Gunderam Defense

One of the first requests on the message board was for coverage of what I have called the Gunderam Defense: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Qe7. The poster recognized that it's not the best opening, but it certainly would surprise most opponents. I confess that I have never personally faced it.

But there are some interesting games in the database, and my experience against Philador's Defense offers a bit of insight. I offer two annotated games here. Both are interesting by themselves, but it's even more interesting to compare the two diagrams that follow. The game in the Gunderam Defense fares very poorly precisely because the Qe7 inhibits Black's development... which permits an interesting tactic by white.

Lampe,D - Scheller,C [C40]
Schleswig Holstein-ch M Schleswig Holstein, 1994

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Qe7?! Counter-positional. The Qe7 does protect the e-pawn, but more importantly it blocks the Bf8. This opening, the Gudaram or the Brazil Opening, is less good than the similar Philador's Defense because the Be7 loses a natural path of development. 3.Nc3 The most natural move, developing the QN to c3 where it helps to control the center and threatens Nd5. 3...c6 The first concession (Qe7) forces a second concession. The c6 pawn prevents Nd5 but also presents Black from naturally developing another piece, the QN. 4.d4 The most natural move, seeking further control over the center and opening lines for the QB. 4...d6 Two attacks on e5, now two defenses. Note that the Nb8 was unable to assist the defense of the e5-pawn. 5.Bc4 Yet another natural developing move, preparing 0-0 5...h6 Played undoubtedly to prevent 5...Nf6 6.Bg5, but Black's backward development cannot afford yet another preventative move. 6.a4 Inhibiting queenside expansion (...b5) and in some lines, readying a queensaide assault withg a5-a6. 6...Nf6 7.dxe5 dxe5 8.h3 Stronger than black's ...h6. Where is Black to develop the Bc8? 8...Qc7 A sign of capitulation. The queen moves for a second time to release the Bf8 and to allow ...0-0. 9.0-0 Be7 10.Qe2 Nbd7 All very similar to Philador's Defense, but Black cannot afford to lose time (Qe7-c7). 11.Be3 Nc5? Diagram

...0-0 was necessary12.Bxf7+! Kxf7 13.Bxc5 Be6 [13...Bxc5 14.Qc4+ Kg6 15.Qxc5+-] 14.Bxe7 Kxe7 15.Nh4 Aiming for g6 and f5 and readying f2-f4 15...Rhg8 16.f4 exf4 17.Ng6+ Kf7 18.Nxf4 Qe5 [18...Qb6+ 19.Kh1 Qxb2 20.Rab1 Qxc3 21.Rxb7+ Bd7 22.e5+-] 19.Nxe6 Kxe6 20.Qc4+ Ke7 21.Rf5 [21.Qb4+ Qd6 22.Qxb7++-] 1-0

Edwards,J (2475) - van Perlo,G (2520) [C41]
ICCF WC 3/4 XIX/1, 1999

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.Bc4 Be7 6.0-0 h6 7.a4 c6 8.Qe2 Qc7 Diagram

For comparison's sake, compare this diagram with the diagram in the previous game. The opening here was the Philador's Defense, and the Black queen developed straight to c7. In the other diagram, white has succeeded in adding additional development with Be3 and h3. If you have a fancy for positions like this, try a move order similar to this game, which, as you can see, offers more chances for Black.9.Rd1 Nf8 Of course, here, you might consider ...0-0. White wins nicely as you will see. 10.a5 g5 11.b4 Typical attack in the philador. White aims to play a6 against the backward b-pawn to undermine the Black defense and to discourage ...0-0-0 11...Ng6 12.b5 Rg8 13.a6 Kf8 14.Bb3 Kg7 15.Qc4 Rf8 16.Be3 c5 17.dxc5 dxc5 18.Nd5 Into the "hole" 18...Nxd5 19.exd5 Qd6 20.Nd2 Ne4 20...f5 21.Qd3 Nc4 and d6 21...e4 22.Qc3+ Kh7 [22...Bf6 23.Qxc5 Qxc5 24.Bxc5] 23.Nc4 Qd7 24.axb7 Bxb7 25.Na5 Bf6 26.Qxc5 Bxa1 27.Rxa1 f4 28.Bc1 f3 29.Nxb7 Rfc8 30.Qd6 Qxb7 31.Ra6 Qf7 32.c4 The white pawns are overwhelming 32...fxg2 33.Be3 Re8 No entry squares for the Black artillery 34.Qf6 Qxf6 35.Rxf6 Kg7 36.Ra6 Nf4 37.c5 Red8 38.c6 1-0