tactics for White

Center Control: White has a strong presence in the center with pawns on d4 and e5. This allows them to control important squares and restrict the mobility of Black’s pieces.

Piece Development: White should focus on developing their minor pieces (bishop and knights) to prepare for castling and subsequent activity on the king’s side or center.

Movement Options:

  • c4: Advancing the pawn to c4 is aggressive. It displaces the Black knight from d5 and gains space on the queen’s side. It sets the stage for rapid piece development and possible attacks on the queen’s side.
  • exd6: Capturing on d6 opens lines and can destabilize Black’s pawn structure. It also offers the possibility of an open game, favorable if White has better development.
  • Bc4: Developing the bishop to c4 puts pressure on the vulnerable knight on d5 and threatens the Black king’s side. This move also paves the way for castling.

Strategy and Tactics for Black

Counterattack in the Center: Black seeks opportunities to counterattack in the center, especially if White expands too quickly.

Harmonious Development: It is crucial for Black to develop their pieces effectively, aiming for king safety (likely through kingside castling) and preparing a counterplay in the center or queen’s side.

Responses to White’s Moves:

  • Against c4: Black may consider relocating the knight to b6, maintaining tension in the center and preparing the development of the dark-squared bishop.
  • Against exd6: Black can recapture with the e pawn (exd6), maintaining a solid pawn structure and opening lines for their bishops and rooks.
  • Against Bc4: The knight on d5 can retreat to b6 or even advance to f4, depending on the arrangement of White and Black pieces, seeking activity and counterplay.

Conclusion: In this opening phase, both White and Black have opportunities to seize the initiative. White can capitalize on their space and early development, while Black must activate their pieces and counter in the center. The choice of moves will depend on each player’s style and preparation.