KindredSpirit’s Kaleidoscope: Being Intoxicated with the King’s Gambit

Historically the King’s Gambit has been around for a long time and while somewhat speculative enjoys a resurgence every so often.

After 1.e4  e5  2.f4  exf4  3.Nf3  d6 is a move attributed to Bobby Fischer who wrote his famous ‘Bust to the King’s Gambit’ following his defeat at the hands of Boris Spassky who surprised both Fischer and the world by adopting the KG against him. Actually the whole line is not a Fischer discovery because the Cubans were playing this against Paul Morphy on Morphy’s visit to Cuba after his return from Europe. Morphy played a host of Knight odds against some of Cuba’s best and emerged with a considerable plus score against the field.  To Fischer’s credit he infused a bit of arsenic into the opening but lovers of the KG in subsequent issues of THE AMERICAN CHESS QUARTERLY published/edited by GM Larry Evans with the motto “Chess for the Millions”, made various suggestions improving the lines Fischer analyzed. I do not think Fischer ever responded to their improvements in variations. That is the love of the true believers in this inspiring gambit and debates continue as to what is Black’s best line of defense. I think White does best to continue with 3.Bc4 instead of 3.Nf3 but the latter over time has proved the more tested.

In 1977 Planinc, a very strong attacking player, went up against the Yugoslav GM Gligoric which reached the above position.

4.d4  g5  5.h4  g4  6.Ng1

Not trusting 6.Ng5 maybe with good reason. 6…f6!! deserves !! because of 6…h6? 7. Nxf7! Kxf7 8.Bxf4 and White’s pieces are well posted for attack.

6…Bh6  7.Nc3  Nc6  8.Nge2  f3  9.Nf4  f2+! 

So far we see the squares f2 and f7 being assailed in the same game no less!  Notice how the Yugoslav GM draws the enemy King into the open.

10.Kxf2  g3+  11.Kxg3?!

Somewhat better is 11.Kg1 maybe hoping to usethe g-pawn to block the g-file.

11…Nf6  12.Be2  Rg8+  13.Kf2  Ng4+ 14.Bxg4.

This move I do not like as exchanges in this type of position opens lines and the King should seek a hideout. Maybe 14.Ke1 might be tried.

14…Bxg4  15.Qd3  Bg7  16.Be3  Qd7  17.Nce2  O-O-O  18.Ng3  f5!

Desiring to smash open the lines and get at the White monarch.

19.Nxf5  Rdf8  20.Nxg7.

This exchange seems poor considering the Knight’s position hitting some key squares. Possibly he should consider 20.c3 at this point. Black now settles on the right plan to carry out his attack on the enemy King position.

23.Qxb4  Rxf4!  24.Kd2.

On 24.Bxf4  Qxe4+ is decisive.

24…Qxe4  25.Rag1  Bf5  26.Qb3  Rg3 27.Rh2  Rxf2+  28.Bxf2  Rxb3  29.axb3  Qf4+ climaxing a splendid example of attacking an exposed King position.

20…Qxg7  21.Ke1  Nb4  22.Qc3  Qe7!

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