The Maker of Gambits

Aug 11, 2009, 6:29 PM |

                                         Capt. Evans             Isaac Leopold Rice   

 The Makers of Gambits.

   Gambit is stated by Potter to be from the Italian word gambctto, a "tripping up of the heels." Being frisky. Throwing things away. But the modern acceptation of its meaning is the gift of something with a more or less strong string tied to It.
   The original use of the word was to signify the offering of the king's or queen's bishop pawn on the second move by white, but lately there has been a broadening of this meaning and now it is applied to sacrifices deeper in the opening, and several ingenious novelties have been named for their originators.
   One of the greatest innovations in this line was created by Captain Evans about I828, involving the sacrifice of the Q Kt P on the fourth move in the Giuoco Piano. It has stood the test of years, and some of the gems of chess have followed this debut. Captain Evans was a strong English player who flourished in the early days of Howard Staunton. He lived to see his gambit acknowledged as one of the most important of the many interesting openings of the game. Captain Evans died in 1873 at an advanced age.
     One of the latest developments in the openings is the Rice Gambit, of which we have given many specimens. Professor Isaac L. Rice, of New York, has shown the talent he possesses for chess in his elaboration of the attack, and his gambit is acknowledged to be sound by the greatest players of the day.
                  -from the November 1898 (vol.II, no.5) American Chess Magazine.