Albin Countergambit

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Albin Countergambit
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
b8 black knight
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
f8 black bishop
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
d5 black pawn
e5 black pawn
c4 white pawn
d4 white pawn
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
e2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white king
f1 white bishop
g1 white knight
h1 white rook
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Moves 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5
ECO D08–D09
Origin Salvioli vs. Cavallotti, Milan 1881
Named after Adolf Albin
Parent Queen's Gambit

The Albin Countergambit is a chess opening that begins with the moves:

1. d4 d5
2. c4 e5

and the usual continuation is:

3. dxe5 d4

The opening is an uncommon defense to the Queen's Gambit. In exchange for the gambit pawn, Black has a central wedge at d4 and gets some chances for an attack. Often White will try to return the pawn at an opportune moment to gain a positional advantage.

In the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings the Albin Countergambit is assigned codes D08 and D09.


History[edit]

Although this opening was originally played by Cavallotti against Salvioli at the Milan tournament of 1881, it takes its name from Adolf Albin, who played it against Lasker in New York 1893. Though not played frequently at the master level, Russian Grandmaster Alexander Morozevich has recently made some successful use of it.

Main line[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
f8 black bishop
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
c6 black knight
e5 white pawn
c4 white pawn
d4 black pawn
f3 white knight
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
e2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white king
f1 white bishop
h1 white rook
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Main line after 3...d4 4.Nf3 Nc6

The main line continues 4.Nf3 Nc6 (4...c5 allows 5.e3 because Black no longer has the bishop check) and now White's primary options are 5.a3, 5.Nbd2, and 5.g3. Perhaps White's surest try for an advantage is to fianchetto his king bishop with 5.g3 followed by Bg2 and Nbd2. Black will often castle queenside. A typical continuation is 5.g3 Be6 6.Nbd2 Qd7 7.Bg2 0-0-0 8.0-0 Bh3.

Variations[edit]

Lasker trap[edit]

The Black pawn at d4 is stronger than it may appear. The careless move 4.e3? can lead to the Lasker Trap. After 4...Bb4+ 5.Bd2 dxe3 6.Bxb4?? is a blunder—6...exf2+ 7.Ke2 fxg1=N+ and Black wins. The Lasker Trap is notable because it is rare to see an underpromotion in practical play.

Spassky Variation[edit]

In the Spassky Variation White plays 4.e4 to take advantage of the fact that an en passant capture must be made immediately after the enemy pawn advances. So now after 4...Bb4+ 5.Bd2 the en passant capture ...dxe3 is no longer available to Black.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Luc Henris, The Complete Albin Counter-Gambit, Jean-Louis Marchand Editions, Brussels, 2013.

External links[edit]