Payback Time! by GM Arun and GM Magesh

Payback Time! by GM Arun and GM Magesh‎

GM thamizhan
21 | Opening Theory

 As far as we see it, there are two very good things about studying an opening like the King's Gambit. One, you can dig up some games which are as old as the Mona Lisa portrait and you can understand how chess has evolved from a 'Direct Attacking' approach to the Hypermodern era that we have today. And secondly, you can enjoy the more obvious fireworks on the board with very innovative attacking ideas.


Last week we looked at some unforgettable classics where white punished black for inaccurate defense using some very creative ideas (Remember Morphy's 12.Nh5!). This week let us look at the downside of such openings that indulge in such direct attack. Obviously there are some risks involved in trying to attack your opponent's king without completing your own development; this simply means that black also has plenty of chances to launch a strong counter attack at times by returning the material advantage.


Today we will start our discussion with a classic game again from the great Paul Morphy. Only this time he delivers the killer blows from the other side of the board!







Our next game is a miniature from the Cuban genius Capablanca. We should realize that one of the biggest advantages in using a weapon like the King's Gambit in practical play is the element of surprise for your opponent and the slightest of errors could lead to a disaster, just like in this game.







The King's Gambit has also been occasionally tested in recent times (1995 is pretty recent compared to 1849!). In the following rapid game, Morozevich tries his hand with the King's Gambit against Kasparov. He ends up with a difficult position after trying out an unsound piece sacrifice.







Our last game today is nothing like the previous ones we have studied. This one is a more calm game where Botvinnik has managed to equalize slowly and eventually use his kingside pawn majority to seal the issue.







We hope our readers enjoyed all these games in understanding the opening ideas related to the King's Gambit.


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