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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Pirc 4 Be3: Best Lines/Move Orders (Read 9396 times)
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Pirc 4 Be3: Best Lines/Move Orders
10/28/17 at 06:45:42
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Hello Chesspub.

After seeing the ”4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders ” Pirc forum thread generate both discussion and analysis I think trying to create a similar thread for 4.Be3 Pirc would be fun and potentially interesting. Just like in that thread subject of discussion is whichever line/-s of the 4.Be3 complex seems interesting to discuss, previous analysis – for example in chess books, general strategic considerations, best move orders, games, history, etc. etc. In short pretty much everything.

As for discussion of lines that are not strictly reaching the position after 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Be3 (the 4.Be3 Pirc), for example 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.Be3 (the 4.Be3 Modern) or more distant connections. I personally don't mind if they end up being discussed in the thread as well. Ultimately mods decide matters of structure though.

My own understanding of the Pirc version: 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Be3 is that black essentially has three moves
a) 4...Bg7
b) 4...c6
c) 4...a6
And that in all three of these lines (even if it is not immediately clear after 4...Bg7) the main strategic idea for black is to advance b7-b5. This gains space, prepares a strategically disruptive pawn push b4 and creates a square on b7 for black's often quite poor light squared bishop.

White pretty much has four ways to face this:

Plan A) Try to delay or possibly even prevent b5 by making it not good for black to play
This is usually done by making sure b5 is met by e5 directly. All of f4, Nf3 and h3 can act as prepatory moves for e5. Sometimes black finds some way to play b5 later even if white stops it for x number of moves. By then though, it could be less effective.

Plan B) Play a4 to stop b5
Maximalist of course. Arguably though the Pirc is a minimalist opening for black so there is perhaps some sense in white going the opposite way.

Plan C) Let black play b5 and then meet it with f3
Not playing to pressure black immediately and instead solidifying a central pawn formation, which arguably is a clear strategic asset. Heavy strategic play typically ensues.

Plan D) Allow b5 but make sure f3 is not played in response
Many setups exist for white. Widely different.

There are many lines after 4.Be3 obviously so I don't know where to start. Noticeably however there seems to be some recent interest in the Argentinian (Be3, Qd2, f3) against a6 setups here on this forum. Maybe that is good to discuss first. I thought I'd check some books to see if their lines make sense for example.

Personally I am also interested to see if  it is possible to construct a repertoire for white against 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Be3 that avoids the strategic fights which can ensue if black gets to both develop and play b5. I have some ideas on how to put a bit of early pressure on black.

Have a nice day.
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