Notes on chess in Chicago.
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 chessgames.com, 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.
Another weird variation (sort of) along these lines is 1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 f5!?, which Doug Root once used to beat Silman - http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1124827 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 chesscafe.com 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 http://tinyurl.com/2bepbkz
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.
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