||Named after the position of Black's two defending knights upon completion of move 3 (see left) after initial steps along the "Épine Dorsale", this defence gives an alternative to defending the Giuoco Piano.||
|Usually White's king's-side knight attacks Black's king's bishop's pawn (f-pawn) on KB2(f7), giving rise to interesting play with the Two Knights Gambit where chances are about even for both players (even when White seems behind in development - move 12, right).|
|That Knight Attack (below) also leads to the Kieseritzky Attack and the Wilkes-Barre Defence, but immediate alternatives include the Centre-Play (leading to the popular Max Lange Attack) and the quieter Modern Bishop's Opening.|
|Begin or Clear or Groups or see move: 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Nf6 to:|
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White attempts to occupy the centre with his King's Pawn, opening diagonals for his KB and Q and attacking squares Q5(d5) and KB5(f5).
Black has the same idea, replying with a mutual King's Pawn in an open defence (so termed because in an open game the centre tends to become opened up by pawn exchange rather than blocked by close play).
White brings his King's Knight closer to the centre and attacks a pawn, as per the golden rule: always develop with attack if possible.
Black defends the pawn and develops his Queen's Knight.