The Queen's Gambit


Overview

The Queen's Gambit is a chess opening when the following moves are played:


The idea behind the Queen's Gambit is: White is trying to exchange his wing pawn (the c-pawn) for a centre pawn (Black's d-pawn).

If this is done, then White proceeds to dominate the centre with his King pawn.


Despite its name, the Queen's Gambit is not a true gambit, since Black cannot hold the pawn:


The Queen's Gambit is divided into three major categories based on Black's response

  • The Queen's Gambit Accepted (QGA)
  • The Queen's Gambit Declined (QGD)
  • And the Slav Defense


In the QGA, Black plays 2...dxc4, temporarily giving up the centre to obtain free development.

In the QGD, Black usually plays to hold d5 but has to block his bishop in.

Frequently Black will be cramped and will need to aim to exchange pieces and use the pawn breaks at c5 and e5 to free his game.

While in the Slav, Black also plays to hold d5 but doesn't have to block his bishop in.


What is The Queen's Gambit?

The Queen's Gambit is a popular chess opening that occurs in 1 out of every 8 chess games.

It consists of three moves.

You can see what it looks like below.



How To Reach The Queen's Gambit

You can reach the Queen's Gambit opening by making three moves.

  1. First, move your queen’s pawn forward to squares.
  2. Then move Black's queen pawn two spaces forward.
  3. Finally, move your queen sides bishop pawn forward two squares.

In chess notation this is written as:

  1. d4 d5
  2. c4

See what it looks like below.



Why Play The Queen's Gambit

White chooses to play the Queen’s Gambit because it gives him the opportunity to exchange his wing pawn to gain more control of the center.

This leads to positions where White can constantly put pressure on his opponent.

The Queen's Gambit can force black to either lose control of the center or having to play in a cramped position.


Why is it called Queen’s Gambit?

The Queen's Gambit is called a Gambit because White is "sacrificing" his c-pawn in order to get a better control over the center.

Note that this sacrifice is not permanent and White can easily get back the pawn he's sacrificed.


What is the Queen's Gambit Declined?

The Queen's Gambit Declined is one of Black's three responses to White's Queen Gambit opening.

Instead of accepting White's wing pawn, Black chooses to secure his center pawn instead.

Black focuses on controlling the center with the trade off of accepting a cramped position.

This is Black's most popular reply to the Queen's Gambit Opening.


What is the Queen's Gambit Accepted?

The Queen's Gambit Accepted is one of Black's three responses to White's Queen Gambit opening.

Black chooses to accept White's wing pawn for his center pawn.

With the idea being to temporarily not worry about controlling the center, but increasing mobility for his pieces.


Is the Queen's Gambit Accepted Playable?

Yes!

This opening is considered sound and some of the most elite players in the world play the Queen's Gambit Accepted.


Every move explained

Albin Countergambit

How To Reach It

The Albin Countergambit is a chess opening that begins with the following moves:

  1. d4 d5
  2. c4 e5
  3. dxe5 d4

See these moves played out below:

Why play the Albin Countergambit

In the Albin Countergambit, Black lets White take a pawn with the idea of pushing his d pawn one square forward.

That way this pawn can be used as a wedge for Black's counter attack.

White's Moves

Castle Kingside to Protect the King

Normally in the Albin Countergambit, White castles kingside to protect his King, While black castles Queenside.

Protect Pawn using Kingside Knight

The job of this knight is to defend the pawn on e5.

So black normally tries to remove the defender of this pawn with his bishop.

So black normally tries to remove the defender of this pawn with his bishop.

So what White does, is place his other Knight so in case of an exchange, the pawn on e5 is still defended.

Replace Kingside Knight with Queenside Knight in case of trade

Typically Black will place his light squared bishop and try to trade it off for White's kingside knight.

With the idea of getting rid of the defender for the e5 pawn.

So if we White places his Queenside knight on d2, even if his Knight on f3 is traded off...

The Knight on d2 can just take its place.

Place bishop on long square diagonal

So typically, White will place his bishop on this long diagonal.

The idea being to attack Black's Queenside when Black castles that way.

Black's moves

Castle Queenside to Protect the King

Normally in the Albin Countergambit, White castles kingside to protect his King, While black castles Queenside.

Attack White's e pawn using Queen Knight

The job of White's knight is to defend the pawn on e5. Black's job is to attack and put pressure on this e5 pawn.

This is normally done with Blacks Queen's Knight. With enough pressure, from enough pieces, this e5 pawn can fall.

Try and exchange bishop for White's knight

Typically Black should exchange his light squared bishop and try to trade it off for White's kingside knight if he gets a chance.

The idea of getting rid of the defender for the e5 pawn.

Queen’s Gambit Declined

How To Reach It

The Queen's Gambit Declined is a chess opening that begins with the following moves:

  1. d4 d5
  2. c4 e6

This is known as the Orthodox Line of the Queen's Gambit Declined. When the "Queen's Gambit Declined" is mentioned, it is usually assumed to be referring to the Orthodox Line.

See these moves played out below:

Why play the Queen's Gambit Declined

The Queen's Gambit Declined has the reputation of being one of the best defenses against the Queen’s Gambit and is played at the highest levels of chess.

White's Moves

Use Queen’s Knight To Put Pressure on d5 pawn

As White, we should place our Queen’s Knight on c3 with the idea being to attack Black’s d5 pawn.

If White can load up enough attackers on d5, then the d5 pawn will fall.

Use dark squared bishop to pin Black’s kingside knight

Black will try and place his King’s Knight on f6 to protect the pawn on d5.

When Black does this, White should move his Bishop to g4. Doing this leaves Black’s knight pinned and can’t defend the d5 pawn anymore, since if it moves, the Queen is under attack.

Point light squared bishop to attack Black’s Castled King

Since Black normally will castle Kingside, so what So white should do is first push his king pawn forward one square, and then swing his bishop to d3.

That way, White’s bishop will directly attacks Black’s King.

Black's moves

Use Queen’s Knight To Backup Kings Knight on d7

Black place his King’s Knight on c6 to defend the d5 square and pawn.

Then White normally move his Bishop to g4 to try and pin the Knight on c6 and make it so it can’t defend the d5 pawn anymore.

To counter this: Black should move his Knight to d7.

That way if White takes the Knight on f6, Black can place his other Knight back on f6 and still keep d5 protected.

Attack c3 Knight

So normally, White place his Queen’s Knight on the c3 square to try and attack and win the d5 pawn.

Black should try and launch a counter attack on this Knight on c3.

This is done by first pushing the queen’s bishop pawn on c7 forward one square to c6.

So the Queen can swing out to the a5 square and attack the d1-a5 diagonal.

Then black should swinging his dark squared bishop to b4 to further attack the d1-a5 diagonal.

And finally bringing the King’s knight over to e5 to really exploit this pin and launching a dangerous attack.

Queen’s Gambit Accepted

How To Reach It

The Queen’s Gambit Accepted is a chess opening that begins with the following moves:

  1. d4 d5
  2. c4 dxc4

See these moves played out below:

Why play the Queen's Gambit Accepted

The Queen's Gambit Accepted is the third most popular option against the Queen’s Gambit (with the Queen's Gambit Declined being the most popular and the Slav Defense coming in second).

In this move, Black surrenders fighting for the center and instead opts to let White have it.

Black will then try to weaken White's center pawns to gain an advantage in the ensuing endgame or White an isolated pawn on d4 weakness – which can be used to counter attack during the middlegame.

White's Moves

Take back pawn by pushing e3

As White, if we want to take back the pawn on c4 immediately, we can only do so by pushing this pawn one square forward to e3.

If we push this pawn to e4, we give Black the chance to keep this pawn.

Push queenside pawns forward to break apart black’s pawn formation

Black will try to use this Queenside pawns to try and protect the pawn he won on c4.

So White should push his queenside pawns forward to break apart Black’s pawn formation.

Black's moves

Setup Queenside Wall

Black should try to use his Queenside pawns as a wall to protect the pawn he won on c4.

Place Dark Squared Bishop on Long Diagonal

Black should also place his bishop on b7 so it controls the long a8-h1 diagonal.