Keres Defence

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Keres Defence
a8 black rook
b8 black knight
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
d7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
e6 black pawn
b4 black bishop
c4 white pawn
d4 white pawn
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
e2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white king
f1 white bishop
g1 white knight
h1 white rook
Moves1.d4 e6 2.c4 Bb4+
OriginJohann Löwenthal vs. Henry Thomas Buckle, 4th match game, London 1851
Named afterPaul Keres
ParentFranco-Indian Defence
Synonym(s)Kangaroo Defence

The Keres Defence (also known as the Kangaroo Defence) is a chess opening characterised by the moves:

1. d4 e6
2. c4 Bb4+

The opening is named after Estonian grandmaster Paul Keres.


This opening was known since the 1840s and was played by Henry Thomas Buckle in his fourth match game with Johann Löwenthal, London 1851.[1][2] The standard reply today, 3.Bd2, was recommended by Howard Staunton.


White can respond 3.Nc3, 3.Nd2, or 3.Bd2. The game often transposes to a Nimzo-Indian Defence, a Dutch Defence, a Queen's Gambit Declined, an English Defence, or a Bogo-Indian Defence. 3.Nc3 is likely to transpose into one of those openings: 3...Nf6 (Nimzo-Indian), 3...f5 (Dutch; Korn gives 3...Bxc3+ 4.bxc3 f5!,[3] played by Buckle) 3...d5 (an unusual form of QGD), or 3...b6 (English). Black has the same options after 3.Nd2, except that 3...Nf6 4.Nf3 is a Bogo-Indian.

After 3.Bd2, Black can continue with 3...Bxd2+ into a line of the Bogo-Indian, and 3...a5 will also usually transpose to a Bogo-Indian when White plays Nf3. Or Black can allow White to play e4: 3...Qe7 4.e4 d5 (Black obtained a good game in Llanos–Hoffman, San Luis Clarin 1995 with 4...Nf6 5.a3 Bxd2+ 6.Nxd2 d6 7.Bd3 e5 8.d5 0-0)[4] 5.Bxb4 (5.e5 Timman–Spraggett, Montpellier 1985)[5][6] Qxb4+ 6.Qd2! Qxd2+ (if 6...Nc6 then 7.Nc3!) 7.Nxd2 with slight advantage for White.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hooper, David; Whyld, Kenneth (1996) [First pub. 1992], "Keres Defence", The Oxford Companion to Chess (2nd ed.), Oxford University Press, p. 198, ISBN 0-19-280049-3
  2. ^ Löwenthal vs. Buckle, London 1851
  3. ^ Korn, Walter (1982). "Queen's Pawn Games". Modern Chess Openings (12th ed.). David McKay Company, Inc. p. 312. ISBN 0-679-13500-6.
  4. ^ Schiller (1998), p. 227
  5. ^ Timman vs. Spraggett, Montpellier 1985
  6. ^ Matanović 1996 (Vol A), p. 295, note 73
  7. ^ Kasparov, Gary; Keene, Raymond (1982). Batsford Chess Openings. American Chess Promotions. p. 47. ISBN 0-7134-2112-6.


Further reading[edit]