Welcome to part 3 of my engine analysis of the Mousetrap Gambit. In part 2 we covered the main reply for black, h6. The second most popular response is Bxe4 and it is the gambit accepted line. The third and last for this series is Nh6, declining the gambit. I would like to cover the Nh6 lines first and save the accepted lines for last.
1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3. Bg5 Nf6
Mousetrap Gambit Declined : Nh6
Nh6 immediately developes a piece and attacks the center. Most importantly the e4 square. The most common response was : e5! The lesser being f3. I will will cover six e5 responses and only two f3 responses. NOTE: White scored extremely well when Black responded with Nf6.. winning 68% of the games.
e5 extends White's center and forces Black to make a decision. Either to jump to e4 where he will simultaneously attack the Bishop at g5 (but get into some tricky situations) or counterattack the Bishop with h6. Both are viable but e5 is more fun for white. Lets look at the Ne4 responses to e5.
1. e4 b6 2. d4 Bb7 3. Bg5 Nf6 4. e5 Ne4 5. Be3 c5
If the Knight is attacked by f3 then Black can simply take the d4 pawn, attacking the strong Bishop and creating a hole at c5.
1. e4 b6 2. d4 Bb7 3. Bg5 Nf6 4. e5 Ne4 5. Be3 e6
I enjoyed going through the Be3 f3 games. The hole created at f3 allows many interesting maneuvers from the Black Queen.
1. e4 b6 2. d4 Bb7 3. Bg5 Nf6 4. e5 Ne4 5. Be3 f6
f6 creates a safe square for the Knight at g5 but it weakens the Kingside extremely. This game shows the onslaught of the White Queen.
Now for the the response Bf4. This was played a few times so I felt I should add it in. It really doesn't add much to the games. Instead of protecting the d4 pawn the Bishop protects the e5 pawn. You will see below...
1. e4 b6 2. d4 Bb7 3. Bg5 Nf6 4. e5 Ne4 5. Bf4
That was it for the Ne4 lines. Now I will post two games where Black counterattacks d5 with h6, threatening the Bishop. This does lead to some interesting positions as the Bishop must move immediately.
1. e4 b6 2. d4 Bb7 3. Bg5 Nf6 4. e5 h6 5. Bc1
1. e4 b6 2. d4 Bb7 3. Bg5 Nf6 4. e5 h6 5. Bd2
Now for the very last two games. In response to Nh6, White ruins his Kingside and pushes f3?! The only good point to this move is that it reinforces the a8-h1 diagonal. Predictably, There were many draws and wins for Black. Even with the weaker engines.
1. e4 b6 2. d4 Bb7 3. Bg5 Nf6 4. f3 Nc6
1. e4 b6 2. d4 Bb7 3. Bg5 Nf6 4. f3 Nc6 5. Nc3 h6
Alright, you did it! You made it all the way to the end.
In the next post we will cover, IMO, the main line of the gambit. Most opponents cannot resist the juicy pawn on e4. Computers always play it safe and what's the fun in that? So next I'll see you in the Mousetrap Gambit Accepted : Bxe4. Till then, stay blitzed. Boog.