Russian Game

Though this symmetrical response has a long history, it was first popularised by Alexander Petrov, a Russian chess player of the mid-19th century. In recognition of the early investigations by the Russian masters Petrov and Carl Jaenisch, this opening is called the Russian Game in some countries.

The Petrov has a reputation of being dull and uninspired; however, it offers attacking opportunities for both sides, and a few lines are quite sharp. Often a trade occurs and Black, after gaining a tempo, has a well-placed knight. Pillsbury's game in 1895 against Emanuel Lasker testifies to this. The Black counterattack in the centre also avoids the Ruy Lopez, Giuoco Piano (and other lines of the Italian Game), and the Scotch Game. Anatoly Karpov, Artur Yusupov, Vasily Smyslov, Frank Marshall, Vladimir Kramnik, Harry Pillsbury and Fabiano Caruana have frequently played the Petrov as Black.

The Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings codes for Petrov's Defence are C43 (for 3.d4) and C42 (for all other lines). Wikipedia

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