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A lazy player's guide to the king's gambit with 3.Bc4
(Or "Come and Have a Go if You Think You're Hard Enough")

- by Stephen Luck -

kingsg1.jpg (34147 bytes)

Disclaimer: The author accepts no responsibility for accuracy of the following or the effects of employing the information contained within this outline of the Bc4 variation of the King's Gambit, or King's Bishop Opening.
[Mmm? This isn't inspiring confidence Steve! - Ed]

Bibliography

The vast majority of this resume is based on the Foxy Openings video by Andrew Martin, "Surprise your opponents with the ultra-dangerous 3.Bc4! in the King's Gambit."

Additional material has been lifted from Stewart Reuben's, "Chess Openings, Your Choice"(1993);"The Gambit", Yudovich M.(1989);"The Complete Encyclopedia of Chess Openings" C33 (1997);BCO2 (1992) and "Winning Quickly With White",

 

Why play this garbage?

As a true patzer one must rationalize two diametrically opposed concepts. That while chess is best enjoyed from a winning or won position, as a patzer losing is the most common option. So what is the solution?

Join the local snakes and ladders league?

Cheat, or bribe opponents?

Play opponents who are even more hopeless?

Develop a prostate problem and keep rushing to bog to consult Fritz 5 on a laptop (see 2.)?

Buy every chess book and computer on the market and set up a chess shop that keeps you so busy that playing is no longer an option?

No. Think again!!!

Chose an opening repertoire so bizarre and reckless that even when losing, great fun can be had by forcing your opponent to play your type of game. On winning the occasional game, great joy is to be had in regaling members of your Club with tales of staggeringly deep and finely calculated sacrificial play, outstanding tactical brilliancies etc.

Slightly more seriously:

Relevant quotations:

"....it is an excellent weapon in your armory up to grade 150", Reuben,1993.

" A weapon of incomparable danger........................................." BCO2.

" It’s s**t, but I can't refute it." R.J.Fischer (paraphrased by author).

"C'est pire qu'un crime,c'est une faute."- it is worse than a crime, it is a blunder (not really about the execution of Duc d'Enghein,but about anyone who plays 3...Qh4+ against the King's Gambit.)


A taster of the type of game to be had: Blackpool Congress (U100 Section) 1996.

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4

kingsg1.jpg (34147 bytes)

(Opponents usually either rattle out their next move as though they have seen this "rubbish" before and don't give a damn, or think for a minute or so and then play the most obvious and common move) Qh4+.

Other likely moves are 3....d5(b),Ne7(c) and Nf6(d)[see below for these continuations]

Some opponents have even bottled it at move 2. and will decline the gambit with 2.d5,Bc5 or Qh4+ and occasionally the Nimzowitsch Counter-Gambit .The best lines of attack against these wimpy attempts to thwart the King's Gambiteer's fun are given later.

(it is now a matter of personal preference whether you pause here and go into grimace/ head-slapping/I didn't think of that mode, or a wry smirk and calmly play they only move) 4.Kf1  [If you want the theory straight away, see (a) below]

(this is all tried and tested theory: White will gain a tempo against Black's Queen with Nf3 and the centre with d4 and Nc3.The f4 pawn is nearly always regained and a strong attack is in the offing! Not being able to castle is of little significance as White's development is so rapid and the fun is under way).

Bc5 (threatens mate in 1 on f2! It is at this point you know that your opponent has never seen this opening before and the next move wins the centre)d4 Bb6 6.Nf3 Qf6 7.Nc3 (threatens to leap into d5) c6 8.Ne2 (Fritz5 gives this as equal, but White looks better).

kingsg2.jpg (34688 bytes)

The rest of the game is only included for its' amusement value; d6 9.c3 Ne7 10.Bxf4 h6 11.e5 dxe5 12.Bxe5 Qg6 13.Nf4 Qh7 14.Nh5 f6?

kingsg3.jpg (33059 bytes)

15.Bxf6 Bg4 16.Nxg7+ Kd8 17.Ne6+ Bxe6 18.Bxe6 Rf8 19.Bh4 Rf4 20.Qe2 Re4 21.Qc2 Qg6 22.Bxe7+ Kxe7 23.Bb3 Nd7 24.Qxe4+ Qxe4 25.Re1 Qxe1+ 26.Kxe1 Re8 Kd6 28.Bc2 Bc7 29.g3 Nb6 30.Bb3 a5 31.a4 Nd7 32.Re1 Rf8? 33.Re6++

 

Alright, Black played terribly, but who cares?! White achieved the twin goals of, having all the initiative and all the fun.C33 gives a number of games which generally diverge at Black move 7.(Greco G.-N.N. 1620 6....Qh6 and White won on move 11.).

Now some theory.

Main Lines:

main lines table - requires images to be turned on

The theory section will be very limited, mainly because most patzers cannot remember theory, but also because many of the lines in this opening diverge very quickly (so if you are a 1.d4 merchant, who fires out your first ten moves like a robot on speed then go away and annoy someone else).

Either : Black grabs the f pawn (most common) or has a pet way of declining the gambit. So the theory is pretty simple.

Know what to do if the pawn is taken and Black gets in the Qh4+ move.

Know what to do if Black takes the pawn but doesn’t play Qh4+.

Have a basic knowledge of the ways in which Black avoids 1. And 2. Above.

 

(a) 3....Qh4+ 4.Kf1 After White's King has stepped to the right one square Black will play;

4.
....
d6
or
....
Nf6
or
....
g5
5.
Nf3
Qh5
Nf3
Qh5
Nc3
Ne7
6.
Nc3
c6
Qe1
d6
d4
Bg7
7.
d4
g5
e5
dxe
g3
fxg
8.
h4
Bh6
Nxe5
Be6
Kg2
d6
or
....
Qh6
9.
Nxg5
Qxd1
Nxf7!
Qe7
hxg
Qg4
hxg
Qg6
10.
Nxd1
Bxg5
Bc8
Be2
Qd7
Nf3
h6
11.
Nd5
Nxd5
12.
exd5
O-O
13.
d6
Qxd6
14.
Bxg5
hxg5
15.
Qd3
Re8
16.
Bxf7+
Kxf7
17.
Nxg5+
Ke7
18.
Rae1+

So the idea is that although white has given up the right to castle, rapid development creates a quick attack and excellent control of the centre. Deep theory is not needed as positions are hair-raising and continuations are best worked out over the board - think for yourself!

 

(b) 3..... d5

4.
exd
Nf6
or
....
Qh4+
5.
Nc3
c6
or
....
Bd6
Kf1
Bd6
6.
d4
cxd
or
....
Nxd5
Qc2+
Qc7
Nc3
Nc7
7.
Bb5+
Nc6
Qc2+
Bc7
QxQ
BxQ
Nc4
0-0
8.
Bxf4
Bd6
Nxd5
cxd
d4
Bd6
or
....
g5
d4
Nd7
9.
Nge2
0-0
Bd7
Nb5
Nb5
h4
Nxd6
cxd6
10.
0-0
Bxf4
Bxd7+
Nxd7
Bb3
11.
Bxf4
Bg4
Nh3
0-0
c4
12.
Qd2
Bxe2
0-0
Bf6
Nf3
13.
Bxe2
Qb6
c3
g5
14.
Rd1
Rad8
Qf3
Nb6
15.
Bd3
Ne7
g3
Qd7
16.
h3
Ng6
Qh5
17.
Rf2
Rfe8

4.exd differs from the usual Bxd5 and prevents black from kicking the white bishop and gaining tempo.

 

(c) 3..... Ne7

4.Nc3 c6 5.Qf3 Ng6 6.d4 Bb4 7.Nge2 O-O 8.O-O Qf6 9.e5 Qe7 10.Bxf4 Nxf4 11.Nxf4

 

(d) 3..... Nf6

4.
Nc3
Bb4
or
....
c6
5.
e5
d5
or
....
Bb4
d4
d5
6.
Bb5+
c6
e5
Ne4!
exd5
cxd5
7.
exf6
cxb5
Kf1!
Bxc3
Bb5+
Bd7
8.
Qe2+
Be6
bxc
Qh4
Bxf4
Bd4
9.
Qxb5+
Nc6
Qf3
Ng3
Bxd7!
Nbxd7
10.
Nf3
Qxf6
hxg
Qxh1
Nge2
11.
Qxb7
Rc8
Bxf4
Qd3
12.
Nxd5!
0-0

This variation can cause white a few headaches and needs careful analysis as the pin on the Nc3 allows black to develop quickly and to put white under some pressure. Nevertheless, although black's moves appear logical with accurate play by white the attack comes to very little.

 

The Falkbeer Counter Gambit and other pathetic attempts to spoil the party.

Every King’s Gambiteer must be prepared for Black to deviate on move 2.There are a variety of so-called busts of the KG or pet methods of avoiding a head on collision.In the FCG black offers a pawn of his/her own in an effort to gain rapid development and emphasize how silly f4 is as a move.

1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5

The Nimzowitch Counter-Gambit:

1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 c6 4.Nc3 (dxc6 only helps Black) exf4

Black is not interested in the gambit pawn but gets on with development. This variation favours White if an end-game is reached.

The Classical Defence

1.e4 e5 2.f4 Bc5

The King’s bishop is on a very good square,but white can build an aggressive centre with c3 and d4 but at the expense of development.

Other odd variations include second moves such as; Nf6,Qh4+ and d6. None of which should worry the King’s Gambiteer who is worth his salt.

 

Home Time Trouble Tournament Player Types Scumbag Tricks A Guide To Axa-Speak Scotch Gambit The Grob, The Bad & The Ugly Amazing & Untrue Facts T-Shirts King's Gambit 3.Bc4 Pipe & Slippers Notes from a small tournament Chess Accessories Links The Nursery chess metaphor liberation organization chess lookalikes chess clubs in the British Isles Who's The Greatest?