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Modern Defense, North Sea Variation

Modern Defense, North Sea Variation
a b c d e f g h
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, 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 Carlsen employed it against Adams at the 2010 Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk.

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