Theory:The Ptroff Defense is a popular Chess Opening with move order as follows:-
There are many possible variations that may arise out of this position. For instance white may play Nc3 to which Black play Nc6- Four Knight variation. However, here we will restrict to mainly two variations which are (A)Nxe4 & (B)d4 variation.
(A)Nxe5 variation:-This variation is quite famous and is seen frequently played at all levels.
Here white has two choices mainly (1)Bd6 variation & (2)Nc6
(B)d4 variation:-This variation is a little out of fashion now a days. However, one never knows when it may make a comeback.
When should one try to play Petrof Defense?
There is no hard and fast rule as to when to play this defense. However, you may give it a try when you are in mood to play for draw since it offers symmetrical position at many occasions. This approach suits most when you know your opponent’ is higher rated and and well prepared in many lines and settling for draw would be okay for you. Opting for sharp lines such as Sicilian etc. may reward you but chances are bleak unless you are very much prepared.
What to do if you are not in mood to play Petroff Defense?
If you are not much aware of petroff lines-not a good thing- or don’t want to try it then may go for Nc3 in third move transposing into four Knight defense.