Defenses are the opening moves for the Black pieces that are often in reaction to the Opening systems that White places at the beginning of her/his game. Below are a collection of the most common defenses for Black.

The Sicilian Defence

The Sicilian is the most popular and best-scoring response to White’s first move 1.e4…The earliest recorded notes on the Sicilian Defence date back to the late 16th century by the Italian chess players Giulio Polerio and Gioachino Greco. (Source: Wikipedia)

The Sicilian Defence begins with the moves: 1. e4 c5.

Here are chesspoems translated from the Sicilian Defense

The Caro-Khan Defence

“The opening is named after the English player Horatio Caro and the Austrian Marcus Kann who analysed it in 1886…The Caro–Kann is a common defense against the King’s Pawn Opening and is classified as a “Semi-Open Game” like the Sicilian Defence and French Defence, although it is thought to be more solid and less dynamic than either of those openings. It often leads to good endgames for Black, who has the better pawn structure.” (Source: Wikipedia)

The Caro–Kann Defence opens with: 1. e4 c6

Here are chesspoems translated from the Caro-Khan Defense

The King’s Indian Defense

The King’s Indian is a hypermodern opening, where Black deliberately allows White control of the centre with his pawns, with the view to subsequently challenge it with the moves …e5 or …c5. Until the mid-1930s, it was generally regarded as highly suspect, but the analysis and play of three strong Ukrainian players in particular—Alexander Konstantinopolsky, Isaac Boleslavsky, and David Bronstein—helped to make the defence much more respected and popular. (Source: Wikipedia)

The King’s Indian Defence follows these opening moves: 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6

Here are chesspoems translated from the King’s Indian Defense

The French Defense

The French has a reputation for solidity and resilience, though it can result in a somewhat cramped game for Black in the early stages. Black often gains counterattacking possibilities on the queenside while White tends to concentrate on the kingside…The French Defence is named after a match played by correspondence between the cities of London and Paris in 1834 (although earlier examples of games with the opening do exist). It was Chamouillet, one of the players of the Paris team, who persuaded the others to adopt this defence. (Source: Wikipedia)

The French Defence opens with: 1. e4 e6

Here are chesspoems translated from the French Defense