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... ;-)


transformation said...

nice to see you still at it.

i do keep a LARGE side bar, but, albiet, it is not sequentially ordered, but rather segmented into clear thirds. i found you as new in april/may, and will move you up from unknown to chess players i dont read often but plan to revisit. it is clear that you are serious about chess!

please stop on by, if so inclined.

warmly, david

Temposchlucker said...

If you like I have the repertoire I use myself for you in PGN format, carefully handpicked from Gallagher's winning with the KG. You can drop me a line (e-mail in my sidebar)

Blue Devil Knight said...

I'm gonna start with the KG too. I played it once this week, and got completely dismantled. Maybe I'll post it.

likesforests said...

It's great fun when your opponent replies 1...e5 and 2...exf4. Remember to play Nf3 very early or disaster may strike! I tried it briefly but most of my opponents declined to play the 'romantic' variations I liked so much from examining Morphy.

takchess said...

Here is a bottomless pit of links to games. For proper play I would steer to the Gallagher Collection of KG's .

Good Luck,


Alastair said...

Off topic, sorry. I would like to buy extra and plus step books but don't speak Dutch. I think I could understand the puzzles without really needing the language: do you agree? And also, where are the answers to the puzzles in the extra and plus books? Thanks in advance for your help.

Sir Piño said...

@alastair : I don't think it will be a problem. The EXTRA books contain no text, the PLUS books contain only a little text.

You can download the solutions from the website (

Alastair said...

Many thanks, sir pino.

SamuraiPawn said...

I'm also playing in a club tournament starting in the end of September. Nice to have someone entering the heat of battle at the same time!

Do you mean level 4 with CT-art? If so, that is really the level that draws the line in the sand. Just keep it up and you'll eventually get it.

Keep up the good work!


Glenn Wilson said...

I used to play the KG a lot and still might now and again. Lines I would see frequently were the Falkbeer Counter Gambit, The Fischer Defense, and the KG Declined.

I have more towards favoring openings that require less study. But the KG is certainly fun! Good luck!