Chess Openings: Learn NOT to Play the Squirrel Variation!
The Alekhine’s Defense is one of the best chess openings for black against e4. Usually, in similar fashion to the Black Knights’ Tango, we swing our g8 knight to the queenside of the board. In doing this, we allow white to form a huge pawn center, but then we aggressively go after that center. This is how the normal Alekhine’s Defense is played. However, there is also a “Squirrel Variation” which is a name which well suits the variation. The Squirrel Variation starts off with the following moves:
1. e4 Nf6 (Alekhine’s Defense.)
2. e5 Nd5 (So far, so good.)
3. c4 Nf4 (We are officially playing chess like a squirrel.)
By playing this move, we allow white to chase our knight around as it goes in circles, allowing white to gain a huge advantage in the center. Is this good chess opening strategy? The answer is an astounding no! In chess, there are 4 rules (or steps) of the opening which you should generally follow.
1. Put a pawn in the center.
3. Connect the rooks (let them see each other).
4. Put the rooks on an open file and/or directed towards the opponent’s king or queen.
Notice here how it does not say we should move the same piece five times in the first six moves! In fact, we should limit the amount one of our pieces moves whenever possible. We should look to develop our pieces fast, following good chess opening moves, chess opening ideas, and chess opening principles.
Needless to say, the Squirrel Variation is not a good chess opening for black. If this is so, why on earth are we covering it on our YouTube chess channel? Well first off, we usually post top tier chess openings for white and top tier chess openings for black. We share openings that have had success at the Grandmaster level, and can help players get some quick and easy wins. However, every once in awhile, it is fun to go over a terrible chess opening with a fun name. Specifically, this video adds to our series on animal chess openings in which we have covered the Crab Opening, Fried Fox Defense, Hippopotamus Defense, Giraffe Attack, Elephant Gambit, Bird’s Opening, Orangutan Opening, Lizard Attack, Whale Variation, etc. It’s not only fun to go over openings like this, but can help you improve in showing you what NOT to do. Sometimes it’s good to cover what is not good chess opening moves, chess opening tricks, chess opening traps, chess opening ideas, chess opening strategy, and chess opening theory because it can help you avoid making these same mistakes in games.
Finally, the Squirrel Variation is not a top tier chess opening, but if you can beat a friend with it, that’s some serious bragging rights! Your friend will have just lost a chess game to a squirrel. We hope you enjoy learning how NOT to play the Squirrel Variation!
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