If you don’t like to play the main lines against d4 then you can play the Englund gambit. Englund gambit is a good choice for beginners, especially those who do not like theoretical defenses as the queen’s gambit declined or nimzo Indian defense.
Is the Englund Gambit good?
Englund gambit is good for you if you are playing under 1600 rating or if your opponent is below 1600 rating and he plays d4 opening.
The reason I am limiting the Englund gambit to 1600 rating, because it’s not so good or sound gambit on higher-level chess.
So if you are above 1600 rating then I will not suggest the Englund gambit.
What is the point of the Englund Gambit?
The point of the Englund gambit is to avoid theoretical battles in the opening phase against d4 players.
The d4 players are usually positional chess players and they like to play position chess where they squeeze little by little until your pieces have no better moves.
So the point of Englund gambit is very straightforward, play the e5 move and kick out your opponent from their comfort zone.
Black will get its sacrificed pawn and if white tries to save the extra pawn he will be in the trouble.
How do you play Englund Gambit?
Englund gambit starts when your opponent plays d4 and you reply with e5 and that’s called Englund gambit. Black plays Englund’s gambit to avoid theoretical chess openings.
Here is the starting picture of the Englund gambit.
This is the starting position of the Englund gambit for the black side. Now the best move for white is to capture the extra pawn and accept the Englund gambit.
White accepts the gambit, and now black has two move orders to regain the pawn. My recommendation is to play the first Nc6.
Black played Nc6 and threatens to win back the sacrificed pawn. Now in this position white has many moves. One move is to play the simple and development move nf6.
The second option is to protect this pawn with bishop f4 and a lot of chess players who play London opening will play Bf4 in this position.
The third option is just to ignore the black’s threat and play Nc3. The other remaining moves are not much interesting and you will not see any in your chess games.
Just to let you know that whatever white plays, black should get back this pawn as soon as possible. So our next strategy in the game will be to attack the e5 pawn and win back.
White played one of the options and which is the best move I think, and if white plays to protect the pawn then it’s not the best move.
It’s clear now that black is forcing white to give back the pawn. Here is the position where if white protects the pawn then he will face serious problems. And there is only one move that protects the pawn and that move is the bishop to f4.
This is the position you have to remember and understand if you are willing to play the Englund gambit.
In this position, the black’s best move is to give the check on b4 with the queen. There is a famous trap in this position if white defends incorrectly.
Trap in Englund Gambit
This famous trap is very common in beginner’s level chess. Here is the trap which you will see often if white defends the check incorrectly. Below you will find the game annotated by me.
Please flip the board to the black side for a better view because we are learning the Englund gambit.
Let’s back to our dream position in the Englund gambit.
This is the position where we will watch some chess games in order to understand this position.
Chess Games in Englund Gambit
These chess games are helpful if you are willing to play the Englund gambit or if you are following my recommendation.
Englund Gambit Game 1:
Englund Gambit Game 2:
So far, we have analyzed logical and good moves in Englund gambit. Now let’s analyze the last move in which white can save the pawn. The move which I am talking about is a queen to d5.
Here is the picture of the position which I am talking about.
This is the position where you may get confused because you can not put an extra force on that pawn that you have sacrificed earlier.
In this position the best move that stockfish recommends is f6.
Yes, another pawn move that will help black to get develop his knight and win a tempo on the queen.
But I am not suggesting this move as we are not playing theoretical chess, we just want to bypass the opening phase and play equally with black pieces.
The move which I recommend against Qd5 is g5. Yes, you get it, we are sacrificing another pawn which white has to take other wise we will push it to kick out the knight.
In this position white has two best moves, one is to take the pawn with the knight and the second is to take the pawn with bishop c1.
Let’s first look at when white takes the pawn with the knight.
Yes now you get the point, when white takes the pawn with the knight you will take the e5 pawn with your knight, not with the queen because white is threatening to take f7 with the queen which will be the painful checkmate.
Let’s look at what will happen when white takes the pawn with the bishop which is logical because the bishop attacks the queen at the same time.
That’s where we will have the same motif or trap as we have seen earlier. Black will give the check on b4 with the queen and black will take the b pawn.
Here is the game which illustrates the whole idea when white takes the pawn on g5 with the bishop. Let’s watch this game.
Conclusion on the Englund gambit
Let’s conclude this post, I hope that I explained everything which is necessary to play the Englund gambit. The Englund gambit is not a sound gambit at a high level because it’s very simple and easy to play. So if you want to make a change or surprise your opponent then you may prepare the Englund gambit.
In the end, please take my advice that you will only play this gambit against d4 if your opponent is a less than 1600 rating. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
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