Danish Gambit - How to Play the e-pawn Openings - The Complete Chess Course From Beginning To Winning Chess! (2016)

The Complete Chess Course From Beginning To Winning Chess! (2016)

Book Seven

How to Play the e-pawn Openings

Danish Gambit

This dashing attempt to seize the attack by sacrificing two pawns can yield White a very powerful attack if Black does not defend carefully. However, as you will see, Black has several satisfactory defenses. Consequently, the Danish should be ventured only against weak opponents.

Danish Gambit

White - Black

1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 (D)


Position after 3.c3

Black’s simplest course is now 3…d5! 4.exd5 Nf6! 5.c4 c5 (or even 5…c6!) with an excellent game.

3…dxc3 4.Bc4

If White decides to sacrifice only one pawn by 4.Nxc3, Black is safe enough after 4…d6 5.Bc4 Nc6.

Black has nothing to fear from 6.Qb3 because of 6…Ne5!. Somewhat more troublesome for him is 6.Nf3 Be6! 7.Bxe6 fxe6 8.Qb3 Qc8 9.Ng5 Nd8 10.f4 Be7 11.0-0 Bxg5 12.fxg5 Ne7 13.Be3 Nf7 14.Rf2 0-0 15.Raf1 Ng6!. Black is still a bit uncomfortable, but the extra pawn must tell in his favor.

4…cxb2 5.Bxb2

The classic position of the Danish Gambit.

Even simplifying and returning the extra material may not give Black a safe game: 5…d5 6.Bxd5 Nf6 7.Bxf7+! Kxf7 8.Qxd8 Bb4+ 9.Qd2 Bxd2+ 10.Nxd2 c5 11.Ngf3 Be6 12.Ng5+ Ke7 13.Nxe6 Kxe6 14.f4. White will castle queenside and advance his formidable mass of kingside pawns. Black is in trouble.

5…c6! 6.Nc3 d6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.0-0 Nc5 (D)


Position after 8…Nc5

Black’s position, though somewhat cramped, is unassailable. After …Be6 he can catch up in development, and eventually his two extra pawns must win for him.