Chess Opening Theory/1. d4/1...d5/2. c4/2...Nf6/3. cxd5

Marshall Defence
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 d5 2. c4 Nf6 3. cxd5

3. cxd5


White takes the pawn. Black almost has to recover the pawn because of the control d5 exerts over his moves, but neither variation is very appealing:

  • 3...Nxd5 allows 4. e4 when White has gained a tempo, the centre, and opened up lines for his pieces.
  • 3...Qxd5 prevents white from obtaining a full pawn centre but results in 4. Nc3, winning a tempo anyway.

Because white is given a comfortable position regardless of what path black chooses, this opening is not seen very often at the professional level.

Black has also the option to play a gambit and aim at the center, with for instance 3...c6 4.dxc6 Nxc6 5.Nf3 e5!

Theory table


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

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 d5

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