Steincamp Attack – Part 3

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 f5 3. d4

In Parts 1 and 2, we looked at both 3… e4 and 3… exd4, and saw that with best play, white stands at least slightly better. Today, I want to look at the sub–lines 3… d6 and 3… Nf6.

THE 3… d6 LINE

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 f5 3. d4 d6 4. dxe5 dxe5 5. Qxd8+ Kxd8 The disadvantage in this line is that black gives up his right to castle. Furthermore, white gets a lot of play with Bg5+. 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Bg5+ Nf6 8. 0-0-0+! The best move, not Nd5, as castling is most forcing. 8… Bd7 9. g3 Planning Bh3, to attack f5,  White is not in a crazy rush since Black cannot castle. 9… Bc5 10. Bh3 Kc8 11. Bxf6 gxf6 12. Nd5 This gives an interesting position where Black gambits the f2 pawn for play on the d–file. Note that Black can always take on f6.

The 3… d6 line is not a natural choice for black, but if Black plays naturally, all white needs to do is Bg5, 0-0-0 with check, and plant a knight on d5.

THE 3… Nf6? LINE

 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 f5 3. d4 Nf6? This is a desperate try for Black. While awful, I did get one game like this in a blitz match where black chose this outlet of play… I’m guessing someone who likes the Alekhine defense might try this, but anyone with common sense should avoid it. 4. dxe5 Ne4 5. Nxe4 fxe4 6. Qd5 Bb4+ 7. Bd2 Bxd2+ 8. Kxe2! Nc6 9. Qxe4 Qe7 10. Nf3 d6 11. e3 dxe5 12. Bd3 Black can’t castle kingside because of a weak h7 pawn. White will move the king to e2 and play for the d–file.

So that sums up the Steincamp Attack. The reason why this line isn’t common at the Grandmaster level is mainly because Black avoids this line by post–pining f7–f5. Generally, the player who pushes f7–f5 on move 2, isn’t familiar with English theory. The Steincamp Attack is a good way to catch them off guard while taking no risks.

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