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By Edward Lasker

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36 When treating of the middle game, we shall find that even in this apparently fully equalised position the influence of the first move is still at work. In order to obtain a more thorough understanding of the Queen's Pawn game, we must now turn our attention very closely to the opening moves. Already on the second move White can play 2. P-QB4 and turn the game into a Queen's gambit, which Black can either accept or decline. Black would be justified in playing 2. PxP, and so furthering White's object of getting his (Black's) Queen's Pawn away, if he could permanently hold the gambit pawn, or if the giving up of the square at Q4 fits into a reasoned system of development.

P-K4, P-K4. The advance of a second centre pawn, which there led to a clearance, is not feasible in this case. White does not command his K4, and for some time to come he will be unable to advance the K pawn beyond K3. In consequence the K file does not seem a likely opening for the Rooks, and another file must be found for them. The conclusions arrived at for Black in the French defence hold good for both sides in the opening now under consideration, and accordingly the QB file is that most advantageous for the Rooks.

P-Q3, PxP; 5. QxP, White is a pawn ahead, but his Queen obstructs his KB; therefore Black has better developing chances and should be able to win the pawn back at the very least. A second example is the Vienna game, which proceeds as follows: 2. Kt-QB3 3. P-B4 Kt-KB3 P-Q4 (Diagram 21) If White plays 4. PxQP, Black can play P-K5, as in the Falkbeer gambit mentioned just now. In answer to 4. PxKP, on the other hand, Black can play KtxP without having the slightest difficulty with his development.

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