Monday, November 1, 2010

Ivanchuk beats Nakamura in Cap d'Agde finals

Two King's Gambits!  Although Ivanchuk tricked Nakamura into a good-vs.-bad-bishop ending in the first game, Nakamura's anti-King's Gambit system is utterly respectable and fun!

1.e4 e5 2.f4 Nc6 3.Nf3 f5!?

Coverage at The Week in Chess (games are in drop-down box above the board) and Europe-Echecs.


Frederick Rhine said...

I was shocked when I first saw 3...f5!? some years ago, when it was the subject of an article in a New in Chess Yearbook. According to, it scores very well for Black (59.2%).

Somewhat similarly, Frank Marshall in his forgotten 1904 book Marshall's Chess Openings claimed that 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 f5 was a good line for Black. That one hasn't held up so well.

Frederick Rhine said...

Another weird variation (sort of) along these lines is 1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 f5!?, which Doug Root once used to beat Silman - Then there's the Balogh Defense: 1.e4 d6 2.d4 f5!? I don't trust it myself, but Nakamura beat GM Perelshtyn with it a few years ago. Keith Hayward wrote a series of articles on it at about four years ago.

Perhaps the most respectable ...f5 line in an opening that begins with 1.e4 is the Schliemann Defense, 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5!? These days Radjabov uses it as a drawing weapon (!) against the world's chess elite: see

Bill Brock said...

Here's one that's even more respectable (improved Philidor Countergambit?):

1.e4 e5 2.f4 Bc5 3.Nf3 d6 4.c3 and now, instead of the perfectly sensible 4...Bb6, 4...f5!? is fully playble. Tartakower, Rubinstein, Flohr, and Spielmann all played it, as did the American masters Sidney Bernstein and Abe Turner.