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Englund Gambit

The Englund Gambit is an interesting opening that black can use to face white’s queen pawn. It’s similar to the Budapest gambit with certain differences, the opening is really unusual to see at the top level.

Playing the Englund gambit can take you into interesting tactical lines out of a queen’s pawn opening. This is really convenient if you want to take your opponent out of his playstyle and opening regular theory.

Although the Englund gambit may seem weird at the beginning it can be a really good weapon. It’s pretty much the same history as other rare gambits, if you know the theory and apply it you will end up in a good position.

Playing the Englund is really risky, and if you are playing someone who knows well the theory too you have to watch out. The truth is that if you are against an opponent who knows the lines you won’t take out real advantage.

But this is in the case that someone knows the whole theory, the whole line, unless you are playing a grandmaster, that is not likely to happen! If you want to master the Englund gambit read this post until the end.

The mainlines of the Englund Gambit

englund-gambit-chess

First, to enter the Englund gambit black sacrifices a pawn right in move one: 1.d4 e5 this is already the Englund gambit, and white has many options. The main move is to take the pawn, but there are also two more options that we will analyze after studying the mainline.

1.d4 e5 2.dxe5 Nc6 3.Nf3 Qe7 and here White has three options:

  • Nc3
  • e4
  • Bf4 which is the critical line

First, if white goes for the line Nc3, this is the most peaceful way to play against the Englund gambit. In this line, we are more than happy to be black, we just removed one of white’s central pawns for free. The game could follow:

Once again black is happy here. The thing is that many pieces have been liquidated just for the way that white chose to play.

Finally, the move Bf4 is the critical line here, this is the line that you must know to perfection, otherwise, you can lose pretty fast. You can go for one sharp line like this:

And you are ok, but if you analyze the line you will see there are many traps white can fall into, we invite you to analyze that line.

If you are against the move Bf4 but you want to play something a bit safe but maintaining the gambit spirit you should play this:

Preparing g5, O-O-O, and kingside attack ideas using your open e and f file. This is a pretty appealing line to play.

Plans and ideas in the Englund Gambit

englund-gambit-pawn

The main idea of playing gambits is always to take the lead in developing and creating problems for our opponent with his development. This is something that the Englund gambit allows us to do in great conditions.

And is also about the lines you pick, if you are at a high level you will surely face people who know the correct moves. In that case, I would not recommend you to play the sharpest lines of the Englund gambits, unless you come with a novelty yourself.

However, other lines sure offer great chances to get a decent game too. Personally, I believe the most practical and effective lines are the ones in which we challenge the e5 pawn with f6 or d6.

This will completely assume the loss of a pawn in the opening, which is not a problem because something is called the “Englund gambit”. But in exchange, we get great chances to attack and two open files that will simply be our way to put pressure in the center.

Sample games in the Englund Gambit

Now, we will have a look at a game played at the grandmaster level, which is also going to prove to us that the Englund gambit can succeed. The game is greatly exciting and has excellent ideas about the Englund gambit.

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