Wednesday, November 15, 2006

King's gambit accepted: razor sharp

As black, I've decided to play the king's gambit accepted. I was playing KGD, but in a desultory fashion, never really studying beyond my typical response of 2...Bc5. There are two reasons for the switch: the KGA leads to much more tactical games with good fighting chances for black. Second, Emms' excellent book Play the Open Games as Black advocates for the KGA and devotes three nice chapters to it. My other black book (Davies' Play 1 e4 e5!) has about two-thirds of a single chapter with very little useful analysis (and it advocates the KGD). That book is mostly about the Sicilian and Ruy Lopez for black. The rest is treated in a superficial manner.

Transformation said he loves when black plays the QGA against him. I probably know why: I play it as black and sometimes end up in a horrible bind on the queenside, even though I know enough not to fight to hold onto the pawn. While I think QGA is good for black, you really have to know what you're doing. I expect it to take a year or so before I am comfortable with QGA. But for the reasons I discussed previously, I am now committed to it and will learn the ins and outs. In favor of QGA, white is usually less booked up there than for the QGD.


Blogger Zweiblumen said...

I also have Emms' Play the Open Games book, and like it quite a bit, but I've decided to give up on e5 for a while. I feel comfortable in many of the lines that arise, but I feel like there is too much to know. I want to drive the direction of the game. When my opponent opens e4, I don't want to have to wonder whether this will be a King's Gambit, Ruy Lopez, Scotch, Two Knights Defense, etc.

For this reason I'm shifting to the Nf6 Scandinavian as my black response to e4. I picked up Emms' book on the Scandi, and Bill Paschall has a nice 5 part lecture series on it on

I also picked up Rizzitano's Beating 1 d4 book and plan to use that against d4. I don't see it that often (once in 16 OTB games with black) but I'll see it some day, and I'm tired of feeling totally helpless against it.

Though, as I pointed out in my recent blog entries, I need to spend more time on my thought process as regards my opponents' threats than I do on my opening, but I also want to feel comfortable in the first few moves.

11/16/2006 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Scandinavian seems like a good way to avoid having to learn a bunch of theory!

I know what you mean about having to learn a billion different systems. I kind of like that, as it gives me exposure to different types of pawn structures, plans, etc, which should come in handy in general. However, it took me a long time to settle on my black rep against e4, and as this post shows my choices are still changing on lesser lines.

That Rizzitano book is so good I almost wish nobody else could read it so I could have an advantage. :)

11/16/2006 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger takchess said...

Are you playing the Kieseritsky line or the Becker Line given in the book? Both are good. When I heard you were playing the KGA I thought you had picked it up as white which is fun thing to play.

As for the Scandinavian, I am surprised by how many people on the net play it poorly. There is nothing more fun than chasing the queen around developing a piece on each tempo.

11/16/2006 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Takchess: I don't know yet: I don't even know what these variations are! I just started booking up on it last night.

11/16/2006 02:47:00 PM  

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