I've been investigating the theory of the King's gambit, and I found the variation in the accepted 3. Nf3 Be7. I didn't like the looks of that for White.

I've started to play the Bishop's gambit, but the problem is that Black can also play the 3... Be7 line. Is there any way to deal with it?

  • 1
    How would you deal with it in the Nf3 Be7 line? There are several options
    – David
    Aug 2, 2020 at 9:29
  • I would play Bc4 and after the check, Kf1, but after taking the bishop with my knight, there is no way to get rid of Black's queen.
    – user24344
    Aug 4, 2020 at 1:05

2 Answers 2


After 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Be7 4.Nf3 Bh4+ probably 5.g3!? fxg3 6.0-0 does the job.

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1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Be7 4.Nf3 Bh4+ 5.g3!? fxg3 6.O-O

In typical King's gambit style, you're down in material and probably a bit worse with perfect play, but you have great compensation and attacking chances. If Black makes a mistake, they will pay the consequences.

[fen ""]
1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 Be7 4. Nc3! {Provoking Black to displace our king} Bh4+ (4...Nf6 {is actually the most critical try, preparing d5} 5. d4 d5 6. exd5 Nxd5 7. Bc4 Be6 (7...Bh4+ 8. g3 fxg3 9. Qe2+ Be6 10. hxg3 Bxg3+ 11. Kd1 {Opening the kingside like this gives White a lot of play as Black will castle there or leave his king in the center... just look at h7}) 8. Bxd5 Bxd5 9. Bxf4) 5. Ke2 {Looks like we are playing with fire, but is sound and also gives Black opportunity to become overzealous and make mistakes} d5 {Opening the center is probably most critical} (5...c6 6. d4 d5 7.Bxf4 dxe4 8.Nxe4 Qe7 9.Be5 f6 10.Nd6+ Kd8 11.Nxh4 fxe5 12. Ndf5 Bxf5 13. Nxf5 Qe6 14. Ne3 {check complications with engine if something is unclear}) (5...Be7 6. d4 g5 7. Qd3 {Making room for the king who will go to d1} d6 8. Kd1) (5...d6 6. d4 Bg4 7. Bxf4) 6. Nxd5 Nf6 7. Nxf6+ Qxf6 8. d3 (8. d4!? {Is more active but also risky}) Bg4 9. Qd2 Qb6 10. Kd1 Bg5 11. Be2 {Is dynamically equal. Note that this was almost perfect play by Black}
  1. Bc4 has bigger problems than ...Be7, namely 3...Nf6 (GM Shaw even goes as far as to call it a soft refutation, i.e. Black is better in all variants). Here is what I like to play in the Nf3 variation after Be7. You might think it looks like White will go down in flames, but actually most Black players overstep heavily very fast and you get very good play.

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