Thursday, June 14, 2007

The King's Gambit, where to start ?

Some time ago I decided to start playing the King's Gambit. I don't know why exactly I'm so attracted by this opening. Probably it's tactical nature, the wild attacks, the rich history, or some great Andersson &Morphy games I looked at recently... .

Since I'm trying to improve my tactical skills it seems like a good idea to adopt the king's gambit. BUT since I'm also trying to improve my rating, I certainly don't think it's a good idea to start playing the king's gambit unprepared... .

So learning the king's gambit, where do I start ? What do I have to know/learn before I can use the opening in serious rated games ?

Last week I bought "The King's Gambit For The Creative Aggressor" from Thomas Johansson. I started playing through the first chapter yesterday,but I must admit, I am overwhelmed by the massive amount of variations.

So for the moment I think the best approach is :
  • Understanding the key concepts (fast piece development & nice pawn center in exchange for the sacrificed pawn on f4, (half)open f-line, attack on f7, ...)
  • Getting familiar with the main KG-lines without losing myself in the endless list of variations.
  • Play the KG in blitz & analyse the opening afterwards

My first serious rated OTB game is in september (new start of club championship),so I have some time to get familiar with this new opening.

By the way, I'm working on my first circle through level 4. I'm advancing very very very slow. The problems are a lot harder compared to level 3. Yesterday I spent 75 minutes on 5 problems. Compared to Tempo's 5 days per problem this is still lighting fast, but still, I'm not used to this slow problem solving thing... ;-)