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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Albin Counter Gambit

     Maroczy, Marshall, Schlechter, Wolf, Mieses, Lasker, Tartakower used to play it, but that was way back then. What about recently? Spassky, Forintos, Mestel, Reprintsev are some of the stronger players who have used it. Also, GM Alexander Morozevich has used it with some success.
      The Albin Countergambit begins with 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e5 and the usual continuation is 3. dxe5 d4 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.
      The 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 Emmanuel Lasker at the 1893 New York international tournament.
      The Main Line is 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 d4 4.Nf3 Nc6 Not 4...c5 allowing 5.e3 because Black no longer has the bishop check and now White's primary options are 5.a3, 5.Nbd2, and 5.g3. White’s best try for an advantage is probably 5.g3 followed by Bg2 and Nbd2 when Black will often play …O-O-O: 5.g3 Be6 6.Nbd2 Qd7 7.Bg2 0-0-0 8.0-0 Bh3.
      White has to avoid the Lasker trap: 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 d4 4.e3? which is met by 4...Bb4+ 5.Bd2 dxe3
and now not 6.Bxb4?? because 6...exf2+ 7.Ke2 fxg1=N+ and Black wins.
      The Spassky Variation begins White plays 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 d4 4.e4 tries to take advantage of the fact that an e.p. capture must be made immediately.
      The Albin Counter-Gambit can take White by surprise. If White takes the e pawn, as he almost always does, the, 3…d4 creates an effective wedge and the threat of d3 can be worrisome to White. Black can take a very aggressive approach and play moves such as Be6 Qd7, Nc6 and castle queenside with the idea of going for White's king.
    In the following game Weaver Adams defeats Dr. Jose Broderman, former Cuban Champion in the 1948 Pan Am tournament.

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