Petrov Defense Cochrane Gambit (Nxf7??)

If you are looking for an aggressive surprise weapon against the Petrov, look no further! The Cochrane Gambit is dubious, double edged and promises an exciting game!

For an introduction to the Petrov Defense, watch this video on the basics:

As opposed to almost every other variation of the Petrov Defense, in which the middlegame positions reached often have a symmetrical structure and no queens, the Cochrane Gambit is quite a refreshment! White sacrifices a knight for two pawns and basically goes all in for an attack!

Needless to say, the engines hate the move and think that white is almost losing, but for humans, such an evaluation is hard to prove. I have found that with correct play, even if black knows what he is doing, white can achieve a good attacking position! The reason for that is that the black king is often stuck on the f7 or g8 square, thus preventing the h8 rook from entering the game. Because of that, with correct play, white can virtually play an exchange up.

Another good thing about the gambit is that no one is going to expect it. You will know that you will play it. Your opponent won’t. That’s why you will be far less likely to blunder. The positions arising after Nxf7 are complex, and black is either going to have to waste time to play well, or he is going to make poor moves. This makes a lot of rooms for you to win the game quickly.

In conclusion, the Cochrane Gambit is definitely worth trying out!

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