Playing and Losing in the Budapest Defense (After 24 year hiatus)
Playing the Budapest Defense is like drinking a warm cup of coco near a crackling fire on a cold winter night. It warms the heart and soul and gives one that sense of contented happiness. At least for me it does but granted I like really messy positions. The kind of positions that look like when you were analyzing a game at home in high school and your mom or dad, who has no clue as to what a chess piece is, knocked all the pieces down by accident and then tried to set them up again and they ended up in a random absurd position. Now those are the types of positions I love playing!
The honest to goodness truth though is the Budapest Defense is not all that messy and is a pretty thematic opening to play. Black's pieces tend to go to the same squares and the plans to follow are pretty standard. I think it’s definitely an opening that a lower rated player could take out a much higher rated player on white if white is not careful.
I have always played it in speed chess and online but somewhere along the way it drifted out of my rated tournament and match play a long long time ago. The last time I recall playing the Budapest Defense in a rated game was in the Baltimore Open in 1990. However, for my team Ashburn's big match in the DC Chess league this past Friday night vs Coral Reef in Arlington Virginia I decided to roll it out and let the chips fall where they may. Before the match a teammate of mine asked me what opening I was going to play. The conversation went something like this.
Teammate: “What opening are you going to play?”
Me: “Budapest Defense”
Teammate: (Long Pause)
Teammate: “ Isn’t that unsound?”
Teammate: “Do you play that opening?”
Me: “ I played it 24 years ago OTB”
Teammate: “Do you think you should play something you know better?”
Me: “Nah, It will be fine trust me”
Well naturally I lost but I don’t think the opening is to blame. The fault was more to do with my poor sloppy/bad play. It’s simply impossible not to love playing the Budapest Defense and I will play it again someday. Hopefully I won’t wait another 24 years.
Below is my game from this past Friday as well as my game from 1990.
This second game had a little better result for me and is from the 1990 Baltimore Open in Towson MD.