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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) The Latvian Gambit!! (Read 35884 times)
MNb
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #46 - 05/17/06 at 01:30:58
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After 11.Ne2 Nd7 12.Nd4 o-o-o there is nothing wrong with 13.Ng4. But being a simple guy, noticing that White has a lead in development and Black has a weakness (pawns on c6 and a7) I am tempted to go for the king.
13.b4 Ne5 14.Nxe6 Qxe6 15.Bb2 Nxd3 16.cxd3 Ng6 17.Qa4 (17.b5 is playable, but I have not found an advantage) Nf4 18.Qxa7 Nxd3 19.Bd4! is a very promising exchange sac.
  

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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #45 - 05/16/06 at 13:36:05
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MNb, I am absolutely in agreement with your analysis, 11.Ne2 is another way to get adventage ( besides 11.f4! ); even after 11..Nd7 12.Nd4 0-0-0 I would suggest too 13.Ng4!? Nc5 14.Nxe6 Nxe6 15.Ne5 played in two games of 1994 and 2000 respectively

In your line 13.b4 ( prevents ..Nc5 ) 13..Ne5 14.Nxe6 Qxe6 15.Bb2 Nxd3 16.cxd3 ( Palmkoeck-Van Willigen, 1999 ) I am not sure White attack is faster, f.i. 16..Ng6 17. Nc2 ( 17.Qb3 Nf4 18.b5 d4 ) 17..Qf7 18.Qg4+ Qd7.

In Rozzoni-Ruggeri ( see above previous reply and its evolution ) White won convincigly, and Black analyzed in detail the game, but I myself found some reasonable defence in the following line: 18..Re8 ( instead of game's move 18..Nf5 ) 19.Bd4 Bf8 20.Qd2 ( 20.b3 Nf5!? ) 20..Nf5 21.Bf2 Be6 22.Rad1 Nd6 23.Bd4 ( 23.Rxe6 Rxe6 24.c4 b6 25.b4 Kc7 26.c5 Rd8 unclear ) 23..Bg4 24.Rxe8+ Kxe8 25.Re1 Kf7 also unclear INDEED, ENGINES ARE NOT VERY USEFUL HERE ...again ...
  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #44 - 05/16/06 at 02:01:46
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I find that Rozzoni-Ruggeri game not too convincing - three pieces can make life of the white queen very hard yet, even if Black suffers from a centralized king. So I suggest 9...Be6 10.Re1 Ne7 11.Ne2 Nd7 (c5 12.Nf4) 12.Nd4 o-o-o 13.b4 Ne5 14.Nxe6 Qxe6 15.Bb2 Nxd3 16.cxd3 and White's attack is faster.
  

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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #43 - 05/15/06 at 23:32:02
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Some analysis with my reccomendation 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.Nxe5 Qf6 4.Nc4! fxe4 5.Nc3 Na6!?:

a) 6.Qe2 Qe6 7.d3 d5 8.Qh5+ g6 9.Qxd5 Nb4 10.Qxe6+ Bxe6 11.Ne3 exd3 12.Nb5 0-0-0 1/2-1/2 unclear, Kinne-Budovskis, corr. 1979

b) 6.Ne3 Qg6 ( 6..Nc5 7.b4 Na4 8.Ned5 F. Destrebecq; 6..Qd4 ) 7.d3 Bb4 8.Bd3 Nf6 9.Nxe4 Nxe4 10.dxe4 Qxe4 11.Bd3 Bxd2+ 12.Qxd2, adventage Borrmann-Svendsen, corr. 1986

c1) 6.Nxe4 Qe6 ( 6..Qe7 7.Qh5+ g6 8.Qe5 Bg7 9.Qxe7+ Nxe7 10.Ne3 ) 7.Qh5+ Ke7 8.Qe5 d5 ( better 8..Qxe5 9.Nxe5 d6 ) 9.Ng5 Qxe5+ 10.Nxe5 Nb4 11.Kd1 Kf6?! ( better 11..Nh6 ) 12.f4 White won in 35 moves, Cook-Dreibergs, corr. 1960

c2) 6.Nxe4 Qe6 7.Qh5+ g6 8.Qe5 Qxe5 9.Nxe5 Nb4 10.Kd1 Bg7 11.d4 ( 11.Nd3?! Nxd3 12.Bxd3 d5 ) 11..d6 12.Bb5+ Kf8 13.Bd2! ( 13.Nf3 Bf5 ) 13..Nxc2 14.Kxc2 dxe5 15.Bb4+ White won in 31 moves, Destrebecq-Kozlov, corr. 1981

c3) 6.Nxe4 Qe6 7.Qh5+ g6 8.Qe5 Qxe5 9.Nxe5 Nb4 10.Kd1 d6 11.Nf3 Bg4 12.Be3 Bg7 13.a3 Nd5 14.d3 Nge7 15.c4 Nb6 16.Nc3 0-0-0, draw in 47 moves Jackson jr.-Svendsen, corr. 1992

d1) 6.d3 Bb4 7.Bd2 ( 7.dxe4 Ne7 8.e5 -8.Bd3 d5 - 8..Qc6 9.Bd2 0-0 ) 7..exd3 8.Bxd3 Qe6+? ( 8..Ne7 9.0-0 ) 9.Ne3 Bxc3 10.Bxc3 Nf6 11.0-0 Nc5 12.Bxf6 Nxd3 13.Bxg7 Rg8 14.Qd3 Kd8 15.Qf5 1-0 Kozlov-Trobatto, corr. 1979

d2) 6.d3 Bb4 7.Bd2 Qe6 ( 7..Ne7 8.dxe4 0-0 9.Qe2 d6 best according Fritz8 ) 8.Ne3 ( 8.dxe4 Nf6 9.Qe2 ) 8..Nf6 9.dxe4 Bxc3? 10.Bxc3 with attack White soon could have win, but it doesn't do it until 40 moves, Dravnieks-Svendsen, corr. 1987

d3) 6.d3 Bb4 7.Bd2 Qe6 8.Ne3 Nf6 9.dxe4 Nxe4 10.Bc4 Bxc3 11.Bxe6 Bxd2+ 12.Kf1 dxe6 13.Qh5+ Kf8 14.Qf3 Budovskis-Müller, corr. 1979

  Also notorius is 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.Nxe5 Qf6 4.Nc4! fxe4 5.Nc3 c6!?. A relatively "recent" unknown game was: 6.Qg4 ( 6.Nxe4 ) 6..Qe7 7.Nxe4 Nf6 8.Ncd6+ Kd8 9.Qh4 ( 9.Qe2 ) 9..Nxe4! 10.Nf7+ Ke8 11.Qxe7+ Bxe7 12.Nxh8 d5 13.d3 Nf6 14.Be2 Kf8 15.0-0 Kg8 16.Ng6 hxg6 17.Bf3 Bd6 18.Re1 Na6 ( 18..Nbd7 19.d4 Nb6 ) 19.a3 Bd7 and the position is not easy to evaluate for the engines, in fact Black ( an IM ) won in 46 moves in Melchor-Budovskis, corr., 1st. LG World Tourney, 1994-96
  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #42 - 05/15/06 at 22:27:47
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Not, Bubu13, 9..Be6 reccomended by Kosten as !?, but he is wrong, you can see his book but very specially have been refuted in some unknown games ( Watson and Bucker have analyzed this move as well, indeed !? ). Examples after best 10.Re1:

  a) 10..Be7 ( or 9..Be7 10.Re1 Be6 ) 11.Ne2! Bc5 12.Nf4! Qxf4 13.Nf5 Qxf2+ 14.Kh1 Kf7 15.Rf1 Qxf1+ 16.Qxf1 Nf6 17.Qf4 Bxf5 ( 17..Re8 18.Nxg7! ) 18.Bf5 White won easily in a few moves Migala-Melchor, corr.ICCF thematic, 2001-02, but worst, Bucker analysis on Kosten's book is also possible: 12.Ng4 Bxg4 13.Nf4+ Ne7 14.Qxg4 0-0 15.Be3 -Bucker- 15..Bxe3 16.Rxe3 Nf5 17.Qh3! ( Fritz7 ).

  b) 10..Nd7 11.Nexd5! (TN) 11..cxd5 12.Qe2 Nc5 13.Bb5+ Kd8 14.b4 with a terrible preassure, White won in Sakai-Fredriksen and Melchor-Malmström, both in 4th. LG World Tourney, 2002-04

  c) 10..Bb4? of Grivainis-Alloin, 1985 is analized in Kosten book

  d) also 10..Bc5? of Tiemann-Alloin, 1985-86

  e) 10..Ne7 11.f4! ( IM John Watson, and also he hymself suggested 11.Ng4 Nd7 12.Qe2 with idea Bg5 ) 11..g6 12.Nc4! dxc4 13.Bxc4 Bxc4 14.Ne4 Qg7 15.Nd6+ Kd8 16.Nf5+ Nd7 17.Nxg7 Bxg7 18.Be3 with adventage Rozzoni-Ruggeri, 3th. LG World Tourney, 2002-04
Hmm, also 9..Be7 and 9..Bd6 are not valid, the last one was refuted only a copuple of years too in two of my own games precisely.

 Alejandro Melchor.



  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #41 - 05/15/06 at 21:17:37
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Sorry if i am not very well informed, but : 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.Nxe5 Qf6 4.Nc4 fxe4 5.Nc3 Qf7 6.Ne3 c6 7.d3 exd3 8.Bxd3 d5 9.OO Be6!? (instead of 9...Bc5) seems to be quite well in order to avoid all the problems with the b4 sac idea !? Black intends to long castle. Am i wrong ??
  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #40 - 05/15/06 at 20:09:52
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Hmm.., Gambit, well your line seems playable, but 4..Nc6 6.d5 Ne5 7.Nc3 or better 6.Nc3! Qxd4 7.Bd3 of Swaffield-Ortiz, corr., 1969 is strong, f.i. if 7..fxe4 8.Be3 Qf6 9.Nxe4 Qe7 10.0-0! I don't like particularly Black's game ...
As it has been pointed in the long analysis of Latvian ( see several mails above ), the REAL problem is 3..Qf6 4.Nc4 quoted in http://www.jeremysilman.com//chess_opng_anlys/040223_more_splat_the_lat.html and the move 10.b4!
As I told in this forum I reccomend 3..Nf6 or a relatively less-known 3..Qf6 4.Nc4 fxe4 5.Nc3 Na6!? or even the "old" 5..c6!? 6.Nxe4 Qe6 etc. with a pawn down, but very difficult to win in the practice
3..Nc6?! is refuted with 4.d4, but also with old 4.Qh5+

Alejandro Melchor
  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #39 - 05/15/06 at 08:01:54
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All this would be fine, Lev, if you hadn't ignored 4.Nc4. Leonhardt's Variation is the one causing black all the headaches at the moment - in fact it's being considered a refutation, hence Melchor's attempts here to prove that the Philidor CG is actually playable (or lines which avoid 3...Qf6).

Regards,
Craig
  

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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #38 - 05/14/06 at 23:02:15
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I  play the Latvian Gambit myself in blitz and tournament chess.  Now, after 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 f5  3 Nxe5  Qf6
4  d4  d6  5 Nc4 Nc6!  an  interesting position arises. My experiences shows that after  6 e5  dxe5  7 dxe5 Qf7!  Black gets a lead in development and attacking chances for the pawn. 

Some ideas:

- ...Bd7, ...000  for Black.

- In some lines, Black Castles King-side, and pushed the pawn, ...f5-f4, attacking.

Anyone want to try this one?
  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #37 - 04/25/06 at 12:37:55
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I have read with interest the posts for this opening. I would, however, like to understand the many ideas behind the gambit. Playing positionally would spell another chat session in the loser's lounge and whereas tactical ideas and pitfalls would only work against a weak player and those thoroughly unfamiliar with the gambit.

Don't get me wrong, I defend the Latvian myself, really enjoy playing it, though I would only use it playing blitz. I have experimented with the Fraser variation, the 3..Bxc5, and a tempo-down reverse King's Gambit and would usually aim for a quick build-up of forces (piece majority) going straight for a kingside attack. Here I would like to ask the players here; Are there other ways to play this gambit besides those mentioned in Kosten's Latvian Lives and analyses found on the internet? I have experimented taking control of the centre but already too many weaknesses arise after White takes the centre pawn (with little compensation!).

I value suggestions given.
  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #36 - 04/06/06 at 15:47:56
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As well as 3...Nc6, 3...d6, 3...Nf6 and 3...Qf6 there is also 3...Qe7 which I did play for a while on the ICC. I don't think it's sound, but it does have the advantage that White has to try to refute it with 4.Qh5+ if he wants to get an advantage. The main line is then 4...g6 5.Nxg6 Qxe4+ 6.Be2 Nf6 7.Qh3 hxg6 8.Qxh8 Qxg2 9.Rf1 Kf7 when Black almost certainly doesn't have enough for the exchange, but not everything is clear.
  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #35 - 04/06/06 at 15:24:17
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What's the refutation of the Philidor CG then, Craig? I'm not contending there isn't one, I'm just interested. Is 4 Nc3 fe 5 Ne4 Nf6 bad for Black?
  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #34 - 04/06/06 at 13:29:36
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I'm not sure that the Albin is too much better than the Rousseau, since in all honesty they're both junk. It seems that white can get an edge against the budapest which is more than he should expect as white, as well.
However, all of this is detracting from the topic at hand, which is the Latvian. The Philidor Counter-Gambit, despite it's occasional use by Mestel and the pamphlet by West, is known to be unsound (although, I agree, it is unlikely that white will be prepared for it). 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.Nxe5 Nc6?! and now 4.Nxc6, 4.Qh5+ and 4.d4 should all be giving white a huge advantage (the queen check is obviously critical and a refutation, but OTB the position is complicated enough to go wrong). This leaves 3...Nf6? (loses a pawn for nothing inparticular, Mr Melchor's best line leaves black grovelling an endgame a pawn down), 3...d6 (Kosten dismisses this rather quickly in his books), or the main line 3...Qf6. After this, Leonhardt's 4.Nc4 is all but a refutation it seems, since there seems no good way of avoiding the line with 10.b4!!

The Latvian is dying... it shouldn't take too much more to knock the final nails in the coffin.
  

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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #33 - 04/06/06 at 11:51:31
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Markovich wrote on 03/29/06 at 15:58:19:
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.


I have to agree 110%, except that there are decent gambits available against 1Nf3 just not on the first few moves.
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #32 - 03/30/06 at 02:20:50
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Quote:
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


I salute the elegance and originality of your posts here, your love of chess, and your good humour!  But since the object of this game is TO WIN, I would avise anyone of moderate strength or more to stop playing this gambit.  I do think that it could have a place in very low-level competitions, say, in scholastics.
  

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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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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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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #16 - 02/28/06 at 19:23:32
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Quote:
         Is the Latvian gambit dead ...another time?.
At the moment  I would confine myself to  a few brief observations.

II 3.Nc3!?is a sensible move. As in the  previous note, here again  it's possible to play  3..d6 4.d4 etc. transposing  to the Philidor countergambit.


I would have thought that after 3Nc3, 3..d6 was not a particularly wise choice since this line of the Philidor counter gambit is supposed to be good for white eg 1e4 e5 2Nf3 d6 3d4 f5 4Nc3 fe 5Nxe4 d5 and now not the accomodating Ng3 but Motwani has suggested 6Neg5 when it looks like white is better (maybe much better). If black plays 6...e4 7Ne5 Nh6 8Nxh7 or 6...h6 7Nf7!. I suppose black could try something else instead of 4...fe but alternatives dont look inspiring.
  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #15 - 02/28/06 at 09:58:34
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AMM, you categorise me in this "Doubting Thomas" bracket, though I'm not sure why. I myself have played the latvian for over 5 years in OTB and correspondence chess. Objectively, however, you have to look at the current position of the opening and concede that black is in major, major trouble. (Also, the quote about people running Fritzes was itself a quote from Silman, not myself)

I'm not sure what you're currently testing with regards to Leonhardt's variation, but like all good gambiteers I've had a long, hard look at Silman et al's analysis on his website. So far I can't punch holes in anything - the best black seems to have are grovelling endgames a pawn down. As far as I'm concerned, that's +-. If there are no improvements for black in this, then that implies that the opening is refuted. And I have no doubt at all, with the major increase in repertoire books over the past years, that it will not be too long before this line is circulated to the masses. I've already got to play the white side of it in blitz games twice, and it was the players of the black pieces who were blissfully unaware of the 10.b4! idea.

In the Silman article, you pinned your hopes on 10...Bd6 11.Re1 Ne7 12.Nexd5 cxd5 13.Nb5 Bxb4, and I can't find any major flaws with Silman's analysis of the simple 14.Bd2. On top of that, I would imagine that 14.Nc7+!? is even stronger, although the position is so complex that it might offer black chances.

These early ...d6 lines do not look convincing to me, and when I was younger I tried without success to make the Philidor Countergambit work. My impression is that it borders on the unsound, although of course there are practical chances involved with any such sharp opening.

I've been a long-standing fan of the Latvian, and I have seen many brilliant games by yourself and others, Mr Melchor. I hope that you can find something in this line to rehabilitate it, but alas, for now, the burden is on black to find something playable against the Leonhardt, otherwise in my eyes, the Latvian is theoretically refuted. Perhaps there are some alternatives to 6...c6 (although I doubt it)?

Regards,
Craig
  

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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #14 - 02/24/06 at 23:36:02
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i'm not so sure that i'd say that 3...d6 4.d4 is equalizing after 3.exf5. there are a couple of problems.

1) white isn't required to play 4.d4. the more common transposition, at least in my experiences, is 4.Bc4, bringing out the same position as 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3. Bc4 f5 4.exf5. this obviously isn't unplayable for black, but it does grant white an advantage, and an easy advantage at that. white has more space, more mobility, is ahead and development, and is hitting the diagonal of the absent fpawn. that's not insurmountable, but it certainly isn't equal either.

2) while exf5 is not the strongest reply to the pcg, it also yields an easy advantage to white. otherwise, 3...d6 would be a much more popular reply than 3...e4 versus 3.exf5 in the latvian, which after the above mentioned 4.Ng1, is nothing more for black than a reverse KG with a horrible pawn advance thrown in that hurts black's position.

don't get me wrong, i understand the practical merits of the latvian, as i played it myself for a long period of time too, but there are plenty of ways for white to get a long lasting advantage with minimal effort. most of the latvian's greatest victories are against players attempting to steamroll their opponent off the board in 20 moves. that may well turn out to be the best course of action, but even if someday all of the main lines of the latvian are irrefutably revived, the simple approaches will always still be a very strong option for white.
  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #13 - 02/24/06 at 21:32:35
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         Is the Latvian gambit dead ...another time?.
As  I am the person named in the last reply of "MNb" and the source of Silman's analysis onLG, I hope I may be allowed to express a qualified opinion. I have been playing the Latvian for nearly two decades,  in OTB games  and  especially in corrrespondence chess. I have  played with strong ICCF IMs and GMs , and  also  won quite a few games. ..so maybe the gambit is not as bad as its reputation !
In the meanwhile  the theory has grown so much that  even a  ''recent'' book like The Latvian Gambit lives! (2001)by Tony Kosten  is out of  date!
As for the doubting Thomases,  let  me renind them that the myth of the gambit's refutability is actually one of its  assets.Well-prepared, but lower-ranked players may spring this gambit on  unsuspecting opponents and go on to win. 
         Craig Evans say that ".. there are a hundred people with their Fritzes running 24/7 trying to keep black alive in the critical lines".
But  this is not entirely correct.
Those of you with chess engine experience know that the machines are very materialistic.
If you look at almost any LG position with a program-engine ( like Fritz ), it will tell you that  Black is better because of the extra pawn. So it can be depressing to use a computer in the hunt for good continuations for White.
It is better to switch it off and use your brains until you have a definite idea worth testing.
Any lines proposed by a computer engine have to be re-evaluated anyway. Where a computer can be useful is in showing you what line your opponent may be planning ( if he is relying on the machine more than you are ). If you can find a weakness in a Fritz suggestion for example, you may be able to take advantage of the same. All this is valid for correspondence chess.
But what about  OTB?In games with  shorter time limits the Latvian is a terrific asset. There is a whole minefield for the White player to cross without being blown  up.One can hardly find an over -the- board refutation of these  lines  which have stood the test of time for decades in corresponedence chess.
My own experience bears testimony to this. I am  a 2133 FIDE player, and I have no problem playing it. I have won against players with a higher rating. Think of the shock experienced by an unwary player who expects you to play Ruy Lopez and Petroff. Some of my opponents would spend 5 minutes on the third move itself wondering what to do.
Even those  few who know  the theory over 20 moves need to keep themselves informed all the time on the latest developments.
        As for  analysis by Evans or Silman, a whole article would be needed to merit the consideration they deserve. At the moment  I would confine myself to  a few brief observations.

I  3.exf5 is a very simple reply. Perhaps the most interesting ( and dangerous )  reply after  3..e4 is  4.Ng1!?  suggested by Stefan Buecker, Editor,Kaissiber (a German chess magazine).
But Black can try  3..d6 4,d4 etc. trasposing to an innocuous and equalizing Philidor countergambit after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.exf5.
II 3.Nc3!?is a sensible move. As in the  previous note, here again  it's possible to play  3..d6 4.d4 etc. transposing  to the Philidor countergambit.
III 3.d4  can be met by 3...fxe4 4.Nxe5 Nf6 5.Bg5 c6!? (L.Diepstraten) a relatively  unknown line, but without problems as Black. I play it offten in a blitz games and always in OTB. Of course there is no problem with the  usual 5..d6. But it is neccesary to study  a lot of lines there.
IV 3.Bc4 is too  risky for .....White! Musty old books say, it's the refutation of LG. But it is not easy to prove. There is no point in citing the Poisoned Pawn variation 3..fxe4 4.Nxe5 Qg5? all the time  and claiming a refutation. LG experts also  know that the line is dangerous. It takes 25 moves  for  a well-informed  White player to demonstrate the same over the board.
The real test is  Svedenborg Variation 3...fxe4 4.Nxe5 d5! and White is often on the receiving end.
As  noted in the Forum,  there are also other lines like 3..Nc6 or even 3..d6 here.
For instance, 3.Bc4 Nc6 4.d4 Qf6!? deeply analized by  the German specialist Gunderam or 4...fxe4 5.Nxe5 d5 .
V. This brings to the Main Line 3.Nxe5.
Here  I and other LG aficianados have found remedies  for both White and Black in several critical variations. They  are being tested at the CC level. Some of the  games are in progress and  others are yet to begin.
With all respect to Silman and others it is a little premature  to announce the demise of the Gambit at this stage                (TO BE CONTINUE)
  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #12 - 02/23/06 at 14:40:36
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Ahh, I've never really looked at 3.exf5 as a serious move, in practice I've scored well against it. I've only faced 4.Ng1 a few times (and then, only in blitz), and my impression was that it wasn't a paricularly worrying move... 4...Nf6 and black has a lead in development, the possibility of making a large center with ...c6 and ...d5, simple development with ...Bc5 and ...O-O. Yes, I know he shouldn't be able to carry out all this without white's undivided cooperation, but in practice I think black's position is the more comfortable. As opposed to 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.Nxe5 Qf6 4.Nc4 which looks +- with best play.

Anyway, why settle for a crab stick when you can have a juicy rainbow trout? It all seems a bit fishy to me...  Grin
  

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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #11 - 02/22/06 at 21:55:58
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not only are the leonhardt and Nc6 lines bad now, but 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.exf5 e4 4.Ng1 has always been fairly brutal too.
  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #10 - 02/22/06 at 14:36:52
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3...Nc6 was my attempt to save the Latvian also. Sadly, a copy of Nunn's refutation seems to have found it's way into the mainstream and therefore many people know about the simple 4.Nxc6. The worst thing is, even for those greedy souls who grab the Rh8, this is still good for white.

Add to this the problems for black after 3.Nxe5 in every main line (especially the Leonhardt variation which isn't so much +/- as just +-), and the Latvian can, alas, be consigned to the scrapheap.

Although a huge fan of the Elephant, I have a feeling that in time we'll be able to scrap this one too - black gives away a central pawn with very little justification, and I don't believe that he can or should be able to get away with it.

The computer age is killing the fun of chess. The Ruy Lopez will be next...  Grin
  

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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #9 - 02/22/06 at 13:59:10
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I have to confess that i've quit the latvian, (after almost 8 years of love) because of : 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.Nxe5! because i didn't find anything convincing against it !
I've tried to save 3... Nc6 with hours and hours of Fritz exploration, but i've failed ! Cry
The 3...Qf6 4.Nc4 with d3 following is very strong and black can only hope to get a draw in a rook endgame with a pawn less. Not very appealling !
The elephant is probably much more juicy ?! Don't you think so ?
  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #8 - 02/10/06 at 20:21:49
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #7 - 01/26/06 at 19:44:20
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Thank you very much for that link.

I am always looking for new chess websites and have stumbled across some gems in my search but mostly just summary pages of openings not going into much detail!

This is why i like this forum as well at the Chess-Theory forum which is still young but a lot quieter than the one here.

But I think that with time i will figure out this latvian madness which i have gotten my self into.
  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #6 - 01/26/06 at 10:03:50
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BasqueKnight wrote on 01/25/06 at 23:56:48:
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


It's called the Calabrese Counter Gambit. It's playable at lower levels of chess and blitz games. Here's a URL for you to start with:

http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~goeller/urusov/bishops/f5.htm
  
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CraigEvans
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #5 - 01/26/06 at 09:16:37
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The Rosseau is another opening I've dabbled with but, sadly, it's junk. I'm moving slowly away from openings which I can refute myself now, and the Rosseau falls into this category - Tim McGrew in his articles shows one way to get a huge plus but, I can assure you, there are plenty of other ways. If you score 100% with this opening (as I do), it says more for the standard of your play and/or the weakness of your opponents' play than of any merit for the opening. If I was you, if/when someone does play the theoretical recommendation against you, I would be worried. If you want to play the Latvian, the best chance for you is to play Svedenborgs after 3.Bc4, since it isn't as forcing and gives white way more opportunity to go wrong. Also, it is technically unrefuted, and black does get some undeniable compensation (although I doubt it to be sufficient against correct play). 3...Nc6 is what Dan Heisman, on chesscafe.com, would call "Hope Chess" methinks. At the lower levels it may well score you some points, but if someone devotes just one hour to analysing the opening they can learn the refutation comfortably - and in this day and age, more and more people are doing this.

I've not looked at 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5 on a board, but my gut reaction would be to play 3.d4 and smile at my opponent. As black I used to reply to the KG with 1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.ed Bc5!?, a defence which - while a lot less common than 3...e4 - I don't believe to be any weaker than the main lines of the Falkbeer. With an extra tempo white should be able to get a fairly huge plus (One point is that, should white take on f5 at some point, an ...e4 thrust will not be gaining a tempo on a knight as in some lines of the Latvian). Of course, he can transpose into the old book refutation with 3.Nf3 if he likes, and even 3.Nc3 has it's points (since 3...fe 4.Qh5+ looks pretty fatal).

My favourite line as black is the Traxler... sadly I don't get much opportunity to play it these days. I also have a fondness for the Elephant Gambit and anything with ...f5. However, I think sense is finally catching up with me and I'm not playing things these days that I can refute myself... maybe I'm turning into Larsen  Cool
  

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basqueknight
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #4 - 01/25/06 at 23:56:48
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CraigEvans wrote on 01/24/06 at 17:19:34:
The opening actually has a huge following, especially on the internet and in correspondence, and for every person looking to bust it with white, as Silman notes on his site, there are a hundred people with their Fritzes running 24/7 trying to keep black alive in the critical lines.

I used to play this opening regularly and still throw it in for shock value occasionally, with good results. The problem, at a decent level, is that white will know what he's doing, and if that happens then you can expect to find life as black fairly painful since, even if the positions that result are not technically lost, white gets *all* the fun.

While that line looks crazy, you will rarely find people so kind as to play 3.exf5 (I've only ever faced it once OTB - I don't count blitz experiences against 1100s which are the only other time I've seen this move). Most people, in this age of databases and hundreds of books, know that 3.Nxe5 is critical (I still believe that 3.Bc4 is probably objectively a refutation since I have some trouble believing Svedenborg's for black, and the old ...Qg5 lines have always been dicey - however, the masses of forced long lines that people need to know to play this as white make it less attractive), and after 3.Nxe5 white seems to have plenty of ways to secure a huge plus:

3.Nxe5 Nc6? 4.Nxc6!
3.Nxe5 Nc6? 4.Qh5+ (3...Nc6 is sadly just bad, even though I devoted 6 months of correspondence chess to trying to ressurect it)
3.Nxe5 Qf6 4.Nc4! (Leonhardt's Variation, black is being made to grovel in the main lines at the moment with Budvokis's 6.d3 - again, see www.jeremysilman.com)
3.Nxe5 Qf6 4.d4 d6 5.Nc4 fxe4 and now, as Tony Kosten noted in his book, no fully adequate response has ever been found to 6.Be2 (usually attributed to Bronstein), and even in the old main lines after 6.Bc4 and 7.f3 black is not doing well.

Further, I believe white has good play after 3.d4 and the piece sacrifice line that follows (I played a game a few years back on IECC in this line as white and won convincingly in under 20 moves, however I cannot currently locate that game score) even after the improvement suggested in Kosten's book, and I think White secures an edge in the Motlowski (3.Nc3 variation) as well.

I hope someone can shatter these comments since I am a huge fan of the Latvian and, despite believing it to be unsound, will continue to venture it from time to time. If someone could prove it sound then I would possibly even move to play it again as my main defence to 1.e4.

Best wishes,
Craig



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
  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #3 - 01/24/06 at 22:04:55
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I've always liked Nimzo's explanation and favorite move, Ne3

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 f5 3 Nxe5 Qf6 4 d4 d6 5 Nc4 fxe4 6 Ne3!!

I ventured this in corry a couple of times and took the full points with little trouble.  (I no longer have the scores - sorry)

Also, 3 Bc4 is quite a strong move.  I've played this one from both sides in corry, and black doesn't have an easy game if white does his homework.  (If he doesn't though, it's black who can crush many victims...)

Nex
  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #2 - 01/24/06 at 18:33:17
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I've seen quite a few people try to make 3. Nxe5 Nf6 work, that doesn't appear to look good for Black either
  
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Re: The Latvian Gambit!!
Reply #1 - 01/24/06 at 17:19:34
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The opening actually has a huge following, especially on the internet and in correspondence, and for every person looking to bust it with white, as Silman notes on his site, there are a hundred people with their Fritzes running 24/7 trying to keep black alive in the critical lines.

I used to play this opening regularly and still throw it in for shock value occasionally, with good results. The problem, at a decent level, is that white will know what he's doing, and if that happens then you can expect to find life as black fairly painful since, even if the positions that result are not technically lost, white gets *all* the fun.

While that line looks crazy, you will rarely find people so kind as to play 3.exf5 (I've only ever faced it once OTB - I don't count blitz experiences against 1100s which are the only other time I've seen this move). Most people, in this age of databases and hundreds of books, know that 3.Nxe5 is critical (I still believe that 3.Bc4 is probably objectively a refutation since I have some trouble believing Svedenborg's for black, and the old ...Qg5 lines have always been dicey - however, the masses of forced long lines that people need to know to play this as white make it less attractive), and after 3.Nxe5 white seems to have plenty of ways to secure a huge plus:

3.Nxe5 Nc6? 4.Nxc6!
3.Nxe5 Nc6? 4.Qh5+ (3...Nc6 is sadly just bad, even though I devoted 6 months of correspondence chess to trying to ressurect it)
3.Nxe5 Qf6 4.Nc4! (Leonhardt's Variation, black is being made to grovel in the main lines at the moment with Budvokis's 6.d3 - again, see www.jeremysilman.com)
3.Nxe5 Qf6 4.d4 d6 5.Nc4 fxe4 and now, as Tony Kosten noted in his book, no fully adequate response has ever been found to 6.Be2 (usually attributed to Bronstein), and even in the old main lines after 6.Bc4 and 7.f3 black is not doing well.

Further, I believe white has good play after 3.d4 and the piece sacrifice line that follows (I played a game a few years back on IECC in this line as white and won convincingly in under 20 moves, however I cannot currently locate that game score) even after the improvement suggested in Kosten's book, and I think White secures an edge in the Motlowski (3.Nc3 variation) as well.

I hope someone can shatter these comments since I am a huge fan of the Latvian and, despite believing it to be unsound, will continue to venture it from time to time. If someone could prove it sound then I would possibly even move to play it again as my main defence to 1.e4.

Best wishes,
Craig
  

"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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basqueknight
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The Latvian Gambit!!
01/24/06 at 15:01:05
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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.

I have recently taken up the Latvian gambit which is quite interesting and is used a lot more frequently by correspondance players than you might think.

The Gambit starts with: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5!?

The theoretical reputation is constantly under a cloud! White players will find a "refutation" and then black players will find a way to remedy it. Reminds me of when i was studying the Najdorf because the Najdorf has been "refuted" more than once! Always coming back to life though! (On a side note i still play the Najdorf because i really do think that it gives excellent chances for a win with black.)


I am interested in knowing what some of your personal expeirieces have been and as always would like to see some of your games if you have any. I have picked up a couple of books One by kosten called The Latvian Gambit Lives and another called The Latvian Gambit: A Grandmaster View by Lein and Packard . When i get through a couple of chapters I will post some analysis.

Somthing of interest though is an article by Clyde Nakamura who wrote a bout a side line in the exf5 lines

3.exf5 Bc5 4.Nxe5 Bxf2+!

The positions can get quite wild and very fun to say the least. Check out his article at chessville for some interesting games and also check out the other analysis if you are interested in this off beat gambit idea. It seems to have quite a following not like the BDG crowd jsut yet but with the help of this forum we sure could start our own Gambit cult!

Peace to you and yours

Basqueknight            
  
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