Thursday, September 19, 2013

King's Gambit silliness

I recently got GM John Shaw's amazing new 680-page tome The King's Gambit. It may be the greatest book ever written on a single opening! Well worth getting if you play either side of 1.e4 e5, and maybe even if you don't.

You might even want to give the King's Gambit a try. No doubt you'll lose some games, but on the other hand you'll win others like this. I guarantee that you're not going to win many 13-movers with the Ruy Lopez! A lot of people, even strong players, don't take the King's Gambit seriously, and spend little if any time preparing against it. Just take a look at the games that GM Joe Gallagher (author of an earlier book on the King's Gambit) won in 20 or fewer moves.


GreenCastle said...

That's just a wretched defense.

(Aside from 4...d5) Can Black try 5...Nh5, with the plan to try to hold f4? After the obvious response 6.d5 I wondering about the knight sacrifice 6...Bc5 7.dxc6 bxc6 with the intention of ..d5 very soon.

VinnyJH57 said...

After playing the Sicilian since high school, I started venturing 1...e5 a couple years ago. I've been going with the Classical Defense (2...Bc5) against the King's Gambit which seems to me like it would be the most annoying for White.

Frederick Rhine said...

GreenCastle: I just looked at it with Houdini 3, which prefers 5.Qe2 for White (which no one has played) to my 5.e5. Apparently the ideas are that White will regain the pawn with Bxf4 with a big center, and threatens to kick Black's knights around, and it's hard for Black to develop. After my 5.e5, Houdini says that Black can equalize in various ways: 5...Ng4 6.Bxf4 d6; 5...Nd5 6.Bc4 Nb6; or 5...Nd5 6.Bc4 Ne3 7.Bxe3 fxe3 8.0-0 (the game continuation) d5!, when White has nothing better than 9.Bb3=. But it considers your idea 5...Nh5?! 6.d5 Bc5?! unsound after 7.dxc6 bxc6 8.Nc3 d5 9.Na4 Be7 10.Qd4 0-0 11.Bd2 Re8 12.0-0-0 f6 13.Bd3 fxe5 14.Qxe5.

VinnyJH57: The King's Gambit Declined with 2...Bc5 is a solid line for Black.

Bill Brock said...

Just got my copy yesterday. I was surprised that the Muzio got such scant coverage. I have played the 9...Qf5! refutation three times in tournament games, scoring 2-1.

After 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4?!, I'll readily admit that 4...g4 is probably not the most practical move. (I've seen folks play 4...Bg7; I was blissfully unaware of 4...Nc6!?)

But it may well be a winning move.