They say that people who take drugs, always need more and stronger stuff to experience the same kick. Maybe the same principle goes for playing gambits, at least that's how I experience it from time to time. After getting used to "soft-gambits", giving a pawn away here and there in the opening, I turned to the stronger stuff. Giving up a knight in the Halloween gambit, then sacking a rook in the Latvian Gambit, Corkscrew Variation. Or blasting two minor pieces away in some KGA variations such as the Hanstein Gambit or the Double Muzio attack.
So it was inevitable. Time to give up a queen in the opening phase of the ultimate sack-attack; The Bryntse Gambit.
Concept and moves
The game usually starts as a Sicilian Game, Grand Prix attack. After the rather unusual 3.Nf3 dxe4 4.Ng5 Nf6, White plays the seemingly inaccurate 5.Bc4. Although some would respond with e6 there without blinking twice, the attentive Black player will notice that in response to Bg4, the only thing White can do to save his queen, is to retreat his LSB again, and lose a full tempo. That's the point where White decides there are more things in chess (and in life) than materialism, and he goes for his real objective, the Black king. For that purposeafter all, the White queen is a fair price to pay. 6.Bxf7+ Kd7 7.Qxg4+ Nxg4 8.Be6+, intending Bxg4 next, and the smoke clears. (6.Qxg4 Nxg4 7.Bxf7+ Kd7 should lead to the same result.) What happens next, is best to see in-game.
The opening moves:
So if it's not about material, how did White get his compensation for the sacrifice? Well one answer to that question, is that material does matter. Unfortunately for Black, it's not about the material you have, but about the material you use. Just check the following four diagrams, taken out of previous game. Do you see the common factor in the positioning of the Black pieces?That's right, all Black pieces sit quietly on the back-rank. They decided to enter the battlefield one by one. Difficult to set up some teamwork if you're out there all alone. The Black h-rook didn't even move during the whole game - so why count it if we're making the material balance? If you want another look on counting pieces, try counting the active pieces. How many participate in the attack and how many defenders are holding them back? Those numbers aren't an exact science either, but they will tell you something about your practical chances of launching a successful attack.
Let's face it, due to its unusual starting-move-order, this beautiful opening will not appear often on the boards of your next club or tournament games . But that's a shame, because the attacking potential of this opening is great. An underestimating opponent needs just one careless move to find his king in the middle of the board, surrounded by enemy forces. And even a prepared defender, ready to capitalize his "material advantage", will find himself a tough challenge getting unscathed to the endgame.
Because gambit players bet on ending the game before the endgame.