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Zwischenzug
23-09-2006, 09:45 PM
Hi. I am a 1400 level player and I am trying to play more open games to practise my tactics and combinations. I am trying to learn The Danish Gambit (the Half Danish and the three pawn sac variation), King's Gambit, the Benko Gambit and the Morra Gambit. How sound are these openings, especially for club and tournament games?

Kevin Bonham
24-09-2006, 01:21 PM
I have said a few times that there is a pressing need for someone to write a "Club Chess Openings" handbook that gives an idea of the playability of different openings at club level, based on results at that level. So while the Morra is considered unsound at grandmaster level it is still often quite effective against club players who don't know what they're doing. I forget who said it but almost any opening is playable at club level if you know it well enough and it suits your style.

I don't know if you'll get much tactical/combinative razzle-dazzle out of the Benko. Often it is more of a long-term positional gambit.

Davidflude
24-09-2006, 01:29 PM
Hi. I am a 1400 level player and I am trying to play more open games to practise my tactics and combinations. I am trying to learn The Danish Gambit (the Half Danish and the three pawn sac variation), King's Gambit, the Benko Gambit and the Morra Gambit. How sound are these openings, especially for club and tournament games?

The Danish is sound but black can hold using book lines.

The Benko is a very good choice. You will learn a great deal about chess playing it.

The Morra is less sound. There are several good defences. Of course if black gets it wrong he gets slaughtered. It is probably a good choice at your level.

The King's gambit is not a good choice for you. I am currently playing at ICCF fixed openings tournament with players up to 2450 correspondence rating.
The best players win almost every game as white and black.

To play the King's gambit you need to be able to play all manner of positions.
Furthermore white frequently has to win endgames a pawn down. Do not trust "The King's ganbit" by McDonald.

Garrett
24-09-2006, 01:38 PM
Hi Zwichy

If you stick around here for long enough you might see some "Grandmaster Theatre" games which are quite instructive for players looking to give away material for nothing.

Mephistopheles
28-09-2006, 05:27 PM
The Danish is sound but black can hold using book lines.

The Benko is a very good choice. You will learn a great deal about chess playing it.
At 1400 strength? You have to be kidding me. A pawn for positional pressure is not going to yield good results for a 1400s player. At that level (which is approximately my own), most games will be decided on tactics. Long term positional pawn sacs aren't for woodpushers.


The Morra is less sound. There are several good defences. Of course if black gets it wrong he gets slaughtered. It is probably a good choice at your level.
True in many cases. However, be wary because most players expecting to meet the Morra (i.e. most mid-strength club players) have probably memorised an adequate antidote. More often than not, I end up a solid pawn to the good in a safe position when others venture the Morra in my direction.


The King's gambit is not a good choice for you. I am currently playing at ICCF fixed openings tournament with players up to 2450 correspondence rating.
The best players win almost every game as white and black.

To play the King's gambit you need to be able to play all manner of positions.
Furthermore white frequently has to win endgames a pawn down. Do not trust "The King's ganbit" by McDonald.
What book do you recommend? I quite like the KG because, at my level, one gets to see all kinds of positions that would otherwise not arise. Quite often, the better tactician will win the day but it's always nice to win with the KG. It's a good idea to learn some theory if you're going to wheel it out, even at club level.

Davidflude
28-09-2006, 07:04 PM
What book do you recommend? I quite like the KG because, at my level, one gets to see all kinds of positions that would otherwise not arise. Quite often, the better tactician will win the day but it's always nice to win with the KG. It's a good idea to learn some theory if you're going to wheel it out, even at club level.

The book that I like is "The Fascinating King's Gambit" by Thomas Johansson.
This is published on-demand by Trafford publishing. You order the book at
www.trafford.com and pay for it on-line. They then print the book and post it to you. It takes about ten days.

The book deals with all the King's Gambit declined lines as well as the bishops
gambit.

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf 3.Bc4.

3.Nf3 is not going too well in correspondence at the present time.


English Grandmaster Jonathon Tait is writing a book on the King's Gambit. I have sent him some correspondence games from the tournament in which I am playing. I will post the games here in a separate thread.

Mephistopheles
29-09-2006, 03:22 PM
3.Nf3 is not going too well in correspondence at the present time.
Ahem.

That's not to say that it's not perfectly viable at club level. When I was still playing tournament chess, I almost never lost with it. These days, I'm still good for about 70% after 1. e4 e5 2. f4 ef 3. Nf3, although my games are mostly online.

After 3. ... g5 4. Bc4 g4 5. 0-0, my score goes up to 100%.

Heh.

qpawn
29-09-2006, 04:32 PM
I cannot play the King's gambit or nadjorf; thye both bamboozle the hellmout of me and any opening inwhich...g5 early on is accepted theory is acid to my positional mantle.

I am a Queen's gambit and French defence kind of guy :D

mikexx2020
26-10-2006, 07:27 AM
check out the articles on the opening at planet chess

Planet-Chess.com (http://www.planet-chess.com)



Chess Chit Chat (http://www.chesschitchat.com)

Kerry Stead
09-11-2006, 08:45 AM
Something I would like to add to this topic ... just because the main lines of the Benko Gambit are 'positional' does not mean there are tactics involved. I know I've played quite a few Benko games that were very sharp (Tomek Rej & Alek Safarian being the opponents that spring to mind) ... and there was a time when I was fascinated by games such as Lalic-Alterman & Lalic-Khalifman ... the tactical lines are generally the ones where white does not play bxa6. The 5.f3 lines can be particularly sharp, although again, you can still steer the game into more 'traditional' Benko style positions, but white's extra pawn in these lines is often much safer than usual.

MichaelBaron
09-11-2006, 09:40 AM
Something I would like to add to this topic ... just because the main lines of the Benko Gambit are 'positional' does not mean there are tactics involved. I know I've played quite a few Benko games that were very sharp (Tomek Rej & Alek Safarian being the opponents that spring to mind) ... and there was a time when I was fascinated by games such as Lalic-Alterman & Lalic-Khalifman ... the tactical lines are generally the ones where white does not play bxa6. The 5.f3 lines can be particularly sharp, although again, you can still steer the game into more 'traditional' Benko style positions, but white's extra pawn in these lines is often much safer than usual.

I agree with Kerry. Some of the gambits are positional rather than tactical.
Benko Gambit is certainly one of them and to be honest I have had some very tough games against Benko as white:( .