Albin Counter-Gambit Guide

Albin Counter-Gambit Guide

The Albin Counter-Gambit is a chess opening for black that starts with the moves 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5. It’s one of the very few openings that respond to a gambit with a gambit. Even though currently it’s not played a lot at master level, it still is a sound opening and a great weapon for black to fight against the Queen’s Gambit.

Albin Counter-Gambit moves

Main Ideas in the Albin Counter-Gambit

With the Albin Counter-Gambit, black strikes in the center immediately, and forces white to accept the gambit and give away the d4 square (any other response to the Albin is considered inferior).

In this way, black will gain space with the move d5-d4 and will get attacking chances, although will be a pawn down, which white has the chance to return later to decrease black’s pressure.

Most Played Moves in the Albin Counter-Gambit

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5

Albin Counter-Gambit moves

The Albin Counter-Gambit has been played.

3.dxe5 d4

Albin Counter-Gambit moves

White accepts the gambit, and white immediately pushes their pawn to d4.

4.Nf3 Nc6

Albin Counter-Gambit moves

White threatens to capture the d4 pawn, but black defends with the knight.

5.g3 Nge7

Albin Counter-Gambit moves

White decides to go for a fianchetto, and black plays the knight to e7 with the idea to re-route it to g6.

6.Bg2 Ng6

Albin Counter-Gambit moves

Natural development moves from both sides.

7.Bg5 Qd7

Albin Counter-Gambit moves

Black doesn’t want to lose the d4 pawn and doesn’t want to exchange their dark-squared bishop, so the best option is to move the queen one square up, even though by doing so the light-squared black bishop gets blocked.

8.e6 fxe6

Albin Counter-Gambit moves

White has decided to give the pawn back in exchange for damaging black’s kingside pawn structure, although both sides are fine at this point.

9.O-O e5

Albin Counter-Gambit moves

With e5, black supports the d4 pawn even more and opens up the diagonal for the queen and the bishop.

10.Nbd2 h6

Albin Counter-Gambit moves

Trap in the Albin-Counter-Gambit

White has to be careful not to fall for a very common trap that can happen in the very first moves of the Albin-Counter-Gambit.

After 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 d4 4.e3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 dxe3

Albin Counter-Gambit moves

If white plays the move 6.Bxb4, then black has a crushing move.

After 6…exf2+, white is forced to play 7.Kxf2, allowing 7…Qxd1.

Albin Counter-Gambit moves


The most solid line in the Albin Counter-Gambit is 4.Nf3 Nc6.

Albin Counter-Gambit moves

That is why let’s review the three main continuations after that.

We already saw 5.g3 in a previous section, so let’s now focus on 5.a3 and 5.Nbd2.

The move 5.a3 is the second most played move 5 at master level.

Albin Counter-Gambit moves

The main goal of a3 is to prevent Bb4, which can cause some trouble for white.

After playing a3, white can keep developing pieces.


This is another alternative for white.

With 5.Nbd2 white is clearly trying to re-route it to b3 to exert pressure on the black pawn on d4.

Albin Counter-Gambit moves

Play usually continues with 5…Nge7 6.Nb3 Nf5 7.e4 dxe3

Albin Counter-Gambit moves

Model Games

Related Chess Courses

Albin Counter-Gambit with IM Milovan Ratkovic

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D08 Sub-variants:


Games on Database: 3735
Last Played: Jul 2024
Overall score:
47.6% 21.1% 31.3%

Played frequently by:

Frank James Marshall 19 games
Dawid Markelowicz Janowski 8 games
Amos Burn 7 games
Maxim Chetverik 22 games
Alexander Morozevich 19 games
Alexander Reprintsev 17 games

Possible continuations:

3. dxe5  3145
49.3 % 20.7 % 30 %
3. e3  348
40.2 % 21.8 % 37.9 %
3. cxd5  123
33.3 % 26.8 % 39.8 %
3. Nc3  71
40.8 % 26.8 % 32.4 %
3. Nf3  43
34.9 % 23.3 % 41.9 %
3. e4  4
25 % 75 %