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Dealing with the Kings Gambit as Black

Dealing with the Kings Gambit as Black

Aug 10, 2009, 5:49 PM 2

Dealing with the Kings Gambit as Black

Let me start this blog post by admitting that I used to dislike the Kings Gambit. I never played it as white, but every time I encountered it as black my heart skipped a beat.That is because I have never been comfortable with either accepting or declining the gambit - and what other options do you have?

In theory, the Kings Gambit gives Black better play, because after exf4 black should be able to hold the position and the extra pawn. This does require however that Black plays ..g5 thereby opening up the entire kingside. Without accuracy, the white attack has good chances to succeed - and I never felt like booking up to the point where I could play that accurately. And I hardly ever did.

So I tried declining the Kings Gambit, but in these cases where I didn't play exf4 I always found my position to be cramped. Though declining seemed less dangerous I never really felt comfortable with the positions. And I lost a good number of times with this line too. (though I must admit that I didn't book up too much on the KG Declined either).

With this in mind, understand my reaction when yesterday my opponent played 2. f4. Unhappiness. Recalling all my previous experiences in full colour, I decided to be bold and to force the game in another direction. The basic idea was that I'd return the pawn for easy development. Later it turned out that a version of this variation even exist in theory! (without my inaccuracies Wink) It is called the Modern Defense, and I am happy I discoved about it. The game is below:

I found the game nice, but what was even nicer to me is the fact that now I no longer fear the Kings Gambit. I've found a line that suits my playing style, and with best play it gives black decent chances of doing well in all variations. So if you have been plagued by the Kings Gambit like I was, do yourself a favour and check it out!

Over and Out,


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