A couple of decades ago I was reading a short story titled, “The Three Pawns Gambit”. It featured mysticism and the usual crazy chess hero.
But what is the Three Pawns Gambit? Does is lead to insanity? Or, perhaps more important to the average chess player, can you win with it?
Let’s look into it.
To get to the starting point of the three pawn gambit (3PG), you have to begin with the Kings’ Gambit Accepted (1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4). Then we move onto the Cunningham 3.Nf3 Be7). And then onto one of the many main lines of the Cunningham with 4.Bc4 Bh4+)
And now White usually continues with 5.Kf1.
If White continues instead with 5.g3, then we have reached with position that leads to the 3PG.
Now, wait, you might say, “White has only gambitted only one pawn, not three.
You are correct. But Black almost always takes the second pawn with 5…fxg3. And why not? He is ahead by two pawns and is ready to invade White’s kingside with his pieces.
And now White castles with 6.O-O, offering up a third pawn.
Let’s review all the moves so far as we’ll proceed rapidly from this point.
Newton-V. Jurgenson, 1994 [Escalante] 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 Be7 4.Bc4 Bh4+ 5.g3 fxg3 6.O-O d6 (6…gxh2+ is considered best. But no matter how good accepting a sacrifice, some players will still decline it.) 7.Bxf7+ (White says, “So if Black won’t take my pawn, he might not take my bishop”. Actually taking the bishop is dangerous due to 7…Kxf7 8.Nxh4+.) 7…Kd7 8.e5 gxh2+ 9.Kh1 Nc6 10.e6+ Ke7 11.Nxh4 Bxe6 12.Bxe6 Kxe6 13.Qg4+ Kd5 14.Nc3+ Kc5 15.d4+ [Interesting is 15.Rf5+!? Kb6 (better, but still leading to mate is 15…Ne5 16.d4+ Kc6 17.d5+ Kd7 18.Rxe5#) 16.Rb5+ Ka6 17.Qa4+ Na5 18.Qxa5#.] 15…Kb6 16.d5 Nf6 17.Be3+ Ka6 18.Qc4+ 1-0
“Ben_Dubuque”-“subhankars”) Blitz Game Chess.com, July 14 2017 [“Ben_Dubuque”] 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 Be7 4.Bc4 Bh4+ 5.g3 fxg3 6.O-O gxh2+ 7.Kh1 (The Three Pawns Gambit or the Bertin Gambit whichever you prefer.) 7…Be7 (Any move other than d5 is a mistake but d5 still allows White some compensation. Most engines will evaluate the position after d5 as maybe -1 which is surprisingly good considering White is down 3 pawns. 7…d5 8.exd5 Bg4 9.d4.) 8.Bxf7+ Kxf7 9.Ne5+ Ke8 10.Qh5+ g6 11.Nxg6 Nf6 12.Rxf6 Bxf6 13.Nxh8+ Ke7 14.Qf7+ Kd6 15.d4 Bxd4 (15…Qxh8 16.Bf4+ Be5 17.Bxe5+ Qxe5 18.dxe5+ Kxe5 19.Nc3) 16.Bf4+ Be5 17.Qd5+ Ke7 18.Qxe5+ Kf8 19.Bh6+ Kg8 20.Qg7mate 1-0
Two popular responses after 6.O-O gxh2+ 7.Kh1 are 7…Bf6 and 7…Nh6
Reshevsky-Doery Simul Berlin, 1920 [American Chess Bulletin, Nov. 1920, p.170] 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Be7 4.Nf3 Bh4+ 5.g3 (A lively continuation that is classified as Capt. Bertin’s Gambit. Steinitz was wont to play 5.Kf1 against Bird, one of the few masters who ever resorted to the Cunningham.) 5…fxg3 6.O-O gxh2+ 7.Kh1 Nh6 (Not to be recommended. The correct move is 7…d5) 8.d4 Qe7 9.Bxh6 gxh6 10.Ne5 Bf6 [The removal of Black’s King’s Knight has left the King’s Bishop’s pawn woefully weak and Rzeschewski (i.e. Reshevsky RME) knows full well how to take advantage.] 11.Qh5 Rf8 12.Nxf7 (In this fashion does the little fellow make the chess the “child’s play” which is beyond the comprehension of many who are highly accomplished along other lines, but cannot quite grasp the fundamentals of chess strategy.) 12…Qxe4+ (Rzeschewski had calculated upon the sacrifice of a piece and the gain of more than it’s equivalent a few moves later, viz.: 12….RxN; 13.BxR+ QxB, 14.QxQ+ KxQ 15.e5, etc.) 13.Kxh2 Qxc2+ 14.Kg3 (Fearlessly the White King marches out into the open. He does not dread Rg8+, for in that case the Knight is withdrawn with discovered check.) 14…Bh4+ (Black is in desperation, but if, to avoid the discovery, he were to play …Ke7, then Re1+ would force mate.) 15.Qxh4 Qxc4 16.Qd8mate (Short shift is meted out to the presumptuous one who takes a chance on anything escaping the keen eyes of the small “grand-master” as he was dubbed in Vienna two years ago.) 1-0
Dus Chotimirsky-Robine Hamburg, 1910 [Escalante] [White has a won game after his 12th move. But how he wins it is spectacular.] 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 Be7 4.Bc4 Bh4+ 5.g3 fxg3 6.O-O gxh2+ 7.Kh1 d5 8.exd5 Bf6 9.d4 Ne7 10.Ng5 h6? 11.Nxf7! Kxf7 12.d6+ +- Kf8 13.Qh5 Qe8
First, let’s talk about the name of the gambit. Many players are convinced that AMAR is an acronym for Absolutely Mad And Ridiculous. And they are at least half correct, it is an absolutely mad and ridiculous opening. But the opening is named after Charles Amar, a 1930s player from Paris.
What makes this opening so bad? Well, the opening starts with 1.Nh3. And with this move White gives up his claim for the center, loses a tempo with his knight, and retards his own development.
Black probably has the advantage after either 1…e5 or 1…d5.
After 1.Nh3 d5, the game can continue with 2.g3 e5 3.f4, and the position of the AMAR gambit has been reached. Let’s see what White has done. With 2.g3 and 3.f4, he not only has the same problems as before, but has also tacked on a few more problems. His kingside is considerably weakened, he has open lines to his king, namely the d8-h4 diagonal (the same one used in Fool’s Mate), and he has sacrificed (lost?) a kingside pawn.
What has White gotten for all this mess? If Black plays 3…exf4, then White can win back the f-pawn with 4.Nxf4. He then has an OK position for his knight. And White can try castling.
Black, however, doesn’t have to play 3…exf4, leaving White with an entirely lost position. White can still try to castle kingside and maybe have some play along the f-file. But he usually doesn’t have the time to castle or make any long-term plans.
Really, White does better with the King’s Gambit.
1) 3.f4 2) 3.f4 exf4 4.Nxf4 3) 3.f4 Bxh3
Black can decline the gambitted pawn. While there is nothing wrong with this approach, Black has stronger moves.
Certainly Black can take the pawn. Well, he ends up with a much better position than White, who finds himself on the defensive. It is not known if this is a forced win for Black, but it is close to one.
You might not find it in a magazine. And you might not find it in a book. But there is a gambit that seems appropriate for Halloween. It is known as the Frankenstein-Dracula Variation (or FDV for short).
In this gambit (perhaps attack would be more descriptive), Black gives up a rook and a few pawns and then proceeds to gain control over a large portion of the board and threatens White’s queen in numerous ways.
Is it any good? Let’s check it (sorry, bad pun) out.
L. Janse-GM J. Hector Paskturneringen Open Sweden, Apr 20 2019 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nxe4 4.Qh5 Nd6 5.Bb3 Nc6 6.Nb5 g6 7.Qf3 f5 8.Qd5 Qe7 9.Nxc7+ Kd8 10.Nxa8 b6 11.Nxb6 axb6 12.d3 (White wants to develop his Bc1. As events will show White will not have the time to develop this bishop. 12.Ne2 is the better choice.) 12…f4 13.Qf3 Nd4 14.Qd1 Bb7 15.Nf3 Nxf3+ 16.gxf3 Nf5 17.h4 Nxh4 18.Rh3 Qg5 19.Qe2 Bc5 20.Kd2 Qh5 21.Rxh4 Qxh4 22.Qxe5 Re8 23.Qb8+ Bc8 24.Bc4 Bb4+ 0-1
Ray Bott-Roger D de Coverly Match, Game 7 London, 1988 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nxe4 4.Qh5 Nd6 5.Bb3 Nc6 6.Nb5 g6 7.Qf3 f5 8.Qd5 Qe7 9.Nxc7+ Kd8 10.Nxa8 b6 11.Qf3 Bb7 12.Qh3 Nd4 13.c3 Bg7?!
14.Bd1? (White has to play 14.cxd4 and while Black runs wild over the board with his pieces, he is doing so with one less piece. White’s sole developed piece, his queen, is stuck in the open and becomes a target. The end is swift.) 14…Ne6! 15.d3 Bxa8 16.Ne2 f4 17.Kf1 Ng5 18.Qh4 Nf5 0-1
Most players know of Froms’ Gambit [1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3), with continuation of either 4…g5 (to drive away the knight) or 4…Nf6 (to defend and ready to redeploy the knight to g4 or e4)].
But White can also offer a similar gambit after 1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3. This gambit is known as the Swiss Gambit. Because of its rarity, most players are not aware of it or it’s thematic ideas.
Let’s take a look the gambit after the opening moves (1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3).
If Black was to take the pawn, he would be a pawn up in the game. However, it would be hazardous to do so as both of White’s bishops (after 3…exd3 4.Bxd3) would be activated and his own kingside would be vulnerable. There are two things that slow down White’s attack. The first is the f-pawn, which unlike in the From’s Gambit (which does not have such an advanced pawn), blocks the bishop from going to f4 or g5. The second thing is that Black usually plays an early 4…Nf6, to stop the h5 checks.
Now, lets look at some games.
First, Black does not have to take the pawn. But such a plan can be risky as the d3-pawn can easily capture the e4-pawn and White has a nice center, without having to sacrifice a pawn.
R. Oberlin-R. Berggren US Open Los Angeles, 1991 1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 d5 4.Nh3 Nf6 5.Nf2 exd3 6.Bxd3 Nc6 7.O-O b6? (This setup of the knight on c6 and the bishop going to b7 seems too slow and out of touch with a tactical opening such as this one. Black soon finds himself short of moves.) 8.Nd2 Bb7 9.Nf3 Qd7 10.Ng5 Nd8 11.Bxh7 e6 12.Bg6+ Ke7 13.Re1 Kd6 (Let the King Hunt begin!)
After the moves 1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6, White has three excellent choices of 6.Ng5 (A brazen attempt at an attack, probably best for a blitz game), 6.Ne5 (a more cautious and shy approach to an attack), and 6.Be3 (a developing move that allows White to castle queenside if the need arises).
Bird+Dobell-Gelbfuhs Vienna, 1873 1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 (a very good move as the knight usually finds itself involved in White’s attack.) 5…e6 (this move is the most common as it allows his bishop to develop and bolsters his defense of his weak point on f7.) 6.Ng5!? g6 (not 6…Bc5? because of 7.Bxh7 Kf8 8.Nxe6+, winning) 7.h4 Bh6 8.h5 Bxg5 9.fxg5 Nd5 10.hxg6 Qe7 11.Rxh7 Rxh7 12.gxh7 Qb4+ 13.Kf1 Qh4 14.Bg6+ Ke7 15.Qh5 1-0
Gaudin-de Gency corres., 1925 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nf3 cxb2 5.Bxb2 e6 6.Bc4 b6?! 7.O-O Ba6 8.Nbd2 Bxc4 9.Nxc4 Nf6 10.Bxf6 Qxf6 11.e5 Qf4 (One can criticize this move as White has more pieces developed than Black. But if the Black queen goes back to d8, then Black has a very cramped game. But after the text move, he still has a very cramped game.) 12.Rc1 Nc6 13.Nd6+ Bxd6 14.Qxd6 (From this point onward, White’s game almost plays itself due to the cramped position of Black’s game.) 14…Rd8 (Not 14…f6, in attempt to flee to f7 or at least break the bind imposed by the e5 pawn, due to 15.Rxc6! dxc6 16.Qxe6+) 15.Rfd1 Qe4 16.Nd4 Nxd4 17.Rxd4 Qe2 18.h4 Qh5 19.a4 1-0
George Murphy-Robert Beacon SCCA Premiers, 2000 [Robert Beacon] 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 d4 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Nbd2 (Normal here is 5.g3, but the game soon transposes.) 5…f6 6.exf6 Nxf6 7.g3 Bg4 8.a3 Qe7 (Normal would be 8…Qd7 as mentioned. The text is an idea of Nikolay Minev in Inside Chess. I’m following the game Lignell-Niemela 1941.) 9.Bg2 d3! 10.e3 Nd4 11.O-O (11.h3 was obligatory according to Minev.) 11…Ne2+ 12.Kh1 O-O-O 13.Qa4 [13.b4 was played in the above mentioned game (if 13.h3 h5! ). I’m now on my own!] 13…Kb8 14.b4 h5 15.Bb2 h4 16.Nxh4 Bd7 17.Qa5 Ng4 18.Ndf3 Qe8 19.Ne5 (19.Qg5!? with the idea of 20 Qg6!?) 19…Rh5 20.Nxd7+ Rxd7 21.Qa4 g5 (For me it is “all or nothing” in this position. It is difficult to say what the alternatives are.) 22.Bf3 Qe6 23.Kg2? (The game now swings in Black’s favor. Possibly 23.Qb5 to bring the Queen into the game would be better.) 23…gxh4 24.h3 Nxe3+ (Forced ) 25.fxe3 Rg5 26.Bg4 Qe4+ 27.Rf3 Rf7 (The pressure now builds on White.) 28.Raf1 Nxg3 (With hindsight 28…Rxg4 followed by 29… h3+ looks stronger.) 29. R1f2 Nf5 (Black throws away some of his advantage – 29…Ne2 is the move!) 30.Kg1 Bd6 31.Rxf5 (This is probably the decisive mistake At this point the game was finely balanced. 31.c5!? looks better.) 31…Rfxf5 32.Rxf5 (32.Bd4 prolongs the game.) 32…Qxe3+ (32…Rxg4+ 33.hxg4 Qxg4+ 34.Kh1 Qh3+ 35.Kg1 Qh2+ 36.Kf1 Qh1+ 37.Kf2 Bg3# would be more precise.) 33.Kf1 Rxf5+ 34.Bxf5 Bg3! (In a lot of lines in the Albin White’s Queen goes to a4 to pressure Black’s queenside. In this instance it was his undoing as it remained out of the game The back rank threat was an illusion!) 35.Bd4 (The Bishop threat comes too late.) 35…Qe1+ 36.Kg2 Qe2+ 37.Kg1 Qh2+ 0-1
“sergiydazhura”-Escalante Blitz Game chess.com, July 16 2018 [chess.com computer and Escalante] 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 d4 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bg5 Bb4+ 6.Nbd2 Nge7 7.a4 (7.g3 is more common and the game could follow many different paths.) 7…h6 (This move allows an escape square just in case an attack gets too hot – I still don’t know what White’s plans are. In addition, the move …h6 also prepares a kingside attack by Black if White was to castle on that side or plays weakly.) 8.Bxe7 Qxe7 9.e3 (The chess.com computer calls this an inaccuracy and claims a better move with 9. Qc2 Nxe5 10.Nxd4 O-O 11.e3 Bg4 12.Be2 Rad8 13.Bxg4 Nxg4. I consider this move a little passive, after all, Black intentions are clear – he wants to attack.) 9…dxe3 10.fxe3 Nxe5 11.Nxe5 Qxe5 12.Qb3 Bxd2+ [Mistake. The best move was 12…Bg4!! (The !! are mine – the move wins outright – RME.) See, computer analysis does have its good points!] 13.Rd1 Qg5 14.h4 Qe5 15.Kf2 Bxd1 16.Qxb4 O-O-O 17.Nf3.) 13.Kxd2 Bf5 (Inaccuracy. A better move was 13…O-O. How true! In general, the more pieces involved in an attack, the better!) 14.Bd3 [The best move was 14.Qb5+ (and blunting Black’s attack.) Qxb5 15.axb5 O-O-O+ 16.Ke1 Rhe8 17.Ra3 Kb8 18.Be2 Be4.] 14…O-O-O 15.Rhd1 Rxd3+ 16.Qxd3 Bxd3 (Inaccuracy. A better move was 16… Qxb2+ 17.Ke1 Bxd3 18.Rxd3 Qxa1+ 19.Kd2 Qb2+ 20.Kd1 Qxg2 21.h3.) 17.Kxd3 Rd8+ (The best move was 17… Qxb2 18.e4 Re8 19.a5 Qb3+ 20.Kd4 Rd8+ 21.Ke5 Rxd1 22.Rxd1.) 18.Ke2 Qxb2+ 0-1
But surely my opponent is not going to play into this line. It is too simple and he can probably find a TN or even a better move. One can’t rely on books alone. A little investigation and a decent amount of imagination can show equally, or even better, alternate ideas.
If the purpose of the main line is for Black to gain a tempo by attacking the center with 7…c5, why does he have to wait for the intermediate moves of 6.Qh6 Rg6 7.Qe3? In other words, can Black play 5.Qxg7 Rg8 6.Qh6 c5 at this point? Not too many games with this sequence of moves. Is it because it is bad or because it is unknown?
John Hurt-Richard Long Nashville vs. Memphis Match Tennessee, 1962 1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Nf3 e5 6.axb4 Bxb4 7.c3 Bc5 8.Na3 Nf6 9.Bc4 Qe4+ 10.Be2 Nc6 11.Nb5 O-O 12.Ra4 Qf5 13.O-O Rd8 14.Nh4 Qb1 (A bizarre move. White will certainly gain at least a few tempi trying to snare the queen.) 15.d4 Be6
16.Be3 [16.Bd3 would seem better. But White has to be careful. After 16…Bxd4 White can’t immediately play 17.Bxb1 due to 17…Bxf2+ 18.Kh1 Rxd1 19.Rxd1 Bb3. Instead he has to first play 17.Nxd4! Qb6 (or 17…Bb3 18.Bxb1 Bxd1 19.Rxd1 exd4 20.cxd4) 18.Nxc6 Qxc6 19.Qc2.] 16…Qxd1 17.Bxd1 exd4 18.cxd4 Bb6 19.Bf3 Bb3 20.Ra3 Bc4 21.Rb1 Bd5 22.h3 h6 23.g4 Bxf3 24.Nxf3 Nd5 25.Kg2 Rac8 26.h4 Ba5? 27.Nxa7 Ra8 28.Nxc6 bxc6 29.Rba1 Nxe3+ 30.fxe3 Rd5 31.Ne5 1-0
John Hurt (1894)-Stephen Thomas (1556) Memphis Candidates, 1974 1.e4 c5 2.b4 d6 3.Nf3 a6 4.c3 Bg4? (This is almost never a good move in the Sicilian.) 5.Bc4 e5? (Severely weakening the f7 square and the diagonal leading to it.) 6.Bxf7+! Kxf7 7.Nxe5+ Ke8 8.Qxg4 Nf6?? (The immediate and obvious 8…dxe5 is better.) 9.Qe6+ Qe7 10.Qc8+ Qd8 11.Qxd8+ Kxd8 12.Nf7+ 1-0
Most chess players know of Szymon Winawer, the Polish chess player whose name is attached to a popular line in the French Defence (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4).
However, his name is also attached to a line in the Slav, namely the Winawer Counter Gambit (1.d4 d5 2.d4 c4 3.Nc3 e5!?). The purpose of this move is to free up Black’s pieces as soon as possible, even if it means giving up a pawn. White can proceed in a number of ways.
First, he can play 4.e4?, but that is ruthlessly refuted by 4..dxc4 5.dxe5+ Qxd1. H.W. Jordan-Redpath Drummond, Canadian Ch., Toronto, 1936, continued with 6.Kxd1 Be6! 7.Nf3 Bc5 8.Ke2 Nd7 9.Be3 O-O-O 10.Rd1 Bxe3 11.Kxe3 Ne7 12.Nd2 b5 13.f4 Bg4 14.Nf3 g5 15.g3 gxf4+ 16.gxf4 Ng6 17.h3 Bxf3 18.Kxf3 Nc5 19.Be2 Ne6 20.Ke3 Nexf4 21.Bg4+ Kc7 22.Rhf1 Rxd1 23.Nxd1 Rd8 24.Be2 Nxe2 25.Rxf7+ Rd7 26.Rxd7+ Kxd7 27.Kxe2 Nf4+ 28.Kf3 Nxh3 29.Kg4 Ng1 30.Kf5 Ke7 31.Ne3 Ne2 32.e6 Nd4+ 33.Ke5 Nxe6 34.Nf5+ Kd7 0-1.
White can also play 4.e3 But that move usually doesn’t preserve the opening advantage.
Finally, he might try 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Nf3 e4 6.Ne5, which creates and maintains a dynamic mix of tactics and forceful play.
It is from this line we find the following, fantastic, and ultimately satisfying, variation.
After 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 e5 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Nf3 e4 6.Ne5 f6 7.Qa4+ Nd7 8.Ng4 (an attempt to weaken Black’s kingside), Black plays his surprise move.
8…Kf7! (or maybe even !!)
This move not only puts the Black king on a more active square, but allows his pieces to occupy more optimal squares without taking out the time to castle and then attempt to put his pieces on better squares, a tempo behind.
Is this a risky more? Yes. But not as much as you might believe. Access to Black’s kingside is checked (oh, I love puns!) by his pawns and the lack of activity on the that side of the board.
Let’s look at some White replies to 8…Kf7
9.Nxd5 has some hidden tactics to it. Black plays 9…Nb6! with the idea of 10.Nxb6 Qxb6 11.Ne3 Bb4+ 12.Bd2 Bxd2+ 13.Kxd2 Qxb2+ 14.Nc2 Be6 15.Qb4 Qxb4+ 16.Nxb4 Ne7! and the game retains its dynamic style. Chances are about even. This line has been pointed out by several masters.
That doesn’t mean that some players won’t play it.
Dmitry Smolin-A. Tsybulnik 300 Years St. Petersburg, Russia, 2003 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 e5 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Nf3 e4 6.Ne5 f6 7.Qa4+ Nd7 8.Ng4 Kf7 9.Ne3 Nb6 10.Qb3 Be6 11.a4 a5 (Otherwise, 12.a5 spells trouble for Black.) 12.g3 Ne7 13.h4 Nc6 14.Nc2 Bd6 15.Bh3 Bxh3 16.Rxh3 Nb4 17.Nxe4 Nxc2+ 18.Qxc2 dxe4 19.Qxe4 Bb4+ 20.Kf1 [Black wants to play …Re8 with the idea of a possible …Kg8 (if he wants to play it safe!). But he can’t yet play 20…Re8? as 21.Qxh7 is almost winning for White. So he moves to trade queens, after which White has almost no developed pieces while Black’s active pieces take over the board.] 20…Qd5 21.Qxd5+ Nxd5 22.g4 Rhe8 (Now that Black’s rook can move to e8, he is winning.) 23.Rd3 h5 24.g5 Re4 25.f3 Rxh4 26.Kg2 Bd6 27.e4 Nf4+ 28.Bxf4 Bxf4 29.Rb3 Rc8 30.Rc3 (30.Rxb7+? Kg6, and White can’t prevent …Rc2+.) 30…Rh2+ 31.Kg1 Rd8 32.Rc4 Rxb2 33.Rd1 Bxg5 34.Re1 Bf4 35.e5 fxe5 36.dxe5 Bxe5 37.Rce4 Bf6 38.R1e2 Rxe2 39.Rxe2 Rd4 40.Ra2 Rb4 0-1
I really do enjoy playing the Bird (1.f4). But I fear the From’s Gambit (1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 with the idea of …d6). I say “with the idea of …d6” as Black doesn’t have to play …d6 so soon. He can play 2…Nc6 first and then play 3…d6. Or not at all.
This often puts White off his learned theory and he has to think for himself. It allows him to make an error. Which he often does.
Rutzler-Escalante North American Open, Dec. 30 1993 1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 Nc6 3.Nf3 g5 4.h3 d6 5.d4 dxe5 6.Bxg5? f6 7.Bh4 e4 8.Nfd2 (8.d5 Nce7 Bucker) 8…Qxd4 9.Nc3 (9.c3!?) 9…Bb4 10.Nb3? (10.e3 Qxe3+) 10…Bxc3+ 11.bxc3 Qxc3+ 12.Nd2? (Qd2) 12…e3 -+ 13.Rb1? Nd4 14.Rc1 Bf5 (with the idea of 15…O-O-O) 0-1
Hacker-Escalante Action Chess Westminister Chess Club Mar. 10 1994 1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 Nc6 3.Nf3 g5 4.g4 d6 (4…g4 5.Ng5!? is another way of complicating the position.) 5.d4 Bxg4 6.Bxg5 Be7 7.Bxe7 Qxe7 8.exd6 cxd6!? 9.Bg2 (9.h3? Bxf3 -+) 9…Bxf3 10.Bxf3 Qh4+ 11.Kf1? (Kd2) 11…Nxd4 12.Bxb7 Nf5?! (Nh6!?) 13.Qd3! (White usually has a good game after this thematic move. Black should make every effort to prevent this move.) 13…Ngh6 14.Bxa8? (Qe4+ -+) 14…Ng4!! 15.Bc6+ Ke7 16.Qe4+ Kd8! 17.Qf3 Nfe3+! 18.Qxe3 Nxe3+ 0-1
Hacker-Escalante Westminster Chess Club, Jan. 19 1995 1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 Nc6 3.e4?? (Mr. Hacker and I talked about this game after its conclusion. I asked him if he remembered our previous game. He said he did and didn’t want to lose in the same way again. I have admit, he was successful.) 3…Qh4+ 4.Ke2 Qxe4+ 5.Kf2 Bc5+ 6.d4 Bxd4+ 7.Kg3 Bxe5+ 8.Kh3? [8.Kf2 Bd4+ 9.Kg3 Nf6!! 10.Bd3 (10.Be2 Be3!! 11.Bxe3 Qxe3+ 12.Bf3 Ne4+ 13.Kh4 Qh6+ 14.Bh5 Qg5+ 15.Kh3 Nf3#!) Nh5+! 11.Qxh5 Qe1+ 12.Kf3 Qf2+ 13.Ke4 Qxg2+ 14.Qf3 (14.Nf3 Qxh1) d5+ 15.Kxd5 Be6+ 16.Ke4 Qg6+ wins!] 8…d5+ 9.g4 h5 -+
Daven-Sharp corres. Wisconsin Ch., 1999 1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 Nc6 3.Nf3 g5 4.d4 g4 5.Ng5 d5 6.exd6 (White almost has to take the “d5” pawn as Black has an advantage in the center if the pawn is left alone.) 6…Qxd6 7.c3 f5 8.Na3 h6 9.Nb5 Qe7 10.Bf4 hg5 11.Nc7+ Kd8 12.Na8 gxf4 13.d5 Ne5 14.Qd4 Rh6 15.e3 b6 16.O-O-O fxe3 17.Bb5 Rd6 18.Kb1 Bh6 19.Rhf1 Nf6 20.Kc2 f4 21.Rf4 Bf4 22.Qf4 Bb7 23.Nb6 axb6 0-1