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Center Game (C21)
1 e4 e5 2 d4 exd4

Number of games in database: 473
Years covered: 1834 to 2017
Overall record:
   White wins 52.6%
   Black wins 31.5%
   Draws 15.9%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Jacques Mieses  33 games
Frank James Marshall  26 games
Alexander Alekhine  18 games
NN  9 games
Mikhail Chigorin  6 games
Bonnerjee Mohishunder  5 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Bird vs Lasker, 1892
Charousek vs J Wollner, 1893
Blackburne vs NN, 1863
Stevenson vs S Mariotti, 1868
G Nyholm vs Alekhine, 1912
J Perlis vs Blackburne, 1907
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 page 1 of 19; games 1-25 of 473  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell ½-½51 1834 LondonC21 Center Game
2. J Robertson vs E Williams 0-125 1842 EnglandC21 Center Game
3. Captain Evans vs Saint Amant ½-½63 1843 LondonC21 Center Game
4. Captain Evans vs G Perigal 1-032 1843 LondonC21 Center Game
5. Cochrane vs Mohishunder 1-031 1850 CalcuttaC21 Center Game
6. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  0-149 1850 CalcuttaC21 Center Game
7. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  1-044 1850 CalcuttaC21 Center Game
8. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  1-030 1850 CalcuttaC21 Center Game
9. S Boden vs R Brien  1-047 1851 London PTC21 Center Game
10. P Journoud vs Kieseritzky 0-142 1852 ParisC21 Center Game
11. Saint Amant vs C Stanley  1-036 1852 New York mC21 Center Game
12. Von Der Lasa vs Staunton  0-139 1853 MatchC21 Center Game
13. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  0-146 1854 CalcuttaC21 Center Game
14. Anderssen vs H Pollmaecher 1-018 1855 LeipzigC21 Center Game
15. R Franz vs C Eliason  1-051 1856 Berlin chC21 Center Game
16. R Franz vs S Leow  0-154 1856 BerlinC21 Center Game
17. Falkbeer vs Zytogorski 1-08 1856 LondonC21 Center Game
18. Falkbeer vs C Ingleby 1-038 1858 it?C21 Center Game
19. Owen vs Loewenthal  0-152 1858 BCA-02.KongressC21 Center Game
20. NN vs Paulsen 0-125 1859 Pittsburgh simC21 Center Game
21. J Thompson vs J A Leonard  0-127 1860 New YorkC21 Center Game
22. Lindehn vs E Herr 1-022 1860 CasualC21 Center Game
23. Lindehn vs Kolisch 1-031 1860 ParisC21 Center Game
24. E Pindar vs P Birch 1-026 1860 ManchesterC21 Center Game
25. A G Puller vs B W Horne  1-044 1860 CambridgeC21 Center Game
 page 1 of 19; games 1-25 of 473  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  ganstaman: To some degree, definitely. I think the idea is to make the gambiteer prove that he has compensation, while you greedily hold out for the endgame (thus hopefully defeating the gambit). Of course, the actual position matters most. From what I've heard, the Benko Gambit gives black (the one gambitting) an advantage. If white declines the gambit, he's the one with the advantage. In this case, the way to defeat the gambit is to decline it.

I guess it really has more to do with mentality than actual move advice. Put the onus on the other guy to prove the gambit's soundness. If you are unsure of whether to accept or decline, accept! You're not the one that has to show the gambit can win. Or something like that.

Maybe I just like pawns too much.

Apr-04-06  blingice: So then isn't a gambit just an opening that says "show me how agressive you are"? I suppose that's especially so with the Danish Gambit.
Jun-11-06  trumbull0042: I just got clobbered twice in Yahoo against the center game. An opening that isn't to be underestimated.
Jun-20-06  Nikita Smirnov: I feel that the Danish Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.d4 ed 3.c3) is much more forcing than the Göring Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 ed 4.c3) ed= e5xd4.
Feb-25-07  antarney: I would love to play the Scottish Gambit but my opponents sometimes play 2...Nf6. How can i transpose into my beloved Scottish Gambit ? Any suggestions anyone.
Feb-25-07  Open Defence: <antarney> One way is by 1e4 e5 2Nf3 Nf6 3Nc3 and now if 3..Nc6 4d4 transposing into the 4 Knights variation of the Scotch Opening... however this is different from the sequence 1e4 e5 2Nf3 Nc6 3d4 exd4 4Bc4

hope this helps.... note in the first line I gave above.. Black can try alternate moves on move 3 like 3..Bb4 for example.. which in fact is a line I often use when White tries an anti Petrov hehehe

Mar-19-07  gambitfan: I juste enrolled in a "thematic" chess tournament about Center Game at :

up to now, I am the only one enrolled!

Come along...

Mar-06-09  FiveofSwords: my personal solution to all these danishesque gambit is simply to play like this: 1 e4 e5 2 d4 ed 3 c3 Qe7!. Now you simply wait until either white moves his queenside knight, when you take on c3, or until he plays cd, when you take on e4. 4 Nf3 Qxe4+ 5 Be2 d3 is fine for black. In general I get a position where im up a pawn and really my development is not worse than white's. Its more akward and difficult for white than it would appear to take advantage of the queen on e4 because on Nc3 Bb4 is coming, etc.
Mar-06-09  FiveofSwords: <Antarney> im not sure i follow ou. the typical way to a scotch gambit is with 2 Nf3 not 2 d4. But it bothers you when black plays 2...Nf6 vs 2 d4? I suppose he could also avoid the scotch gambit by playing 2...Qg5
Mar-07-09  chessman95: <FiveofSwords> After 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 Qe7 white can just play 4.Qxd4 and have the advantage. (after 4...Nc6 then 5.Qe3 and white has slight advantage, although deprived of the position he was probably expecting.)
Mar-07-09  blacksburg: 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 d5 is all the theory i know about that line, and it works out pretty well for me as black.
Mar-07-09  chessman95: I usually take the second pawn on c3, but that's it. I have found it too dangerous to take all three pawns and give white an incredible lead in development. However, if black can somehow magically stop the "unstopable" attack, then he will easilly win in the endgame.
Mar-08-09  problem: danish gambit is very dangerous opening for white!
Mar-08-09  chessman95: I would say the Danish Gambit is more dangerous for black than it is for white.
Mar-14-09  FiveofSwords: 1e4 e5 2 d4 ed 3 c3 Qe7 4 Qxd4 Nc6 5 Qe3 Nf6, with ..d5 coming, looks like a clear advantage for black to me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  vonKrolock: <"They quickly started playing the <<<Northern Gambit>>>, but then everything got mixed up. The grandmaster stared attentively at the board, making small, insignificant moves. Several times, mating paths for the queen flashed before his eyes like lightning, but he extinguished these flare-ups, slightly lowering his eyelids and submitting his sword to the wearisome note of compassion, sounding inside him like the buzzing of a mosquito.">

From an <all-chessical> short-story by V. Aksyonov (1932-2009), translated and online here

Sep-13-09  YoungEd: It's interesting to me to look at Alekhine's use of the Danish Gambit. He seemed to uncork it every now and then throughout his career, though never against real top-level masters. Against lesser lights, Alekhine has a tremendous percentage of miniature wins with the Danish! Sort of surprising that it doesn't see more use today when top masters play lesser opponents.
Sep-14-09  muwatalli: after 1 e4 e5 2 d4 exd4 3nf3 Bb4+ what is white's best continuation? c3 or bd2 and if c3 after dxc3 should white play bxc3 or Nxc3?
Jun-03-10  Coolin: A few different comments in this post:

I played a blitz game the other day with hopes of trying out a new opening (no idea if it really exists) 1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. f4

My idea was king's gambit-ish, but with less counterplay from black. Of course, after looking at it, 3...Bb4+ seems to make the opening pretty bad. Blocking with the bishop leaves you less protection of f4, and black's pawn on d4 is annoying. Blocking with the knight looks somewhat interesting, and I'll try it out.

Anyway, note #2: don't play a game when you are rushed. I had to leave for work in five minutes and play a quick 3/0 game that went as follows:

1. e4 e5
2. d4 (hoping to play my new gambit) f6?
3. dxe5 fxe5
4. Qh5+ g6
5. Qxe5 Qe7
6. Qxh8 Qxe4+
7. Ne7 Nc6
8. Nc3 Qxc2
9. Qxg8 Nb4
10. Qxh7?? Nd3#


any comments on my gambit which I will check out (although initial thoughts look pretty awful)

and two rules about playing games:

Don't play when rushed
Don't be greedy when up a rook

Dec-29-10  Maatalkko: 1. e4 e5 2. d4 ed4 3. nf3 is a Muzychuk secret weapon. Both sisters played it and won every time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: There's an opening trap that you might see with beginners . It goes : 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 dxc3 4. ♘xc3 ♘c6 5.♗c4 ♘f6 6.♘f3 ♕e7 7.0-0 ♘xe4 8. ♘xe4 ♕xe4 9. ♖e1

click for larger view

Oct-09-11  jbtigerwolf: There a couple of points on this as a method of playing the Scotch while avoiding the Petroff.

Point 1: Black does not have to play 3...Nc6. If I do play 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.Nf3, then if Black plays 3...c5 I'm playing a gambit. 4.Bc4 looks good, but it's 50-50 to me whether this is adequate compensation.

I don't think learning the Petroff is the answer, as it appears too hard to bust. It looks suspect, but for some reason it survives and prevention is the best medicine. I know I can play 3.d4, but I'd rather not deal with the whole Petroff thing.

Point 2: The thing is, the Scotch is rarely played (so a lot of tourney players won't automatically know the book move 3...exd4) and if Black plays the perfectly natural looking 3...Nxd4, I've got a great game. This option is off the table in the Centre Game - but I avoid the Petroff. Dilemma.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day

Danish Gambit
1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day

Center Game
1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4

click for larger view

Oct-18-13  MarkFinan: [Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2013.10.18"]
[Round "?"]
[White "MarkFinan"]
[Black "Stockfish 4 (60.9%)"]
[Result "1-0"]
[TimeControl "60/180+1"]

1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. c3 dxc3 4. Bc4 cxb2 5. Bxb2 d5 6. Bxd5 Nf6 7. Bxf7+ Kxf7 8. Qxd8 Bb4+ 9. Qd2 Bxd2+ 10. Nxd2 Nc6 11. Ngf3 h6 12. O-O Re8 13. e5 Nd5 14. Rac1 Be6 15. Ba1 Rad8 16. g3 g5 17. a3 a6 18. Kg2 Nb6 19. h3 Rf8 20. Rfe1 Rd3 21. Re2 Na4 22. Ne4 Kg6 23. Ne1 Rd5 24. Nf6 Rc5 25. Rxc5 Nxc5 26. f4 Rd8 27. fxg5 Nb3 28. Bb2 Ncd4 29. Bxd4 Nxd4 30. Rd2 hxg5 31. Nc2 Nc6 32. Rxd8 Nxd8 33. Nd4 c5 34. Nxe6 Nxe6 35. h4 b5 36. h5+ Kf7 37. Nd5 a5 38. Kf3 Nd4+ 39. Ke4 Ne2 40. g4 a4 41. Ke3 Nf4 42. Nc3 b4 43. axb4 Nd5+ 44. Nxd5 a3 45. Nc3 cxb4 46. Kd2 bxc3+ 47. Kxc3 a2 48. Kb2 Ke6 49. h6 Kxe5 50. h7 Kf4 51. h8=Q Kxg4 52. Qf8 Kh5 53. Kxa2 Kg4 54. Kb2 Kg3 55. Kc2 Kg4 56. Kd2 Kh5 57. Ke3 Kg4 58. Ke4 Kh4 59. Qf2+ Kh5 60. Kf5 Kh6 61. Kf6 Kh5 62. Qg3 g4 63. Qh2# 1-0

I'm posting this game here because it's a rare opening (More or less unseen at the highest levels of chess) and also it's the first time I can recall playing it as white and winning , and I've only once played against it as black in a game on fics which I lost. I cheated the first 8 moves because my engine gives opening hints, so I went down this route (after 3.c3) just for a change. Btw I've never seen 7.Bxf7+ before.
Oh yeah... I know I've dumbed down the engine to 60% strength, but blacks 43rd move looks like a terrible blunder if it was played by a human so I don't get the logic behind that move!!

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