Monday, May 08, 2006

Gambit talk

Recent talk of gambits by fellow chess bloggers Quandoman and Blue Devil has caused a gambit, which i tucked away in the back of my mind, to resurface. The gambit was originally known as the Mueller-Schultze gambit. Nowadays it is better known as the Halloween gambit (see diagram).


The position in the diagram is reached after the following moves; 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5?! Though it can also be reached after starting out 1. Nc3 e5 2. e4 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. Nxe5?! To avoid the more common "other" reply's when you start out 1.e4.
Anyway, if there is one gambit i really have a thing for, it's this one. Eversince i first layed eyes on it. To my knowledge, it is one of the most daring, radical and provocative gambits i've come across. And it's provocativeness (or better yet, it's boldness) is probably one of the main reasons why i like this gambit so much. Now, what does White gain after exchanging his Knight for the pawn? A beautifull center. But that's not all, you also get to rapidly develop your pieces, and not let your opponent develop (as in hindering/slowing it down). And the latter completely equalizes the game just a few moves after having sacrificed the Knight.
A certain Steffen A. Jakob, German chessplayer and computer programmer was probably just as touched by this gambit and created Brause. Brause was a clone of the chess program Crafty loaded with a Halloween gambit opening book and played more than 3000 internet games in the period from 1996 to 1998 in which it scored 72 %. Really, this gambit is not as unsound as it may look. But you definitely have to know your way around the board.
Anyway, i played a few Halloween gambits myself quite some time ago. Won some, lost most. Decided to leave it alone. But in reality, it was always there. Ready to be played again. I was intrigued by it. And i still am! So, after these recent gambit talks, i decided to pick it up again and try and play it occasionally. As an "on the side" kind of thing. I mean, hell! What else am i studying all these tactics for? I might as well try and force them upon my oponent instead of waiting for them to occur. I mean, i'm not a Grandmaster. And if i think realistically, i shall never be one. So why not have fun?
An article about an encounter with David Bronstein brings about the following; Bronstein played the first two moves of the King's gambit on the display board. "This is what you should play," he said. "This is what you can learn about chess. Play for fun. Play the King's gambit." As for openings popular with grandmasters, he said, "They're boring. Look at this. Nowadays they play something like this." He played out the first three or four moves of a Nimzo-Indian Defense and an English opening. "This is popular with the grandmasters. But it's boring."
Anyway, i leave y'all with an examplary game showing just how deadly the Halloween gambit can be.

15 Comments:

At 08 May, 2006 07:05 , Blogger Carrillo Fan said...

i love that gambit! i used to play it from time to time. cool that you play it too.

 
At 08 May, 2006 07:58 , Blogger Edwin 'dutchdefence' Meyer said...

Yes! I played it and intend to play it again on a "from time to time" basis. Somehow i can't imagine one using it as his/her main repertoire. Though it would be kinda cool if one did. But i can't imagine myself being the one to do so.

 
At 09 May, 2006 09:25 , Blogger Qaundoman said...

Man, I want to play that gambit just because the name is cool: THE HALLOWEEN GAMBIT. Doesn't get any cooler than that. That's like Batman and The Long Halloween--Cool.

 
At 09 May, 2006 09:28 , Blogger Qaundoman said...

No, the word you are loking for is "exemplarly".

:-)

 
At 09 May, 2006 09:30 , Blogger Qaundoman said...

Wow! This Minchev guy plays some great tactical stuff!

 
At 09 May, 2006 21:06 , Blogger Edwin 'dutchdefence' Meyer said...

Yes, it is cool gambit. Out of all the gambits i've come across, this is the one that intrigues me the most. For reasons i mentioned in the post. And for where the correct English word is concerned, i knew it was something like that ;-)
I will correct it right away.

 
At 09 May, 2006 23:36 , Blogger Qaundoman said...

I'm going to try and play some internet games with this gambit; look for them on my blog soon.

There is a gambit that, as far as I know, was invented by Bronstein as a variation of Morphy's c3 line in the two Knights Defence. Bronstein's gambit also has the idea of a massive center thrust. the game is Bronstein v. Rojahn (A Master from Norway), Moscow Olympiad, 1956. You can find this game in Bronstein's 200 Open Games. I think you'll enjoy it--Bronstein is a great imaginative player.

 
At 10 May, 2006 06:22 , Blogger Edwin 'dutchdefence' Meyer said...

I will look forward to your games. And thanks for pointing out the Bronstein game. There is indeed a similarity where the central pawn thrust is concerned and not let your opponent develop. I like to mention an appropriate quote for where the sacrifice is concerned; ""No price is too great for the scalp of the enemy King". Anyway, the game you mentioned is available online, as well as another great example with along those lines. here is the Bronstein game, and here a similar great example.

 
At 10 May, 2006 13:47 , Blogger takchess said...

Interesting. I especially like the first game in your chessgames collection. It is a sort of legal mate in the halloween gambit. I will have to give it a try. I sure it can be beaten my correct play. Thank god for incorrect play!
8)

 
At 10 May, 2006 20:58 , Blogger Edwin 'dutchdefence' Meyer said...

I'm sure everything can be beaten by correct play at times ;-)

 
At 13 May, 2006 07:30 , Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Wow. Crazy stuff.

My entire repertoire will be the Frankenstein-Dracula opening, with intermittent Halloween gambits thrown in to make it all the more spooky.

 
At 13 May, 2006 09:17 , Blogger Edwin 'dutchdefence' Meyer said...

Hahaha... Go ahead and have fun! I played a few allready, but i want to post only the really interesting ones. Like games in which i really had to give it my all.

 
At 13 May, 2006 09:27 , Blogger Edwin 'dutchdefence' Meyer said...

Btw, i am seriously considering switching to a complete gambit repertoire, and let time tell when to switch to the "boring" stuff. I allready found a gambit with my name on it as a reply to 1.d4 against White. The Budapest gambit.

 
At 14 May, 2006 01:32 , Blogger takchess said...

The budapest is fun but can only be used in a small % of queen pawn openings. Let me know if you pick up other gambits against queen pawn openings. I have been playing the Haloween Gambit a couple of times in nonrated internet games.Fun stuff. A gambit style opening in white you might want to look into is the trompowski. I play against a fellow in our chess club and there are alot of traps in it. (at least how he plays it.)

 
At 02 November, 2006 04:05 , Blogger midk said...

Hello. I was introduced to this gambit a few years ago, by someone who had recently taken up the halloween gambit. I gladly accepted his knight and got soundly trounced each time. I even tried giving back the knight later, while trying to destroy his pawn structure. It is much more difficult than one would expect to deal with this tricky opening. I suppose I should learn the theory before I lose a real game over the board against it.

 

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