The Steincamp Attack – Part 2

So we continue to analyze how to take advantage of the erroneous move order in the Reversed Grand Prix.

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 f5 3. d4!

The critical difference, most logical developing moves transpose to the main line Reversed Grand Prix, but the Steincamp Attack refutes the possibility of a future f5–f4 push. In Part 1, we analyzed why 3…e4 was not a sharp move, and how white continued to find pressure on weak diagonals.

There is the possibility though of 3…exd4, which is a much sharper line, but with best play, the capture is not justified.

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 f5 3. d4 exd4 4. Qxd4 Black can choose between Nf6 and Nc6. Nc6 is the better choice but in case of 4… Nf6 5. Bg5


1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 f5 3. d4 exd4 4. Qxd4 Nf6 5. Bg5

  • 5… Be7 Black opts for passive play. 6. Nf3 0-0 7. e3 Black has an odd opening set–up. It is as if he is playing a Dutch without an e–pawn, meaning a shaky center. 7… Nc6 8. Qf4 h6 9. Bxf6 Bxf6 10. Nd5 Bxb2 Black has nothing better to do. 11. Rb1 Ba3 12. Qxc7 Qxc7 13. Nxc7 Rb8 This line has interesting play for both sides, but White must not lose the c–pawn.
  • 5… Nc6 The more natural move. 6. Qe3+ Qe7 7. Qd2 Thanks to the analysis of Fritz, this quick provocation makes development difficult for Black. 7… d6 8. Nf3 Be6 9. e3 A main idea of this opening is putting pressure on f5 while black attacks c4, losing the pawn for either side can mean game over. 9… 0-0-0 10. Nd4 h6 11. Nxe6 Qxe6 12. Bxf6 Qxf6 This is a good trade since the c4 pawn and the f5 pawn are both on light squares. Elimination of the e6 bishop can mean less pressure from Black. 13. Be2 Qf7 14. 0-0-0 g6 15. Nd5  White gets reasonable play in this line. The bishop on e2 can go to f3 and use the diagonal to his advantage. Meanwhile, Black is going to be busy getting the knight to move from d5.

For what its worth, the 4…Nf6 doesn’t make sense.


1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 f5 3. d4 exd4 4. Qxd4 Nc6 5. Qe3+ The best location for the queen right now. 5… Be7 6. Nd5 Nf6 (If 6… d6? 7. Nf3 Bd7 8. Bd2 Kf7 Black’s lack of space in this line make castling impossible 9. 0-0-0 Nf6 10. Ng5+ Kg8 11. Ne6 += White will soon get the pair of bishops and a space advantage) 7. Nxf6+ gxf6 8. Nf3 d5 9. Bd2 Kf7 10. 0-0-0 If White controls the d–file, he should win.

The 3…exd4 doesn’t have too much theory. The only key is 5. Qe3+. If you retreat to d1, the extra tempo allows Black to have strong play after Bb4, and it is White who is gasping for air. Seeing as this is not an official opening, I imagine most players on the Black side are playing 3… exd4 anticipating …Nc6 and Qd1. By playing Qe3+, White limits the overall play of black in an open position.

In Part 3, I will cover the passive 3… d6, and the gambit–like 3. Nf6.

Feel like I missed something, feel free to comment below!


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