Bird Opening: Wagner-Zwitersch Gambit

Jul 8, 2014, 4:10 AM |

The Bird opening (1.f4) as such is no part of my standard opening repertoire. When my opponent in a TM answered me with the symmetrical 1. ..f5, this gave me the perfect opportunity to give up a pawn (2.e4), and enter the Wagner-Zwitersch Gambit. Play usually continues 2. ..fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 reaching a sort of reversed From’s Gambit with an extra central pawn.


As you can see White has a semi-central pawn, one developed piece and some open lines allowing even more pieces to come out quickly. Black has nothing developed, and the only open diagonal exposes the king. A foolish move like Nc6 here could cost Black the game already (for example 4. ..Nc6 5.Qh5+ g6 6.Bxg6 hxg6 7.Qxg6#)

Let’s see how the actual game went.

Conclusion: You won't face 1. ..f5 very often when playing the Bird, but if you like the From's Gambit with the Black pieces, you will certainly enjoy the Wagner-Zwitersch as well with White. Forget about that queenside and try to finish Black before he has a chance to set up his game.