Silman on the Latvian Gambit

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #86


    pfren wrote:

    Well, Black has a bad position everywhere in this stupid opening. Objectively Black has to settle for the unsound 3...Qf6, or Buecker's 3...Nf6, when he is a pawn down, but can fight. After 3...Nc6 4.Qh5+, he can't fight: he is dead.

    OK, working a bit on a few subtleties after 3.Nc3. My aim is to prove a large white advantage with VERY natural play, and no need to enter stupid tactics.

    I actually never thought about 3...Nf6 looks better than 3...Qf6.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #87


    Well, I figure since I'm just entereing class B USCF with a rating of 1624, that I can afford to play the Latvian a few times to try it on for size in some tournament, and local friendly games. I probably won't try it agianst a local gent that had a high rating of 2500 USCF, but thgere are plenty of players near my strength (or lack of same) that I can try it out on.

        But I still am enjoying reading what stronger players say about this defense.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #90


    pfren wrote:
    thehedgehog2000 wrote:

    I actually never thought about 3...Nf6 looks better than 3...Qf6.

    Buecker's idea was to play a pawn-down endgame similar to the one in the current Jaenisch gambit mainline. The idea is both brilliant and interesting,but there are subtle structual differences, which render the (not forced) ending after 3...Nf6 4.ef5 as definitely better for white Youc find plenty of details in the chesspub forum.

    thank you

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #91


    I might try the Latvian gambit out sometime for fun , but it reminds me of a gambit defence .I sometimes play but is lacking against higher rated opponents. Thats the Colorado Counter  e4-nc6, nf3-f5, aka the lean variation of the nimzovich defence . Fun exciting games but in tournment play a wouldn't suggest it. I'll have to try the Latvian out for fun, but somehow I doubt it would work any better.

  • 8 months ago · Quote · #92


    I began playing the Latvian Gambit in one-minute chess because I play the French defense and would often mouseslip 1...e5 against e4, so I wound up crossing over to the dark side.

    I'm convinced the Latvian leaves Black at worst at just about -0.60, teetering on the brink of refutation, but not.  A much more interesting idea is the "reverse Ponziani" (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 c6!?), which spices up Black's position for what White thinks is an easy pawn. 

  • 8 months ago · Quote · #93


    Greenmtnboy wrote:

    Probably Silman deals with many beginners who want to impugn openings that have been around for centuries.  The "Greco-counter" gambit is a great classic and it bothers me when "authorities" like Silman disparage it. 

    Here is the Spassky win with the Latvian:



    Here is Bobby Fischer's loss against the Latvian:



    Here are a bunch of other wins with the Latvian Gambit:


    I rest my case.  And when I asked GM Nakamura about it ten or so years ago he dismissed it as garbage.  Pride goes before....

    In 2004, when I got back into training after years, using my 1989 repertoire (pre-computer), as Black, I had a -0.75 position as black in a reversed modern/pirc (be6/Qd7 system same pawns) after 22 moves against Naka with the time at :37-45 favoring him.  He won in 28-32 moves but I was like "If he can't beat ME in the opening Adams will eat him for lunch."

    You can't trust that this is his current feeling about the opening, or that he might even be laying in wait.  I fully intend to play it as more than just a recreational weapon when I become a GM (a few years).  It is MORE than playable.  Anyone who need six hours to solve forty moves of a solved puzzle may be too intellectually challenged to do it, but I would lay 10-1 odds that Fritz could beat any player in the world from the Black side of it.

  • 8 months ago · Quote · #94


    Don't forget that a forced draw out of the opening as Black is tantamount to winning a match against a 1. e4 2. Nf3 player.  This opening has major teeth, surprise or not.

  • 8 months ago · Quote · #95


    Pacifique wrote:
    pfren wrote:
    Pacifique wrote:
    thehedgehog2000 wrote:

    In modern theory after 3.Nxe5 is 3...Qf6 or 3...Nc6 the critical move?

    After 3...Nc6 4.d4 Black is in serious trouble. 3...Qf6 gives more practical chances.

    This is Nunn's pre-engine era analysis.Good move, but not the best.

    Actually white is winning with 4.Qh5+ g6 5.Nxg6 Nf6 6.Qh3 (a measure against the rather inferior 6...Rg8) hg6 7.Qxh8 Qe7 8.d3! fe4 9.Nc3! (not even mentioned in Kosten's book) 9...ed3+ 10.Be3 dc2 11.Bd3 and Black may resign. Houdini's evaluation is +2.04, which needs no further explanation.

    I know that 4.Qh5+ is objectively better, but 4.d4 needs less knowledge (like 3.Nc3 to compare with 3.Nxe5) and also here Black has bad position.

    If you're trusting a +2.04 evaluation in a tactical, sacrificial line, I invite you to try the main line of the four-pawns Alekhine against me.  I've found forced wins for white in that line where the computer has me at -3.86!

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