Alekhine Defense Mokele Mbembe Vavra Defense

How to Play the Alekhine Defense – Mokele Mbembe Vavra Variation

The Alekhine Defense, Mokele Mbembe Vavra Variation, is an opening in chess that starts with the following moves:

  • 1. e4: White advances their king’s pawn two squares, controlling the center and freeing their bishop and queen.
  • 1… Nf6: Black responds with the knight to f6, attacking the e4 pawn and preparing for dynamic play.
  • 2. e5: White advances their e4 pawn to e5, displacing the black knight and gaining space in the center.
  • 2… Ne4: The black knight moves to e4, an unusual move that aims to complicate the game and create asymmetrical play.
  • 3. d4: White reinforces their center, preparing the development of minor pieces and controlling key squares.
  • 3… e6: Black advances their e pawn, preparing to develop their bishop to f8 and solidify their pawn structure.

Variations of the Alekhine Defense – Mokele Mbembe Vavra Variation

1… d6

This variation aims to prepare the advance e5, freeing the bishop on f8 and creating counterplay in the center.

2… dxe5

After White’s e5 advance, Black can choose to capture the pawn. This exchange opens lines and can lead to a more tactical game.

3… d5

A central advance by Black, challenging White’s pawn structure and aiming to activate their pieces.

Alekhine Opening: Mokele Mbembe Defense (Vavra Defense) – Strategic and Tactical Analysis

The Alekhine Opening is a bold choice by Black, aiming to challenge White’s center right from the start. The Mokele Mbembe Defense, also known as the Vavra Defense, begins after the moves 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Ne4 3. d4 e6, presenting a complex and strategically rich outlook for both sides.

Strategies and Tactics for White:

Control of the Center: With pawns on e5 and d4, White has strong central control. This control should be used to develop pieces with the goal of increasing pressure in the center and on the flanks.

Piece Development: Development options include Ad3, Nf3, or f3.

  • Ad3: This move prepares kingside castling, supports the e5 pawn, and exerts pressure on the knight on e4.
  • Nf3: Develops a piece toward the center and threatens to capture the Black knight on e4.
  • f3: Dislodges the Black knight from e4 but weakens the a2-g8 diagonal and delays the development of the light-squared bishop.

Positional vs. Tactical Play: White must decide between a positional approach, strengthening their center and developing pieces, or a more tactical approach, seeking to exploit weaknesses in the Black position.

Strategies and Tactics for Black:

Active Counterplay: The knight on e4 is an active piece that exerts pressure. Black should look for opportunities to counterattack, potentially targeting weaknesses on the White kingside if f3 is played.

Development and King Safety: It is crucial for Black to develop their remaining pieces, especially the bishop and queen, to connect rooks and seek the opportunity to castle. The safety of the Black king is a primary concern.

Attack and Defense: With precise play, Black can seek tactical opportunities, especially if White overextends their central pawns or neglects the development of their minor pieces.


In the Mokele Mbembe Defense of the Alekhine Opening, White enjoys spatial advantage and a robust central control, while Black looks for opportunities for active and tactical counterplay. Striking a balance between positional strategy and sharp tactics is key for both sides in this dynamic opening.