[FEN ""]
[Title "Bskg vs NN"]
[Result "1-0"]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e3 Nc6 { A mistake, blocks counterplay based on c7-c5 } 4.Bxc4 { Seems passive and the light squared bishop is locked in. However, e7-e5 is difficult with the knight on c6 in view of d4-d5 } 4...e6 5.Nf3 Bd6 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.O-O O-O 8.e4 { Is this move good? It was the only plan I found } 8...e5 9.dxe5 { I thought I would have an advantage in the following endgame due to my central pawn, but I now like d5 better as it seems more ambitious } 9...Nxe5 10.Nxe5 Bxe5 11.Qxd8 Rxd8 12.Bg5 { I think the simplification was a bad idea for white, black's d-rook and dark square bishop are very strong. } 12...b6 13.Bd5 Rb8 14.Rfd1 { Trying to take the initiative with tactical threats and taking the open file } 14...Rf8 15.h3 h6 { Isn't Ba6 better? } 16.Be3 Bb7 { nxd5 was a bit scary and Ba6 would be good, but after the move that was played I think white is better again. The rook is bad on b7 and white gains time } 17.Bxb7 Rxb7 18.Bd4 { bxd4 activates white's rooks and Re8 is strongly met by f4 } 18...Re8 19.Bxe5 Rxe5 20.f4 Rc5 21.e5 { The knight must move to a terrible square } 21...Nh5 { Here the knight will be lost } 22.Rd4 Rb8 23.g4 Nxf4 24.Rxf4 Rxe5 25.Rd1 c6 26.Rd7 a5 27.Rfxf7 Rg5 28.Ne4 Rg6 29.Kg2 h5 30.Kf3 hxg4 31.hxg4 Kh7 32.Ng3 Rg8 33.Nf5 Kh8 34.Ne7 

I had white.


A good game between equally matched players.

3. e4 is more common and is one of the points of the gambit - you gain more space. You're going to use an extra move to get it to e4 on move 8. Might as well do it on move 3.

9. dxe5 allows a series of trades that sucks the life out of the game. I think 9. d5 is slightly stronger and is what I expected you to play.

14...Rf8 made my face hurt. Instead, consider Ba6 or Be6. The latter allows an isolated e pawn but it connects the rooks and removes White's best piece.

15...h6 I'd have Nxd5 to kill that good Bishop. That would be add sense to the Rf8 move.

After 16. Bb7, followed by ... c5, Black's Rook is not so badly placed and is closer to making a battery.

21... Nh5 A Knight on the rim is dim.

26. Rd7 is a strong move. Note this would not have been possible had Black not wasted a move with 22... Rb8 but instead simply pushed the c pawn per a previous comment. That is, consider 18... Bxd4 19. Rd4 c5 20. Rd2 Re8. White may be better, but there's no obvious win here.

The game didn't do a lot for me as the trades removed most of the tension. Had Black not blundered the Knight it was looking drawish though I did prefer White's more active Rooks.

  • 3
    3.e3 is one of the standard moves here, and even slightly more popular than 3.e4 in my database. Anyway, both are well-accepted approaches.
    – ETD
    Feb 19 '15 at 0:09
  • 1
    I agree that 9. d5 would have been better. With 3...Nc6 combined with 9. d5, Black would be lacking a half-open file, which might become uncomfortable unless s/he could work in ...f5 or ...c5. Like @ETD, I don't agree that 3. e4 was necessarily better. It's easy to go astray with the kind of unstable center that creates.
    – rolando2
    Feb 24 '15 at 4:30

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