How do you meet 1.e4 these days? Sicilian? French? Scandinavian? Caro-Kann? It’s a strange truth that very few people seem to respond to the most popular opening move with the most obvious reply: 1…e5
At least, not at club level. At master level, you see it all the time. 12 of the 16 games in the Carlsen-Karjakin match were either Spanish or Italian openings.
Maybe you don’t want to face the Fried Liver Attack or Evans Gambit? There’s no need to fear these openings. Truth is, after 1.e4 e5 – with best play by both sides – White has no advantage. GM Damian Lemos is here to give you a repertoire against whatever White throws your way after 1.e4 e5.
In this video, a preview of GM Lemos new Deep Dive on e4 e5 for Black, he explores the options and plans available to Black when White plays the Evans Gambit.
The Evans Gambit
The Evans Gambit begins with the moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 (diagram).
White’s idea is to give up the b4 pawn to temporarily deflect one of Black’s pieces away from defending the d4 square. Additionally, once Black plays 4…Bxb4 (better than taking with the knight), White will prepare this advance with tempo by first playing 5.c3, attacking the bishop. Once the bishop moves away, White is looking to play d4. If we capture the pawn, White will then be able to maintain the center with cxd4.
GM Lemos recommends we play the move 5..Be7.
Playing 5..Be7 is less common than the alternative of moving the bishop back to the a5 square. However, GM Lemos explains that placing the bishop on a5 gives White more opportunities to attack, which is exactly what players who use the Evan’s Gambit want. ..Be7 is safer, and our opponent will be less prepared for it.
From here, White will play 6.d4 and we will continue with the simple move 6..Na5. We offer White several opportunities to regain his gambited pawn with 7.Nxe5, but in exchange, we are likely to get rid of White’s dangerous c4 bishop with 7..Nxc4 8.Nxc4, gaining the bishop pair advantage
Be sure to watch the video for an in-depth explanation of how Black can play against the Evans Gambit.
Deep Dive 1.e4 e5 for Black
GM Damian Lemos has put together a new Deep Dive aimed at getting you to experience the fascinating play that comes after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4/Bb5.
Over the course of 7½ hours, GM Lemos prepares you for every variation you’re likely to face, explaining your strategic aims, how to deal with White’s ideas, and analyzing some super-instructive games from the likes of Carlsen and Anand.