When deciding which openings to employ, there are a lot of possible shortcuts one can take…but this entails some risk.
In the 2000s, a setup now known as The Black Lion (due to a book of the same name published by New in Chess in 2009) became popular for the second player. It is a Hanham setup reached via a Pirc Defense move order (to limit White’s targeted replies against this brand of Philidor Defense).
This kind of setup has something in common with the recommendations in An Explosive Chess Opening Repertoire for Black (Gambit, 2003) — a popular and well-regarded book in its time that I suspect still holds up due to the nearly theory-less nature of the setups examined.
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Quite frankly, I think the Black Lion is a risky line, and White has a few ways to attack it. For proof, check out Filipovíc vs. Jurkovíc from the 2003 Zadar Open in Croatia.
White chooses a provocative refutation attempt essayed by Alexei Shirov several times over the years, and creates an anthology piece.
If you haven’t seen this one before, you’re in for a treat! White to play.
Four of a Kind
What was it Mikhail Tal said about taking your opponent into a forest where 2+2=5?