The Owens Defence
uncommon and not refuted yet ...

This is the basic setup for the Owens Defence. It may be dubious in the minds of many but it has never been refuted. If you study it in depth you can make points with it .... as your opponent has no idea of what you are up to and must find his way through it, move by move from scratch, while you know it much better after playing this opening all the time.

1. e4 b6

chess opening strategies

I start with, what I call, "the basic setup". After all we have to start somewhere and name the different setups somehow. You will encounter this setup below only about 20 % of the time, just to give you a rough idea of what to expect.

2.d4 Bb7 3.Nc3 e6 4.Nf3 Bb4, now White has to protect e4 now or you capture the e4-pawn with your bishop as the white knight is pinned. 5.Bd3 / see position below

chess opening strategies

In this position above you play 5...Nf6 and attack the e-pawn again. White must protect the e-pawn playing 6.Qe2 (this is best move, if 6.e5 Ne4 7.Bd2 BxN ... Black has a strong bishop aiming at the white king. If 6.Bg5 h6 7.BxN QxB and Black got the two bishops...) and after this you play 6...d5 and attack e4 again! See below

chess opening strategies

To attack the square e4 is the major idea of this opening, never forget that!

Black has applied additional pressure playing 6...d5. See above

1. Variation

White pushes the e-pawn ahead and attacks your knight f6. You jump to e4...

7.e5 Ne4 8.Bd2 NxBd2

Key Idea - Trade off Bishop d2 with your knight. After this you have two bishops versus bishop and knight of White.

In the standard position above it is good to trade off your knight e4 for white bishop d2.

After 8.Bd2 you have to react anyway as you can't stay on e4 with your knight, as White threatens to capture it, playing NxNe4.

The white bishop on d2 might attack your kingside later on so it is a good idea to remove it.

2. Variation

White does not push e-pawn but captures on d5 instead.

7.exd Qxd

Key Idea - Recapture with Queen and move Queen to h5 when necessary..

The square h5 is a white square, but your queen can't get attacked by the white bishop as it is placed on the other diagonal and cannot be repositioned to e2 quickly to bother your queen. So your Queen is safe at h5.

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