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1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qe5+ ( 3... Qe6+ )

What is the best reply to this ? I know that it isn't very good move for black, but I met it few times. I thought that Be2 is the best because other moves block bishop and it is bad later in the game. Am I right ?

2 Answers 2


Yes, Be2 is the best move to play against both Qe6+ and Qe5+. There are a few reasons for this:

1) Be2 does not block any of your Kingside pieces from developing, allowing you to castle quickly and then attack Black's misplaced Queen. While Be2 does block one of your pieces (your White Queen on d1), this is fine because you shouldn't be developing the Queen early anyways.

2) Be2 does not allow Black to exchange their misplaced Queen off. This allows you to use the Black Queen as a tempo-gainer (i.e., later in the game you can develop your pieces with tempo by attacking it). If you played Qe2 instead of Be2, it would give Black an opportunity to get rid of their bad Black Queen.


Keeping the queen in the center vulnerable to attack cannot be Black's best option. Be2 is the obvious move for reasons you gave. Black can't exploit it, and while e2 is not the best of squares for the bishop, it's still development.

David Letterman played the 3...Qe6+ line against Kasparov in a televised game. Kasparov played 4. Be2, and after 4...Nc6 5. d4 Qg6 5. Nf3 Qxg2 6. Rg1 Qh3 he had a massive lead in development. This is the line I'd go for against Qe6.

3...Qe5+ is just as bad since a future Nf3 will gain another tempo. 3...Qe5+ 4. Be2 c6 (or where is black going to put the queen after Nf3?) 5. Nf3 Qc7 and white again has a massive lead in development.

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