Easter torment part 2: Budapest revisited
© Saint Louis Chess Club, used with permission

Easter torment part 2: Budapest revisited

Apr 3, 2018, 8:59 AM |

No, this post is not about the city. But as a chess fan, you probably knew that. It is of course about the Budapest gambit, an opening which I played with the white pieces in the Easter tournament of 2018.

After three initial Easter eggs (0's), I finally scored a point in the tournament. And it was an easy point. Since there was an uneven number of players, I happened to get a pass, and a free point. But although points are nice, I would rather have a game. Anyway, that means that we're already at round 5 of the tournament. If you want to read about the start of the tournament, you can read my previous post.

As indicated above, the opening of this game was the Budapest gambit. I had only faced this once before in a classical game, and lost horribly. So at the time, I looked up the theory, and I was therefore not entirely unfamiliar with the opening. However, my theoretical knowledge had faded somewhat over the past 2+ years since the last time I had looked at the opening.

The infamous Budapest gambit

As it turned out, my opening play was quite good. I did not play the absolutely best variation (missing 7. Rc1), but I managed to get the very position that Yasser Seirawan considers to be a 'bust' to the Budapest gambit. He claims that after 11. g3 I should be able to crucify my opponent (the image caption is a quote from Yasser, btw). This comment is quite ironic considering that the tournament is played during the crucifixion season, a.k.a. Easter. However, I wasn't able to take advantage of the position in the same way that Seirawan would, and after a series of false steps, I lost the game. I actually think it might be easier for me to literally crucify my opponent, rather than do it over the chess board.

So what do I take away from this game?

First of all, I feel that I should not be afraid of the Budapest. And secondly, I feel that my opening play isn't all that bad. I usually manage to get quite decent positions out of the opening. My main problem lies in the middle game. When the position is relatively quiet, I tend to lose my way and go for incorrect plans. In this game, I did not really know what to do after I had castled. Finally, a recurring problem is that I often calculate insufficiently in critical positions. Overcoming these obstacles isn't an easy task. But it at least gives me an indication of what I need to work on in order to improve my results.

If you see anything else in this game (or any of my other games) that you think I could improve, please write a comment below.

The featured imaged is used with the kind permission of the Saint Louis Chess Club. It is taken from the following video:

Exploring d4 | Budapest Gambit - GM Yasser Seirawan