The Albin Counter gambit
The Albin Counter gambit is an interesting way to respond to the queen’s gambit by black. The move that involves this opening is rather interesting, if you are an aggressive player you should definitely like it.
The Albin Counter gambit is not the most popular response to the queen’s gambit. However, it’s been proved by the theory that black stands good chances of winning if using this opening.
You could even ask the Russian grandmaster Alexander Morozevich, who has been using this opening with good success lately. If a player who doesn’t know the theory goes into the Albin counter gambit, he will have a bad time.
That’s why even if you are not in look for a new repertoire for black against the queen’s gambit is good for you to know it. You can never know too much theory once a wise man said!
If you want to learn the tricks, secrets, and traps of the Albin counter gambit stay tuned! We are going to go over the main lines, some sample games, and some traps that you will love.
How to play the Albin counter gambit?
The first moves to enter the Albin counter gambit are 1.d4 d5 2.c4 and we are in a normal queen’s gambit, but now: 2… e5!
This is considered the starting position of the Albin counter gambit, and here is the first important note: 3. dxe5 is forced for white, there is no other option.
There are still some old opening books that also recommend 3.e3 but this is not reliable at all. It’s too passive for white, it already gives up equality for black, who could play exd4 or even e4.
So the mainline is 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 d4 and here is where we will start to divide into the different variations, but first is trap time!
The most logical thing to play with white in this position is definitely 4.e3. The reason why this is playable is that black has his own tricks.
If 4.e3 black plays 4… Bb4+ and white is already bad, 5.Bd2 dxe3 (now fxe3 is necessary, otherwise…) 6.Bxb4 it looks like white has won a piece but now 6… exf2+ 7.Ke2 (Kxf2 hangs the queen) fxg1=N+! 8.Rxg1 Qxd1+ black is better.
This is what is called the Lasker variation of the Albin counter gambit, the complete variation would be this:
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 d4 4.e3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 dxe3 6.Bxb4 exf2+ 7.Ke2 fxg1=N+ 8.Rxg1 Qxd1+ 9.Kxd1 Nc6 10.Bc3 Be6 Black stands a lot better.
Now the normal variations don’t include this move, and they are two main options that you have here:
We are going to go with the most regular Nf3 first. The game could go this way: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 d4 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.g3 Nge7 6.Bg2 And white develop his pieces through and castles, but black still has some pressure.
Now, the move 4.a3 is certainly interesting. If you paid attention to the Lasker trap you will know that a3 stops Bb4+ to play e3 in conditions. But once again, black manages to get through here:
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 d4 4.a3 Nc6 5.e3 Nge7 6.Nf3 Nf5 7.Be2 dxe3 8.Qxd8+ Nxd8 9.fxe3 And white has exchanged queens and got himself some weaknesses in the center.
Now let’s have a look at some games:
Sample games with the Albin counter gambit
Alexander Morozevich teach us his technique for the Albin counter gambit!
Let’s see another game with the other variables that we discussed previously:
The Albin Countergambit for white
White should always try to give the pawn back as soon as he can and calm the waters. Here is where you want to apply the principle of getting the material back in a healthy way.
A good idea to keep in mind if you are white is that you shouldn’t try to hold onto the e5 pawn. That pawn is lost concentrate in your development because black wants to attack.
The Albin Countergambit for black
Black is playing for the win here, you should play aggressively, in most positions you will castle long. This will take you to an opposite castles position, and you should look for all of the breaks you can.
Here you have to play under the principles of the one who has the lead in development. The whole point of the Albin counter gambit is to delay white’s development to get the attack going.
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