Fischer's Bust to the King's Gambit
Jul 26, 2015, 11:32 PM 1
A BUST TO THE KING'S GAMBIT
by U.S. Champion Bobby Fischer
The King's Gambit has lost popularity, but not sympathy.
Analysts treat it with kid gloves and seem reluctant to
demonstrate an outright refuatation. "The Chessplayers Manual"
by Gossip and Lipschutz, published in 1874, devotes 237 pages
to this gambit without arriving at a conclusion. To this day
the opening has been analyzed romantically - not
scientifically. Moderns seem to share the same unconscious
attitude that caused the old-timers to curse stubborn Steinitz:
"He took the beauty out of chess."
To the public, the player of the King's Gambit exhibits courage
and derring-do. The gambit has been making a comeback with the
younger Soviet masters, notably Spassky (who defeated
Bronstein, Averbach and myself with it). His victories rarely
reflected the merits of the opening since his opponents went
wrong in the mid-game. It is often the case, also, as with
Santasiere and Bronstein, that the King's Gambit is played with
a view to a favorable endgame. Spassky told me himself the
gambit doesn't give White much, but he plays it because neither
does the Ruy Lopez nor the Giuoco Piano.
The refuatation of any gambit begins with accepting it. In my
opinion the King's Gambit is busted. It loses by force.
And Black wins... Of course White can always play differently, in which case he merely loses differently.