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I did not play chess for a decade.
If possible, I would like to get an update on the current theory of the Polerio gambit (1.e4 e5 2.f4 ef 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.0-0). My current knowledge is not further advanced as the lines displayed at e.g. http://gcpolerio.blogspot.de/2008/09/1.html where also the Stock variation of the Bello Gambit (5. - gf 6.Qxf3 Qf6 7.Nc3 Qd4+ 8.Kh1 Qxc4 9.b3) is discussed.
In summary, as a White player the classical variation loses due to 17.-Rf8!, double due to 9.-Qf5! , the 'Abtauschvariante' has a problem thanks to 7.d3 Nc6 and so forth.
Anyone who has some recent matches played with 7.d3 Nc6, or 7.Nc3?
I think Stock's variation is about the only chance to avoid either a forced lost position or the forced draw (I think I still have the links to the archive of Stock's Muzio site somewhere) . But I think you are rather asking the wrong question, you are looking to run before you can walk. The problem lies not 4.Bc4 g4?! but in either 4...Bg7 or 4...d6, if you can cure these for White then it makes more sense to concern ones self with 4...g4?!
I would call this match a Hanstein won by Peter, btw., an expert of the double Muzio.
But, in summary, I understand you in the way that theory of the Polerio gambit has not changed during the last decade?!
Perhaps not that big surprise taking into account that Polerio considered the position reached after 5.0-0 gxf 6.Qxf3 as won for white in about 1579/80 unless Sarrat published the famous translation error "SALVIO states that the following Gambit was sent to him by Signor Muzio, ..." in 1813.
So we should wait further 250 years. A decade is seemingly not enough
The problem lies not 4.Bc4 g4?! but in either 4...Bg7 or 4...d6, if you can cure these for White then it makes more sense to concern ones self with 4...g4?!
Hadron, I share here more the view of Stock in his open letter to Tim Harding, "Muzio-Polerio nonsense":
"1. In terms of a “Plain Man’s Guide to the Kieseritzky Gambit, Part Two” I would endorse your assessment that 4.Bc4 is not the best choice for white (so that he should play something different, such as 4.h4 or 4.d4).
2. With the term “Muzio-Polerion nonsense” I feel insulted while playing, after my oponent played 4.Bc4 4.- g4! with black.
3. As a guide to the Kieseritzky Gambit part two your display of 4.Bc4 g4! is missleading from my point of view. Perhaps you could improve it a little bit, without investing much more time, by reading “some articles by Stefan Bücker about the King’s Gambit “?!"
What do you think, Hadron? 4.Bc4?! g4!
4.Bc4 g4 is certainly good for Black, but unnnecessarily complex. 4...Bg7 is equally good, and certainly enough more solid.
4.Bc4 is a dubious move, white does have to play 4.h4! to stay afloat.
4. h4?! can give white barely more than equality. Anyone who thinks this is the way to play the KG, he/she should play The Ruy instead.
4. Bc4! and 4. Nc3! are the ways to go and set off great miracles. Such magic is not for everyone, though. White must be ready to positionally sacrifice whole piece (or two) for long time compensation and attack without forced win immediately in sight.
Dear IM pfren,
thank you very much for your assessment (which I share).
I'm no longer playing chess but 15 to 20 years ago I was playing (exclusively) CC.
From a CC players point of view 4.- g4 makes the point quicker than 4.- Bg7, so that you could save (in those former times) stamps and costs of playing correspondence chess.
With this (former) CC player perspective 4.- g4 is easy to handle knowing that Kaissiber 13 is in your bookcase. And obviously, theory is rather unchanged in this field since 2000.
Thanks to all who replied to my request.
4. Bc4! and 4. Nc3! are the ways to go and set off great miracles.
I've to apologize not knowing so well 4.Nc3 but analysed sometimes, more than a decade ago, 4.d4 g4 5.Bxf4 (following in these days matches of Peter Leisebein and Carmelo Coco)
But again: 4.Bc4"!" g4! (a line I know better): What plays White? I thought White is just lost after 4 moves. So, ... would be glad to get an update
Black is not obliged to take the piece after either 4.Bc4, or 4.Nc3.
4...Bg7 against 4.Bc4, and 4...Nc6 against 4.Nc3 are perfectly good replies, and white cannot get equality against this approach.
The most topical line is 4.Nc3 Nc6 and now the "obligatory" 5.g3, Sviaginsev's move which resurrected the variation. Black is not much worse in the final position, but his task is certainly not pleasant, and his winning chances nonexistent. The whole line has been analysed by GM Konstantin Sakaev, who did use a computer to analyse, but rejected the suggested chaotic main lines in favour of simpler, more rational ones.
You can find the analysis in his Petroff repertoire book, no need to repeat it here (plus- it's copyrighted material...).
I have very little time for Tim Harding as a chess writer. As Thomas Stock points out on the blog in his round about fashion, that Harding's treatment of the Muzio in the article mentioned was just plain wrong and so wrong in fact that Harding repeated the dogma that McLean's Attack 13.Qe2 was a forced draw when in fact Black has at least 2 or 3 winning tries. I agree with IM Pfren generally speaking that 4.Bc4 is faulty because of either 4...d6 or 5...Bg7 theoretically speaking. However, what a whole hell of lot of the plebs all over the entire opens section of the forum do not appreciate knowing an opening (or in a large part of the time what their chess engines tell them) and playing it are 2 totally different exercises. Openings and any refutations that exist are only as good as how you play them, against who and in what circumstance. Openings are not about just knowing them, it is also about preparing them and preparing for your opponent and in what situation you are going to play.
Personally to me the Muzio is just a historical curiosity....Still it is good to win with itwhen people fall for 4...g4?!
"3.- d6! ... There is nothing romantic any longer in the Muzio which has been analysed to draw." R. Fischer
"After 1. e4 e5 2.f4 ef 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4?! 5.0-0! gxf3 6.Qxf3 Qf6 7.e5
7. - Qxe5 allows White to force an immediate draw by 8.b3!, see Tartakower - Leonhardt, Vienna 1908 1/2:1/2
Better is 8.d3?! and McDonald's Cheesburger Attack 13.Qe2!"
"After studying all the Muzio-Polerio nonsense, I ask why on earth does Black unguard the f4-pawn when he has this perfectly good move 4…Bg7 instead?"
More seriously: I was asking for hardly more than some recent matches with (1.e4 e5 2.f4 ef 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.0-0 gxf 6.Qxf3 Qf6) 7.d3 Nc6, or 7.Nc3.
The most topical line is 4.Nc3 Nc6 ... Black is not much worse in the final position, but his task is certainly not pleasant, and his winning chances nonexistent.
You can find the analysis in his Petroff repertoire book...
Agree - just for the fact that Black cannot take a piece after either 4.Bc4 or Nc3. After 4.Bc4 g4 5.Bxf7+ black is still not oblidged to take a piece but 5.- Kxf7 seems to be not so horribly bad for black.
Even more seriously: I understand all remarks here, and thank you very much for these insights --- from the viewpoints of "OTB/over the board" chess players. As a CC player, be asured, I will play, after 4.Bc4 g4! --- and after 4.Nc3 ... I think I will go, first step of my preparation, to the garret and blow away the dust from my Handbuch/Bilguer.
Personally to me the Muzio is just a historical curiosity....Still it is good to win with it when people fall for 4...g4?!
I fully agree!
But I have still not understood the comment '?!' after 4.- g4.
Yes, it is good to win with 4.- g4, and it is a historical curiosity.
But why to label the first step of black to a nearly sure 0:1 as "dubious"?
Better is 8.d3?! and McDonald's Chessburger Attack 13.Qe2!"
8.b3 just loses- Black can gobble the stray rook, and win due to his huge material preponderance. Engine analysis does not find any real compensation for white.
8.d3 is surely "better", but still white is in bad shape after 8...Bh6.
Accepting the piece is theoretically Black's best, but practically it is a dubious choice, since the resulting positions are very sharp, and one slip can prove fatal. Declining the piece with 4...Bg7 grants Black a much smaller advantage, but white's counterplay in the mainlines is next to nonexistent- so the choice for a practical player is quite obvious...
"Still, it is good to win with it when people fall for 4...g4?!"
It's pretty good to win with just about anything. He's leaving out the part about people losing with 4...g4.
"..allows White to force an immediate draw by 8.b3!, see Tartakower - Leonhardt, Vienna 1908 1/2:1/2
8.b3 just loses- Black can gobble the stray rook,..
Accepting the piece is theoretically Black's best, ...Declining the piece with 4...Bg7 grants Black a much smaller advantage, - so the choice for a practical player is quite obvious...
Nothing to add to your analysis, IM pfren.
As to my wording itself... Yes, I won against 8.b3 with 8.- Qxa1 in Cullura-Stock 0:1 (see Kaissiber 13) --- but we had to label 8.- Qxa1 as a novelty. Isn't this absurd?
So, ones chances to write a book about the Hanstein using Tartakower - Leonhardt, Vienna 1908 1/2:1/2 as the ultimate evidence for the draw in the Muzio are quite good.
(((for 7.b3 see analysis Marchisotti, and also Triple Gambit Muzio here at chess.com)))
As to an update: In about 2000, the ECO draw line was 7.c3. What is today the draw ECO C promises after 4.Bc4 g4 5.0.0?
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