Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Julio_Becerra
GM Julio_Becerra
Sep 15, 2009, 12:00 AM |
40 | Amazing Games

The games of the old masters were characterized by a more free-wheeling attitude with respect to material. A development advantage was the holy grail for chess players, and they would strive for that lead by sacrificing whatever it took. Pawns were just the little guys tossed into the sacrifical fire in the interests of generating an attack.

One of the most famous gambits of the Romantic Era is the Evans Gambit. Captain William Davies Evans, a sailor who came up with the idea while on the sea in 1827. While not quite the modern Evans Gambit, the idea of the gambit is clearly foreshadowed in the following historic game:

After this, the gambit took off, becoming quite popular in the MacDonnell-Labourdonnais match that was covered in some previous articles. By the middle of the 19th century, it was one of the most popular and feared openings. Paul Morphy was especially dangerous with it, compiling an absolutely huge record with it. Here's one of his brilliant efforts, in a style typical of the era, against his uncle no less!

To conclude, the games of the old masters are quite important even in this day and age. Take a look at what Garry Kasparov, maybe the greatest player ever, could do with the Evans Gambit:

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