|Moves||1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d5|
|Parent||King's Knight Opening|
|Synonym(s)||Queen's Pawn Counter Gambit
The Elephant Gambit (also called the Queen's Pawn Counter Gambit or Englund Counterattack) is a rarely played chess opening beginning with the moves:
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.
|This article uses algebraic notation to describe chess moves.|
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.
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
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
Elephant Gambit proper: 3...Bd6
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.
- 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).
3.d4 can be used to enter some uncommon territory.
- The game continuation can be found here: Tal–Lutikov, Tallinn 1964.
- Hooper, David and Kenneth Whyld. "Queen's Pawn Counter Gambit." Oxford Companion to Chess. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992. 329.
- Burgess, Graham. The Mammoth Book of Chess. London: Constable and Robinson, 2000.
- de Firmian, Nick (1999). Modern Chess Openings (14th ed.). New York: David McKay Company Inc. pp. 150–51.
|The Wikibook Chess Opening Theory has a page on the topic of: Elephant Gambit|