Chess Wiki
a b c d e f g h
8 a8 rd b8 nd c8 d8 qd e8 kd f8 bd g8 nd h8 rd 8
7 a7 pd b7 pd c7 pd d7 e7 pd f7 pd g7 pd h7 pd 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 pd e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 pl e4 f4 g4 bd h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 nl g3 h3 3
2 a2 pl b2 pl c2 pl d2 e2 pl f2 pl g2 pl h2 pl 2
1 a1 rl b1 nl c1 bl d1 ql e1 kl f1 bl g1 h1 rl 1
a b c d e f g h
1. d4 d6 2. Nf3 Bg4

The Wade Defense (also known as the Hodgson Variation) is a variation on the Queen's Pawn Game, and is classified under ECO code A41. It is named after British IM Bob Wade, although some commenters prefer to dedicate it to GM Julian Hodgson. The opening moves are:

  1. d4 d6
  2. Nf3 Bg4

It is a rarely seen response, but one that is still highly respected by most masters.


The Wade Defense was first popularised by Bob Wade in the 1920s (?). However, it did not gain much recognition from masters until GM Julian Hodgson began using it frequently in tournaments, to much success. Some other GMs who have conducted extensive analyses of the Wade Defense are Michael Adams, Jörg Hickl, Vlastimil Jansa, and Tony Miles.

Main Line[]

Usually, white will respond by grabbing centre space with 3. c4, and black will then develop their knight with Nd7. There are no named variations of the Wade Defense, but some plausible continuations featured multiple times in master games are:

3. c4 Nd7 4. Nc3 e5 3. c4 Nd7 4. Nc3 Bxf3 5. exf3 3. c4 Nd7 4. Qb3 Rb8 3. c4 Nd7 4. Qb3 c5 3. c4 Bxf3 4. exf3 c6 3. e4 Nf6 4. h3 Bh5 3. e4 Nf6 4. Nc3 c6 3. e4 Nd7 4. h3 Bh5

Players wishing to learn this opening should read through Hodgson's games and explore the opening.


If white plays the Reti Opening variation 1. Nf3 d6 2. d4, black may play Bg4 to transpose into the Wade Defense.