Today I have been playing some new lines I haven't tried before. I am quite fond of the Petrov (Russian) Defense and I found some interesting lines particularly the Stafford Gambit seemed to peak my interest.

I had 2 games today with this line and in both instances white did 6. Qe2. This I found interesting as the expected continuation in this position is for move 6 for white is d4. I found that countering with Bc5 seemed to work ok but I was curious as to some thoughts about what the best move following Qe2 would be and potential development ideas.

[FEN ""]
[Date "2020.08.24"]
[White "Him"]
[Black "Me"]
[ECO "C42"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 Nc6 4. Nxc6 dxc6 5. e5 Ne4 6. Qe2 Bc5 7. Qxe4 *
  • 5
    In the final position in your game extract above you are a whole piece and a pawn down for 1 or 2 tempi. What makes you think you aren't completely lost?
    – Brian Towers
    Commented Sep 11, 2020 at 10:00
  • Suggest looking at the stafford gambit under normal circumstances. theres a fair few traps that can be played. thechesswebsite.com/stafford-gambit-accepted/…
    – Dheebs
    Commented Sep 11, 2020 at 10:43
  • 4
    I don't normally think using an engine this early in the opening is that useful, but given the Black's compensation has to be very concrete for such an investment in this open position I thought I'd throw it at stockfish. The final position after Qxe4 it evaluates as +4.75 to white after a few minutes thought.
    – Ian Bush
    Commented Sep 11, 2020 at 11:01
  • 2
    ...Nc5 directly (you will have to do it anyways after d3) or ...Bf5 and ...Nc5 after d3 seem to be the way to go after Qe2. The knight is rerouted to e6, Black develops with Bb4 after White nevelops his knight via Nc3 and then Black castles.
    – B.Swan
    Commented Sep 11, 2020 at 11:05
  • 1
    Or 5...Nd5 instead of 5...Ne4 in the first place (I completely agree with the engine here). Black is a pawn down, but has some dynamic potential (White can get tied down in the defense of his centre), and most importantly, he doesn't just drop a piece for nothing.
    – Annatar
    Commented Sep 11, 2020 at 11:46

2 Answers 2


The Stafford is getting popular because of the Youtube videos I guess. I saw it earlier today and just played 5.Be2 to take it out of book and won easily.

It's a trappy opening and you're going to have to accept the fact that not every white move gives you a mate in 2.

The best move is probably Bf5. The downside to Qe2 is that 1) white hinders his own development and 2) the c2 pawn isn't defended. Bf5 takes advantage of both of those facts while protecting the knight Qd4 might be another option. 6...f5 and 6...Qh5 are just bad. The only other options would be moving the knight to c5 or g5.


Rats. I thought I had a 5. Qe2 somewhere... Crap, that colllection of Stafford games was on the stolen laptop.

...Bf5 was a suggestion earlier, right? Then if d3 kicks you back to c5, and d4 hits you again, you can drop back to e6 without blocking the bishop, or go in for ...Ne4 f3 Qh4+ Qf2 (what a mess) .

  • In this last line Qf2 seems weak :-) I guess you mean first g3 and if Nxg3 then Qf2. Commented Sep 12, 2020 at 16:23

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