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    Albin Counter-Gambit 201

    We feel this is one of those “opening gems” in hiding everyone looks for but very few find and therefore feel compelled to share it with the reader. Known for many years, this opening never found the central stage in any tournament or opening books. Yet one could only dream about the many qualities that only the Albin brings to the table.

    The Albin Counter-Gambit fights from the second move for the initiative, forcing players of the Queen's Gambit to take on the uncomfortable role of defending. Champions of the Albin include top-flight Grandmaster Alexander Morozevich and former World Champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov! The opening serves perfectly as a main weapon for improving players up to approximately 1600, and is a great side weapon for even Grandmasters! In this series, we will cover all of White's challenging moves after 1.d4 d5, including the Stonewall Attack, the London System, the Torre Attack, the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit, and more. Some players of White prefer to avoid the complexities of 2. c4 in favor of various sidelines, but Black can equalize and even play to win. In other words- if White avoids the Main lines- he gets not even a trace of an edge, while in main line Black normally equalizes and many times plays for an advantage. Not bad for a secret opening most players simply ignore and pass by!

    We also present several new ideas in the main lines (theoretical novelties) that a reader can find very useful in a tournament game against even a well-informed opponent (somewhere at the 2000 rating level).

    Have fun learning this exciting opening!-- IM Levon Altounian and CM Sameer Manchanda

    PS: Check out the two annotated bonus games at the end for Albin inspiration!

    • 1Conquering the Colle...
    • 7Taming the Trompowsky...
    • 2Banishing the Blackmar...
    • 8Trashing the Torre...
    • 3Demolishing the Delayed...
    • 9Defenestrating the Declined...
    • 4Nailing Nd2...
    • 10Grappling with g3...
    • 5Meddling with the Minor...
    • 11Ambushing a3...
    • 6Keres' Can Do and So Can You...
    • 12Dodge's Dismay...
  • Author
    Levon Altounian

    IM Levon Altounian is on the list of the most prominent chess players, coaches and organizers in the USA. He was a participant of three of the most prestigious US Championships, winner of the 2000 National Open and 2011 G10 National Open, many Arizona and California State Championships, including the 2010 “Champion of the State Champions” title. He also holds numerous records on ICC (chessclub.com) where he recently played a match with GM Hikaru Nakamura. Under his leadership, his students from all over the US won more than 100 Individual and Team State and National titles, including the K-5 Nationals in 2004 (Tucson, AZ team) and Denker competitions. His organization, called Arizona Chess For Schools, works tirelessly to promote chess on every level and also specializes in organizing chess events, camps and providing private and group lessons. To find out more please visit Arizonachessforschools.com or contact Levon directly at laltounian@msn.com.