Chess Opening Theory/1. d4/1...Nf6/2. c4/2...e5/3. dxe5/3...Ng4/4. Nf3/4...Nc6

< Chess Opening Theory‎ | 1. d4‎ | 1...Nf6‎ | 2. c4‎ | 2...e5‎ | 3. dxe5‎ | 3...Ng4‎ | 4. Nf3
Budapest Gambit
a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8 8
7 a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2 2
1 a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position in Forsyth-Edwards Notation (FEN)
Moves: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Nf3 Nc6
ECO code: A51-A52
Parent: Indian Defence

The 4...Nc6 lineEdit

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Nf3 Nc6

Black plays this when he wants to postpone the placement of its dark-squared bishop. Now White has a wide choice:

  • 5.Bf4 transposes in the 4.Bf4 variation explained hereafter.
  • 5.Qd5 transposes in the minor line 4.Qd5 explained hereafter.
  • 5.Nc3 will transpose into the 4...Bc5 line if Black plays 5...Bc5, but Black can also wait a bit to see what White is up to, e.g. 5...Ngxe5 6.Nxe5 Nxe5 7.Qc2 Bb4 when both players are still hesitating to castle long or short.[1]

5.e3 Bb4+Edit

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.e3 Bb4+

After 5.e3 the check 5...Bb4+ is not that good because White can react with the simple 6.Bd2 that does not concede anything and keeps the possibility for his Nb1 to reach the important d5-square. A game continued 6...Bxd2+ 7.Qxd2 O-O 8.Be2 Ncxe5 9.Nxe5 Nxe5 10.O-O d6 11.Nc3 Bg4 12.f3 Be6 13.b3 Qh4 and here Borik advises 14.Nd5 with the more comfortable game.[2]

The other reply 6.Nc3 is good only if Black makes the errors of not doubling White's pawns with the immediate 6...Bxc3+. For example in a game after 6...Ngxe5 7.Bd2 O-O 8.a3! Bxc3 9.Bxc3 d6 Black had no compensation for the loss of the bishop pair.[3] After the correct 6...Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 Qe7! (important to prevent both c4–c5 and Bc1–a3) 8.a4 Ngxe5 9.Ba3 d6 10.c5 Nxf3+ 11.gxf3 Qe5! 12.Qd2 dxc5 and White had not sufficient compensation for the pawn.[4]

5.e3 Ngxe5Edit

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.e3 Ngxe5

Better for Black is 5...Ngxe5 when Black can go into a kind of King's Indian Defence setup with g7–g6 and Bf8–g7.[5] Then the pressure along the a1–h8 diagonal can be enhanced via the quick advance a7–a5–a4–a3. For example after 5.e3 Ngxe5 6.Be2 g6 ("!?" Lalic) 7.O-O Bg7 8.Nc3 O-O 9.Qd2 d6 10.h3 ("?" Lalic) 10...a5 ("!" Lalic) 11.b3 a4 and now 12.Bb2 would have been followed by 12.a3! 13.Bc1 Nxf3+ 14.Bxf3 Qf6 winning the Nc3.[6]


1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bg5

5.Bg5 Be7 6.Bxe7 (6.Bf4 Bb4+ transposes in the 4.Bf4 variation) 6...Qxe7 7.Nc3 with the dangerous positional threat Nc3–d5. Here Borik advocates 7...Qc5 8.e3 Ngxe5, when he can react to Qd1–d5 with Qc5–e7 (and the d5-square is no more available to the Nc3), and to Nc3–d5 with Nc6–e7 (to exchange the annoying knight).[5] Black can also delay the recapture of the e5-pawn with 7...O-O 8.Nd5 Qd8 9.e3 Ngxe5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5.[7] Meanwhile, the natural 7...Ngxe5 falls into White's positional trap and after 8.Nd5 ("!?" Lalic) 8...Qd8 9.Nxe5 Nxe5 10.Qd4 f6 11.f4 Ng6 12.Qe4+ Kf7 White got an edge.[8]

Theory tableEdit

For explanation of theory tables, see theory table and for notation, see algebraic notation.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Nf3 Nc6

5 6 7 8 9


  1. Lalic 1998, p.91
    Hebden – Hodgson, Guernsey 1985
  2. Borik 1986, p.2
    Gutman – Shvidler, Beersheva 1982
  3. Borik 1986, p.3
    Thomas – Reti, Baden-Baden 1925
  4. Borik 1986, p.6
    Kamishov – Selyinsky, USSR 1973
  5. a b Borik 1986, p.11
  6. Lalic 1998, p.90
    Maurer – Nurkic, Imperia 1990
  7. Lalic 1998, p.92
    Polugaevsky – Nunn
  8. Lalic 1998, p.94
    Laketic – Gavric, Yugoslavian team championship 1994