|Owen´s Defense or the Queen´s Fianchetto Defense is a chess opening defined by the moves (in algebraic notation) 1.e4 b6. It is named after the English vicar and strong amateur chess player John Owen.|
By playing 1...b6, Black prepares to fianchetto the queen´s bishop where it will participate in the battle over the center. The downside of this plan is that White will be able to occupy the center with pawns and gain an advantage in space. Since development of the queen´s bishop by 1...b6 does not prepare kingside castling like 1...g6 does, and since Black starts the game with a slightly inferior position and must be careful about falling behind in development and the fight over the center, Owen´s Defense has a somewhat dubious reputation, even though it has been played occasionally by masters. The fact that 1...b6 is rarely played is attractive to some players of the black pieces, because they can often enter a prepared variation which White knows little about.
White usually responds to 1...b6 by making a full center by 2.d4. If White is worried about entering a prepared main line, alternatives include 2.c4 and 2.Nf3.
Owen´s Defense is an uncommon reply to 1.e4, and is therefore classified as B00 by the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings.