How to Play the Philidor Defense || Early Ng5 Variations || Chess Openings for Black

In today’s chess video on chess openings for black, we will be discussing the third part of my favorite opening in the world, the Philidor Defense and will be covering another one of the so called, Philidor “counters”. In this a scary variation against the Philidor, what should we play… or is it just doomed?

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My name is Sean Lei and I am a Canadian Chess National Master. If you have any questions about the game, or about chess in general, just leave a comment and I would be happy to answer all of them!

If you want your game analyzed, you may send them to the email seanleichessd[email protected] for me to make a video analyzing your game.


  1. This opening is really a surprise for most players even very experienced players. I beat my father with it who is playing chess for 65 years. With the French I never could beat him no matter how much I prepped. I also like that it is possible to play the Black Lion against d4 it makes it a very nice weapon for black to have in his/her repertoire. The only problem that I encounter is when white goes for a stonewall kind of set up with white. At move two instead of d4 what most people play white plays c4 and after that d3. White creates a weak square on d4 that looks bad, however it is funky enough to give a low rated player like me some problems. But overall the Philidor/Black Lion is a very good defense for all level players I think, very solid. Congrats with breaking the 400 subs barrier your content is very good.

  2. Thanks for the Philidor videos. Best defense. 1..d6! vs everything

  3. Nice to see this series, I'll definitely add this opening to my repertoire

  4. Thank you Sean for another fantastic lesson of "Kung-fu" chess ;). Philidor can definitely use oponents force against them! I like it….

  5. Another nice philidor video. But regarding a thing you said in the video, how do u know when it is good for "not obvious" exchanges. Like rook for 2 minor pieces as you said, but what about 2 rooks for queen, or even the rare case of queen for 3 minor pieces. Is it just a general rule that the multiple pieces is better? How do u know to take the exchange or not?

  6. I subscribed. Teaching a system is super helpful. More live games vs 1000 to 1400 ratings and commentary please.

  7. After exd4, in hindsight Ne2 is actually a decent try since after Ne5 (threat:Nf3) there is Nxd4 stopping the obvious threat.

  8. It’s very annoying when everyone watching doesn’t like comment and subscribe

  9. At around 6:00 isn't black's N on c3 going to be captured by b2 pawn?

  10. I love this channel, i wish you would create a full video course on it, from a to z. I think you are the only titled player in the world to play it nearly full time, it would be a huge contribution to chess i feel. I’m 1796 with this opening today, play it against e4 and d4 with great results against both, because i go for the early d5 allowing the exchange of queens i love endgames. Thank you for all the videos, this is a very underrated channel 👍👍

  11. Man, you are talented and wise.

    Thank you for the content you’re share.

    I’m trying to learn how to read board and squares in a right way. It seems hard to reach the knowledge but your videos are helping. Thank you.

    I’m gonna try this opening soon.

  12. I had a variation of this as black the other night against a stronger player (I mean, everyone is), but instead of taking the rook, he chose to force repetition by moving the knight back and forth attacking the queen. It was quite annoying, as I was just about remembering the video at that point.

  13. a colab with gingergm for this opening 🔥🔥

  14. I discovered your channel a short time ago and I am very impressed. I might finally have an opening for black. (I already try to play KID setups and I am somewhat familiar with the Pirc defence but I am definitely trying this one out for some time. Thank you very much for the great content!
    quick question, what do you suggest against 1.c4?

  15. This opening leaves me crowded … it’s hard but I guess it comes with time

  16. Thanks for the vids. Can you do something about the audio output? I dnt know what it is but I find hard to understand what you're saying and sometimes use the captioning but it blocks the view of the pieces. I really like your ideas but for this. Thanks

  17. I play like this so please activate your channel again it's amazing that all this free

  18. I may be completely blind to something, but why doesn't white simply take the knight on A3 at 5:16?

  19. Haw i can use my pire defence with phildor

  20. after Bc4 we can play h6 to prevent Knight g5

  21. if Black Kf6 is in the way of stopping White Kg5 when Bc4 is played then Be2 does nothing? It must be better to play H6 rtaher than go through the drama?

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