Question in the Hanstein Gambit

• 3 years ago · Quote · #1

If you are unfamiliar with the Hanstein Gambit, it goes something like this:

And at this point, Black usually continues 6...h6 and 7...Nc6. But an alternate move I cannot figure out is 6...Qe7. With 6...h6 7.c3 Nc6 8.Qa4 Bd7 9.Qb3 Na5 10.Bxf7+ Kf8 11.Qa3 Kxf7 12.Qxa5 [Edited - omitted a move], White regains the pawn and gets reasonable play (that's ALL I'm aiming for in this line; I know that White can't expect to get more than equality here).

But what to do after 6...Qe7? And why do I only see the Qa4 line mentioned but can't find anything on 6...Qe7? Is the threat of Nd5 after 7.Nc3 so big a threat that it makes ...Qe7 bad?

• 3 years ago · Quote · #2
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• 3 years ago · Quote · #3

I play the Fisher defense against the king's gambit and very often I get this position by transposition. I always play 6...h6 but I then proceed with 7.c3 Ne7. The idea is to keep the f pawn thanks to 8.Qb3?! 0-0 and to control the d5 square so that 9.e5?! is met by 9...d5! (note that 7...Nf6? 8.Qb3 0-0 9.e5 d5 10.Bd3 Ne4 11.Nbd2 would result in the knights exchanges which is not that good for black).

I suppose 6...Qe6 leaves the d5 square unprotected so that black has not a good answer to the immediate 7.e5!

I did not check with a computer, so I may be saying a load off bull****.

• 3 years ago · Quote · #4

By the way, I'm always very happy when I get the position after 6.d4, since that means that white did not tried any more ambitious idea like h4 at some point, you may want to look again at your move order.

• 3 years ago · Quote · #5

@Nao83: I appreciate the feedback. I'll look at 7.e5, but it doesn't feel right to me somehow. Thanks for mentioning 7...Ne7 too, since I don't think I've looked at that yet.

I am fully aware of 4.h4, but I feel that the Kieseritzky Gambit just has too much theory. 4.Bc4 may not be as ambitious, but it's playable and it has a lot less theory attached.

• 3 years ago · Quote · #8

@pfren: You mention 6...Nc6, which I've also wondered about. The stuff I've read about is all about 6...h6 and 7...Nc6, which seems to lead to an equal game after 8.Qa4 (if not equal, at least close), but I've wondered why Black doesn't just come right out with 6...Nc6. Is there any reason why Black would want to play 6...h6 before playing ...Nc6?

And after 6...Nc6, what do you think is the critical line?

Thanks! :)

• 3 years ago · Quote · #9

@Bab3s: Oops. I omitted a move. It should read 10.Bxf7+ Kf8 11.Qa3 Kxf7 12.Qxa5. My bad.

• 3 years ago · Quote · #11

@pfren: That's a good point, but for some strange reason, I haven't seen anything other than 6...h6 yet (a small sample size admittedly, but still), so maybe I've just been lucky? :)

Is there a reason why you like ...h6 after 7.c3? I'm probably missing something, but I don't see anything in 7.c3 that would make Black want to play ...h6 either.

• 3 years ago · Quote · #12

After 6...Qe7 7.Nxg5!? Qxg5 8.Bxf4 might be a winning attack for white.

• 3 years ago · Quote · #13

@melvinbluestone: I've already looked at that, with the help of Fritz, and it looks like a poor man's Muzio Gambit. I might take a second look, but it doesn't look too promising to me right now.

• 3 years ago · Quote · #15

As mentioned previously, after 6...Nc6, it's difficult to see any compensation for white's pawn. But the idea of 6...Qe7 seems to turn up in some lines as a means of protecting the b-pawn maybe. Other than that, it doesn't really threaten anything and just invites the knight infiltration of c3 - d5. I even tried 7.c3 in a few fast games, and stuff like this can happen:

• 3 years ago · Quote · #16

@pfren: I get it now. Thanks! :)

@uhohspaghettio: Yeah, I spent some time thinking about it, and that sacrifice does share some similarities with the Muzio, but the difference is that both sides have a couple of extra moves in, and White has an extra pawn (the e-pawn). I still suspect that the extra development should give Black an easier time defending than in the Muzio, but like you said, it could still catch some players off-guard.

@melvinbluestone: Instead of 7...Bg4, I think Black should try 7...Nc6 or 7...h6. I don't see a good reason for the bishop to be on g4 in the first place.

• 3 years ago · Quote · #17

@Pikachulord6: Taking the bishop from the queenside does look like a mistake. I thought the rationale behind black's Qe7 might be to protect b7 via the queen's position on the seventh rank. This frees up the bishop from that job, so g4 is one square to put it on. But once you've played g5, it seems foolish to block your own pawn's advance to g4 with the bishop there. At least not till you've played h6.....

• 3 years ago · Quote · #18

See Harrwitz Daniel vs Williams Elijah ......... (1846!)