Alekhine’s Defence, The Brooklyn Variation

The Brooklyn Variation of the Alekhine’s Defense is reached after the moves 1.e4 Nf6, 2.e5 Ng8?! The first time I played this against a friend who was a patzer, his response was “is that move even legal?” Realizing that I had essentially given him 3 move odds, he was honestly uncertain whether returning to the starting position violated the rules of chess. While the move 2…Ng8 doesn’t violate the rules of chess, it certainly violates almost every opening principal there is. Therefore, the Brooklyn Variation of Alekhine’s Defense is an ugly stepchild variation of an ugly stepchild opening. Naturally, it is therefore no surprise that it is pretty difficult to come by any reliable “theory” on the line. Even Graham Burgess’ text on the Alekhine doesn’t give it a single note game.

According to wikipedia:

Grandmaster Joel Benjamin, who calls this his “pet line,” named it the “Brooklyn Defense” in honor of his hometown. Although Black might be said to be giving odds of three moves, according to theory White has only a small advantage.

Personally, I enjoy playing the Alekhine’s every once in a while in blitz because it can lead to so many different kinds of positions, from completely closed to totally open, though I think it is technically classified as a “semi-open” defense, like the nimzo-indian. In the Brooklyn, black has no choice but to play for a tight conservative position, hoping to keep things closed long enough to nullify white’s massive jump in development.

Below, find a selection of games in this variation- if you reach any conclusions or have any ideas- don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments.