Sunday, September 23, 2012

From Gambit Lasker Trap In Bird's Opening

Black can play the From Gambit against the Bird's Opening. The Lasker Variation contains a basic trap that White sometimes falls for, but the Bird player has better options. Let's look at some details using a blitz game I played this past week.

Bird's Opening begins 1.f4. Normal play involves an early ...d5 being a reversed Dutch Defence. One way Black can mix things up is with From's move 1...e5. White of course can transpose to a King's Gambit with 2.e4. However, many Bird's players prefer to defend a pawn up rather than attack a pawn down. Thus they play 1.f4 e5 2.fxe5. The Schlechter Variation is 2...Nc6, but the main line From is 2...d6. My friend Keith Hayward did well with his line 3.e4, but most players as White keep chopping wood with 3.exd6.

After 1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6, Black is threatening checkmate with 4...Qh4+ 5.g3 Qxg3+ 6.hxg3 Bxg3 mate! This is easily parried by 4.Nf3 when Black again has two good choices. My computers seem to slightly prefer Mestel's 4...Nf6 with quick piece play. I have done well with that line, but I also like Lasker's 4...g5!? vs weaker opponents.

keka - Sawyer, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 20.09.2012 begins 1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 [2.e4] 2...d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3! g5!? [4...Nf6!] 5.c3? [This blunder loses the game. Since ...g5-g4 is coming next move, White has to prepare a safe place for his knight. There are two good ways to do this: 5.g3 g4 6.Nh4 and 5.d4 g4 6.Ne5] 5...g4 6.Nd4 Qh4+ White resigns, noting to me that this was a trap. 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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