Monday, 6 January 2014

Chess: King's Gambit 1. e4 e5 2. f4

After my most recent post, where I played as Black against the Bird Opening 1. f4, in this post I'd like to cover another game where I again faced White playing an f4 opening - in this case, the King's Gambit.  I played this against one of my Kidsgrove Chess Club team mates, and this time, I lost.  Badly.  I had just suffered a difficult 32-move defeat against the team's top player, and I will make the excuse that I wasn't playing my best here.  I will cover that game in a later blog post.

I'm covering this game here, because interestingly, in the previous game where I played against 1. f4, I won by playing Qh4+ early on in the game.  If I'd been more aware, I might have seen it here, too.

David Johnson vs Dave Leese, 17 December 2013 Kidsgrove Chess Club (Friendly)

1.e4 e5
2.f4 Nc6

It's unusual to have a critical point in a game so early, but here it is.  I played the natural recapture with Nxe5 and slowly got into all sorts of trouble.  I missed the Qh4+ move that I played (and won with) just two weeks earlier.

3. ... Nxe5 ( 3...Qh4+ )

Let's look at 3. ... Qh4+ before reviewing the actual game in full. There are two replies - to move the King to e2 or to block with a Pawn on g3.

3. ... Qh4+
4.  Ke2 Qxe4+
5.  Kf2 Bc5+

If then 6. Kg3, then Chessmaster 9000 (my preferred analysis tool) is already giving a mate in 8, starting with 6. ... h5.  The other option is 6. d4 and this is going to mean a significant loss of material - 6 ... Bxd4+ 7. Qxd4 Qxd4+ and White has delayed the inevitable at the cost of his Queen.

However, I completely missed this overwhelming attack, and instead went through a painful game where I fell into all sorts of trouble.  Let's resume after 3. ... Nxe5

4.d4 Ng6 (I could still have played ... Qh4+, or ... Bb4+ at this point).
5.Nf3 d6 (there are no more chances of ... Qh4+ now, and Chessmaster recommends ... d5).
6.Bc4 h6 (preventing Ng5 and an attack on f7 - in theory, anyway).
7.O-O Bg4?  (a big mistake, as we shall see.  Better was Nf6 or Be6... something - anything - to protect f7.  White's decision to castle was not just a natural move at this stage, it moved the Rook onto the semi-open and dangerous f-file).
The position after 7. ... Bg4 and immediately before Bxf7+!
8.Bxf7+! Ke7 ( not 8...Kxf7 which leads to Ng5++ and Nf7 forking Queen and Rook)
9.Bxg6 Nf6 (finally!)
10.Nc3 c6 (opening a diagonal for my Queen, and providing space for my King)
11.Qe1 Kd7 (taking advantage of the slow pace of the game to improve my King and Queen)
12.e5 Nd5
13.Nxd5 cxd5
White played Qg3? and missed exd6 with a large material gain.
14.Qg3? Be6 (my wayward Bishop finally gets a decent square, even if the Pawn on f7 is gone)
15.Nh4 Qb6 (developing, and attacking the newly-unprotected d4 Pawn)
16.c3 Be7 (perhaps ... dxe5 was better)
17.Nf5 Rhf8
18.Nxe7 Rxf1+
19.Kxf1 Rf8+ (No, I'm not sure why I threw this in.  I needed as many pieces as possible on the board, but at least I got rid of White's active Rook in exchange for my inactive one).
20.Kg1 Kxe7
21.exd6+ Kd7
22.Qe5 Qxd6 (offering an exchange, but also protecting the Rook on f8).
23.Qxg7+ Kc6
24.Qe5 Qxe5
25.dxe5 Rg8
( 25...Bh3 26.gxh3 Rg8 27.Bf4 Rxg6+ )
26.Bh5 Bh3
27.Bf3 Bf5
28.Bxh6 1-0

The final position.  I've run out of ideas, I'm a piece and three pawns down, and I've had enough!  Seeing afterwards that I missed several opportunities for a massive attack in the first few moves, has made me more confident in my attacking options, and how I missed my opponent's attack developing (in this game and the previous one) has made me even more aware of the need to defend accurately too.  Yes I put up a fight, but really I was defending a lost cause due to some daft blunders.  On with the next game!

1 comment:

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