Albin Countergambit

Oct 19, 2009, 2:11 AM |
Hmmm. Just figured I'd use this blog to keep track of whatever analysis I've done of openings I'm interested in...the analysis board is really convenient.
Albin Countergambit, an infrequently-studied but probably playable opening for Black.
Ideas for Black: Reinforce the pawn wedge at d4 to take advantage of the passed pawn (it is harder for White to reinforce the pawn on e5 after Nf3 has been played. Playing ...f3 to attack the e5 pawn is safer than White using e3 to attack the d4 pawn, because White is subject to the Lasker trap (shown below) while the Black king cannot be easily checked by the White bishop due to the c4 pawn). With two-square advances of both centre pawns, the bishops have been completely freed can be used to threaten the king and queen, or pin the knights. White's position is somewhat cramped as the d4 pawn prevents Nc3 and some preparatory moves must be made before e3 is played, hence locking in the light-squared bishop as well. If the d4 pawn is captured by the e-pawn, there will probably be a hole left on d4 which can be used as an outpost.
Ideas for White: Black has greatly facilitated its development by gambitting the pawn but does not have a decisive attack. Avoid being locked down by Black's pieces while developing the position. Fianchettoing the light-squared bishop may be possible to put pressure along the diagonal just behind the line of pawns, so that Black cannot block the bishop's line of attack with a pawn. The queen check Qa4+ (which may alternatively pin a knight on c6) might be possible to use to release the queen if the pressure along the centre files becomes too great.
White must avoid playing 4.e3? followed by 4. ...Bb4+ 5.Bd2 (this move is more or less forced) dxe3! 6.Bxb4?? because of the Lasker Trap, shown below. (4.e3? is a mistake but White can still salvage the position after 5. ...dxe3! with 6.fxe3, leaving him with doubled pawns. Black has a slight advantage in that position but no immediate threats. 6.Bxb4?? falls into the Lasker Trap and destroys White's position rapidly.)
Lasker Trap