The Albin Counter-Gambit is used against the Queen's Gambit and begins with 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5, intending 3.dxe5 d4 whereupon the d4-pawn has a significant cramping effect on White's position. It can be seen as a sounder relative of the Englund Gambit (1.d4 e5) because White has weakened the b4 and d4-squares by playing c2-c4.
Unlike with the previously-discussed Englund Gambit, I find it difficult to answer the question, "Is the Albin Counter-Gambit sound?", since objectively Black falls a little short of full compensation for the pawn, but on the other hand, 2...e5 is probably only marginally worse theoretically than 2...e6, 2...c6 or 2...dxc4, while often giving Black greater counterplay.
The format for the Albin Counter-Gambit coverage and the updated Englund Gambit coverage now features a brief discussion of the main lines and ideas, a 4-part series giving games and analysis and an index of variations, to make it easier to determine which games correspond to which variations.
In the Albin, I focus on White's attempts to get in an early e2-e3, with the aim of swapping off Black's d4-pawn, and then on the three most critical lines: (4.Nf3 Nc6) 5.g3, 5.a3 and 5.Nbd2. I have chosen to give some coverage to all of Black's main approaches (...Be6, ...Bf5, ...Bg4 and ...Nge7) in each case, as theoretically some of the lines following 5.a3 and 5.Nbd2 are looking quite dicey and it is worth having alternatives to fall back upon. This coverage might need a bit of expansion in the future as I realise that after 4.Nf3 Nc6 I haven't mentioned White's minor fifth-move options (e.g. the rare 5.Bf4 was covered by Tim McGrew in A Fistful of Novelties)
My overall assessments haven't changed much though- the approaches with ...Nge7, favoured by Alexander Morozevich, are generally soundest but there are certain White responses that make it hard for Black to generate much counterplay, while the approaches with ...Be6/f5/g4 give Black counterplay but are less likely to come close to fully equalising. I find the approaches with ...Bf5 the most fun, as there are various tactics for White to watch for on c2 and d3 and they lead to some good kingside attacks if White goes g2-g3, although I have tried out some of the ...Nge7 lines as well.
In the meantime, the Anand-Carlsen match has sprung into life and seen Carlsen pull out two of his typical endgame wins from equal or slightly better positions. While I would like Carlsen to win the match as I consider him to be the better player, I'd like to see Anand at least win one game, as per my original prediction (+3 -1 =8) and I think he still has a chance of pulling that off, though his chances of winning the match are now pretty low.