About the Center Counter Gambit 4.b4 and 5.a4


1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.b4 Qxb4 5.a4


From UnorthodoxChessOpening Group:

Daniel J. Quigley:
I wish to make my first post to this group on a new opening topic. I posted this originally to the Yahoo group ExpertsNotebook, but that probably was not the appropriate group for this post. (They are more concerned with sharing observations on how to improve one's chess game than openings analysis.)
Keith Hayward (a master and prominent correspondence player and probably the world's leading expert on 1.f4, having collected a few GM scalps with it at US Opens in the early '90s and finishing one US Open among the leaders) responded to my post briefly, which I also post below.

Earlier, in a reply to Keith Hayward's recommendation of the center Counter Defense (for those who do not enjoy learning chess opening theory), I stated that my standard response to the Center Counter is a gambit I once saw played by a GM (I don't remember who) in a blitz game on ICC. I have had six games myself in this variation (played at time controls of 5 0 or slower) that I would like to share with you. My record with this gambit is only 3-3, but as I get the hang of the idea of this gambit, I think I will soon have a better record. Also, as you can see, I have played up in most of those games. If you only want to look at one game, check out the one against YoungIndianBRA. It is my favorite.

DanQuigley (1711) - Tarax (1710) [B01]
ICC 5 0 Internet Chess Club, 19.06.2001
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.b4 Qxb4 5.a4 Nf6 6.Ba3 Qb6 7.Rb1 Qe6+ 8.Be2 c6 9.Nf3 h6 10.0-0 Qd7 11.Re1 e6 12.Ne5 Qc7 13.d4 Bxa3 14.Nxf7 Kxf7 15.Qd3 Bd6 16.g3 Rf8 17.Bf3 Na6 18.Nd1 Nb4 19.Qb3 Nbd5 20.c4 Ne7 21.c5 Bxg3 22.hxg3 Ned5 23.Ne3 Kg8 24.Nc4 Rb8 25.Nd6 Ne8 26.Nxc8 Qxc8 27.Re5 Nef6 28.Rbe1 Re8 29.Kg2 Qd7 30.Rh1 Qf7 31.Qd3 Rbd8 32.Bd1 Nd7 33.Reh5 N7f6 34.Re5 Nd7 35.Bh5 Qf6 36.Bxe8 Nxe5 37.dxe5 Qxe5 38.Qg6 Qf6 39.Qxf6 Nxf6 40.Bg6 Rd5 41.Rc1 Rd2 42.Bb1 Ng4 43.Rf1 Ne5 44.Kh3 Rb2 45.Bd3 Nxd3 46.Rd1 g5 47.Kg2 Ne5 48.Kf1 Kg7 White forfeits on time 0-1

DanQuigley (2055) - BMJ (1834) [B01]
ICC tourney 121120 (15 0) Internet Chess Club, 07.07.2001
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.b4 Qxb4 5.a4 a6 6.Ba3 Qd4 7.Nf3 Qf4 8.g3 Qf6 9.Bg2 Bg4 10.0-0 c6 11.Re1 e6 12.Ne4 Qf5 13.Bxf8 Kxf8 14.Nd6 Qd5 15.Nxb7 Ra7 16.Rb1 Nf6 17.Qc1 Bxf3 18.Qa3+ Kg8 19.Bxf3 Qd7 20.Na5 Qc7 21.Rxb8+ Qxb8 22.Nxc6 Qf8 23.Qxf8+ Kxf8 24.Nxa7 Ke7 25.Nc6+ Kd6 26.a5 Rc8 27.Nb4 Rc5 28.Ra1 Nd7 29.Nxa6 Rxc2 30.Nb4 Rxd2 31.a6 Nb6 32.a7 Rb2 33.Ra6 Rxb4 34.a8Q Rb1+ 35.Kg2 Black resigns 1-0

DanQuigley (2042) - DeathAdder (2383) [B01]
ICC 15 0 Internet Chess Club, 27.07.2001
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.b4 Qxb4 5.a4 Nf6 6.Ba3 Qf4 7.d4 Ne4 8.Nxe4 Qxe4+ 9.Ne2 Bf5 10.c3 Nd7 11.f3 Qc2 12.Qxc2 Bxc2 13.a5 g5 14.Ng3 e5 15.d5 0-0-0 16.a6 b6 17.Bb5 Nc5 18.c4 Nb3 19.Bxf8 Rhxf8 20.Ra3 Nd4 21.Ba4 b5 22.Bxb5 Nxb5 23.cxb5 Rxd5 24.0-0 Bd3 25.Rc1 Bxb5 26.Ne4 f6 27.Rac3 c6 28.h3 Kd7 29.Kh2 h5 30.R1c2 h4 31.Rc1 Ke7 32.R3c2 Rfd8 33.Ra1 Rd1 34.Rxd1 Rxd1 35.Nc3 Bd3 36.Rb2 Ra1 37.Rb7+ Ke6 38.Rxa7 Rxa6 39.Rb7 c5 40.Rb2 c4 41.Kg1 f5 42.Kf2 Ra3 43.Nd1 c3 44.Rb6+ Kd7 45.Nxc3 Rxc3 46.Rg6 Rc1 47.Rxg5 f4 48.g3 hxg3+ 49.Kg2 Bf1+ White resigns 0-1

DanQuigley (1612) - retruk (1686) [B01]
ICC 5 0 Internet Chess Club, 05.11.2001
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.b4 Qxb4 5.a4 Qa5 6.Ba3 Nf6 7.Bc4 Qe5+ 8.Nge2 Bg4 9.f3 Bh5 10.d4 Qe3 11.Rb1 b6 12.Nd5 Nxd5 13.Bxd5 Qxa3 14.Bxa8 Qxa4 15.0-0 e6 16.d5 Bc5+ 17.Kh1 0-0 18.dxe6 fxe6 19.Be4 a5 20.Ng3 Be8 21.Qd3 h6 22.Ra1 Qd7 23.Qxd7 Nxd7 24.Rfd1 Nf6 25.h3 Bd6 26.Nf1 Nxe4 27.fxe4 Rf2 28.Rd2 Rf4 29.Re1 Bb4 30.Rdd1 Bxe1 31.Rxe1 a4 32.Nd2 Rf2 33.Rd1 b5 34.e5 Bc6 35.Nf3 Bxf3 36.Rd8+ Kh7 37.gxf3 Rxc2 38.Kg1 b4 39.Kf1 a3 40.Rb8 a2 41.Ra8 Rc1+ 42.Ke2 a1Q 43.Rxa1 Rxa1 44.Kd2 c5 45.Kc2 Ra3 46.Kb2 Rxf3 47.h4 Re3 48.h5 Rxe5 49.Kb3 Rxh5 50.Kc4 Rd5 51.Kb3 g5 52.Kc4 g4 53.Kb3 g3 54.Kc4 g2 55.Kb5 g1Q 56.Kc6 b3 57.Kb5 c4+ 58.Kb4 Qe1+ 59.Kxc4 Qe4+ 60.Kxb3 Rd3+ 61.Kb2 Qe2+ 62.Kc1 Rd1# White checkmated 0-1

DanQuigley (1742) - YoungIndianBRA (1634) [B01]
ICC 5 0 Internet Chess Club, 15.11.2001
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.b4 Qxb4 5.a4 c6 6.Ba3 Qa5 7.Bc4 Qe5+ 8.Nge2 Bg4 9.f3 Be6 10.d4 Qe3 11.Bc1 Bxc4 12.Bxe3 Nf6 13.0-0 e6 14.Bg5 Be7 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.Re1 0-0 17.Ng3 Rd8 18.Nce2 Na6 19.c3 c5 20.Ne4 Be7 21.Qb1 b6 22.a5 f5 23.Nd2 Bxe2 24.Rxe2 cxd4 25.cxd4 Rxd4 26.axb6 Bc5 27.Kf1 axb6 28.Rxe6 Rxd2 29.Qb3 Kh8 30.Rxa6 Rad8 31.Ra1 Rf2+ 32.Ke1 h6 33.Rxb6 Rdd2 34.Rb8+ Kh7 35.Qg8+ Kg6 36.Ra6+ Bd6 37.Rxd6+ Kh5 38.Qf7+ Black resigns 1-0

DanQuigley (1514) - OdinSon (1400) [B01]
ICC 5 0 Internet Chess Club, 15.11.2001
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.b4 Qxb4 5.a4 e5 6.Ba3 Qb6 7.Bxf8 Kxf8 8.Rb1 Qe6 9.Nf3 Nc6 10.Bb5 Nd4 11.Nxd4 exd4+ 12.Ne2 c6 13.Bd3 Nf6 14.0-0 c5 15.Nf4 Qc6 16.Re1 Bd7 17.Bb5 Qc7 18.Qf3 Bxb5 19.Rxb5 a6 20.Rxb7 Qc8 21.Ree7 Rb8 22.Rxf7+ Kg8 23.Rxg7+ Kf8 24.Rbf7+ Ke8 25.Qe2+ Kd8 26.Qe7# Black checkmated 1-0


From: "Keith Hayward"
Subject: Re: [The Expert's Notebook] Center Counter 4.b4

Hello Dan and Experts,
> Does anyone else have any games with 5.a4?
Chessbase's online database has:

Vallejos,O - Puiggros,G [B01]
Mar del Plata op Mar del Plata (7), 1973
1 e4 d5 2 exd5 Qxd5 3 Nc3 Qa5 4 b4 Qxb4 5 a4 Qa5 6 Ba3 Nd7 7 Rb1 c6 8 Bc4 Ngf6 9 Nf3 e6 10 Qc1 Bxa3 11 Qxa3 Qc5 12 Qa2 Ne5 13 Nxe5 Qxe5+ 14 Ne2 0-0 15 0-0 b6 16 d4 Qc7 17 Rb3 c5 18 dxc5 Qxc5 19 Rb5 Qd6 20 Bd3 Ba6 21 Qb1 Bxb5 22 axb5 Rfd8 23 Ng3 Qd4 24 h3 Nd5 25 Bxh7+ Kh8 26 Ne2 Qe5 27 Bd3 Rac8 28 f4 Qd6 29 Qe1 Qe7 30 f5 exf5 31 Rxf5 g6 32 Qa1+ Kg8 33 Re5 Qc5+ 34 Kh1 Qf2 35 Rg5 Ne3 36 Qa2 Rxd3 37 cxd3 Rc2 38 Qxa7 Rxe2 39 Qb8+ Kh7 0-1

Which is a rather convincing demonstration on how to play Black.
Good Chess!! Keith