The Complete Guide to Pirc Defense

I have been playing chess for decades and one of my favorite chess openings is Pirc defense. I have won many games using this opening and I decided to talk about it. You might have heard this opening with a different name like Yugoslav Defense or Ufimtsev Defence. Anyway, I think Pirc defense is an opening that you should study.

Introduction to Pirc Defense

The white pieces play common moves to secure the center: 1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6.

On the other hand, the blacks strongly resist with the – valuable as a diamond – pawn, by a quick fianchetto on the King’s side. Here is a common variant, 1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Be2.

A very interesting variation is the Austrian Attack. 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4.

This advancing is the trademark of that variant, where White tries to take advantage of available space and attack from the King’s side. The blacks should stay calm and expedite their deployment.
Many chess players prefer to play the Modern Pirc Defense orRobatsch Defense, which substantially is very similar to the one that we saw before. The difference is that the blacks start with 1…g6 and fianchetto, which can easily be transformed into King’s Indian Defense. Let’s check this variant.

Illustrative games

I have selected a few games in order to see the Pirc opening played by professional players. As always, I encourage you to study them and not to memorize them. If you know the reason why a player is making then, you will improve your chess skills.

Robatsch Defense

King’s Pawn Opening, Pirc Defense

This game is not played by Garry Kasparov but by Sergey Kasparov. They aren’t relatives but Sergey Kasparov played really well in this King’s pawn opening.

Austrian Attack, Dragon Formation

Robatsch Defense

Austrian attack (6.Be3)

Recommended Books and Courses

Pirc Defense is a very interesting opening that many players prefer to use it. If you want to really master it then, it would be effective for you to read a book. I can suggest some books that will help you master this opening.

  1. Pirc in Black and White
  2. The Pirc Defence (Grandmaster Repertoire)
  3. Pirc Alert!: A Complete Defense Against 1. e4
  4. The Perfect Pirc-Modern: Strategic Ideas & Powerful Weapons


I think that I gave you enough games to study Pirc move by move. Nowadays, many players use this opening and it is important to know how to use it and how to respond to it in case your opponent uses this opening. If you want to see improvement in chess, I suggest you read other articles that I have written like guides about QGA and QGD. Please comment on the article and share it with friends, if you have found it helpful. Enjoy playing chess!

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