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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) The Latvian Gambit!! (Read 36074 times)
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #31 - 03/30/06 at 01:34:48
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"what makes a gambit playable"
Beautiful post by AMM, but he misses the main point: the amount of compensation. So I agree completely with Markovich here: there are enough gambits available, which are fully sound or unclear.

BTW, Markovich, after 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 Black can still head for the Blumenfeld Gambit, though White can avoid it.
  

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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #30 - 03/29/06 at 23:03:13
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Answer to Markovich ( or in general, to other gambit fans ).

In essence, the “philosophical” question about gambits – in our case, the Latvian - , is what makes a gambit playable ?, and the ways for the answer are various.
Firstly, we should to think about our own personal style ( of play and personality ). If I prefer open, tactical positions with attack and counter-attack I will build a repertoire based in positions of those characteristics ( Pelikan, Dragon, Open Spanish, Spanish Jaenish, King’s Indian, Latvian g., Grunfeld ).
Second, the surprisevely value. A gambit is easily brought about, full of pitfalls for the opponent. Your opponent, in all probability, is playing something he has never studied and has no hope of understanding as well as I myself do. It matters little whether there is a path to an objective advantage for him so long as that path is well hidden among a plethora of plausible alternatives. I have experimented a great surprising, a psychological impact, a bewildering for all and even the “relatively” best prepared opponents when I moved 2..f5!?. It is not enough to make “fairly natural moves”, they need to be the right natural ones !!
As I told in previous letter, I am 2133 ELO FIDE player and usually I play tournaments where my opponents have 2000-2300 Itn. Elo. Anybody can to think that if I defend the Latvian is because I am low rated player, but paradoxically I represent the 90% of these players in the World (!), and thus I don’t see why we can not play the gambit ( also Evans, Albin, sidelines of Two Knights, etc. ) if “ theoretically” speaking it is not refuted in OTB. It is very reasonable that in the “peaceful” of our own home –see all past answers -, with the helping of the engines we can study or even “refute” a chess variation ..of any line of play of chess ...but I can confirm that with the board in front of your eyes, in a REAL OTB game, matters are very different .... My opponents, on average, play far worse than Fritz, Hiarcs or Shredder !?. I am not averse to play a move ( or an opening ) that I know can be refuted if I think my opponent would only be likely to find the refutation if he has the “engine” in his mind, which is impossible indeed. I note if I myself or any of the readers of this forum has had recourse to computer assistance to come up with the gambit, and if the moves or “refutations” are so natural, why we use computers at all ?. If they ( or I ) aren’t, then what does that say about one’s practical chances with the LG at levels far below the 2300 plane on which we play ?. I will assume ( only ) that above 2300 FIDE Latvian is a bit unsound ( but only, against well-prepared players, and also they would win with us another opening ... ), but below of this, I don’t see any problem on playing it ( remember, we are 90% of the players of the World ).
Last words about: I’ve won several times in official OTB games opponents close 2200-2250 FIDE ELO with the gambit, and generally I’ve seen he doesn’t know even the Main Lines far from 9-10 moves, or worse the “spirit” of the middle game positions, so I must to assume the “shock” value !. Apart from this, paradoxically 2..f5 only represents 25% of the whole of my official games, so I usually play often 2..Nc6, and also the Sicilian, so the “problem” is not the LG, the problem is opposed !!, any  players know a correct way against the LG ! ( in CC the question is quite different indeed ).
When you select an opening, you are not selecting the position that arises at move 20 after best play by both sides. You are selecting the whole opening with all of its traps and twists, its side lines and main lines, and so you are an authentic specialist on LG ( for instance ), and your opponent don’t .... for a player who has a high tolerance for risk it does not constitute a conclusive argument against playing such gambit

Is funny, but Emil Diemer once wrote: “In order to win, one must sometimes have the courage to play badly.”. At present LG is being needed of some new improvements ( see ALL the serie of my past answers ), but I don’t believe is already dead, maybe many people don’t know some of the best specialists, ( Budovskis, Strautins, Krantz, Rosenstielke, Oren, Zemitis, etc. ) are finding new ideas and improvements. Silman’s theorethical article is truly hard ( even I myself have collaborated discrediting Black ! ) , but many of us will continue with our private analysis encouraging Blacks play !?. The same to Philidor Countergambit 3..f5 ( played by NM James West, Kosten and Mestel ) or Rousseau gambit 2..Nc6 and 3..f5. I suggest any person with interest to know updates of LG visit www.gambitchess.com and the series of LG World Tournaments ( and many theory or games ).

Alejandro Melchor, Barcelona, Spain
amelchor@eresmas.net
  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #29 - 03/29/06 at 15:58:19
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Quote:
After 3.Bc4 you can play Nc6 transposing into the Rosseau Gambit which is very fun to play indeed! I have a 100% score with it OTB and the traps in it are quite numerous. White often looks at you with a look that says "Gosh your stupid" and then quickly gets crushed!

I have not had any one play the theoretical best move against me yet. And when i do i doubt i will be worried at all.

The trick is that when they think they have found somthing to work against the latvian you play a totally different opening! Thats my recipe anyway.

For information on the Rosseau check out chesscafe and go to the skittles room archive where i believe both articles on it are called the Guico Fortisimo! Written of course by the Godfather of the Gambit cartel Tim McGrew.  If your a fan of his let me tell you your in for some of the same only in a more detailed manner.

If any one has any ideas on this or the latvian in general please leave your thoughts.

Craig i would be interested in some of your favorite lines with the black pieces as well.

Also a side question which i believe to be related to the latvian.

Is this ok:

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5??!!

I played this at a recent tournament and won against some one with about 100 points on my my rating but i dont think i should have not the way i played it at least! Is this playable at any level. Does it even have a name? If so i would like to play it as i do enjoy pushing my f pawn rather early! Cheesy


I can only conclude from these comments that your opponents are very weak.   Such opponents can also be defeated with 1...h5.

1. e4 e5  2. Nf3 Nc6  3. Bc4 and now 3...f5 is "fun to play?"  Un freaking believable.  McGrew is promoting this??  I take back what I said about hanging; he should be drawn and quartered.   

Play gambits by all means, but play sound ones, for crying out loud.  There are the Two Knights Defense, Rubinstein's Defense to the Four Knights, Marshall's Gambit against the Spanish (or for that matter, many lines of the Archangel involve pawn and piece sacs).  Versus 1. d4, 2. c4 there are the Budapest and the Albin.   

Sorry, there are no viable gambits against 1. d4, 2. Nf3 or against 1. Nf3.  Oh dear, what shall we do after 1. Nf3?  Just die of boredom, I suppose, since chess played well is such an impossibly dull game.

  

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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #28 - 03/29/06 at 15:32:45
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BasqueKnight wrote on 01/24/06 at 15:01:05:
Well the kings gambit has been performing extremely well for me and so i decided the next step was to start playing e5. Tim McGrew and I have become good friends and he has helped me along to find my path in the gambit world.
   


For such crimes as that, McGrew should be hanged.  Gambit Psychosis is contagious enough, without people like McGrew purposely spreading it.  The Latvian Gambit!  Be my guest.

Sorry to post unconstructively, but really, I would switch to 1. e4 if I could expect this system very often in reply.
  

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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #27 - 03/28/06 at 22:48:20
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I've got just far enough to ask two further questions:

(1)  In the line 3 Ne5 Nf6 4 ef Qe7 5.Qe2 d6 6.Nc4 d5 7 Ne5 Bf5 8 d4 Nc6 9.Nc6 bc, what do you think should happen if White plays the immediate 10 c4, without exchanging Queens? I'm a bit suspicious about Black's compensation in lines like 10 ...Qe2 11 Be2 Rb8 12 Nc3, but it's awfully messy, and I don't claim to understand these positions ...

(2)  You gave 8 ...Nc6 a "!?". Are there other recommendable eighth moves? (I guess 8 ...Nbd7 is possible, but it looks a bit passive.)
  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #26 - 03/27/06 at 10:37:06
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Dear Alejandro,

Thank you for a full, informative and masterful reply! I will take a look ...

All best,
Michael
  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #25 - 03/25/06 at 18:43:51
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Maybe I have been very optimistic again with my evaluation on 3.Nxe5 Nf6 4.exf5 d6 line, but now I have seen I prefer even Diepstraten suggestion 4..Qe7 5.Qe2 d6. Usually Queens are changed and Black must to play an ending where it has chances to exchange the queenside pawns and draw easily the resulting 3 vs. 2 on the kingside situation ( summarizing, as in other LG variations, indeed ). I must to admit it is not very accurate and not the best attitude choosing such variations but something is necessary to do with the gambit after the strong knock 1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 f5 3.Nxe5 Qf6 4.Nc4 fxe4 5.Nc3 Qf7 6.Ne3 c6 7.d3! exd3 8.Bd3 d5 9.0-0 Bc5 10.b4! ; if not, Latvian days are numbered ...
After previous moves 4..Qe7 5.Qe2 d6, several engines give only slight advantage to White,

- 6.Nc4 and now 6..d5 ( better than 6..Bxf5 directly of Tenner-Donny,1972; Kosten book page 116 ) 7.Ne5 Bxf5 8.d4 ( Sakai-Petrie, 4th. LG World Tourn. preliminaries, 2001-02 ) 8..Nc6!? 9.Nxc6 bxc6 10.Qxe7+ ( or 10.c3 Qxe2+ 11.Bxe2 Rb8 12.Nd2 Bd6 13.0-0 0-0 with very playable game ) 10..Bxe7 11.Bd3 ( 11.c4 c5! ) 11..Bxd3 12.cxd3 c5! 13.dxc5 Bxc5 only with an small advantage. Of course, there are other White possibilities, but I don’t see a lineal and clear new improvements.

- 6.Nf3 Bxf5 7.Nd4 Bd7 have been tested many times. In Tiemann’s second ed. of his book “Lettisches gambiet”, page 42, he himself recommend 8.c4 Nc6 9.Nxc6 Bxc6 10.d4 d5 11.c5 0-0-0 12.Qxe7 Bxe7 13.Be2 followed by Nc3 and Be3 “mit weiBem Vorteil”, but simply 10..Qxe2+ and White must to capture with the King ! which it’s a bit stupid indeed !?; also 8..c5!? its interesting, 9.Nc2 Nc6 10.Nc3 Bf5 or 10..Bg4!?. Instead of 8.c4, 8.Nc3 have been tried more usually; now Black can play untested 8..c5!? 9.Nf3 Nc6 10.d4 Bg4 or 10.d3 0-0-0, or playing logical 8..Nc6. In fact, I justify Kosten completely when he says “ Black has no real compensation for his pawn “ in Müller-Diepstraten, 1985 after 9.Nxc6 Bxc6 10.Qxe7+ Bxe7 11.Bb5 but after 11..Bxb5 12.Nxb5 Nd5 ( or 11..Kd7 ) Black possibilities must not underestimated, Hiarcs9 give 13.d3 ( 13.Nc3 Nb4 uncastle the King ) 13..0-0 14.0-0 a6 only + 0,40 for White !?
    For the second question, perhaps I have been unworried too. I already said that 3..Nc6?! is a dubious move after 4.d4!, and then I suggested 4..Qf6 but, yes of course, after 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.exf5! Nxe5 7.Qe2 and Bd2 Kosten and yours points of view are correct and White has the upper hand. However, also in my past note, I wrote that 4..Qe7 is worth interesting; Kosten only give 5.Nc3 Nxe5? etc. of Vinogradnik-Panchenko, 2000, but 5..Nf6 is from afar best; engines evaluations are an uselessness, they don’t understand the “spirit” of the position and the evolution of the game Melchor-De Jong, corr. ICCF thematic, 2001-02 demonstrate it:
6.Nxc6 dxc6 7.e5 Nd5 8.Nxd5 cxd5 9.Qf3 Be6 ( even 9..Qe6!? with idea Bd7/Be7 ) 10.Bb5+ c6 11.Bd3 g6 12.c3 ( 12.h4!? ) 12..Bg7 13.Qg3 ( 13.h4!? h6 14.Be3 0-0-0 ) 13..Qf7 14.0-0 0-0 – ! a rocky “semi-Stonewall formation ! – 15.Qh4 Qd7 ( 15..f4!? ) 16.Re1 a5 17. Bg5 Rfe8 ( 17..Rf7 ) 18. Rad1 ( 18.Re3 Qf7 19. Rh3 Bf8 ) 18..a4 19.Bh6 Qd8 20.Bg5 Qd7 21.Re3 Bh8 22.Rde1 b5 23.Rh3 Ra7 24.Bf6 Qf7 25.f4 Bd7 26.Bxh8 ½ - ½
   For the third question, I told the issues of “Virginia Chess Newletter”, exactly  2000/3 and 2002/2.
   Finally, another line to face 10.b4! in the Main Line: 3.Nxe5 Qf6 4.Nc4 fxe4 5.Nc3 c6!? This move was brought to focus attention when it was suggested by V.Sokolov in the “Informator” issue nr.13 of 1972, he pointed out the possibility 6.d3 d5 7.Ne3 exd3 8.Bxd3 Bc5 leads to equality. Evidently after 6.d3 Black seizes the initiative so Black concentrates on building a solid center by ..d5. Also the point is that 6.Nxe4 Qe6 seemingly wins material for Black since 7.Qe2 d5 8.Ncd6+ ( similar with 8.Ned6+ Kd8   ) 8..Kd8 9.Ng5 Qxe2+ 10.Bxe3 Bxd6 11.Nf7+ Ke7 12.Nxh8 Be6 should leave the White knight entrapped on “h8”. Leo Diepstraten in his “Godzilla” Bible “Lettisch gambiet” part I page 102 concludes 6.Qg4! is the best move but 6..Nh6 7.Qh5+ Nf7! menacing ..d5 ( again ... ) with great position and strong centre, even 6..Kd8!? of Chorunchin-Mineev, 1975-77 is very bad analyzed, or finally 6..Qe7!? 7.Nxe4 Nf6 8.Ncd6+ Kd8 9.Qh4 Nxe4! 10.Nf7+ Ke8 11.Qxe7+ Bxe7 12.Nxh8 d5 13.d3 Nf6 of Melchor-Budovskis, 1994-96 is possible.
   Of course, correct way for White is 6.Nxe4 Qe6 and now instead of 7.Qe2, 7.Qh5+  g6 8.Qe5 but now Black forces an endgame with 3 pawns vs. 2 on kingside similar to other positions on LG where he has very drawish chances, best line would be 8..Qxe5 9.Nxe5 d5 10.Ng5 Nh6 11.d4 Bf5 12.Bd3 Nd7 if White does stand better, it cannot be by much, f.i. 13.Ngf3 Nxe5 14.Nxe5 Bxd3 15.Nxd3 Nf5 16.Bf4 Be7 17.Be5 0-0 Black has a sound pawn structure with the “adequate” bishop and the pawns limiting the mobility of White knight which may encounter difficulty finding a suitable squares, and rooks have open lines on the “e” and “f” files. Paradoxically, Ken Smith in his “Latvian gambit” ( 1977 ) say that 5..c6! is probably the most safe and simplest of the six replies against White’s 5.Nc3. At least, at present after 5..Qf7 problematic seems a good improvement !?. Further testing of this variation is to be encouraged.

Alejandro Melchor                
  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #24 - 03/23/06 at 23:57:09
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Interesting stuff, Alejandro! But as one coming new to this stuff I have a few questions.

(1) In the 3 Ne5 Nf6 line you suggest that 4 ef d6 is OK for Black. Kosten (p. 116) appears to disagree, citing Budovskis--Gabrans. What is the real difference between you? How do you think the game should go?

(2) In the Fraser Variation 3 Ne5 Nc6, you suggest that meeting 4 d4! with 4 ...Qf6 gives Black a reasonable position. What do you consider best play for both sides here? Kosten (p. 112) suggests 5 Nc3 Bb4 6 ef Ne5 7 Qe2. This looks significantly better for White to me. Am I wrong, or has Black improvements (or both)?

(3) My final question is simpler! It's just, which number of the Virginia Chess Newsletter contains the stuff on the Philidor Countergambit?

  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #23 - 03/23/06 at 22:37:40
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PD: Perhaps in my last reply I have been too much optimist with my point of view in the line 6..Nh6, and so, after 9.Ng5 Qf6 10.Bd3 h6 11.Qf3 g6 12.g4! hxg5 13.gxf5 gxf5 14.Qxf5 and now instead previous 14..Qxe6+ ( Bubu13 told me in a private missage that " White has a pawn more - a free one, on the h file ! - Black can get a draw if he plays accurately - because of the wrecked white pawn structure -, but, no more!", there is another simplest way to get the equality:
    14.. Be7! and now if 15.Qg6+ ( similar with 15.Qxf6 directly ) 15..Kd8 16.Qxf6 Bxf6 17.Rg1 ( 17.Bf5 Na6 and ..Nc7 or even 17..Bxe6!? 18.Bxe6 Re8 etc. ) 17..Bxe6 18.Bxg5 ( what else? ) 18..Bxg5 19.Rxg5
Rxh2 etc. f.i. 20.0-0-0!? Rxf2 21.Re1 Bf7 22.Rh1 Nd7 23.Rh8+ Be8 very unclear ...
    ..and  Roll Eyes nice line, indeed !!

  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #22 - 03/16/06 at 21:47:56
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Answer to Bubu13: (and sorry for my English …)

In any case as in the previous note of the Philidor Countergambit, besides works of Kosten and West I know the book and analysis by Schiller and Watson in “Survive & Beat annoying chess openings –The open games-“ (2003) too, and certainly, 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 ( or 2..f5 3.d4 d6 ) 4.dxe5 fxe4 5.Ng5 d5 6.e6 is one of the best replies against the gambit, …but no definitive either !?.
Essentially the whole variation is quite well analyzed on Watson long analysis and even in the Bilguer (!) Bible of past century and even some of the model old games are already valid at present, but “Bubu13” I will try to demonstrate that the variation is completely viable:

A) 6..Nf6?! of Pollock-Bird, Bradford,1888, In accordance with Kosten and West point of view, after 7.Nf7 Qe7 8.Nxh8 Bxe6 –unclear, Mechkarov-, and assuming knight on h8 is captured, “his strong centre will provide good compensation for the exchange” ( Kosten dixit ) but I am not completely sure for instance after 9.Nc3 g6 ( or 9..c6 ) 10.Bg5! c6 ( 10..Qg7? 11.Nb5! ) 11.f3 exf3 12.Qxf3 Bg7 13.Bd3 and 0-0 with strong preassure on e and f files.

B) 6..Bc5?! with two important deviations:
- 7.Nc3 Nf6! 8.Nf7 Qe7 9.Nxh8 Bxe6 with idea of ...Nc6 and 0-0-0 unclear ( Hugh Myers ), 7..c6 is also possible but very complicated 8.Nf7 Qf6 9.Be3 Bxe3 10.fxe3 Bxe6 11.Nxh8 and now not 11..g6? ( Kosten ) 12.Qd4, neither 11..Qg5?! 12.Qd2 Nf6 ( Mlotkowski ) 13.Ne2! Nbd7 14.Nf4 Ke7 15.Qb4+ c5 16.Qxb7 Rxh8 17.Bb5; and finally if 11..Qh4+ 12.g3 Qh6 ( Kosten ) 13.Ne2! with idea of Nf4 and if 13..Qxe3 then 14.Qd4
- 7.Nxe4! Be7 8.Qg4 ( 8.Ng5!? Kosten, 8..Bxg5 – 8..Qd6!? - 9.Qh5+ g6 10.Qg5 West, and now I would suggest 10..Nf6!? 11.Bd3 Bxe6 12.0-0 0-0 13.Re1 Qd7 13.b3 with a small pressure ) 8..g6 9.Ng5 Nf6 ( 9..Nh6 10.Qh4 Bf8 West “The Dynamic Philidor Countergambit” page 43, and now I suggest 11.Qd4 Rg8 12.Nc3 c6 13.Bd3 White advantage ) 10.Qa4+ c6 11.Nf7 Qb6 12.Nxh8 Ne4 13.f3 Bh4+ 14.Kd1 Qf2 15.Be2 Qxg2 16.Rf1 and now I don’t understand 16..Nf2+ 17. Kd2 Bf6 1/2 - 1/2  ( draw !!) in Geenen-Henris, Belgium Ch.,1995 so if 18.Ke1! Nh3 19.Nf7 Qxh2 20.Qg4  Na6 21.Nd6+ and White wins with his extra Rook !; also if f.i. 16..Qg5+ 17.f4 Qg2 18.Nc3 Bxe6 19.Qd4 +-. James West in a very long analysis ( page 42 ) with 16..Bxe6 claims Black compensation after: 17.Be3 Nd7 18.Nd2 ( 18.Nf7! Bxf7 19.fxe4 avoiding ..Bg4 as in 18.fxe4 Bg4! is best even !?, analysis ) 18..Nf2+ 19.Kc1 Ng4 20.fxg4 Qxe2 21.Qf4 0-0-0 ( with compensation, West ), but I don’t see any counter play after 22.Qf3! Qxf3 ( if not 23.Nf7 ) 23.Nxf3 Bf6 24.Bg5

C) 6..Bb4+ the intermediate check with the idea on playing the same variation of 6..Bc5 without the possibility of 7.Nc3 is very well-known from a game Sax-Kosten, Hastings 1990-91. English player analyzes the game deeply in his own book “Winning with the Philidor” ( pages 24-25 ) but I would like to add something more ...
After 7.c3 Bc5 8.Nxe4 Be7 9.Ng5 Bxg5 10.Qh5+ g6 11.Qxg5 he himself discredit 11..Nf6 because of 12.Bd3 and now instead of 12..0-0 where I would suggest 13.f4! indeed, I would play better 12..Bxe6 directly, and thus if 13.0-0 0-0 14.Re1 Qd7 15.Be3 Nc6 16.Nd2 I see only a slight advantage for white, but no more. Ideas like Kosten’s recommendation 14.Bxg6?! would be dubious now with the Black Bishop on e6 and the possibility ..Bf7 at any time. On the other hand, paradoxically in the game 11...Qxg5 12.Bxg5 was played, and now Kosten recommend 12..c6 as the best move, but I CONTINUE with 13.c4! Ne7 14.Nc3 Bxe6 15.0-0-0 with a clear advantage

D) 6..Nh6 the most old and logical move it is rather complicated, but White has the upper hand if he follows Schiller & Watson analysis. James R. West have tried to improve in his own book ( pages 16-17 ), but he doesn’t get. The lineal way is 7.Nc3 c6 8.Ngxe4! ( other moves allow Black to continue with ..Qf6 and ..Bc5, but perhaps it’s interesting 8.Be3!? of Mortensen-Hvenekilde, Politiken Cup, 2001 or 8.Be2!? so in both cases 8..Qf6?! is bad; thus 8.Be3 Qe7 is the only chance, or 8.Be2 Be7 9.Bh5+ and now not West’ 9..Kf8?! due to 10.Nf7! Nxf7 11.Bxf7 Na6 12.0-0, if not 9..g6 10.Nxh7 Bxe6 11.Bxg6+ Bf7 12.Bxf7+ - 12.Qh5 Qd6 – 12..Nxf7 13.Qg4 Nd7 unclear, or 11.Bxh6 gxh5 12.Qxh5+ Bf7 13.Qf5 Rg8 very unclear again. Analysis ) 8..dxe4?! 9.Qh5+ g6 10.Qe5 Rg8 11.Bg5! Lowenthal’s move 11..Bg7 12.e7 and now:
- 12..Qb6 13.0-0-0 Bd7 ( unclear, Alapin ) follows 14.Qxe4 Nf7 15.Bh4 with idea Bc4; Black pieces are very, very uncoordinated. Moreover, I don’t understand Kosten 13..Nd7 when 14.Qe6! Rh8 15.Bc4 is awful, +-
- 12..Qd2+ 13.Kxd2! Bxe5 14.Bxh6 g5 ( J. West, pointed as ! even ) 15.h4 gxh4 16.Rxh4 Rg6 and now 17.Bf8!? Rd6+ 18.Ke3 Bxc3 19.bxce Bf5 20.Be2! ( Watson ), but even why not 17.Be3, West only give long analysis on 17.Bf4, but 17.Be3!? is totally correct: if 17..Bf5 18.Rh5; if 17..Nd7 18.Nxe4 and finally if 17..Rd6+ 18.Kc1 and Nxe4 followed by Bd3.
However, Kosten wrote the alternative 8..Nf5!? in 1996, I know two games with this move, one between two Spanish Candidate Masters, and the other one more important so it follows exactly most part of Kosten analysis, though they are incorrect, indeed. After
9.Ng5 Qf6 10.Bd3 h6 ( he says 10..Bxe6 is also OK, but 11.0-0 Bd7 besides 12.Qh5+ g6 13.Nxh7! West, also 12.Re1+ Be7 13.Qe2 0-0 I suggest 14.Nxh7! Kxh7 15.Qxe7 Re8 16.Bxf5+ Qxf5 17.Qh4+ with a clear advantage ) 11.Qf3 g6 12.g4! hxg5 13.gxf5 and now 13..Bb4? is met by 14.Rg1! and I think white has a decisive advantage, f.i. 14..Bxc3+ 15.Kf1!. Black has an important amelioration with 13..gxf5! 14.Qxf5 Qxe6+ 15.Qxe6+ Bxe6 16.Bxg5 Kf7 solving all the problems !! so perhaps the variation 6..Nh6 is perfectaly playable !?..., don’t “Bubu13” ?

Any suggestions?.
More information in “Virginia Chess newsletter” http://www.vachess.org/newsletter.htm  
Issues 2000/3 and 2002/2.
If anyboby wants to get a Chessbase file on Philidor Countergambit, I can send you.
Email amelchor@eresmas.net    Alejandro Melchor, Barcelona, Spain.  

  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #21 - 03/15/06 at 20:25:44
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Thanks for the info Alejandro. My only sources on this were Kostens first Latvian book and a pamphlet by West on the Philidor countergambit (dont have access to chessbase at the mo) so wasn't aware that 5...Nf6 was considered ok for black. Perhaps I will take a look at the Philidor countergambit again, seems to me to be sounder than the Latvian. Critical line must be 4de I suppose.  I do remember seeing that Maljiutin game before, if memory serves didnt Maljiutin go on to win that game despite a much worse position and a wandering king? You seem to have a lot of knowledge of this line, perhaps you might consider producing an article or even a book on it?
One more question if I may be so bold, after 1e4 e5 2Nf3 d6 3d4 Bc4 do you recommend following Wests advice and going into the ending after 4...Nc6 5de de 6Qxd8+ Nxd8 or playing as Mestel used to with 4...ed. The ending doesnt look much fun particularly against a well prepared white player. 
  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #20 - 03/14/06 at 01:09:46
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          Answer to "guidebyvoices" on Latvian-Philidor Countergambit trasposition:

             The sequence 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.Nc3 d6 4.d4 fxe4 5.Nxe4 or 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 is cited in some of the classical works I know, at least in "Winning with the Philidor" (Kosten, 1992) and "The Philidor Countergambit" (West, 1996), but in this point  they don't say anything on 5..Nf6, the correct answer instead of 5..d5. This last move is also known in Latvian gambit circles from long time ago as dubtious, not only for 6.Nxe5!?, if not also specially on 6.Neg5 h6 7.Nf7! - indeed, it is not Motwani's reccomendation, the move is known from a game Stepanov-Maljutin, Moscow, 1992 -.
             The reply 5..Nf6 is the only correct one and it has been tried by M. Downey ( first LG World Tournament champion ), Holland S. De Jong and I myself (!?). In "Myers Opening Butlletin", Maurits Wind already reccomended 6.Nxf6+ gxf6! but the line was already known by Alapin and Zuckertort  who analyzed 6.Qe2 and 6.Bd3 respectively - I don't see anything after 6.Bg5 Be7 7.Nxf6+ Bxf6 8.Bxf6 gxf6 either or even 7..gxf6!? -.
             After 5..Nf6 6.Nxf6 gxf6! ( it's easy to imagine logical 6..Qxf6?! is dubtious after 7.Bg5 ) I have 13 games in my base. It would be appropiate to think on benefiting relatively on Black King's broken flank after 7.Nh4 but 7..Be6 8.Qh5+ Bf7 doesn't anything, Hence, 7.dxe5 is played awaiting 7..fxe5? 8.Ng5! ( 8.Bc4 h6 still with some defence ) 8..Qf6 9.Bc4 with attack according Polugaievsky and played in Schwertel-Burghardt, corr., 1990-91, but, of course, the correct way is 7..dxe5!.
             Now the changes of Queens it is not suitable for White, the position is innocuous and Black's King have not any danger in the centre. Some examples:
             8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Be3 Bg4 10.h3 Ba6 11.0-0-0 Nd7 12.Kb1 Bd6 13.Nd2 Ke7 (Sebastian-Hector, Spain, 1989, 0-1,39)
             8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Bd3 Be6 10.0-0 Nd7 11.Nh4 c6 12.Bf5 Bxf5 13.Nxf5 Kc7 = (Gnirk-Melchor, corr. ICCF thematic, 2004-06)
             8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Bd2 Bc5 or 9..Bg4 (Maurits Wind)

             Another tries:

             8.Bd3 Nc6? 9.Bd2 Be6 10.0-0 Qe7 11.Qe2 Rg8 12.Rfe1 0-0-0 = (Drüke-Downey, corr. LG thematic, 1990)
             8.Bd3 Nc6? 9.Ng5!! fxg5 10.Qh5+ Kd7 11.Bxg5 Be7 12.Bf5+ ( or 12.Bb5!? Qg8 13.0-0-0+ Bd6 14.Bf6 is even better) 12..Kd6 13.0-0-0+ Nd4 14.Bf4! +- with a very strong attack  (Leko-Tornyai, Keckskemet, 1992, 1-0,22)
     but 8.Bd3 Bg4 ( or 8..Be6 9.0-0 Nc6 10.Be4 Qd6, but not firstly 8..Nc6? by 9.Ng5! again ) 9.Qe2 Nc6 10.Bd2 ( 10.Be3 Qd5 = ) 10..Nd4 ( 10...Dd7 too ) 11.Qe3 ( some better 11.Qe4 ) 11..Bxf3 12.gxf3 Qd7 ( 12...Qd5!? ) 13.0-0-0 0-0-0 = (Schmidt-Lenz, Platz, 1996).

            The most interesting ( and exciting ) games, almost identical, was:

            8.Nd2!? Be6 9.Qf3 Bd5?! 10.Ne4 Be7 11.Be3 c6 12.0-0-0 Nd7 13.Rxd5!! cxd5 14.Qh5+ Kf8 15.Bb5! Nb6 16.Rd1 with:
               a) 16..h6 17.Qg6 Rg8 18.Ng3 Bc5 19.Nh5 Be7 20.Bxh6+ Rxh6 21.Qxh6+ Kf7 22.Rd3 Rg8 23.Rf3 Rxg2 24.Rxf6+ Kg8 25.Ng3 Qh7 26.Qg5+  1-0  (Krantz-Downey, corr.,1990-91), and
              b) 16..Kg8 17.Rd3 Bf8 18.Be8! Qe7 19.Bc5  1-0  (De Jong-Melchor, corr., ICCF thematic, 1998-99)

           Of course, it is necessary to improve Blak's play; a simple idea is 9..Nc6 10.Bb5 Qd7 with idea Bg4 and / or 0-0-0 ( also 10..h5!? 11.0-0 Be7 ) 11.Ne4 ( 11.Qxf6 Rg8 12.0-0 Be7 and 0-0-0 with clear compensation ) 11..0-0-0! 12.Nxf6 e4!?.
           Another idea: 9..c6 10.Ne4 Nd7 ( 10..Bg7 11.Bh6! ) 11.Be3 Qa5+

           As you can see there is a nice game with 6..Nf6, so I don't understand you gave up with 4.Nc3 ...

           Alejandro Melchor, Barcelona, Spain
  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #19 - 03/08/06 at 13:50:23
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Well, and what about : 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.dxe5 !
I can't find a reliable black way, even with the James West book on my hand (The dynamic Philidor counter-gambit - chess digest) ! What is your choice ?
A) 4...fxe4 5.Ng5 d5 6.e6 Nh6?!
B) 4...fxe4 5.Ng5 d5 6.e6 Bc5 ?!
C) 4...fx4 5.Ng5 d5 6.e6 Bb4+?!
I think i've found refutations against all of these three lines.
  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #18 - 03/05/06 at 23:16:44
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Thanks for this informative and interesting overview alejandro! I await with interest your comments on 4Nc3 in the Philidor counter gambit since this is the main reason I gave up the opening. I was always under the impression that it was difficult for black.
  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #17 - 03/05/06 at 10:12:52
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       ( SECOND PART)

            Continuing with the analysis, let us first consider
           
V) 3.Nxe5
            Va) 3.Nxe5 Nc6?!(The Fraser Variation)
I  wouldn't call  this  bad, may be, "only" a dubious move.
After  the plausible 4.Nxc6,  Black is a pawn down, but with  good piece development for  compensation. 
The old move 4.Qh5+  has several complicated lines. One way out for Black is   4..g6 5.Nxg6 Nf6 6.Qh4 (6.Qh3 hxg6! 7.Qxh8 Qe7 etc.) 6..Rg8 7.e5 (7.Nxf8 Rg4!) 7..Rxg6 8.exf6 Qxf6 9.Qxf6 Rxf6 10.c3 d5 (or 10..Re6+ etc) and I didn't see the way to improve White middlegame, Black may hold the ending with his superior development and more active pieces (Melchor-Rosenstielke, email 5th. LG World Tournament-final,2005-06)
The  best move is  the so-called  Nunn's "refutation" 4.d4!  Now 4..Qh4? runs into 5.Nf3!Qxe4+ 6.Be2 Bb4+ 7.c3 Be7 8.0-0 Nf6 9.Re1and White has a terrific lead in development or even 4..Qe7!? 5.Nc3 Nf6
Instead Black should play 4..Qf6!? with a reasonable position.
           Vb) 3.Nxe5 Nf6!?
  This may become one of th main lines in future. Black loses a whole pawn, but without embroiling  himself in complex variations. Often  there is an  exchange  of queens and also  the queenside pawns  with a draw on account  the resulting 3 vs.2  pawns on  the kingside.
             - 4.d4 fxe4 is a transposition to 3.d4, not  a problem  for Black
             - 4.Nc3 permits the Black the complete freedom in the old well-known line 4..fxe4 5. Bc4 d5! 6.Nxd5 Nxd5 7.Qh5+ g6 8.Nxg6 hxg6!, so it's one of the the Main Lines of Chapter 12  in Kosten's book "The Latvian gambit lives!", now:   
              9.Qxh8?! can be met by 9..Qf6 or 9..Nb4!? and even 9..Qg5!?,
              9.Qxg6+ Ke7!? 10.d3 (!? Kosten) 10..Qd6!? i.e. 11.Bg5+ Kd7 12.Qf5+ Kc6 13.Qxc8 Qe5 etc. ,
              Alternately 9.Qxg6 Kd7 is not problem  either (10. Bxd5 Qe8!? -Destrebecq -, or 10..c6 )
            -4.exf5 d6 is O.K.
             Or 4..Qe7 5.Qe2 d6 the Queens  may be exchanged with reasonable drawing chances.
            -4.Bc4 is only relatively "dangerous"
             After 4..Qe7 5.d4 Nc6 by trasposition we are in Morgado System named after his success at the beginning of '70s.
             6.0-0 White has only a slight adventage according Kosten's book
             6.Nc3!? may be stronger.
             6... Nxe5 7.dxe5 Qxe5 8.0-0 returns  the pawn, but  opens up the position leaving Black's King and Queen on the same file. Now 8..fxe4 9.Nd5! threatening Bf4 is dangerous for Black.
            Instead Kosten suggests 8..Bd6!? 9.g3 fxe4 and, if 10.Bf4 directly, 10..Qc5 11.Bxd6 Qxc4 or 12.Re1 Bb4 playable for Black.            
            Vc) 3.Nxe5 Qf6 This is the Main Line 4.d4 d6 5.Nc4 fxe4 6.Nc3 Qg6 7.f3 (Now for 7...Nf6 Kranz Variation, see the Chessville article Latvian Gambit Revisited http://www.chessville.com/instruction/Openings/LatvianGambitRevisited.htm)
exf3 8.Qxf3, all right Craig, I am with you when you say that Black is not doing well, especially after 8..Be7?!; 8..Nc6 9.Nb5! or 8..Nf6 9.Ne3!,
But what about less played 8..Qg4!?;
Now 9.Qf2 Nf6 is O.K. 10.Be2 Qg6 11.Bd3 Qh5 12.0-0 Be7 (or 12..Nc6)
                    *13.Ne2 0-0 14.h3 Nc6 15.Nf4 Qe8 (15..Qf7) = Fleischmann-Cano,corr.,1970 by trasposition
                    *13.Be3 0-0 14.h3 (14.Qg3 Nc6 15.Rae1 Bd7 =) 14..Nc6 15.Qg3 Be6 = Gaard-Müller,corr.1988/89 by trasposition
                   * 13.Bf4 0-0 14.h3 Nc6 15.Rae1 Bd7 16.Ne3 White has more space, but Black is solid
                      (Kosten)---Bergsma-Wijnands, Rotterdam, 1939 by trasposition (1/2-1/2 in 60 moves)
                   * 13.Bd2 0-0 14.h3 Nc6 15.Qe3 Bd7 16.Rae1 Rae8 17.Ne2 1/2-1/2 Hewitt-Thornton, 1998, also by trasposition
                   * 13.Bd2 0-0 14.h3 Nc6 15.Rae1 Bd7 followed by ..Rae8 = Knostenbergs-Melchor, corr., 2001-02 (1/2-1/2 in 31 moves)
                    White can try15.Ne3 or Qg3, but they may be met by15..d5.
                    So perhaps White has to try for an improvement earlier. Ideas?, maybe 13.Nb5!?; 11.Ne3!?      
             Vd) 3.Nxe5 Qf6 4.Nc4! The Leonhardt Variation 4... fxe4 5.Nc3 Qf7!
( The only move, 5..Qg6 and 5..Qe6 are terrible for Black). 6.Ne3 c6 7.d3! (better than positional 7.Nxe4) 7..exd3 8.Bxd3 d5 9.0-0 Bc5 and 10.b4! (S.James and M.Rosenstielke) is a hard knock  for the Latvian ( by the way, also 10.Ng4!? of Mercadal-Melchor, corr. Spain Cup,1987 is notorious !?)
 
The prophets of doom cite this line as the end of the road for the Latvian
For their kind information I would like to point out that the LG experts are currently trying  the relatively unexplored line 6..d5!? (?!). IM's I. Oren and I. Budovksis have drawn some games in easy way, even I myself had not win as White vs. a french player.
There are a couple ones of new improvements in the Latvian, one of them incredible, but this is a secret ....!?
Next time I will respond  to the  points  on Philidor Countergambit  raised by  other aficionados "guided by voices" (and the trasposition in Latvian with 3..d6 move)
                 
Alejandro Melchor, Barcelona, Spain
           
  
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