The most common line for black in the Nakhmanson Gambit is to take with their pawn with 6…dxc3 but here we will look at what happens if they take with their knight 6…Nxc3
White needs to continue to get all of powerful material involved into the game. Taking back the knight on c3 is not the best way to do that. The best way to continue is 7. Re1. Now black has some options on how to continue.
Black could feel their knight is going to fall so they may feel that putting the white rook on the e4 square is a weaker square after 8. Rxe4+. This is very good for white, though. After 8…Be7 then white plays Bg5 and black is out of good moves. There are also multiple traps that white can lay for black.
In this position white should take the knight on c3 with 8. bxc3. The knight on e7 is blocking all of the development for black and white has time to get all of the powerful material involved into the game. If they play d5 then white can retreat the bishop back to b3 and continue to attack on the long light square diagonal.
White will continue the same as if the knight went to e7 and that’s by capturing with bxc3. After black castles, white will continue by taking material in the center with cxd4.
From here play might continue with 9…Bb4 10. Bg5 or 9…d5 10. Bd3.
They also might not castle after white takes with bxc3. If they continue with 8…d5 then white will play Bb5 pinning down the knight to the king and looking to play Ne5 at some point.
The Nakhmanson Gambit is a fun opening for anyone that likes to give up material in exchange for an aggressive attack on their opponent. It’s always important to know all of the lines that you might run into so make sure you watch the video below to get an in depth analysis of the Nakhmanson Gambit with 6…Nxc3.