[October 05, 2017] Updated Opening Line by GM Trajko Nedev:
Petroff Defense, Classical Attack (incl. Berger, Chigorin & Mason-Showalter Variations)

[Line 355 : 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Nc6]

From the initial position of this opening line, know as the Mason-Showalter Variation, move 7. Nc3 is a sideline and our recommendation for club level players, while 7. O-O is by far the main choice of the players of White. Variation 7. O-O Bg4 8. c4 is considered to be more promising for White, so 7. O-O Be7 is much more common. 8. c4 is covered in our Lines 356-357, while its three interesting alternatives – 8. Nc3, 8. Re1 and 8. Nbd2, are covered here.

In case of 8. Nc3 Nxc3 9. bxc3 Bg4 Black reaches roughly equal position with a few accuracies.

The best response to the Chigorin Variation (8. Re1) is 8… Bg4, where after 9. c4 Black gets good prospects with 9… Nf6, while in Berger Variation (9. c3 f5) the ensuing position is double-edged.

A rare line 8. Nbd2 has recently become popular on a very high level and is our recommendation for beginners, since it is rather easy to handle with White pieces.

[Diagram: Black to Move] White Queen and Bishop on c6 have gone astray, and Black has a chance to finish the game in style. Can you find the way for Black to deliver the mate in a couple of moves?

Click here to see the line in our viewer…

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