Thursday, August 30, 2007

Avoiding opening theory with 1. e4 2. d4

Note added: It turns out that Tacticus Maximus (aka Glenn) had already advocated this repertoire. Check it out here.

In blitz I tried out some crazy line against the Sicilian, something that looked reckless, but like a potentially sound gambit: 1. e4 c5 2. d4 cxd 3. c3 dxc 4. Nxc3. I later looked it up and it was the Smith-Morra gambit! I had actually tried this out about a year ago, but because in my first game my opponent refused the gambit and transposed to the French I gave it up (and obviously forgot that I had tried it out).

There is an interesting analysis of the Smith-Morra here.

I've had a few fun blitz games with it, and since I'm also going to likely switch to the Goring Gambit against e5, which has similar structures, why they hell not (Goring gambit, apparently, is 1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd 3. c3 dxc 4. Nxc3.

This will be a nice way to avoid too much opening study, and give me the chance to play around with gambit play, which I've been doing a lot lately and enjoying. Sure, the GMs won't touch this stuff, but my goal is to reach 1500, not to be a GM. At worst, I'll learn more about initiative, time, piece activity, and attacking.

Oh, and note to self: don't even bother playing slow games when really tired. You will blunder like a quivering little crack baby.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, there is a GM who touches this stuff (Goring Gambit). Check out the games of Dragoljub Velimirovic. And i recommend getting The Göring gambit Accepted & Declined book if you're really serious about it. You can probably get it here for a real nice price. A great place to get your chess books. Books are of great quality (if not new) and are shipped with the best of care. I love the Goring ;-)

8/30/2007 02:18:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Thanks a lot for the info! I'll get them once I get paid :)

8/30/2007 03:11:00 AM  
Blogger takchess said...

Can playing the Traxler be far behind ?

Jim 8)

8/30/2007 03:17:00 AM  
Blogger Glenn Wilson said...

Exactly. Matches my thoughts on "opening theory" therefore you must be right. :-)

Opening Guidelines
Danish Gambit
Building The King's House

8/30/2007 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger wang said...

Good luck and I look forward to seeing your adventures with these.

8/30/2007 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Glenn: that's great! Very useful posts. I've been having fun playing 1...d5 as black, no matter what white plays.

Tak: never! There is a continuum of opening insanity and you are way out there man :)

8/30/2007 10:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BDK - Some chess teacher (I think it may have been in a recent Chess Life) noted that closed games may become open while open games never become closed. So open positions (which you get from most gambits) are a good place to invest some study and energy.

On the other hand, I am personally trying to break the addiction that comes from too much gambitting (see post called Second Gear on my blog).

re: your last note, I would add "never play OTB with a back injury" and "only play unrated after the second beer". :)

8/30/2007 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Note that IM Alex Lenderman has some video lectures on ICC on the Smith Morra. Thats probably why I've had to play against swarms of Smith Morras in the past week- eurgh. You might glace at them, see if they're worthwhile.

8/30/2007 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger XY said...

I try to always play gambits as white (in blitz). Against sicilian I usually play 2.b4, the wing gambit. Being a pawn down doesn't mean anything in blitz anyway (except in the endgame, but much happens between opening and endgame...)

8/30/2007 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Joe: where are those videos?

Derek: And How on the back pain. Mine is messed up right now so I didn't even bother going to the tournament last weekend. I am still playing with a laptop on my stomach laying on my back.

8/30/2007 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger Glenn Wilson said...

I've been having fun playing 1...d5 as black, no matter what white plays.

I never expected the ... Wilson Gambit!

1. e4 d5? 2. b3! (I've also experimented a bit with 2. h3!? lately).

8/30/2007 01:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still remember the first time I got to play the Vienna Gambit in tournament play. I must have had a pulse rate around 180! But I completely crushed my opponent who was rated around a hundred points higher than me. Believe me, you're going to have a lot of fun.
Good luck!


8/30/2007 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Blue- when I fire up ICC its right on the home page, the top item under ICC Highlights. So far only parts 1 and 2 of 3 have been released. Its part of ChessFM, so you'll need quicktime and you'll have to stomach some cheesy graphics, but it seems like a good video.

8/30/2007 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Sweet. I guess I always close that window :) Thanks for the tip. I hope they are downloadable!

8/30/2007 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger transformation said...

not much i can say, at this time, except greetings, keep up the good work (i dont play 1.e4 or 1 ...c5), and continue several times a week to always stop by.

warmly, dk

not far from my pc daily. off to the beach now, with Mr. Reinfeld in tow... my planned daily companion, since i fell behind again in fatigue... from too many days in a row at work.

8/30/2007 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger Luke said...

I think you're going to have a blast with the Danish/Goring.

I used to play them a lot (The Danish when white is down two points with a bishop on b2 is even more aggressive).

Now I play the scotch gambit frequently. You should check it out.
1.e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3.d4 exd
4. Bc4

Then after 4...Bc5, you can play 5. c3 and end up with a very nice game.

8/30/2007 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger takchess said...

There is an interesting trap against the Smith Mora called the Siberian trap. if you google that plus I am sure you will find it. In yesterdays post I have a Goring Gambit game that I played. I have recieved Danish Dynamite which reads like a fritz dump. in general I find it hard to work with this type of book. I like less variations and more explanations/opinions. There is an old gambit book on the Smith Mora which I think is Winning with the Smith Morra which is good. I ended up trading my copy for a Kings indian book as I never got a good feel for the SM.

8/31/2007 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

There is a lecture on the Siberian trap at

I've got that Burgess book. It is excellent. Also excellent is the ebook for bookup on the SMG (NOT the one by Schiller, which sucks, but the one by Chuck Slhilemaan or whatever his name is).

Those 'winning with the X' books are excellent. Very focused on plans.

8/31/2007 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger BlunderProne said...

I have a nice S-M game recently posted that uses similar ideas with a bishop and rook sac.

TC thanks for the Siberian tip... I'll watch out for it as I play S-M.

I am looking at the Scotch Gambit with BC4. Very similar.

8/31/2007 11:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BDK - rotten about your back. I actually took up yoga (for a while anyway) to try to strengthen my core muscles and avoid back issues. So far so good.

For a long time I used the Danish Gambit in blitz, and the Albin Counter Gambit and some other junk. Nowadays I've gone in the opposite direction, playing the really classical stuff I avoided for decades - Ruy, QGD, etc. Good to use blitz to expand your horizons :)

9/01/2007 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger Christian said...

I always play Smith-Morra against Sicilian. I have beat stronger opponents with this weapon. Did not know about the Siberian Trap. Good info here. Thanks!

9/04/2007 03:41:00 AM  

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