1.e4 e5 Beating Sidelines and Gambits with Black – GM Damian Lemos
Capablanca, Karpov and even the champion himself, Magnus Carlsen — all of them have relied upon 1…e5 as a key weapon to completely neutralize the aggressive intentions of 1.e4 players.
Even blood-thirsty attackers like Kasparov and Tal have been abruptly stopped in their tracks by a skilfully played 1…e5 defense.
But things are slightly different at the club level, right?
At club level, you’ll need to face openings like the King’s Gambit, Vienna, Danish Gambit and other bone-chilling attacks and gambits…and against a strong tactical player, this could end in disaster.
But, not for you.
This very course is dedicated to crushing these openings and features Grandmaster Damian Lemos calmly dismantling each one of them — showing you exactly how to do the same in your games.
No need to fear the King’s Gambit. Nor the Danish. None of these 19th-century fossil openings.
GM Lemos has a complete blueprint for beating them and proves it via instructive sample games, cutting-edge theory, sophisticated middlegame plans and much more in 6 and a half hours of professional lessons.
About the Author:
Damian Lemos is a grandmaster from Argentina with a peak rating of 2559 Elo.
In his lessons, Damian works closely with students to first identify the flaws and weaknesses in their games so that they can be properly evaluated and corrected.
By developing specifically-tailored training regimens for every one of his students, Grandmaster Lemos is able to achieve results that other chess coaches dream of.
How is this course going to help me?
At club level, you can’t expect to face mainlines most of the time. You’ll always have to play against not-so-common openings such as the Vienna Gambit, King’s Gambit, Danish Gambit, and other old school gambits and attacks that could get you in trouble if you’re not prepared.
GM Damian Lemos is here to arm you to the teeth so that you can be ready to demolish any sideline or gambits that White players could use against you after 1.e4 e5.
Here’s part of what you’ll learn in this course:
The Center Gambit
In the center Gambit, White aims for the occupation of the center. After 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.Qxd4 we reach the position on the right. Here, Black can continue with 3…Nc6 gaining a tempo on the queen.
White can also opt to play 3.Nf3 first and after 3…Nc6, this can transpose into a variation of the Scotch game.
After 1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3.Qxd4 Nc6 White must be careful where he retreats the queen as there are a few squares that could be dangerous.
Qd2 blocks in White’s dark-squared bishop, for example, which is good for Black.
If White retreats with 4.Qd1, Black can easily equalize by playing 4…Nf6 5.Bc5 0-0 6.Re8 d5.
A dangerous option that should be avoided by Black would be if White goes for 3.c3 which is a real gambit as he doesn’t aim to regain the pawn.
Black should be wary of allowing White to develop if he goes for the pawn with 3…dxc3 4.Bc4 cxb2 5.Bxb2 where White is way ahead in development at the cost of two pawns.
The worst move for White is 4.Qc3, which loses on the spot after 4…Bb4.
If 4.Qe3, GM Lemos recommends 4…Bb4+. Then, if 5.Nc3 he voluntarily pins himself, or if 5.Bd2, Black can happily trade bishops.
With 5.c3, Black can retreat to a5 and then b6 with his Bishop. Another option that White can try is 3. Qxd4 Nc6 4.Qe3 Nf6 5.e5. This is unsound for White as after …Ng4 he has very little development and will struggle to hang on to the endangered e-pawn.
The King’s Gambit
The Kings Gambit is one of the more dangerous continuations that Black can face after 1.e4 e5. With 2.f4, White risks exposing his king and gambits a pawn to get the initiative.
If Black is not familiar with this line, he could easily play some natural looking moves only to fall victim to an overwhelming attack on his king shortly into the game.
Accepting the gambit with 2…exf4 plays right into White’s plan and gives him some good options to lead in development. The recommendation is to play 2…d5, known as the Falkbeer Counter-Gambit.
White’s main response is 3.exd5. 3.fxe5 loses the game immediately for White after 3…Qh4+. If 2.f4 d5 3.Nc3, Black can respond with 3 Nf6, which can transpose into the main line of the Vienna game (Chapter 3).
The Vienna Game
After the moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3, White has the flexibility of transposing onto one of the more popular lines or playing a Kings Gambit with the knight on c3 which is known as the Vienna Game.
Black should play 2…Nf6. 2…Nc6 is also an option, but after 3.f4 Black cannot play the preferred reply, the Falkbeer Counter-Gambit move, 3…d5.
4.Nxd5 Nxe4 would be a mistake for White and leaves him in an unpleasant situation as shown below. The knight is attacked by the queen and Black has the threat of …Qh4+. Also, the knight has some heat on the f2 square, being difficult to defend and putting White on the back foot early on.
After 3.f4 d5 4.fxe5 Nxe4 the move 5.Nxe4 would also be a mistake for White. After 5…dxe4 White would again be left in an unpleasant position as shown in the right.
Some players do not like facing the Petroff defense as White after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 because it remains one of the best defenses for Black and makes it hard for White to gain any meaningful advantage in the opening. To avoid this, they play 2.Bc4.
Black should reply with 2…Nf6. White can continue with 3.Nc3 but this is a mistake as Black can simply continue with 3…Nxe4 4.Nxe4 d5 regaining the piece and ending up with a better center regardless of how White responds.
For example, 5.Bxd5 Qxd5 or 5.Bb5+ c6 6.Bd3 dxe4 7.Bxe4 f5 and White will come out second best having lost the initiative and control of the center.
White can avoid all of this by not taking the unprotected knight on e4, but instead going for 4.Qh5 Nd6 5.Qxe5+ Qe7 6.Qxe7+ Bxe7. The resulting position is equal.
As mentioned, White can try to avoid playing against the Petroff Defence by going for the moves 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4. However, Black can still play in the style of the Petroff Defense with 2…Nf6 3.d3 c6! Black tries to punish White for playing a quick Bc4 in the opening by preparing the move …d5.
It’s time to take the bull by the horns and bravely play 1…e5. Because, as of today, there is nothing to fear!