Creating my own chess style: The modern Wolga Gambit Defense

Creating my own chess style: The modern Wolga Gambit Defense

Aug 3, 2016, 5:52 AM |

Hey guys!

It's me, Bendix. I enjoyed the summer a lot in Münster, town of my university, and here in Hamburg, where I am relaxing a couple of days before I take my final examn for this semester.

I am studying economics and will write my bachelor thesis about chess. I am looking forward to exploring the economical aspects of chess, such as game theory, nash-equilibria, regression function analysis and many more.

Today I won a game against a 2028 ELO on, which was good. What was even better was my attempt to try out a completely new opening that I created which has worked really way.

My opening works really well and is basically a hybrid of the wogla/benko gambit and the modern defense. First, let's consider the Wolga Gambit:

where black plays the deep positional idea 3. ...b5 in order to open up the Queen side.

Why is it hardly playable on grandmaster level. Well, to keep the discussion short let's focus on 2 strategical themes for white.

The first strategical motive is obviously to oblige and to accept the gambit.

The second way to treat the position is to decline the gambit of the e pawn. I find two ways of playing in such way most convincing, and both are worse for black in my opinion. (As explained above, accepting the gambit leads to an equal position). Why is it often bad for black? Let's take a look at the game Rubinstein - Spielmann 1922:

White shredded black after just a dozen of moves.
A more modern way to decline the Wolga gambit is to play 4. Qc2! instead of 4.a4! This can be seen in the game Alexey Dreev - Daniil Dubov:
The pattern of the Wolga Declined seems clear: White has the luxury of sacrificing back material with 4.a4! and entering a tactical struggle or to play the more modest 4. Qc2! to have a quiet, positional edge.
If the white player accepts the gambit, black has however counter chances. That was the case in my game against an 2028 ELO (, where I first threw in a modern defense line and only then entered the Wolga: