I loved Pirc: 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3, 3…g6.
A king-side meek opening for black, it’s often summoned by close-gamers. The main aim is to secure the King’s position through early castling and to allow white to exploit the center (1.e4, 2. d4) at the beginning of the game.
A chess arbiter, who happened to be observing my games, taught me this opening line ten minutes prior to my next make-or-break match. He knew I was having problems keeping my King safe as soon as I get excited to attack. With Pirc, my opponents tend to hastily exploit their development advantage while I get to choose my pace, predict their entry point and deliberate my offense. It won me a slot to the regional level game back in high school.
Later in College, though, I had to leave this line behind. My new coach insisted it was too passive for a board 1 player to pull. He introduced new black opening games to me. His sons also proved Pirc vulnerable to fatal blows from tactical and positional chess players. They brilliantly showed how sacrificing an important piece or string of pieces would leave me inevitably defeated.
Jennilyn Varde, a chess co-enthusiast (and a friend), pushed me to try Caro-Kann defence (1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5). I might. But I had to admit: I loved Pirc and I still do.
Don’t get disappointed, guys. 😉