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[FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR"]
[Title "Center Game"]
[StartFlipped "1"]

1. e4 e5 2. d4 f6??

Stockfish says that 2…f6 was a blunder and recommends 2…exd4 instead.

I understand why 2…exd4 is the best move for Black, and I have seen people explain why 2…d6 and 2…Nc6 are not as good. However, none of the resources I found mentions 2…f6.

I know that 2…f6 blocks the f6 square which could be used to develop the knight. However, I assume that the knight can be developed to e7 later. Also, 2…f6 might have an advantage over 2…d6, since, if White captures the pawn on e5, Black can then capture back toward the center, which as I know is generally a good thing.

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  • 4
    "Never play f6!" -- GM Ben Finegold
    – Allure
    Dec 27, 2021 at 3:08
  • So many players on lichess fall into this, it's such a pleasure to punish it :-)))
    – Tomas
    Feb 4, 2022 at 3:23

1 Answer 1

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The reason is that after 3. dxe5 fxe5 4. Qh5+ you are in a lot of trouble and already lost.

[fen ""]

1. e4 e5 2. d4 f6 3. dxe5 fxe5 4. Qh5+ Ke7 (4...g6 5. Qxe5+ Kf7 6. Bc4+) 5. Qxe5+ Kf7 6. Bc4+
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    I see, so it's about moving the f-pawn causing the black king to be more exposed.
    – hb20007
    Dec 26, 2021 at 19:02
  • 1
    You mean "black king", of course, and if you insist on f6, try playing the gambit 3...Nc6 (I still don't recommend, but in blitz everything goes :-) Dec 26, 2021 at 19:30
  • 2
    More reasonably black can play 3... Qe7, which might even recover the pawn.
    – Cleveland
    Dec 27, 2021 at 4:56
  • Not sure how "reasonable" it is to render your entire Kingside set of pieces immobile; the fact that's pretty much the safest way way to keep from losing a pawn seems to highlight just how bad an idea ...f6 is. Black now can only develop one piece without making multiple moves, White can develop any piece except the Rooks with a single move. So Black's best case is they keep the pawn at the cost of 2-3 extra developing moves. As White, I'll take that bargain every time.
    – Arlen
    Dec 27, 2021 at 19:18
  • 2
    It's certainly not a good line, but better than losing a full rook.
    – Cleveland
    Dec 28, 2021 at 1:20

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