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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) C47: The Belgrade Gambit (Read 104288 times)
bamonson
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Re: The Belgrade Gambit
Reply #5 - 07/27/04 at 15:21:42
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Today and tomorrow I will post a few games and items of theoretical interest for those BG fans here. 

I would also like to inform you that my NEW Belgrade Gambit website (I used to have a site at www.thomasstock.com/belgrade until Thomas disappeared off the face of the planet!  BTW, if anyone knows if he's alive please let me know!) which is being sponsored by Chessfriend.com.  On this site I will offer a lot of free analysis, free downloads, and tons of games that can be viewed on the site.  Eventually there will be some paid features as well, such as detailed modules and comprehensive annotated games.  I will also be offering BG thematic tournaments again.  Anyone interested is welcome to email me privately and I will send out an announcement when the site is up.

Regards,

Bruce Monson
bamonson@pcisys.net
  
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Re: The Belgrade Gambit
Reply #4 - 07/27/04 at 15:06:38
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TopNotch (who ever this is) has missed the point on a whole host of issues:

First, whatever "his thoughts" on the Belgrade Gambit may be, they should hardly be given any significance in this case since he failed to provide even one variation to the discussion in support of his blanket castigation.

Second, this discussion is on the Belgrade Gambit and some questions some players have regarding some of the variations, not "opening systems"!  As such, TopNotch's insinuation that one who studies and strives to obtain the Belgrade Gambit in their games must somehow be conducting their opening preparation haphazardly, without an eye toward openings that will serve them "for a lifetime," or "build[ing] [their] entire Opening Repertoire around an offbeat system that could fall based on the discovery of a single powerful novelty" is simply asinine!

But HAD we actually been talking about such "opening systems" I could easily have pointed out that I have utilized 1.Nc3 as a "system" for many years, and that through this "system" one will frequently encounter the following line: 1.Nc3 e5 2.e4 Nc6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.Nd5, etc., and several variants among this move order, all leading to the same Belgrade Gambit.  Of course he may also encounter 1...d5, 1...c5, 1...g6 and several other possibilities, each of which white, using this "system," must be prepared for. 

In short, constructing your opening repertoire in a manner that improves the odds of reaching positions (or gambits) that you enjoy and understand is a recipe for success and should be encouraged.

Finally--and this is perhaps most important for those "amateurs" TopNotch was evidently trying to convince (are we to presume TopNotch is a "professional"?)--it is a categorical fallacy to suggest that the inclusion of off-beat gambits like the Belgrade (and the BG has been found to be "bullet proof" at the highest levels of correspondence chess for the last 40 years) in your repertoire is somehow a recipe for disaster.  In fact, the reverse is true.  Indeed, it is precisely through knowing such gambits--and using them--that offers lower rated players their best opportunities for success against higher rated players. 

What's interesting though is how TopNotch was on the right track when he said:

"they [the Bishop's Opening and Vienna Game] are strategically complex and unbalanced enough to allow the player that understands the typical resultant positions better to prevail."

But evidently this same standard of "understand[ing] the typical resultant positions" is insufficient if we're talking about the Belgrade Gambit or other gambits that happen to be out of the mainstream sights, even when said opening has been proven sound.

Bruce Monson



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CraigEvans
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Re: The Belgrade Gambit
Reply #3 - 07/27/04 at 12:43:04
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I was always told, whether it be from instruction manuals or from players at my club, that it wasn't just useful but "necessary" to play gambits like this. And they're still played at the top level now and again, even if only rarely, and even if only as a surprise weapon. While I have no doubt that the Ruy Lopez is a better opening in the sense that white will get an advantage, I feel with best play that this gambit is correct, and offers white a playable game. If black can swallow a pawn and hold on for 60 moves playing accurately, then well done him. Mr Monson has assured me there are several improvements for white in all the lines over my basic analysis. Also, I should apologise to him, the piece sac line I mentioned as being found by Junior has actually been played by him and others, I believe he's done some work on this line with Albert Schenning, and I'm assured it should be playable.

The thing about all these "offbeat" gambits is that they cannot be refuted. Why people bother trying I do not know. Black can equalise, yes. Possibly even get a small edge. But as black, the main lines are the ones which leave you with a small edge or dull equality. There are very few systems for the attacking player as black which can give you equality AND attacking chances. As white, you have the luxury of playing lines like these - if they're not as likely to give you an advantage, so what? Loads of people play systems like the stonewall and colle as white - known to not really trouble black with correct play. But the white-side players are comfortable with this set-up, and therefore play it. It seems that non-gambit players come here, pick "holes" in the opening which give black equality, and then leave satisfied. I know of no opening which black cannot achieve equality against.

I will post some more analysis here just as soon as I've done it  Lips Sealed

Regards,
Craig Cheesy

(PS - "Whilst the Bishop's Opening and Vienna Game do not promise a theoretical advantage against correct play by black, they are Bullet Proof (Sound) and strategically complex and unbalanced enough to allow the player that understands the typical resultant positions better to prevail."... in light of the fact that black has nothing but drawing lines against the KG, and there is no known refutation to the belgrade, or indeed no known line which promises black an easy life, surely the same can be said? The player that understands the typical resultant positions better, will prevail. Even more so if it's a sharp tactical position which black would not have wanted...)

  

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Re: The Belgrade Gambit
Reply #2 - 07/27/04 at 09:34:17
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I do not agree with TopNotch. If you want to learn about open piece play and the balance between development/activity and material, there is no better way than practising open gambits, even if they are a bit obscure.
Of course it is very possible, that you feel the need to practice something strategically more complex after a while.
  

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TopNotch
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Re: The Belgrade Gambit
Reply #1 - 07/26/04 at 20:06:00
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White can equalise with careful play Grin

That pretty much sums up my thoughts on the Belgrade Gambit, which had its heyday in the 70's, long before the Database deluge. Nowadays, as you rightly pointed out, every 'Russian Schoolboy' Knows that 5...Be7 is a very effective antidote to this gambit, while 5...Nb4 is a bit more ambitious but also more risky and perhaps unnecessary considering the standing of 5...Be7.

The main virtue, as I have oft said about these obscure gambits, lies in the element of surprise. Once you shine a spot light too close on them, they lose much of their lustre, somewhat like The Kings Gambit.

I can appreciate that Mr. Monson has put in much time and effort in researching this Gambit, and hence has a vested interest in its viability. Nevertheless I would advise amateurs who are flirting with the idea of using this as repertoire weapon, to have a reliable back up weapon handy. You will need it.

One further bit of sage advise to all u aspiring players. Never build your entire Opening Repertoire around an offbeat system that could fall based on the discovery of a single powerful novelty. Choose more flexible resilient Opening systems, in the end your prudence will be rewarded. For instance, reliable alternatives to the Ruy could be the Bishops Opening or Vienna Game.

Whilst the Bishop's Opening and Vienna Game do not promise a theoretical advantage against correct play by black, they are Bullet Proof (Sound) and strategically complex and unbalanced enough to allow the player that understands the typical resultant positions better to prevail.

Opening lines such as The Belgrade Gambit come and go while a system such as the Bishop's Opening will serve u for a lifetime.

Top  Grin
   

Top Grin  
« Last Edit: 07/28/04 at 19:34:20 by TopNotch »  

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C47: The Belgrade Gambit
07/26/04 at 06:30:23
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At the suggestion of Bruce on the "Death of KG" thread, I have taken the opportunity to start a thread on the Belgrade. I'm currently playing some games in the Belgrade on IECC, so I cannot post them yet but I shall do when I've finished them.

Anyway, for those who have never heard of this crazy opening, it is reached after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 (the "tame" four knights) 4.d4 exd4 5.Nd5!? (If someone can insert a diagram here that would be great)

In this position, black has a number of tries. He usually declines the gambit pawn, and I think this is probably wise. Nonetheless, the main tries are:

A) 5...Bc5
This line is often not mentioned, and sometimes only recieves a footnote, but I think it deserves close attention. The point is 6.Bf4 is met by O-O!, and 7.Bxc7 Qe8! is probably better for black. So instead best is probably 6.Bg5, when black usually chooses between 6...Be7 (which I don't feel is correct), or 6...d6. Quite a few players, including Mr Monson, have been known to play 6.Bf4 and only on 6...d6 play 7.Bg5, as this prevents ...Be7, but if black is aware of the O-O possibility, I'm not sure whether this is good for white.

B) 5...Nb4(!)
This move is often given a ! in theoretical manuals. White usually replies 6.Bc4, and then 6...Nbxd5 7.exd5 Bb4+ 8.Bd2 Qe7+ 9.Qe2 Bxd2+! 10.Kxd2 Qxe2+ 11.Kxe2 c5! 12.dxc6 bxc6 13.Nxd4 d5 gives black the advantage. I'd be interested to see what improvements Bruce has for white here (I do not own a copy of his book unfortunately). 6.Nxd4 Nxe4 7.Nb5 Nxd5 8.Qxd5 Qe7 9.Nxc7+?! is an interesting piece sac from junior which I don't believe is sound, but seems quite dangerous after 9...Kd8 10.Bf4 d6 11.O-O-O Kxc7 12.Qc4+ Kb8 13.Qd4, even if the attack is insufficient. 6.Nxf6+ Qxf6 7.Bb5 Bc5 8.O-O O-O 9.e5 Qb6 10.Be2 d6 is also better for black, so 5...Nb4 may be the way for black to cast doubt on the gambit's validity.

C) 5...Be7
This move is often considered the safest way for black to get a good game. 6.Nxd4 Nxd5 7.exd5 Nxd4 8.Qxd4 O-O intending ...Bf6 is better for black, so white needs to find something else. 6.Bc4 O-O 7.O-O d6 8.Nxd4 Nxd4 9.Qxd4 Nxd5 10.Bxd5 Bf6 11.Qd3 is a very slight improvement on this for white, but black's position still looks very comfortable. 6.Bf4 O-O! 7.Bxc7 Qe8 is similar to the idea I mentioned in line A above, though Igor Polovodin has shown a willingness to defend this position as white on more than one occassion. 8.Be2 d6 9.Nxf6+ Bxf6 10.Bxd6 Be7 11.Bxe7 Qxe7 12.Nd2 f5! gives black mighty good play for his material investment, 8....d6! being the novelty found and used by Felix Izeta Txabarri to defeat Bellon Lopez in 1998.

D) 5...Nxe4
This is rarely played, and sensibly so - it is extremely difficult for black to hold the position. I don't know the critical lines that well, so I wont attempt any analysis of these lines yet.

So what do you guys think? Does anyone play the white side and know of any improvements? Does anyone like the black side and have any more lines? Or do you just feel like saying your two pennies worth? Here's your chance!

Regards,
Craig Grin
« Last Edit: 07/17/11 at 18:49:23 by Smyslov_Fan »  

"Give a man a pawn, and he'll smell a rat. Give a man a piece, and he'll smell a patzer." - Me.

"If others have seen further than me, it is because giants have been standing on my shoulders."
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