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 …

Watch The Video!

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!

My Sixth Move: e3

As the screenshot shows, my actual sixth move was e3, NOT Nxd5??:

6. e3 c6

7. Bd3 Qa5

Cambridge Springs Defence

The Queen to a5 move is the signature move of the Cambridge Springs Defence, which typically occurs in the QGD opening without the fourth move pawn exchange:

  1. d4 d5
  2. c4 e6
  3. Nc3 Nf6
  4. Bg5 Nbd7
  5. Nf3 c6
  6. e3 Qa5

Black’s Queen move both unpins Black’s f6 Knight and pins White’s c3 Knight. If Black can drop his unpinned f6 Knight into e4, White’s c3 Knight will start to feel the heat… Mind you, the operative word here is “IF”!

If, on the other hand, Black’s only thought is to ram his Knight into e4, White may be able to spring a little trap of his own, thanks to the fourth move pawn exchange that opens up lines that remain closed in the classic Cambridge Springs Defence.

How To Respond to 7… Qa5

In A Strategic Chess Opening Repertoire for White, John Watson recommends 8. Ne2 for White. However, I went for Qc2, which I prefer as a #pubchessbluffer style move, especially in an online blitz game or in any pub chess game…

Here’s why…

By moving his Queen to a5, my opponent seems to be vaguely familiar with the Cambridge Springs Defence, so it is quite possible that an automatic Ne4 will follow, even though the fourth move pawn exchange is not part of the classic Cambridge Springs sequence…

Sure enough:

  1. Qc2 Ne4??
  2. Bxe4 dxe4?
  3. Qxe4+

And Black’s King can’t move! LOL!

So the only two options for Black are 10… Qe5 (bye bye Queen) or 10… Ne5 (bye bye Knight).

In my online blitz game my opponent simply resigned after 10. Qxe4+ which is probably the decent thing to do.


David Hurley

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