Blackburne-Hartlaub Gambit


I've largely neglected my blog but, since I'm in the process of uploading PGN-based openings articles to my Gambiteers' Guild website, I thought it would be worth sharing some of my analysis and ideas directly with the community.

The topic of this blog is the Blackburne-Hartlaub Gambit (1.d4 e5 2.dxe5 d6) which I've been looking at recently.  It isn't particularly sound, but Black often gets about half a pawn's worth of compensation and can use this to work up attacking chances against the white king- which can be deadly in rapid games.

Here's an illustrative game with some coverage of the various options for both sides.

I advise readers to have a look through the sidelines, for as Tim McGrew noted in a few of his articles on gambits, when you select an opening, you aren't necessarily selecting the position that arises from best play from both sides, but the whole opening system, with its various sidelines.  I've never used it with Black (I tend to prefer the Albin Counter-Gambit these days) but some readers might consider it to have a high enough "caltrop coefficient" (i.e. if White makes a couple of errors in the early middlegame, he or she can get mated quickly) to be worth a try for a bit of fun, especially in casual/blitz games.