Chess Opening Theory/1. d4/1...g5/2. Bxg5

Borg Gambit Accepted
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 g5 2. Bxg5

2. Bxg5: Borg Gambit Accepted

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First Impressions

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After accepting the Borg Gambit with Bxg5, White has gained a pawn as well as developed the queenside bishop. Obviously, this puts Black at a disadvantage, as White is now leading in development. Black has three main options here: Play the better move Bg7 and commit to a pseudo-Indian defense, c5 to try to destabilize the center and let the queen out, or try to kick the bishop out with f6.

2... Bg7

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Bg7 prioritizes development over central control, and is considered better by masters and computers alike. This move aims to get quick development up in exchange for gambiting the g pawn. White can fight back by expanding in the center and developing their own pieces, leading to a rather quick race for who can develop their pieces the fastest. This gambit is usually considered not justified[1].

2... c5

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The intent of c5 has two reasons. First, it is to destabilize White's center pawns and force them to respond lest they lose space by a center pawn being taken by a flank pawn. Secondly, it is to let the queen out, which can help destabilize the center or hunt the b2 pawn. This also develops a piece, getting a bit of advantage back for Black.

2... f6?

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f6 attempts to kick away the bishop and expand in the center with an eventual e5, but this can be refuted with 3. e4!, saving the bishop for 1 turn and making some center space. If Black tries to take the bishop, the White queen can go to g5 for a quick checkmate. Overall, this line is considered inferior to Bg7 by masters and computers.

Other options

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Black can also play Nf6 to develop the kingside knight, however after Bxf6, there are doubled pawns on the f file and there is a clear line of sight to the king which can be exploited since the kingside pawns are weak.

Theory table

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

1.d4 g5 2.Bxg5

2 34
...
Bg7
e4
c5
c3

cxd5

...

c5

c3

Qb6

Nf3

Qxb2

...
f6
e4!
fxg6??
Qh5# + −1-0
...

...

...

d6

Qh5+ ±

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References

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  1. "The Borg against d4?". Chess Stack Exchange. Retrieved 2024-01-25.