Saturday, October 9, 2010

Yet another trap in the Englund Gambit

The Englund Gambit (1.d4 e5?) is one of the weakest responses to 1.d4. It is nonetheless very trappy and requires exact play from White. One of White's strongest responses is 2.dxe5 Nc6 3.Nf3 Qe7 4.Qd5! Black is likely, sooner or later, to have to sac a pawn with ...f6, for probably inadequate compensation. See Stefan Bücker's article Visiting Planet Englund for more details. Much weaker, however, is the immediate 3.Qd5, which tends to lead to disaster after 3...f6! Here Black, who has not had to misplace the queen with ...Qe7, gets strong compensation. Below is an example. After 7...Nd4, White was already defenseless against the threats to his queen and c2, e.g. 8.Qd3 Bf5; 8.Qa4+ b5; or 8.Qe3+ Ne4. White's choice, 8.Qc3, allowed a simple tactical shot, winning White's queen for just one minor piece.

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