Category: Opening

The Albin Countergambit Trap White Must Avoid

This is the second of my two-part mini series about the Albin Countergambit, based on a blitz game I played on a few days ago.

In this video I go through the first few moves of the Albin Countergambit, which is a “counter gambit” to the Queen’s Gambit.

Next, I draw your attention to a trap that White must avoid on the 7th move and 8th moves.

The second half of the video looks at the Stockfish computer analysis of the blitz game that I played in the video that’s embedded in my previous blog post:

And here is the 2nd video in the mini-series:

The Albin Countergambit

Here are the opening moves of the Albin Countergambit, as expounded by John Watson in his book, A Strategic Chess Opening Repertoire for White (pp. 54-55):

  1. d4 d5
  2. c4 e5
  3. dxe5 d4
  4. Nf3 Nc6
  5. Nbd2 …

As can be seen, the point of the Albin Countergambit is for Black to advance his d-pawn to d4.

Against an inexperienced player, that could lead to a nasty little trap that White needs to avoid…

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Traps and Blunders in the Queen’s Gambit Declined

This training video is based on an online blitz game in which I opened with 1.d4. The opening developed into the Queen’s Gambit Declined:

1.d4 d5
2.c4 e6
3.Nc3 Nf6
4.cxd5 exd5
5.Bg5 …

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Mind the Trap!

Here, as Black I would develop the Bishop to e7 because it unpins the f6 Knight from the Queen and opens the way for kingside castling.

However, my opponent played the perfectly acceptable 5… Nbd7 which, because the f6 Knight still SEEMS to be pinned to the Queen, can lead White into a very nasty trap…

5… Nbd7 6. Nxd5?? Nxd5 7. Bxd8…

Woohoo! White has captured the Queen and must be winning…


Black instantly responds with the killer move,

7… Bb4+

And White’s only option is to block with the Queen: 8. Qd2

Now, there is no hurry for Black. The Queen can be claimed later.

8… Kxd8!

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1.d4 Chess Opening Repertoire: Nimzo-Indian Mnemonic Memory Challenge!

In this video I demonstrate how my 1.d4 chess repertoire mnemonic memory system works by looking at a random selection of Nimzo-Indian variations.

The challenge is to see if I can recreate the specific variations from the keyword associated with their location in my memory system.

The Nimzo-Indian Variations in my 1.d4 Repertoire

I have included ten variations of the Nimzo-Indian in my 186 variation 1.d4 opening repertoire. They are variations 41-50 in my system and as such they are allocated the following keywords based on the Major mnemonic memory system:

41 = “rat” = 4… c5
42 = “rhino” = 4… b6
43 = “ram” = 4… 0-0
44 = “rower” = 4… 0-0
45 = “rail” = 4… d5
46 = “arch” = 4… d5
47 = “ruck” = 4… Nc6
48 = “roof” = 4… d6
49 = “rope” = 4… Ne4
50 = “lasoo” = 4… Ne4

Watch on YouTube (below) or on Odysee (link):

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1.d4 Opening Repertoire Mnemonic Memory System Challenge part 2: QGD and QGA

Here is the second set of ten variations (11-20) of my 184 variation 1.d4 opening repertoire mnemonic memory system.

The variations are in the Queen’s Gambit Declined and the Queen’s Gambit Accepted. The QGD section includes these variations:

  • The Hennig-Schara Gambit
  • The Austrian Defence
  • A Ragozin/Nimzo Indian
  • The Alapin Variation
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How To Use Memory Techniques To Learn Opening Variations

This is perhaps not such an “easy chess tip” because it takes time, effort and imagination to master, rather like chess itself. Nevertheless, memory training, especially for opening variations in a chess repertoire, is worth considering if you want to avoid losing control when your opponent pulls some unexpected move early on.

Opening Repertoire Memory Systems

I have created opening repertoire memory systems for both white, playing 1.d4, and black, playing 1… d6.

In this demo video I attempt to go through the first ten variations of the my white opening reportoire, which is based on John Watson’s book, A Strategic Chess Opening Repertoire for White. Watson’s book has been my guide to the Queen’s pawn opening for the last few years.

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