8

I've recently played some games as Black that opened like this:

[White "Opponent"]
[Black "Me"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO "B01"]
[FEN ""]
[CurrentPosition "rnb1kbnr/ppp1pppp/8/3q4/2P5/8/PP1P1PPP/RNBQKBNR b KQkq c3 0 3"]

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.c4  *

c4 seems to be a very uncommon move as opposed to Nc3. But it doesn't seem bad at first glance - it allows the knight to go behind the pawn when Nc3 is later played, and grabs some central/queenside space. It also forces the queen to move (although 3.Nc3 would also have done that.)

How do I refute this variation? Or is it perfectly playable?

My opponent and I both have USCF ratings in the 1500s, if that matters.

7

This is what I try to accomplish as white, but I play Nf3 first. Although your can't take advantage this early, there are good moves depending on your temperament.

Qe4+ forces Qe2, else a pawn hangs, and the trade of queens.

Qa5 pins the d-pawn which gives you the opportunity to get in c5 (e5 is more drawish) and get a central majority.

With a normal game continuation, that is Qa5 => Nf6..., the d-pawn is slightly weaker as white can't play c3 to support it.

Just the opinion of a 2000 player.

4

As suggested by @FredKnight, I would play 3...Qe4+

[FEN ""]
[StartPly "5"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. c4 Qe4+ 4. Qe2 (4. Be2 Qxg2 5. Bf3 Qg6) Qxe2+ 5. Bxe2 c5

In the final position:

  • White's b- and d-pawns are restrained
  • Although White has developed the bishop, it is not a good piece yet

I think the evaluation is dynamic equality here.

  • 1
    Your 4.Be2 line appears to lose a rook after 6.Bxg2 Bxd1 7.Bxb7. White could also play 6.Qa4+ Bd7 7.Qb3, and the threats to the queen and b7 appear to also win a rook. So, 5...Bg4 is out. – D M Jul 31 '17 at 15:14
  • @DM: Yeah, I think I was getting too fancy with the Bg4 cross pin. Maybe best is just retreating with 5...Qg6 – user1108 Jul 31 '17 at 15:20
  • After the edit I think that looks OK. – D M Jul 31 '17 at 16:13
0

c4 is definitely worth to take a look and the best continuation as suggested by all is Qe4+ from Black .

If White decides not to exchange Queens and place Ne2 then the c4 pawn is chucked off which may/may not serve as a Gambit depending upon the Player .

Be2 is already mentioned above and it also withdraws a pawn .

The best move is Qe2 from White and Black should exchange the Queens in this line . If Black is playing Q*d5 in the 2nd move then he must be prepared for an End game . if you are a good end game player then you should consider playing it else I would recommend the best playing line is Nf6 as Black does not loose tempos against the Queen .

I mean this one 1)e4,d5 2)e*d5,Nf6 . This line is the best attacking for Black .

  • And of course 3.c4 is a good move in the 2...Nf6 Scandinavian. – bof Aug 1 '17 at 11:25

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