[Title "White to move"]
[fen ""]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e3 e5

I've tried just taking the pawn at c4, but he takes my pawn at d4 and after exchanging some pieces I end with a broken pawn structure while we still have equal pieces.

I've came across this move many times and is dumb-struck at finding a solution.

  • 4. Bxc4 of course. There was a whole chapter on this in Mark Dvoretsky's book Opening Prepration, called "You are right, Monsieur La Bourdonnais!" The great La Bourdonnais scored some fascinating wins in this line after 4. Bxc4. Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 1:28
  • 2
    I have taken the liberty to edit your question with a proper chess diagram and notation. In the future, you should do it yourself, just follow the instructions form this post and you will be fine. If you need help with it, or anything else, just leave a comment and I wil help you. Best regards. Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 1:33
  • @Wes The problem is ending up with a broken pawn structure no matter what I do after 4. Bxc4 e5xd4
    – NoName
    Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 2:21
  • 3
    Then you need to learn how to play in those types of pawn structures. The isolated pawn on d4 in that position is not really bad. You just need to know how to play those types of positions. If you really dislike it, then play 3. Nf3 instead of 3. e3. Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 2:58
  • Dont play e3 play Nf3 its better.
    – user3352
    Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


At that point Black is simply equal and there is nothing you can do to change it ( you would do better to play e4 instead e3 but ...e5 still solves all of Black's problems ). If you wish to play e4 instead of e3 then you need the book Lars Schandorff-Playing the Queen's Gambit ( 2012!) and be sure to get the second edition ( first was in 2009 ). He covers this line quite well.

Your best bet is to try and steer the game into main lines with isolated queen pawn. There you will find subtle move orders that may offer you a small advantage. I can not remember the details, so I can not show you the lines, but the position you aim for is something like this :

[Title "Typical position for QGA"]
[StartFlipped "0"]
[fen "r1bq1rk1/pp2bppp/2n1pn2/8/2BP4/2N2N2/PP2QPPP/R1BR2K1 b - - 0 1"]

You will need good coverage of this opening as theory changes rapidly. I can recommend the following books:

To learn how to play with the isolated queen's pawn you can get Andrew Soltis-Pawn Structure Chess ( 1995 ) ( perhaps my answer to this question can help you too; if you need further help feel free to ask by leaving a comment ) and for Queen's Gambit accepted I will recommend the one written by Semkov & Sakaev or J.Rizzitano-How to beat d4. You can also get Starting out-Queen's Gambit Accepted ( 2006 ) if you need to grasp the basics.


Play Bxc4, then Nf3 and try to get into favorable line of the QGA. If you fail to do so, do not panic! You are both fine, better player wins here! Learn how to play these positions and you will have equal chances to win the game.

Good luck and best regards!

  • Thanks for the answer, I looked at your referred question and... holy crap. Playing well with the isolated queen pawn seems complex and easy to mess up!
    – NoName
    Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 2:27
  • 2
    The diagram shows a traditional Isolated Queen's Pawn position with a black e-pawn. The pawn structure in the OP's question becomes a slightly more uncommon one with a a black c-pawn instead of e-pawn. This pawn structure sometimes arises in the Petrov Defense and the Chigorin Defense. Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 8:59
  • @DagOskarMadsen: That type of pawn structure is explained in the book A.Soltis-Pawn Structure Chess. The difference is big but the principles remain the same... Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 14:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.