In Lichess, this sequence is rated as a blunder. However, black can take the pawn afterwards without white being able to prevent it (3.Nf3 Qxe4), so it seems like a good move to me.

Furthermore, if white makes the mistake to move 3.g3, black takes the rook (3.Qxe4+ 4.Qe2 Qxh1).

[FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"]

1. e4 e5 2. d4 Qh4 3. Nf3

This (Blitz) game of mine caused my confusion.

  • 1
    Why do you assume that 3.Nf3 and 3.g3 are the only available choices?
    – David
    Jan 24 at 17:07
  • Nf3 was the option proposed by the AI and g3 mine
    – MetaColon
    Jan 24 at 20:13
  • 1
    Nf3 is the computer's suggestion.... but that's because computers are awesome at chess!. A human player can simply go for Nc3 (protecting the e4 pawn) and have an excellent position
    – David
    Jan 25 at 13:37

I would not go so far as to call it a "blunder", but White is getting lots of compensation for the pawn. They get a big lead in development and Black's queen can be attacked.

Here's one way it could go:

[FEN ""]

1. e4 e5 2. d4 Qh4 3. Nf3 Qxe4+ 4. Be2 exd4 5. O-O Nc6 6. Re1 Be7 7. Na3 Nf6 (7... a6 8. Bxa6) 8. Nb5 O-O 9. Nxc7 Rb8 10. Bb5 Qg6 11. Bxc6 Bd8 12. Ne5 Qf5 13. Bf3 Bxc7 14. g4 Nxg4 (14... Qe6 15. Ng6) 15. Bxg4 Qf6 16. Nd3 *

It's also worth pointing out that White can keep things nice and simple if they choose, and not give up the pawn:

[FEN ""]
1. e4 e5 2. d4 Qh4 3. dxe5 Qxe4+ 4. Qe2 

Furthermore, if black makes the mistake to move 3.g3

The computer is never going to care about what happens if your opponent makes a mistake - it always assumes your opponent will play the best move.


White can protect the pawn with Nc3, then attack the black Q with Nf3 to gain a tempo in addition to the advantage of the first move.

It is not a blunder but Qh4 by black is a poor move and inferior.

Perhaps is is a totally bad move as it does not show up as played by anybody at any level in chess tempo list of millions of games.


It is not a blunder, who said and what is your reference if it is a blunder, I would like to see the concrete refutation variant.

A blunder is a moving that change evaluation of a position few points that is irreversible. Qh4 is not a good move and gives advantage to white but it is not a blunder and not losing move. I am not a chess master but my Fide rating is above 2100. I am happy to answer more in details if you want.

In general developing queen soon is not a good idea, because this heavy and expensive piece will get target of opponent’s small pieces while developing. Nc3 and then Nf3 gives good advantage to white...

  • Lichess said so (see the link I posted)
    – MetaColon
    Jan 26 at 15:26
  • 1
    OK, first of all, Lichess is an Opensource free software with many people contributing on it, information there is not necessary correct, might be useful but sometimes confusing specially for beginners. I would recommend consult with Master or use proper chess engine. There is paid and free, for example you can buy Fritz or Chessbase to analyze positions and it evaluate for us (based on value of pawns) or you can use Stockfish which available for free and is very strong chess engine too. After Qh4 as I said white get advantage but not wining. So it is not a blunder move.
    – Jackal
    Jan 27 at 20:54
  • @Jackal as far as I know, Lichess uses Stockfish as its chess engine.
    – wimi
    Jan 28 at 9:05

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