Modern Defense, North Sea Variation

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Modern Defense, North Sea Variation
a b c d e f g h
a8 black rook
b8 black knight
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
f8 black bishop
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
d7 black pawn
e7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
g6 black pawn
e5 white pawn
h5 black knight
d4 white pawn
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 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
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Moves 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Nf6 3.e5 Nh5
Parent Modern Defense

The North Sea Variation is an opening variation in the game of chess. It is a variation of the Modern Defense complex, which occurs after the moves:

1. e4 g6
2. d4 Nf6!?
3. e5 Nh5


According to Jim Bickford,[1] one of the characteristics of this defense is the "cork-screw" maneuver the knight makes by traveling to the second rank via f6 and h5. In the introduction to his monograph, Bickford quotes the late Tony Miles as saying "The black knights are better on the second rank – a shame it takes two moves for them to get there." This joke is a reference to the fact that black knights on the second rank would likely occupy the squares d7 or e7, however, in the uncommon openings favored by Miles they tend to wind up on less characteristic squares along that rank, such as f7, g7, c7 and d7.

This variation may have received a wave of attention recently after Magnus Carlsen employed it against Michael Adams at the 2010 Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The North Sea Variation of the Modern Defence, ECO BO6, Jim Bickford. Syzygy Publishing, 2007.
  2. ^ "Michael Adams vs Magnus Carlsen". Retrieved 18 December 2010. 

External links[edit]