Magnus Carlsen won a game with 1.Nc3 against Giri. One hundred years ago the chief proponent of 1.Nc3 was the British player John Herbert White, co-founder of Modern Chess Openings (MCO) in 1911 (with R.C. Griffith, who died 1955). Early MCO editions dedicated a page to 1.Nc3. After White died in 1920, later editions reduced coverage. Before J.H. White, there were games by Arved Heinrichsen from the Baltic area. MCO cited a game or two by Heinrichsen. He played 2.e3 like a reversed French Defence.
Efim D. Bogoljubow played 1.Nc3 once against Nikolay Zubarev in the USSR Championship at Leningrad in 1925 (below). Sixty years ago Ted Dunst played 1.Nc3 in some notable American events and MCO named the opening the Dunst Opening.
IM Dirk Daniel Van Geet (Netherlands), Correspondence GM Ove Ekebjaerg (Denmark), Correspondence Expert Anker Aasum (Norway) and FM Harald Keilhack (Germany) have all done a lot to promote 1.Nc3. IM Zvonimir Mestrovic (Slovenia) played a variety of openings including 1.Nc3 hundreds of times.
[My Philidor 2.Nf3 Playbook is now available.]
Bogoljubow - Zubarev, URS-ch04 Leningrad (10), 1925 begins 1.Nc3 d5 2.e4 d4 3.Nce2 e5 4.Nf3 Bd6 5.Ng3 c5 6.Bc4 Nc6 [Black can castle quickly with 6...Nf6 7.0-0 0-0 8.d3 Nc6 9.a4=] 7.d3 Be6 8.Nf5!? [8.Bxe6 fxe6 9.c4=] 8...Bxc4 9.dxc4 Bf8 [9...g6 10.Nxd6+ Qxd6 11.0-0=] 10.0-0 g6 11.Ng3 Bg7 12.Ne1 [12.a3!?=] 12...Nge7 [12...Nf6 13.Nd3 Qe7 14.Bg5 0-0=] 13.Nd3 Qd6 14.f4 f6 [14...exf4 when White has either 15.e5 (or 15.Bxf4 Ne5 16.Bxe5 Bxe5 17.Qg4=) 15...Nxe5 16.Bxf4 0-0 17.Ne4=] 15.a3 a5 16.Qg4 h5 [16...0-0! 17.f5 b6 18.fxg6 hxg6 19.h4 Rad8 20.h5 Qd7=] 17.Qh3 b6 18.fxe5 Nxe5 19.Nxe5 fxe5 20.Bg5 Rf8 21.Ne2 Ng8 22.Rxf8+ Bxf8 23.Rf1 Bg7 [23...Be7 24.Bxe7 Kxe7 25.Qh4+ Nf6 26.Qg5 Rg8 27.Nc1+/=] 24.Nc1 Bf6 25.Qh4 Bxg5 26.Qxg5 Ra7 27.Nd3 Re7 28.b4 Re6 [28...cxb4 29.axb4 Re6 30.bxa5 bxa5 31.Qd2 Qc7 32.Ra1+/-] 29.bxc5 bxc5 30.Rb1 Nf6 [30...a4 31.Rb5+-] 31.Qxg6+ Kd8 32.Rb5 Nd7 33.Qxh5 Rf6 [33...Kc7 34.h4+-] 34.h3 Qe6 35.Qh8+ Ke7 36.Rb7 Qc6 37.Qg7+ 1-0
You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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