As Black, after 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3, I like to play 4... dxc4 5. a4 Bf5, but I am afraid to play 4... dxc4 because of 5. e4, the Tolush-Geller Gambit (always followed by 5... b5 6. e5 Nd5 7. a4 e6)

  [StartPly "9"]

  [FEN ""]
  1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. e4 b5 6. e5 Nd5 7. a4 e6 (5. a4 Bf5)

I am a 1800 Elo player who likes quiet and strategic positions, so this gambit which leads to insanely sharp tactical positions is frightening me...

But is this gambit really sound?
Does it really give White enough compensation for the sacrificed Pawn?
Should I really be afraid of it?
Should I really abandon 4... dxc4 because of this gambit and choose something else instead (maybe 4... a6 the Chebanenko)?

  • the Gambit is not theoretically dangerous, if you are well prepared, you have nothing to fear, especially that they are not so many novelties in this area. But honestly you shouldn't worry about openings, it start to really count at 2400 level.
    – Niels
    Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 13:17

1 Answer 1


It is quite sound in my opinion. As White I always welcome dc: Black surrenders the center, and asserting a control over it is well worth the pawn. I am not so much sure about 6. e5 though.

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