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To play the Veresov well you need to be both a d4 and an e4 expert!
why are you afraid of playing "gambits"? if I was coaching you i would say that this is an area of weakness and needs to be addressed. The ability to understand that material and initative are just different chess variables are crucial to understanding and improvement.
When teaching novice players I try to pick openings that allow them to focus on tactics and simple strategies without getting caught up in memorizing moves.
aggressive openings can be played via e4 or d4
e4 I would would play the scotch or italian setups. They are simple and straight foward and easy to learn the basis but sound enough for any level.
d4,.. queens gambit, which is not really a gambit. kasparov played d4 to obtain powerful attacks because it kept a lot of pieces on the board.
Veresov is ok as a basis but there are systems where c4 is a more logical approach. trying to force through the e4 pawn break can be frustrating against king's indian setups and kinda pointless.
pick mainline systems that are aggressive. look at f3 systems, rubinstein lines can be crazy aggressive.
Gambit lines in e4 openings are unsound? Marshall in the Ruy and Evens gambits are totally unsound. 3...c5 in a caro advance is totally unsound, the Smith morra and the french Tarrasch with Qxd5 are completely unsound too. Not to mention the King's gambit.
Well, some of those are usually temporary even if they last till move 10 or more... but you get the idea. Many of these are well respected openings, while others are less so, but perfectly playable.
err in general gambits are not bad. here are a ton of sound gambits and some that are at least equal with best play by black. the idea is too follow the historical development of chess. Look at wild openings played early in chess and then see how they were refuted around morphy-steinitz time frame ( you accepted gambits then because of the prevailing attitude of the time it was the sporting thing to do...)
benko is sounds up to GM level (and some GMs play it as a surprise) Tomi Nyback played it up until then and said he would play it against an IM anytime.
Evans gambit kasparov played against Anand in a WC match (nuff said)
kings gambit is sound but double edged
Queens gambit errr ok not a real gambit
e4 scotch gambit, danish gambit, etc are double edged, black gains some sense of equality but black has to know what to do to gain it. (...d5 is key for black in almost al,l if not all e4 white gambit lines. you will learn to respect initiative and open lines by studying them as black and white.
In openings like the Danish or the King's Gambit, black holds all the cards. He can either choose to instantly and painlessly equalize, or he can go for more complicated positions that usually favor him and play for a win. In all honesty, the only gambit in existence anymore that can claim to offer enough play to still be interesting at high levels is the Evans (The Marshall is easily and almost always avoided) - not only does white get no initiative in a typical gambit, he gives up the advantages of the first move if black calmly returns the material and just plays basic and logical chess. The hope of most gambiteers is that their opponent will choose to play for a win by holding the pawn instead of equalizing and get crushed, but in reality the players who choose to play more ambitiously than just for equality are the ones who know exactly what they're doing - while the less prepared ones just equalize on the spot. Sound tactics flow from superior positions, not artificial attacking chances created by sacking pawns before you're developed.
Its not quite so easy to equalize in the danish or the King's gambit as you might think. equalization means equal chances not that black or white holds all the cards, that is the reason you dont see it often at high levels, GMs like to control the game as white and play for 2 results , win and worst case draw, not 3 results. Some players like this style Nakamura, shirov, moro, Carlsen seem to be the most recent advocates of pushing things. There are a large number of gambits that are played at the normal U2600 level that are very valid. Infact IMO many 2300-2599 games are more instructive than games with 2600+ GMs. Typical mistakes are more often played and punished than at the super elite level games.
Gambit players like to maintain an initative and create complications that can lead to their opponent making mistakes. Sometimes this leads to a draw while other times it leads to a drawn position. Sounds gambits maintain compensation but that also means that the attacker has to maintain threats. One shot gambits are the ones your speaking of and yes those are flawed but Danish is probably considered the most easily equalizing with the ...d5 line since most masters can hold the balance in the resulting endgame. Things in the King's gambit is much less clear. It has been trotted out by 2600+ GMs , past world champions (spassky) and world championship contenters (Bronstein) and most recently by the world #1 Magnus Carlsen. Yes Black has chances but they are at best equal.
The reason the Marshall is often avoided is that many of the lines have been worked out to be almost a forced draw by black which is very annoying for players expecting to win as white at the high levels. Hence many top GMs avoid these openings where black can maintain a balance or surprise someone in a long critical line that is computer checked at move 30+. that doesnt mean that the other lines are better for white its just that it avoids facing your opponent on their prepared ground.
Studying the danish, scotch gambit complexs can help a player learn a lot about attacking and defense. I am not for a repertiore around things like the danish because there is a fairly easy line that results in equalization. As the complexity increases so does the difficulty for black to equalize the evans (which Nakamura is playing today!!) is probably at the top of this difficulty in equalization factor.
the thing is the KG is a fighting line period, Black has to prove that white handed him equality where as white is trying to prove his sac was sound.
but then again its the player, not the opening that determines the game
The Parham must be strong, Nakamura played it!
Well, like you said Irrational... Tiger.
seems like you got one wrong, the rest right
caro c5 advance is sound.
Well, because of the sarcasm it's hard to know what you mean :p
They're all sound of course.
I'm not familiar with the danish gambit.
But it would be one helluva proof to show the KG is unsound
Hehe, you and I suck too much to pull an opening advantage all the way to a win. (Also I've never played a KG in my life). Well, ok, twice as black at my chessclub.
I just remember seeing an odd game every now and then from a GM with it. I think some guy used it against carlsen (I think it was a draw?) and Short used it against someone. I know it's pretty rare, but "unsound" is pretty strong for GMs to play it from time to time.
Heh, never mind. Didn't realize it was when Carlsen was still 2500 and it was a short draw (edited to remove the game).
hmm I might have to talk to Pfren about his feeling with the Danish. The mainline results in an endgame that GM Muller I believe says is equal. (I have a book that has great analysis on the danish, scotch gambit etc but its formated in a way that makes my head hurt and never became popular because of that)
a few games with the KG by top 10 players ...
most recently Carlsen was 2800+
The Carlsen- Wang Yue game is a funny one, for that level. After 9...0-0? 10.Bxf4 white has some advantage, but why not 9...g5 when it's rather hard to see white's compensation?
Also, instead of 6...Be7 Black may play 6...Be6 7.Qe2 (7.Bb3 c5 8.d4 cd4 9.Nxd4 Bc5 should be great for Black) Be7 when the insertion of the two extra moves is in Black's favor.
I agree it was funny. Carlsen admitted it as a surprise weapon because he was having a tough time in the tournament at that point and used it to shift the momenteum. It would be intertesting to know what he would have played in the lines you mentioned but I am sure he had something in mind.
if black tries to keep the pawns its dangerous.
the critical line that I know of that sounded the death of the danish is
Pfren might know something I dont but black has a lot of risks in other lines that I am aware of
The Parham is amateurish. It doesn't help develop enough pieces and gives black the initiative.
In Danish Dynamite by GM Muller and FM Voigt the endgame after Bxf7+ is considered dynamically balanced. Muller is a well known endgame expert.
Its not a chicken line its just a line that equalizes. Why allow white all the fun and defend against tons of threats? Studying this is what taught me about the need for black to play ...d5 against white's e4 pawn.
Parham attack is a bad opening, and there is a refutation of it. Black plays 2 .. Ke7!. The point of this move is that black wants to play Qe8 and Kd8 to switch the king and queen. This covers both f7 and e5 while allowing the bishop on f8 to come out freely.
Love that idea! Going to try that sometimes!!!
P.S. That is a joke. Very funny though.
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