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

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

Book Eight

How to Play the d-pawn Openings

Albin Counter-Gambit

Like all gambits played by Black, this one must be viewed with suspicion. Black gives up a pawn very early in the hope of gaining time for rapid development. White’s cue is to develop quickly without attaching too much importance to the extra pawn. The result is either that White keeps the extra pawn and the initiative to boot, or else that he returns the pawn and maintains powerful pressure.

Albin Counter Gambit

White - Black

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5?!

Rarely does Black have the opportunity to indulge in such violent play. This is good policy only against a definitely weaker opponent.

3.dxe5 d4

The gambit is in operation. Black hopes that his advanced d-pawn will prove a stumbling block for White’s development. More often than not, it becomes a target for White’s pieces.

4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Nbd2 (D)


Position after 5.Nbd2

In practically all variations White fianchettoes his light-square bishop. This completes the mobilization of his kingside and gives the bishop a powerful diagonal.


After 5…f6 6.exf6 Nxf6 (or 6…Qxf6) Black has inadequate compensation for the sacrificed pawn.

On 5…Bb4 White has no objection to returning the extra pawn, thus: 6.a3! Bxd2+ 7.Qxd2! Bg4 8.b4! Bxf3 9.exf3 Nxe5 for after 10.Bb2 Qe7 11.0-0-0 0-0-0 12.f4 White has a marked positional advantage - two bishops against two knights. Against 5…Bg4 White proceeds favorably with 6.g3 etc.

6.g3 Qd7 7.Bg2 Rd8

Black can also castle at this point, but this leaves his king exposed to a withering attack on the White light-square bishop’s long diagonal.

8.0-0 Nge7 9.Qa4 Ng6

Black hopes to win the advanced e-pawn - but this would cost him his queenside pawns - thanks to the powerful action of White’s pieces.

10.a3! Be7 11.b4 0-0

White continues 12.Bb2 with a very powerful position. Black cannot recover his pawn, and his position has no appeal in other respects.