Beware of the Portuguese gambit!

So here is a recent game played between jrj1701 and I.

e4 d5
I played the Scandinavian defense. My intention was that white would take my pawn and then I would proceed to switch into a more aggressive variant of the French defense. If he takes, Qe7 and the pawn is pinned and there is very much so a very aggressive opening attack that can be revealed on the king at this point. … Bxe6. If white moves the queen to defend, black is comfortable exchanging queens by the move … Bg4 attacking the pinned queen and threatening mate if he does nothing to protect either the queen or to attack black’s queen.
In the game, our following moves were:
e5 Nh6
d4 Bg4 (forces white to move or defend his queen)diagram (6)

Of course, I couldn’t obviously do a more orthodox variation of the Portuguese gambit as that would put my knight in harm’s way when I didn’t want it. You know that old saying that “knights on the rim are grim”? Why would black move his knight to h6 in the first place? Well duh, it’s the only spot that defends g4. This is the entire purpose of the Portuguese gambit. Send a defended piece to g4. Seemingly, black is offering a bishop but if the queen takes it, she’s taken as well and black ends up with the better development. The most common response to the Portuguese gambit is Nf3. There are two possible responses for black. Keep the gambit going by exchanging a bishop for a knight or move some other piece. jrj1701 played ff3. This attacks the bishop. I left my bishop there, moving to e6 and the next move took his pawn which took my bishop and now his queen’s the only attacker.

f3 e6
f3xg4 Nxg4 (baiting white to move his queen into the game–it worked!)

diagram (7)This is what our board looked like at this point. Black now has his king-side bishop that can threaten the king next with the intention to “smash” the center and create a cheap shot. White now has only his queen out as his defending piece and a very broken pawn formation on the king’s side. As black is intending to be very aggressive with his defense (going straight for the king and ignoring all other pieces), this is not a good situation for white. He needs that king-side pawn formation to take his king out of trouble and into hiding.


About newenglandsun

A student. Male. Passionate. Easily offended. Child-like wonderer. Growing in faith, messing up daily.
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