Danish Gambit

Feb 25, 2016, 11:28 AM |

In the Danish Gambit, White gives up a pawn for quick development. In for a penny, in for a pound as they say, and most gambiteers immediately give up a second pawn which, if accepted, results in the following position and start of this bloggame.

White has open lines and will be fully developed in just a few more moves. His bishops reign two major diagonals and aim hungry in the direction of f7, a crucial pawn in front of a king that will not always manage to castle.

Gameplan: Finish development asap, put max pressure on the Black kingside, force Black into defense, provoke mistakes and keep an eye open for tactical opportunities. Other than that it’s in Whites benefit to avoid trades, as we don’t want to go two pawns down into an endgame. And oh: It is said that this opening is unsound, maybe even refuted. Usually that means that people don’t expect it, and when they see it, they don’t know how to handle it. I just consider it a bonus and an indication that it’s probably fun to play – but judge for yourselves.

In this particular game, Black made the mistake of bringing his queen out too early. That’s never a very good idea, but especially in this open setup, where White dominates the center with minor pieces, that’s a mistake that could get costly. I decided to start chasing the queen, in the hope of one of these three outcomes:

  • Trap the queen and win it
  • Getting a fork or a pin and win another piece
  • Use the chase to redirect my pieces and if I can’t catch anything, have my pieces closer and in a better line-up to the enemy king

See below how the scenario played out.

Conclusion: I didn’t find all the best moves, but I managed to keep Black under pressure and force many of his moves. That pressure resulted in mistakes and gave me the win. Starting two pawns down in the Danish, makes that you can’t play slow and carefully. It’s an all-or-nothing-at-all approach, aggressive, dynamic and something to my taste.