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An opening which really intrigues me at the moment is the Elephant Gambit. Black just ignores the attack on his e-pawn and starts a direct counterattack! The opening goes as following:
Yesterday I had a nice miniature with this gambit. Below is the game together with some analysis:
Allthough it is generally considered an unsound opening the resulting positions can be very entertaining for Black. Please let me know what you think of this interesting opening and your good/bad experiences with it!
Nice game. I play it as a surprise weapon and it's great for fast time controls like G/30. Also, it's a good opening to practice your tactics.
This is considered to be more sound than the latvian right? or is it the other way around?Nice game btw.
I think it is more sound than the latvian.
I played against the Bd6 variation in this game: www.cob.sjsu.edu/splane_m/chess/Jangle.htm
Queen2theside instead of saying how bad the gambit is-- give some variations which favor White--talk is cheap. You may be right but just saying it is not enough.
Quite likely unsound, but certainly much better than crap like the Latvian.
Black does not have enough for the pawn, but his position is certainly playable.
My only correspondence game against this was from when I was just starting out. Haven't analysed it but it looks the opening result for my opponent was just the loss of the exchange and a difficult position.
I saw it quite a bit when I was trying the chesscube 2 minute warzones. It's probably best being saved for those kind of games.
Thanks everybody for your comments! I have to agree with IM pfren here. The Latvian gambit is almost unplayable and I wouldn't recommend it compared with the EG. But... I have to say there are some interesting games in the Latvian. Bobby Fisher once lost a game against it...
Dont talk such nonsens...On amateur- and club-level the Latvian is absoluteley playable, because only a few opponents know how to face these gambit. Personally i play both of them with very good results in OTB-matches.
Both gambits are unsound, the Elephant and the Latvian, because in both openings there are lines, which favor White, because of a pawn more for little or nothing, or for positional advantage. Therefore you will finds these openings rarely on higher levels, but this issue was discussed in endless threads.
The Elephant is more solid than the Latvian, but offers less tactical chances.
And please dont show variations with 3...e4, because its simply bad for Black, the only correct response is 3...Bd6.
I fail to see the motive for playing a gambit you know is "unsound" just so you can beat up on lower ranking opponents. Don't you want to improve your chess? Is it more important to beat up your lower ranked opponents with an unsoud gambit than to improve your "real" openings?
Who said, that i only beat lower ranked opponents? Sometimes i win against higher rankings, sometimes i lose against lower rankings...thats it.
When only 1-5% of my opponents know the refutation, why shouldnt i play it?
Its always the same senseless discussion...stay at your hyper-modern-super-duper Ponziani, you hero and let me play my crap openings, OK?
I guess I have a different philosophy as I play chess to improve and also to try and have a really good game--by this I mean with no real errors on my part but I guess I am in a minority with this philosophy.
To me, you cannot have a really good game if you delibertly play bad moves and that is true regardles of the final outcome of the game.
To me, chess is an art--you are trying to compose a very nice game.
One that will stand the test of time and forever will be a beauty.
To each, his own...
If you really want that, don't play conventional theory. Your game will just blend in with the masses who have played that very line and won beautifully.
I don't see how one becomes a better player by playing conventional theoretical lines rather than offset gambits. Weird openings invite weird answers. Chess starts not when someone decides to leave the line, but at move two or three already. You have to figure out everything behind the board. I really like that idea. And because the opening is often unsound, you have to defend and counterattack creatively. Perhaps playing weird openings improves your chess even more. It sure demands you play the best you can.
Of course offset gambits don't allow you to play a perfect game, but then again I don't expect myself to ever play a perfect game. I'm only 1800, and will perhaps never improve beyond 2000. And I don't feel I need to, as long as I have fun. Coming back on-topic: the Elephant Gambit sure looks like a lot of fun! I might give it a try one day...
I really agree with you up to 100%...i will never play a perfect game, regardlesss if i play Queens Gambit or the Latvian, but since i play these gambit stuff my tactical skill has improved much.
@Asthereal and @Dark_Falcon: I too fully agree with your point of view. I play the Elephant and Latvian. I must admit I prefer Latvian, because there is so much to discover.
Of course I play to win, but if I don't then I've learned something. Sound or unsound openings ... it really doesn't matter. I love to play chess, and gambits make the game interesting. As long as I enjoy myself playing chess, I will continu to play.
In every game I learn something, but does it make me better? At a certain level perhaps, but that's just the point. I don't care about that. I don't have the ambition to be a strong chessplayer (>2200), I just want to have fun at chess.
I think if you just play chess to have fun, then these gambit openings are absolutely fine to play. If you have any ambition to ever become a better player, however, you need to change. Both are fine. Personally I would like to improve my chess, and hence these openings are not for me.
I did not say I play conventional theory. I wrote a book on the Scandinavian 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 way back when it was unpopular. Now it is a popular line but somewhat unconventional.
Also wrote a book on the Ponziani way back when there was not good theory on that opening and one can hardly call the Ponziani as conventional theory.
What success I have had in the past was going against conventional theory for the most part.
The different is the Scandinavian and the Ponziani have not been refuted [as yet]
Yes, you can play a whole game without a mistake and many people have done this. A move is a mistake if with best play by both sides after the move you lose. So there are billions of perfect games. Just to give one
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 draw agreed. Of course, I do not play for draws but if you play well for the first 18 moves or so you have a fair chance for a perfect game. Sometimes an opponent will make a losing mistake say on the 6th move and you take advantage and win--then you have played a perfect game [unless analysis shows at some point you made a blunder not noticed by your opponent]
It is fine to play bad gambits just for fun but if you do this too much it will put a ceiling on how high you can rise in chess and chess knowledge..
To me chess is an art to most others it is more like a sport which is ok too but do you want to be in a minor league sport or a major league sport?
Most would just as soon be in a minor league sport and that is just fine. I, myself engage in a kind of minor league sport and do well in it and enjoy it.
If you enjoy playing gambits that can be refuted easily then that is fine but you eschew the chance to make a "memorial game"
But of course many think they cannot play a perfect game when actually it is quite possible.
One of incorrect debutsAs you most likely know it.
Why not 4. Nc3 ?
He got to 2200 playing junk openings? What junk openings does he play?
I played such stupid openings as the Smith Morra and Goring Gambit and Scotch Gambit and a dumb line of the Ruy and got above 2200.
But all these openings are not as bad as say the Latvian Gambit.
But then I realized these gambits were holding me back and I determined to play only "sound" chess. But I did not play conventional openings--just sound unconventional openings. One opening was the Scandinavian where I found several improvements for Black and another was the Ponziani where also I found many improvements.
So it is possible to improve above master and not play "conventional openings" But you have to innovate [soundly]
"Reykjavik Open, Round 5 | Commentary by FM Ingvar Johannesson & Fiona Steil-Antoni"
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