Elephant Gambit

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Elephant Gambit
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
e4 white pawn
f3 white knight
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
d2 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
Moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d5
ECO C40
Parent King's Knight Opening
Synonym(s) Queen's Pawn Counter Gambit
Englund Counterattack

The Elephant Gambit (also called the Queen's Pawn Counter Gambit or Englund Counterattack) is a rarely played chess opening beginning with the moves:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 d5!?

In this gambit, Black ignores the attack on his e-pawn and immediately tries to wrest the initiative from White. The main idea is that Black has sacrificed a pawn to gain a move and must obtain compensation for it. The resulting position can be sharp for White, and thus may be a good surprise opening for Black. It is generally considered unsound, because if White plays accurately Black does not get sufficient compensation for the sacrificed pawn. One of the Elephant Gambit's leading modern-day exponents is Philip Corbin.


Lines[edit]

White is able to capture either of Black's center pawns with the advantage, either by 3.exd5 or 3.Nxe5. With a center pawn removed, Black is in a passive position with White clearly having the initiative as White controls more space.

3.exd5[edit]

Black's responses to 3.exd5 include 3...e4 and 3...Bd6 (the Elephant Gambit proper). 3...Qxd5 saves the pawn, but leaves White with a big lead in development after 4.Nc3.

3...e4 4.Qe2 Nf6[edit]

A typical line might continue 3...e4 4.Qe2 Nf6 5.d3 Qxd5 6.Nbd2 Be7 7.dxe4 Qe6 and White remains a pawn ahead, although Black's development is somewhat smoother.

Alternatively, after 4...Nf6:

  • 5.d3 Be7 6.dxe4 0-0 7.Nc3 Re8 8.Bd2 Bb4 9.0-0-0, with advantage for White (Nick de Firmian).
  • 5.Nc3 Be7 6.Nxe4:
    • 6...Nxd5 7.d3 0-0 8.Qd1 Bg4 9.Be2 f5 10.Ng3 Nc6 11.c3 with slight advantage for White, as in Salomonsson–H. Sorenson, Malmo 1982 (de Firmian).
    • 6...0-0 7.Nxf6+ Bxf6 8.d4 Re8 9.Be3, with distinct superiority for White (de Firmian).

3...e4 4.Qe2 f5[edit]

3...e4 4.Qe2, Black plays 4...f5 5.d3 Nf6 6.dxe4 fxe4 7.Nc3 Bb4 8.Qb5+ c6 9.Qxb4 exf3 with 10.Bg5 cxd5 11.0-0-0 Nc6 as in TalLutikov, Tallinn 1964 (see de Firmian) with advantage for White.[1]

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
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
d6 black bishop
d5 white pawn
e5 black pawn
f3 white knight
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
d2 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
Elephant Gambit proper: 3.exd5 Bd6

Elephant Gambit proper: 3...Bd6[edit]

3...Bd6 4.d4 e4 5.Ne5 Nf6 6.Nc3 0-0 7.Bc4 and according to de Firmian, White enjoys a distinct superiority but no immediate attack.

3.Nxe5[edit]

After 3.Nxe5:

  • Black plays 3...Bd6 4.d4 dxe4 5.Bc4 Bxe5 6.Qh5 Qf6 7.dxe5, which is thought to be slightly better for White.
  • In Lob–Eliskases, German CC 1929, Black played 3...dxe4. The game continued 4.Bc4 Qg5 5.Bxf7+ Ke7 6.d4 Qxg2 7.Rf1 Bh3 8.Bc4 Nf6 9.Bf4, and White went on to win.
  • 3...Qe7? leads to an advantage for White after 4.d4 f6 5.Nd3 dxe4 6.Nf4 Qf7 7.Nd2 (Bondarevsky–Lilienthal, USSR 1941).

Other lines[edit]

3.d4 can be used to enter some uncommon territory.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The game continuation can be found here: Tal–Lutikov, Tallinn 1964.

Bibliography

External links[edit]