# How should White continue after Nxb4 in the Evans Gambit?

Recently I have been playing the Evans Gambit as many times as I can and for the most part, black plays `4...Bxb4`, but someone played `4...Nxb4` and I wasn't sure how to continue. After the following moves below, how should I continue with the `Evans Gambit` as white?

``````[FEN ""]
1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bc4 Bc5
4. b4  Nxb4
5. c3  Nc6
6. d4  exd4
``````
-

`4...Nxb4` directly transposes to the main line with `4...Bxb4 5. c3 Bc5`.

In that line, white usually plays `6. d4 exd4 7. O-O!`.

Black cannot take the pawn on c3 because of `8. Bxf7+! Kxf7 9. Qd5+` picking off the bishop on c5 with an overwhelming advantage.

``````[FEN ""]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4 Nxb4 (4... Bxb4 5. c3 Bc5) 5. c3 Nc6 6. d4 exd4 7. O-O \$1 dxc3 \$2 8. Bxf7+ \$1 Kxf7 9. Qd5+
``````
-
Andrew, I am slightly confused, how can `4...Nxb4` transpose into `4...Bxb4...`. After `4...Nxb4`, is it correct to play `5. d4` – xaisoft Jan 17 '13 at 16:02
@xaisoft I added a replayer to help you out. In the Evan's Accepted, white always plays `5. c3`. After `5... Nc6`, it is the exact same position as the main line with `5... Bc5`. – Andrew Jan 17 '13 at 16:17
OK, it makes sense now. I made the mistake of `7. cxd4` instead of `7. O-O`. – xaisoft Jan 17 '13 at 16:32
The transposition still is a little weird to me, but let me know if I have it right: Are you saying that since the Black Knight went back to `c6`, it is as if the Bishop captured the `b4` pawn and went back to `c5` and we are essentially back were we started. – xaisoft Jan 17 '13 at 16:34
@xaisoft, yes, that is exactly correct. Check out the pgn viewer above, the position is the same after black's 5th move in both the main line and the variation. – Andrew Jan 17 '13 at 16:44

Answering the original question: after 4...Nb4 5.Ne5 (threatens 6.Nf7 or Bf7+) if 5...Nh6 6.d4? Bd6? 7.Bh6 Be5 then things go wild with 8.Bf7+ Kf7 9.Qh5+ & then 10.Qe5 but Black has a fork with check in hand ...Nc2+ but White has the attack.

``````    However instead of 6...Bd6?, Black has 6...Bd4! as 7.Qd4 fails to
7...Nc2+
``````

So White needs 6.c3 before 7.d4. Basically instead of the original 4...Nb4 5.c3 ... ,
try 4...Nb4 5.Ne5 Nh6 6.c3 and the position looks good for White.

-
Why is `5... Nh6` necessary? Why not `5... d5!?` or `5... Qf6 6. d4 Bxd4!`. – Dag Oskar Madsen May 16 '15 at 17:39