Hey all, first time posting:
Does anybody here play the Godley Gambit in response to the exchange variation for Caro Kann? It goes
1. e4 c6
2. d4 d5
3. exd5 Nf6!?
I never liked the exchange variation because I don't like symmetrical openings, and exd5 cxd5 feels like d4 d5 with a couple pawns just randomly missing.
According to games here
A common follow up seems to be 4. dxc6 Nxc6 then usually something like 5. Nf3 Bg4 or 5. Bb5 (does e6 work here?)
Why does this seem to be unpopular (Google search on Godley's Gambit brings up very little)? Is black usually considered to be a disadvantage at this point? Are there traps for either side I should be aware of?
Thanks for any help/advice!
I think this might only be any good against the overly cautious who might play 4. dxc6 Nxc6 5. c3?! when 5...e5! gives Black a good game. This is actually a pretty common theme, even in the CK Exchange where Black hasn't sacrificed a pawn, e.g. 3...cxd5 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 Nf6 6. h3?! preventing ...Bg4 but at the cost of allowing 6...e5!
Problem is in the gambit line you ask about White can successfully solidify his center with c3 albeit a move later than in the first line I gave with 5. c3?! -- instead 5. Nf3 Bg4 6. c3 and White seems to be solidly +/=
Particularly by subsequently playing 7. Be2 against most Black tries, although White should be ready to punish Black for instance if 6...Qb6? 7. Na3! What these positions remind me of is the 2. c3 d5 line against the Sicilian/Alapin, except Black is down a pawn, the one that would be on ...c5 putting more pressure on White's d4
It just doesn't seem like a worthy risk playing this gambit just to avoid symmetry.
I fail to see how the exchange variation in the caro cann is symmetrical. I always loved it when people played the echange because the black plan is so clear and easy the minority attack against the white queenside.
I was just looking at some games in the exchange variation, and yeah, you're right, that doesn't look very symmetrical, don't know what I was thinking...
Regardless, thanks for the comments about Godley's Gambit. Would still be neat if somebody could figure out a way to make it work :)
Yes that minority attack is even annoying against the move order by which I transpose into a CK exchange formation: 1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5 typically followed up with 5. d4. This move order does however rule out, or at least make difficult, a number of other sources of Black counterplay, such as ...e5, ...Bg4 and ...Bf5 -- indeed if 4...Bf5? 5. Bb5
This gambit is more popular in the Scandinavian move order:1.e4 d5 2.ed5 Nf6 3.d4 c6
When I play white I prefer to decline the gambit with 4.Bd3 and the opening usually ends up in... exchange Caro-Kann after black's cd5 at some point
There's no reason to decline an un-dangerous gambit. dxc6, Nf3, c3 and Be2 and White is a pawn up and clearly better.