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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) C33: Is the Mason gambit playable? (Read 68564 times)
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Re: C33: Is the Mason gambit playable?
Reply #74 - 07/21/20 at 12:55:31
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SWJediknight wrote on 11/02/10 at 21:04:55:
Just out of interest, I armed myself yesterday with the free version of Rybka (2.3.2a)- and like your version, it assesses the 3...Qh4+ 4.Ke2 Qe7 5.d3 Nf6 6.Bxf4 d5 7.Kd2 d4 lines I gave earlier as equal, and it finds resources for White that neither I, nor Fritz 10, could find.  It does assess 7...dxe4 as =+, but after 8.dxe4 Bd7 9.Qe1, with Rd1 and Kc1 to follow, chances are probably roughly equal.

So I think we've established that 4...Ne7 is indeed more critical.  After 5.Nf3 Qh5 6.d4 g5 7.Kf2 d6 8.h4, Black replies 8...g4 9.Ng1 g3+ 10.Ke1 Qxd1+ 11.Kxd1 Bh6 and, in view of the queen exchange, probably has an edge, though it's probably no worse for White than the 8.Bc4 lines (I can't fault your analysis of those).

I looked at 5.d4 as a possible alternative but Black simply continues ...Bg7 and ...d6 leaving White with nothing better than to transpose back to the above lines with Nf3.


I just had occasion to look at this line again. There's now this game:

[Event "TCEC 11 Superfinal 2018"]
[Site "chessdom.com INT"]
[Date "2018.04.14"]
[Round "95"]
[White "Stockfish 260318"]
[Black "Houdini 6.03"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C33"]
[PlyCount "144"]
[EventDate "2018.03.29"]
[EventType "match"]
[EventRounds "100"]

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nc3 Qh4+ 4. Ke2 g5 5. d4 Ne7 6. Nf3 Qh5 7. Kf2 d6 8. h4 g4 9. Ng1 Bg7 10. Nge2 Nbc6 11. Nxf4 g3+ 12. Kxg3 Qxd1 13. Nxd1 Nxd4 14. c3 Ne6 15. Nf2 Bd7 16. Nxe6 fxe6 17. Be2 Ng6 18. Kh3 Rf8 19. Nd3 Bc6 20. h5 Ne5 21. Nxe5 Bxe5 22. Bd3 Kd7 23. Be3 Bf4 24. Bf2 Rf7 25. Bh4 Raf8 26. Rhf1 Ke8 27. Bc4 Bd7 28. g3 Be5 29. Rxf7 Rxf7 30. Rf1 Ba4 31. Rxf7 Kxf7 32. Bd3 h6 33. g4 c5 34. b3 Bd7 35. c4 Bf4 36. Bf2 Kf6 37. Be1 b6 38. a3 Bc6 39. a4 e5 40. Bh4+ Bg5 41. Bf2 Bd7 42. Bg3 Ke7 43. Be1 Bc6 44. Kg3 Ke6 45. Kg2 Kf6 46. Bg3 Kg7 47. Kf3 Kf7 48. Bb1 Ke7 49. Bf2 Bd7 50. Bd3 Be6 51. Bg3 Kd7 52. Be1 Bf7 53. Be2 Ke6 54. Bf2 Kf6 55. Bg3 Be8 56. Be1 Bc6 57. Bf2 Ke7 58. Be1 Kd7 59. a5 Ke6 60. axb6 axb6 61. b4 Ke7 62. b5 Be8 63. Bc3 Bd7 64. Bd3 Kd8 65. Kg3 Bc8 66. Bf1 Ke8 67. Be1 Kd7 68. Bc3 Ke6 69. Bd3 Kf6 70. Be1 Kg7 71. Be2 Be6 72. Bf2 Kf6 1/2-1/2
  

blog inspired by Bronstein's book, but using my own games: http://200opengames.blogspot.co.uk/
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Re: C33: Is the Mason gambit playable?
Reply #73 - 09/30/13 at 19:52:02
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I've just been having a look at the Steinitz Gambit and I independently reached the same conclusion.  The immediate 10.a4 limits Black's options (e.g. 10...f5 is no longer as strong because of 11.a5).  I think 10...Bg7 is indeed best, with the idea 11.a5 Nge7, planning to castle kingside.  Thus White should play 11.Nd5, encouraging 11...0-0-0.  My analysis continued 12.a5 b5 13.Qe2 a6, shoring up the queenside, and threatening ...g5-g4, and Black is slightly better, but White has some attacking chances on the queenside with the idea of c2-c4.
  
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Re: is the Mason gambit playable?
Reply #72 - 06/26/13 at 14:01:18
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brabo wrote on 11/02/10 at 21:51:43:
TalJechin wrote on 10/30/10 at 22:54:47:
Yes 11...f5 is indeed strong.

Perhaps white's best chance is actually 11.a4!? at once, it would take too much time to get the king safer than it already is, so every tempo that can be used for counter play will be needed.

e.g: 11...f5 12.exf5 Qf7 13.Nc3 (13.c4 would be nice if it could be made to work..) 13...Qxf5 14.a5 b5 15.d5 h6 16.Qe2 Nb4 17.Nd4 Qf6 18.Ndxb5 a6 19. d6!? (19.Ne4 Qe5 20.Nbc3 Nge7 -/+) 19...axb5 20.dxc7 Kxc7 21.Be3! =

So, black should try 20...Qd6+ 21.Bd2 Qxc7 22.Qxb5 and I'd approximate it at White having compensation for the knight in the a-pawn, safer king(!) and better development...

Of course there are a numerous points were one side could probably improve, most often black - so I suppose the Mason gambit is best left for actual games and not analysis, as in a game you're not allowed to go back to earlier positions and start over. And as the game develops opportunities will arise...

As the game develops opportunties will arise, yes sure but I thought we try here to search for the truth. If you search for a playable position for OTB then almost anything is ok. Just have a look at the games of Magnus Carlsen and you will see that he often gets away with a lot of shaky opening experiments even against worldclass players in official games.

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. d4 Qh4+ 5. Ke2 b6 6. Qd2 Ba6+ 7. Kd1 Bxf1 8.Nf3 Qh5 9. Rxf1 g5 10. Nd5 O-O-O 11.a4!? (Interesting but I don't believe that this new move changes the evaluation.) f5 12.exf5 Qf7 13.Nc3 Qxf5 14.a5 b5 15.d5 b4 (15... h6 16.Qe2 Nb4 17.Nd4 Qg6! must also be better for black because now 18.Ndxb5 fails on Re8 which wasn't possible with 17... Qf6. Of course there is still 18.Qxb5 but the complications after c6 favour black. I find b4 more professional, not trying to win now but being satisfied with a nice endgameadvantage which arises after ...) 16.Qd3 Qxd3 17.cxd3 Ne7 and I estimate the chances 50/50 between draw and a black win.


I think the best move in the Steinitz gambit is 10.a4. Then 10...Bg7 11.Nd5. Does anyone know of any analysis on this line?
  
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Re: C33: Is the Mason gambit playable?
Reply #71 - 08/23/11 at 16:50:58
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http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1217111507/47
I don't have anything to add to the analysis of the Hamppe-Allgaier as while White may or may not have marginal improvements over Brabo's analysis, it's clear that White's compensation is probably insufficient for full equality in the 8...f3 line.  But it may not matter as 5.g3!? is currently getting favourable attention, even at Grandmaster level, via the Quaade Gambit (when 3.Nf3 g5 4.Nc3 Nc6 transposes).

Thus, another reason for preferring 3...Qh4+ 4.Ke2 Ne7! =+.
  
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Re: C33: Is the Mason gambit playable?
Reply #70 - 07/24/11 at 00:54:32
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I just wanted to bring this thread back up to the top. It has some amazing analysis that deserves to be read.

(I've also corrected the spelling in the first post, which should make future searches a bit easier.)
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #69 - 11/09/10 at 12:57:37
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SWJediknight wrote on 11/06/10 at 19:23:48:
Had another look through the Hamppe-Allgaier lines.  I think we can say that (3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 f3 9.gxf3 Be7 10.Be3 d6 11.Bf2 is refuted, so I've had a closer look at 11.Bc4+.  After 11...Kg7 I think 12.Bf2 isn't bad here, 12...Nf6 13.Qd2 Rf8 (or 13...Na5 14.Bd3 c5 15.0-0-0 cxd4 16.Ne2 Nc6 17.Nxd4, or 13...d5 14.exd5 Na5 15.Bd3 Nxd5 16.fxg4) 14.Be3 Ng8 15.0-0-0 Rxf3 16.Rdf1 and White has chances on the kingside in either case- the king is less safe on g7 than on e8 in these Bf2 lines.

After 11...Ke8, 12.Bf2 is refuted, and while MNb's 12.f4!? is interesting, it isn't altogether convincing.  So 12.h5 looks like a serious alternative, 12...Nf6 13.Qe2 gxf3 (13...Rf8 14.e5! dxe5 15.Qd3 Qd7 16.Qg6+ Kd8 17.Bxh6 with attacking chances, but not 14.f4?! Nxe4!) 14.Qxf3 Bg4 15.Qf4 Na5 16.Bd3 and now 16...Rg8 17.Qxh6, 16...Qd7 17.e5 dxe5 18.dxe5, and 16...Be6 17.d5.  But unlike with 11.0-0! against the immediate ...Be7, ...d6 approach, I can't promise definite equality for White in either case- just significant attacking chances which may or may not hold the balance.

As MNb mentioned earlier we also have 8/9.Bc4+ to consider, though I recall an earlier debate with MNb where we were unconvinced by the early bishop check.


1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. Nf3 g5 5. h4 g4 6. Ng5 h6 7. Nxf7 Kxf7 8. d4 f3 9.gxf3 Be7 10.Be3 (9.Be3 Be7 10.gxf3 is a simple transposition) d6 11.Bc4+

A) 11....Kg7 12.Bf2 Nf6 13.Qd2 d5 14.exd5 Na5 15.Bd3 Nxd5 (All this was already published by myself at 25th of October) 16.fxg4 Bb4 and I can't see sufficient compensation for the sacrificed piece

B) 11...Ke8 12.h5 Nf6 13.Qe2 Rf8 (gxf3 should also be good for a serious advantage for black) 14.e5 dxe5 15.Qd3 e4! 16.fxe4 Nb4 17.Qd2 g3! and the complications seem to be winning for black.

I believe in an OTB game you can get away with this but in a high level CC game I think you will suffer with white.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #68 - 11/08/10 at 17:13:46
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Agreed, Patzer. The fact that the name of the opening is wrong in the title of the thread will mislead searches for the Mason Gambit.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #67 - 11/08/10 at 07:12:39
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Could someone please correct the title of this thread?

As far as I know this opening is known as the "Mason gambit", Masion looks like a misspelling of "maison"  Grin
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #66 - 11/08/10 at 02:30:00
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Gambiteer wrote on 11/07/10 at 23:05:39:
After 8...f3 I prefer an immediate 9.Be3.  At worst, it's a transpositional device that leads back into the lines under discussion.

My notes say 9...Be7 which is likely to transpose indeed. I am curious what you'll bring up.
  

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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #65 - 11/07/10 at 23:05:39
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SWJediknight wrote on 11/06/10 at 19:23:48:
Had another look through the Hamppe-Allgaier lines.  I think we can say that (3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 f3 9.gxf3 Be7 10.Be3 d6 11.Bf2 is refuted, so I've had a closer look at 11.Bc4+.  After 11...Kg7 I think 12.Bf2 isn't bad here, 12...Nf6 13.Qd2 Rf8 (or 13...Na5 14.Bd3 c5 15.0-0-0 cxd4 16.Ne2 Nc6 17.Nxd4, or 13...d5 14.exd5 Na5 15.Bd3 Nxd5 16.fxg4) 14.Be3 Ng8 15.0-0-0 Rxf3 16.Rdf1 and White has chances on the kingside in either case- the king is less safe on g7 than on e8 in these Bf2 lines.

After 11...Ke8, 12.Bf2 is refuted, and while MNb's 12.f4!? is interesting, it isn't altogether convincing.  So 12.h5 looks like a serious alternative, 12...Nf6 13.Qe2 gxf3 (13...Rf8 14.e5! dxe5 15.Qd3 Qd7 16.Qg6+ Kd8 17.Bxh6 with attacking chances, but not 14.f4?! Nxe4!) 14.Qxf3 Bg4 15.Qf4 Na5 16.Bd3 and now 16...Rg8 17.Qxh6, 16...Qd7 17.e5 dxe5 18.dxe5, and 16...Be6 17.d5.  But unlike with 11.0-0! against the immediate ...Be7, ...d6 approach, I can't promise definite equality for White in either case- just significant attacking chances which may or may not hold the balance.


After 8...f3 I prefer an immediate 9.Be3.  At worst, it's a transpositional device that leads back into the lines under discussion.  At best, it encourages 9...fxg2 which I believe to be winning for white based on two correspondence games I played in 2009 (included below).  Having said that, 9...d5 and 9...Bb4 also deserve consideration but that's for a separate post...

I have much more to add to this discussion but before I do that I'm going to go back and try to organize all of the analysis posted thus far into PGN format, so that I can be sure that I've not overlooked an important contribution. 

[Event "?"]
[Site "Online Chess"]
[Date "2009.09.21"]
[Round "?"]
[White "R. Gates"]
[Black "mortzy"]
[Result "1-0"]
[PlyCount "71"]
[EventDate "2009.??.??"]
[TimeControl "1"]

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 g5 4. Nc3 d6 5. h4 g4 6. Ng5 h6 7. Nxf7 Kxf7 8. d4
f3 9. Be3 fxg2 10. Bxg2 Be7 11. O-O+ Kg7 12. e5 c6 13. Qe2 d5 (13... dxe5 14.
dxe5 Be6 15. Be4 Qc8 16. Rf4 h5 17. Raf1 Rh6 18. Qf2 Qe8 19. Bf5 Kh8 20. Bxe6
Rxe6 21. Rf7 Bf6 22. Rxf6 Nxf6 23. exf6 Qg6 24. Ne2 g3 25. Qf3 Qg4 26. Nf4 g2
27. Rf2 Qxf3 28. Rxf3 Rd6 29. Ng6+ Kh7 30. Nf8+ Kh8 31. Bc5 Rd1+ 32. Kxg2 Na6
33. Be7 Nc7 34. Rf5 Rd5 35. Ng6+ Kh7 36. Ne5 Ne6 37. Rxh5+ Kg8 38. Kf3 Rd1 39.
Kg4 Rf1 40. Rf5 Rg1+ 41. Kh5 Kh7 42. Nf3 Rh1 43. Ng5+ Nxg5 44. Rxg5 b6 45. c4
a5 46. Rf5 Rh8 47. f7 Kg7+ 48. Kg4 Rg1+ 49. Kh3 Rf8 50. Bxf8+ Kxf8 51. b3 {1-0
R. Gates-qazzaqy2k/Online Chess 2009}) 14. Nxd5 cxd5 15. c4 Rh7 16. cxd5 Bxh4
17. Be4 Rh8 18. Qh2 g3 19. Qh1 Bg5 20. Bxg5 Qxg5 21. Qf3 Nf6 22. exf6+ Kf7 23.
Rae1 Qh4 24. Re2 Re8 25. Bg6+ Kxg6 26. Qd3+ Re4 27. Qxe4+ Qxe4 28. Rxe4 Bh3 29.
f7 Nd7 30. Re8 Bxf1 31. Kxf1 Kxf7 32. Rxa8 a6 33. Ra7 Nf6 34. Rxb7+ Ke8 35. Rb6
Nxd5 36. Rxh6 1-0

Btw, I think this opening exposes the limitations of computers better than just about any other.  The primary game above is an especially nice example (if I do say so myself!)  The computer thinks white has gone mad after the second piece sacrifice but by that point black is nearly busted!


 
  

-Roy
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #64 - 11/06/10 at 19:23:48
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Had another look through the Hamppe-Allgaier lines.  I think we can say that (3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 f3 9.gxf3 Be7 10.Be3 d6 11.Bf2 is refuted, so I've had a closer look at 11.Bc4+.  After 11...Kg7 I think 12.Bf2 isn't bad here, 12...Nf6 13.Qd2 Rf8 (or 13...Na5 14.Bd3 c5 15.0-0-0 cxd4 16.Ne2 Nc6 17.Nxd4, or 13...d5 14.exd5 Na5 15.Bd3 Nxd5 16.fxg4) 14.Be3 Ng8 15.0-0-0 Rxf3 16.Rdf1 and White has chances on the kingside in either case- the king is less safe on g7 than on e8 in these Bf2 lines.

After 11...Ke8, 12.Bf2 is refuted, and while MNb's 12.f4!? is interesting, it isn't altogether convincing.  So 12.h5 looks like a serious alternative, 12...Nf6 13.Qe2 gxf3 (13...Rf8 14.e5! dxe5 15.Qd3 Qd7 16.Qg6+ Kd8 17.Bxh6 with attacking chances, but not 14.f4?! Nxe4!) 14.Qxf3 Bg4 15.Qf4 Na5 16.Bd3 and now 16...Rg8 17.Qxh6, 16...Qd7 17.e5 dxe5 18.dxe5, and 16...Be6 17.d5.  But unlike with 11.0-0! against the immediate ...Be7, ...d6 approach, I can't promise definite equality for White in either case- just significant attacking chances which may or may not hold the balance.

As MNb mentioned earlier we also have 8/9.Bc4+ to consider, though I recall an earlier debate with MNb where we were unconvinced by the early bishop check.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #63 - 11/03/10 at 11:13:35
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Quote:
I strongly recommend not to rely solely on Rybka.

Yes, Rybka does seem to have some failings of its own- e.g. the failure to recognise elementary king & rook's pawn vs king as a draw (whereas even Crafty and Fritz 5.32 recognise it as drawn straightaway) and I remember seeing a Rybka 3 analysis of Blackmar-Diemer Gambit lines where it saw "best play" as being the loss of a tempo with Bb5+, c6, Bc4.  The 2.3.2 version also doesn't seem to find forced mates as quickly as Fritz 10.

I'm not really a die-hard computer analyst (or for that matter a Mason or Vienna Gambit practicioner, the latter arising via transposition if Black plays 3...Nc6, though I do occasionally face these lines with Black)- this is really an academic interest in chaotic gambit lines, and I only really tend to update my commercial chess applications every few years or so.  I also think there are certain situations where no computer really handles "compensation for sacrificed material" correctly, so I don't always trust their assessments.

I think White could feasibly have a lot of fun with the Mason Gambit outside of correspondence play and high-level OTB play, judging by the chaotic nature of the resulting positions, but have serious doubts about its viability (other than as a surprise weapon) otherwise.   I think the same is probably true of the Vienna Gambit and associated Hamppe-Allgaier/4.d4 lines that were discussed earlier (I found no clear route to equality for White against your 8...f3 by the way), though I maintain the view that Black has to tread a narrower tightrope in those lines in order to hope for an advantage.
  
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Re: is the mason gambit playable?
Reply #62 - 11/02/10 at 22:14:26
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SWJediknight wrote on 11/02/10 at 21:04:55:
Just out of interest, I armed myself yesterday with the free version of Rybka (2.3.2a)- and like your version, it assesses the 3...Qh4+ 4.Ke2 Qe7 5.d3 Nf6 6.Bxf4 d5 7.Kd2 d4 lines I gave earlier as equal, and it finds resources for White that neither I, nor Fritz 10, could find.  It does assess 7...dxe4 as =+, but after 8.dxe4 Bd7 9.Qe1, with Rd1 and Kc1 to follow, chances are probably roughly equal.

So I think we've established that 4...Ne7 is indeed more critical.  After 5.Nf3 Qh5 6.d4 g5 7.Kf2 d6 8.h4, Black replies 8...g4 9.Ng1 g3+ 10.Ke1 Qxd1+ 11.Kxd1 Bh6 and, in view of the queen exchange, probably has an edge, though it's probably no worse for White than the 8.Bc4 lines (I can't fault your analysis of those).

I looked at 5.d4 as a possible alternative but Black simply continues ...Bg7 and ...d6 leaving White with nothing better than to transpose back to the above lines with Nf3.

I use Rybka 3 but don't believe this makes a big difference with Rybka 2.3. Rybka 4 has been released but reading the comments on this forum, I am not eager to buy it. Anyway I strongly recommend not to rely solely on Rybka. I always use 1 extra program because this is necessary to have a more balanced view of the position. Personally I find Fritz nicely complementary to Rybka. Further I also want to mention that Fritz 11 is really better than Fritz 10. Some people even use more additional programs to analyse but I think the benefit is too small compared with the loss of time and energy. As an experienced chessanalist I can say that method of analysing is as important as good equipment to achieve optimal results.

After analysing many lines of the Mason gambit, I think for practical play 3....Qh4+ combined with 4...Ne7 is likely the safest way to play for a black win. On theoretical grounds I can't really say for sure which one of the 2 options 3...Qh4+ followed up with 4...Ne7 or 3...Nc6 is the best try for refuting the Mason gambit. Even 3...Qh4+ followed up with 4...Qe7 isn't clear equalty for white which makes that Mason gambit adepts will likely only be able to use their petvariation as a surpriseweapon.

Just one last small comment. After 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Qh4+ 4.Ke2 Ne7 5.Nf3 Qh5 6.d4 g5 7.Kf2 d6 8.h4 g4 9.Ng1 f5 is another try for advantage for black which gives the position a much more flexible character than the static 9...g3+
  
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Re: is the Mason gambit playable?
Reply #61 - 11/02/10 at 21:51:43
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TalJechin wrote on 10/30/10 at 22:54:47:
Yes 11...f5 is indeed strong.

Perhaps white's best chance is actually 11.a4!? at once, it would take too much time to get the king safer than it already is, so every tempo that can be used for counter play will be needed.

e.g: 11...f5 12.exf5 Qf7 13.Nc3 (13.c4 would be nice if it could be made to work..) 13...Qxf5 14.a5 b5 15.d5 h6 16.Qe2 Nb4 17.Nd4 Qf6 18.Ndxb5 a6 19. d6!? (19.Ne4 Qe5 20.Nbc3 Nge7 -/+) 19...axb5 20.dxc7 Kxc7 21.Be3! =

So, black should try 20...Qd6+ 21.Bd2 Qxc7 22.Qxb5 and I'd approximate it at White having compensation for the knight in the a-pawn, safer king(!) and better development...

Of course there are a numerous points were one side could probably improve, most often black - so I suppose the Mason gambit is best left for actual games and not analysis, as in a game you're not allowed to go back to earlier positions and start over. And as the game develops opportunities will arise...

As the game develops opportunties will arise, yes sure but I thought we try here to search for the truth. If you search for a playable position for OTB then almost anything is ok. Just have a look at the games of Magnus Carlsen and you will see that he often gets away with a lot of shaky opening experiments even against worldclass players in official games.

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. d4 Qh4+ 5. Ke2 b6 6. Qd2 Ba6+ 7. Kd1 Bxf1 8.Nf3 Qh5 9. Rxf1 g5 10. Nd5 O-O-O 11.a4!? (Interesting but I don't believe that this new move changes the evaluation.) f5 12.exf5 Qf7 13.Nc3 Qxf5 14.a5 b5 15.d5 b4 (15... h6 16.Qe2 Nb4 17.Nd4 Qg6! must also be better for black because now 18.Ndxb5 fails on Re8 which wasn't possible with 17... Qf6. Of course there is still 18.Qxb5 but the complications after c6 favour black. I find b4 more professional, not trying to win now but being satisfied with a nice endgameadvantage which arises after ...) 16.Qd3 Qxd3 17.cxd3 Ne7 and I estimate the chances 50/50 between draw and a black win.
  
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Re: is the mason gambit playable?
Reply #60 - 11/02/10 at 21:04:55
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Just out of interest, I armed myself yesterday with the free version of Rybka (2.3.2a)- and like your version, it assesses the 3...Qh4+ 4.Ke2 Qe7 5.d3 Nf6 6.Bxf4 d5 7.Kd2 d4 lines I gave earlier as equal, and it finds resources for White that neither I, nor Fritz 10, could find.  It does assess 7...dxe4 as =+, but after 8.dxe4 Bd7 9.Qe1, with Rd1 and Kc1 to follow, chances are probably roughly equal.

So I think we've established that 4...Ne7 is indeed more critical.  After 5.Nf3 Qh5 6.d4 g5 7.Kf2 d6 8.h4, Black replies 8...g4 9.Ng1 g3+ 10.Ke1 Qxd1+ 11.Kxd1 Bh6 and, in view of the queen exchange, probably has an edge, though it's probably no worse for White than the 8.Bc4 lines (I can't fault your analysis of those).

I looked at 5.d4 as a possible alternative but Black simply continues ...Bg7 and ...d6 leaving White with nothing better than to transpose back to the above lines with Nf3.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #59 - 11/01/10 at 22:19:07
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SWJediknight wrote on 10/28/10 at 10:29:50:
Apologies for some typos in my previous post- I said "an alternative for Black is 9...g4 10.Ne1 Qh4+ 11.Ke1" etc, when I meant "8...g4 9.Ne1 Qh4+ 10.Kf1" etc. 

Looking over that pgn file, I give (7.Kf2 d6 8.Bc4 g4 9.Ne1 Qh4+) 10.Kf1 Bh6 11.Bxh6 fxg2+ 12.Kxg2 Qh3+ 13.Kg1 Qh6 with a tentative assessment of "unclear/=+" while Kireev-Krapivtsev (1/2-1/2, 48) continued 11.Nd3 f3 12.Nf4 Ng6, which I feel gives Black a larger, clearer advantage. 

I also think Lane's 8...Bg7 9.h4 may improve slightly on the 9.Ne2 of Kireev-Opryatkin (0-1, 65) though from the analysis I gave earlier (9...g4! 10.Ng5 0-0 (10...g3+ 11.Ke1 Qxd1+ 12.Kxd1 Bg4+ 12.Be2 h6 13.Bxg4 hxg5) 11.Bxf4 h6 12.Nxf7 Nbc6 or 11.Kg1 h6 12.Nh3 Bxd4+ 13.Qxd4 gxh3 14.Bxf4) I don't think that quite gives full compensation either, although I think these lines may work for White in rapid games.

Overall unless further improvements can be found for White I think 4...Ne7 is looking a better bet for advantage than 4...Qe7, especially as White has much fewer independent options against it.

You corrected some typos but made again some new ones. Concerning 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Qh4+ 4.Ke2 Ne7! (I didn't look at this move before but this looks very interesting and a bit better than Qe7 or d5. I am not going to say that this is theoretically better than 3... Nc6 but it must be a bit simpler way to achieve some advantage for black.) 5.Nf3 Qh5 6.d4 g5 7.Kf2 d6 8.Bc4 (Maybe here is a bit better 8.h4 but black must also then be better.)

A) 8...Bg7 9.h4 g4 10.Ng5 0-0 11. Ne2 (This looks a bit better than 11.Bxf4 and 11.Kg1 which are close to losing) h6!? (g3+ is also possible) 12.Nxf4 g3+ 13.Kxg3 Qxd1 14.Rxd1 hxg5 15.hxg5 and black must have the better chances but it is still a game.

B) 8...g4 (My favourite) 9.Ne1 Qh4+ 10.Kf1 Bh6 (Certainly not the only move for black but looks to me the most reasonable one.) 11.Nd3 f3 12.Nf4 (I prefer the known move over your attempt 12.Bxh6 fxg2+ 13.Kxg2 Qh3+ 14.Kg1 Qxh6 and i don't see how white can get anything against f7 which means that he is a pawn down with open king and a horrible rook on h1.) Ng6 (Not sure if this is really the best. Fxg2+, Kd8, Bxf4 are all decent tries for the advantage.) 13.g3 (A classical move in the kingsgambit and looks to me more interesting than the played 13.Nfd5) Qd8 14. Nh5 and again black probably still comes out on top but white isn't without counterplay. I am thinking of later h3 blowing up the pawns, playing on the boulevard c1-h6, ...
  
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Re: is the Mason gambit playable?
Reply #58 - 10/30/10 at 22:54:47
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brabo wrote on 10/30/10 at 19:13:39:
TalJechin wrote on 10/26/10 at 17:39:04:
Well, I wouldn't underestimate the human influence especially in KG-type positions. I've never played 3.Nc3 in a serious game, but if b6 is the worst black can do, I might give it a try sometime!

I just checked your line for 5 minutes, but the engine comes up with some interesting ideas in my opinion.


1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. d4 Qh4+ 5. Ke2 b6 6. Qd2 Ba6+ 7. Kd1 Bxf1 8.Nf3 Qh5 9. Rxf1 g5 10. Nd5 O-O-O 11. Qe2 Kb7

12. a4!? after all, White has already exchanged the defending bishop, so why not a "Left side Yugoslav attack"!?

(12. c3 f6 13. Kc2 Re8 14.a4 a5 15. Bd2 Qg6)

12... a5 13. c3

(13. Nxc7 Kxc7 14. Nxg5 Qxe2+ 15. Kxe2 f3+
16. gxf3 Nh6 17. c3  - is a remarkable idea from a machine, with only two pawns for the piece it still reckons the massive pawn centre is worth another half pawn. And it might be right...)

13... f6 14. b4 Qf7

(14... axb4 15. a5 Ra8 16. Nxc7!)

15.Qc4  (or 15. h4 h6 16. Qc4) - seem okay for white according to the engine (around -0.20)

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. d4 Qh4+ 5. Ke2 b6 6. Qd2 Ba6+ 7. Kd1 Bxf1 8.Nf3 Qh5 9. Rxf1 g5 10. Nd5 O-O-O 11. Qe2 f5! (This is clearly better than my initial very superficial analysis. Although after 11...Kb7 12.a4 a6! is likely a small improvement on your analysis) 12.a4 (One of the many choices) fxe4 13.Qxe4 Nge7 (a5 is another way for advantage but I prefer this one which is very direct and makes clear that whites king in the center is a liability.) 14.a5 Qg6! This neutralises whites attack while keeping the extra pawn so black must be clearly better.


Yes 11...f5 is indeed strong.

Perhaps white's best chance is actually 11.a4!? at once, it would take too much time to get the king safer than it already is, so every tempo that can be used for counter play will be needed.

e.g: 11...f5 12.exf5 Qf7 13.Nc3 (13.c4 would be nice if it could be made to work..) 13...Qxf5 14.a5 b5 15.d5 h6 16.Qe2 Nb4 17.Nd4 Qf6 18.Ndxb5 a6 19. d6!? (19.Ne4 Qe5 20.Nbc3 Nge7 -/+) 19...axb5 20.dxc7 Kxc7 21.Be3! =

So, black should try 20...Qd6+ 21.Bd2 Qxc7 22.Qxb5 and I'd approximate it at White having compensation for the knight in the a-pawn, safer king(!) and better development...

Of course there are a numerous points were one side could probably improve, most often black - so I suppose the Mason gambit is best left for actual games and not analysis, as in a game you're not allowed to go back to earlier positions and start over. And as the game develops opportunities will arise...
  
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Re: is the Mason gambit playable?
Reply #57 - 10/30/10 at 19:13:39
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TalJechin wrote on 10/26/10 at 17:39:04:
Well, I wouldn't underestimate the human influence especially in KG-type positions. I've never played 3.Nc3 in a serious game, but if b6 is the worst black can do, I might give it a try sometime!

I just checked your line for 5 minutes, but the engine comes up with some interesting ideas in my opinion.


1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. d4 Qh4+ 5. Ke2 b6 6. Qd2 Ba6+ 7. Kd1 Bxf1 8.Nf3 Qh5 9. Rxf1 g5 10. Nd5 O-O-O 11. Qe2 Kb7

12. a4!? after all, White has already exchanged the defending bishop, so why not a "Left side Yugoslav attack"!?

(12. c3 f6 13. Kc2 Re8 14.a4 a5 15. Bd2 Qg6)

12... a5 13. c3

(13. Nxc7 Kxc7 14. Nxg5 Qxe2+ 15. Kxe2 f3+
16. gxf3 Nh6 17. c3  - is a remarkable idea from a machine, with only two pawns for the piece it still reckons the massive pawn centre is worth another half pawn. And it might be right...)

13... f6 14. b4 Qf7

(14... axb4 15. a5 Ra8 16. Nxc7!)

15.Qc4  (or 15. h4 h6 16. Qc4) - seem okay for white according to the engine (around -0.20)

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. d4 Qh4+ 5. Ke2 b6 6. Qd2 Ba6+ 7. Kd1 Bxf1 8.Nf3 Qh5 9. Rxf1 g5 10. Nd5 O-O-O 11. Qe2 f5! (This is clearly better than my initial very superficial analysis. Although after 11...Kb7 12.a4 a6! is likely a small improvement on your analysis) 12.a4 (One of the many choices) fxe4 13.Qxe4 Nge7 (a5 is another way for advantage but I prefer this one which is very direct and makes clear that whites king in the center is a liability.) 14.a5 Qg6! This neutralises whites attack while keeping the extra pawn so black must be clearly better.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #56 - 10/28/10 at 10:29:50
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Apologies for some typos in my previous post- I said "an alternative for Black is 9...g4 10.Ne1 Qh4+ 11.Ke1" etc, when I meant "8...g4 9.Ne1 Qh4+ 10.Kf1" etc. 

Looking over that pgn file, I give (7.Kf2 d6 8.Bc4 g4 9.Ne1 Qh4+) 10.Kf1 Bh6 11.Bxh6 fxg2+ 12.Kxg2 Qh3+ 13.Kg1 Qh6 with a tentative assessment of "unclear/=+" while Kireev-Krapivtsev (1/2-1/2, 48) continued 11.Nd3 f3 12.Nf4 Ng6, which I feel gives Black a larger, clearer advantage. 

I also think Lane's 8...Bg7 9.h4 may improve slightly on the 9.Ne2 of Kireev-Opryatkin (0-1, 65) though from the analysis I gave earlier (9...g4! 10.Ng5 0-0 (10...g3+ 11.Ke1 Qxd1+ 12.Kxd1 Bg4+ 12.Be2 h6 13.Bxg4 hxg5) 11.Bxf4 h6 12.Nxf7 Nbc6 or 11.Kg1 h6 12.Nh3 Bxd4+ 13.Qxd4 gxh3 14.Bxf4) I don't think that quite gives full compensation either, although I think these lines may work for White in rapid games.

Overall unless further improvements can be found for White I think 4...Ne7 is looking a better bet for advantage than 4...Qe7, especially as White has much fewer independent options against it.
  
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Re: is the Mason gambit playable?
Reply #55 - 10/28/10 at 10:04:28
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Well, that 7.g4 is an interesting approach, but White will probably never get to full compensation. 7...fxg3 8.Kg1 might be a slight improvement, with good compensation unless Black finds 8...g2! 9.Bxg2 g4 10.Se1 when it's not so fun with the rook buried on h1.

So, in blitz I'd probably prefer 8.Kg2 g4 9.Ne1 gxh2 10.Rxh2 and at least white has active pieces...
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #54 - 10/28/10 at 07:22:55
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@Taljechin
Quote:
I did a search of my KG-database, and there seems to be two ideas for white, either 4...Ne7 5.Nf3 Qh5 6.Kf2 g5 7.g4 - which goes back to a corr game from 1931. Or 6.d4 g5 7.Kf2 d6 8.Bc4 where white has achieved a 50% score in three games.


Thx for posting the games (especially the 1931/1932 one)!

I must admit I am not entirely convinced.
In the line 4...Ne7 5.Nf3,Qh5 6.Kf2,g5 7.g4
(with favourable complications for white says the annotation)
But the game in question does not represent Black's toughest challenge:
7....fxg3+ 8.Kg2, g4 (8...gxh2+ and I doubt if White has enough compensation for two pawns) 9.Ng1, d5?!
(again 9...gxh2+ 10.Rxh2,Qg6 looks natural and strong to me)

In the other line 6.d4,g5 7.Kf2 White scored 50%, but a closer look reveals that Black was much better all three in the opening fase in all three games and missed some opportunities to increase his advantage.
  
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Re: is the Mason gambit playable?
Reply #53 - 10/26/10 at 18:21:09
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SWJediknight wrote on 10/26/10 at 17:10:10:
Brabo posted the following earlier:
Quote:
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Qh4+ 4.Ke2 Qe7 5.d3! Nf6 6.Bxf4 d5 7.Kd2! d4 8.Nd5 Nxd5 9.exd5 g5 10.Qh5 Qb4+ 11.Kd1 Qxb2 12.Rc1 which you give as better black, is conform Rybka equal.


Fritz 10 suggests 12...Bg7 13.Qe2+ (else 13...0-0) 13...Kf8 14.Bxc7 Nd7 15.Bd6+ Kg8 16.Nf3 (or 16.Qe8+ Nf8 17.Nf3 Qxa2) 16...Nf6 17.Bc5 Bd7 (17...Qxa2 18.c4 Qa4+ 19.Qc2 =), and assesses the positions as -/+.  I think the real truth probably lies in between what Fritz and Rybka say- messy but probably slightly advantageous to Black.

Rybka still claims in all variations equalty for white. I have even the feeling that whites play can be improved on several points but I am not going to search for eventual improvements because I don't consider Qe7 as the most critical test and futher I don't like 7...d4 and 9...g5
  
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Re: is the Mason gambit playable?
Reply #52 - 10/26/10 at 17:39:04
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brabo wrote on 10/26/10 at 16:56:05:
TalJechin wrote on 10/26/10 at 14:36:58:
I have only joined stuff from my database, so maybe it won't stand up to Brabo's computer's lines, we may soon see...

As for the main discussion, it seems much more in the spirit of the Mason to answer 3...Nc6 with 4.d4 so that White will remain in the kind of position he chose from the start.

Brabo's b6 line could perhaps be met by Tim Nagely's Qd2!? see the last game in the pgn I've attached.

At your service.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.d4 Qh4+ 5.Ke2 b6 6.Qd2 Ba6+ 7.Kd1 Bxf1 8.Nf3 Qh5 9.Rxf1 g5 10.Nd5 0-0-0 11.Qe2 Kb7 (Only here I divert from the cc game) 12.c3 f6 13.Kc2 Re8 14.a4 a5 15.Bd2 Qg6 with insufficient compensation for the sacrificed pawn.

In general I use the rule that before the Rybka area, one needs to be very critical to games and analysis. This also counts for my own cc-games (played between 1998 - 2004) in which Rybka today can often find an amelioration.


Well, I wouldn't underestimate the human influence especially in KG-type positions. I've never played 3.Nc3 in a serious game, but if b6 is the worst black can do, I might give it a try sometime!

I just checked your line for 5 minutes, but the engine comes up with some interesting ideas in my opinion.


1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. d4 Qh4+ 5. Ke2 b6 6. Qd2 Ba6+ 7. Kd1 Bxf1 8.Nf3 Qh5 9. Rxf1 g5 10. Nd5 O-O-O 11. Qe2 Kb7

12. a4!? after all, White has already exchanged the defending bishop, so why not a "Left side Yugoslav attack"!?

(12. c3 f6 13. Kc2 Re8 14.a4 a5 15. Bd2 Qg6)

12... a5 13. c3

(13. Nxc7 Kxc7 14. Nxg5 Qxe2+ 15. Kxe2 f3+
16. gxf3 Nh6 17. c3  - is a remarkable idea from a machine, with only two pawns for the piece it still reckons the massive pawn centre is worth another half pawn. And it might be right...)

13... f6 14. b4 Qf7

(14... axb4 15. a5 Ra8 16. Nxc7!)

15.Qc4  (or 15. h4 h6 16. Qc4) - seem okay for white according to the engine (around -0.20)
  
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Re: is the Mason gambit playable?
Reply #51 - 10/26/10 at 17:10:10
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TalJechin wrote on 10/26/10 at 14:36:58:
As for the main discussion, it seems much more in the spirit of the Mason to answer 3...Nc6 with 4.d4 so that White will remain in the kind of position he chose from the start.

Brabo's b6 line could perhaps be met by Tim Nagely's Qd2!? see the last game in the pgn I've attached.

I agree that 4.d4 is by far the more consistent approach after choosing 3.Nc3, and probably objectively no worse than the Hamppe-Allgaier approach- maybe the H-A-G analysis would be best continued in a separate thread? 

The direct link to Gary Lane's article is here:
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/lane138.pdf
...and it's where I first stumbled upon 4...Ne7!?.  Gary Lane's suggested line can be reached via transposition after 5.Nf3 Qh5 6.d4 g5 7.Kf2 d6 8.Bc4 Bg7 9.h4.  I think Black probably comes out on top in the complications following 9...g4! 10.Ng5 0-0 (10...g3+ 11.Ke1 Qxd1+ 12.Kxd1 Bg4+ 12.Be2 h6 13.Bxg4 hxg5) 11.Bxf4 h6 12.Nxf7 Nbc6 or 11.Kg1 h6 12.Nh3 Bxd4+ 13.Qxd4 gxh3 14.Bxf4, though the resulting positions are very messy in all cases.

An alternative for Black is 9...g4 10.Ne1 Qh4+ 11.Ke1 Bh6 12.Bxh6 fxg2+ 13.Kxg2 Qh3+ 14.Kg1 Qh6, with the same result- very messy, but perhaps slightly advantageous for Black.  Meanwhile, I can't find any improvements for Black before move 9.

So I'm afraid I can't see a way for White to prove full compensation, but on the other hand, White does get the desired messy positions, attacking chances and at worst just a small theoretical disadvantage.

Brabo posted the following earlier:
Quote:
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Qh4+ 4.Ke2 Qe7 5.d3! Nf6 6.Bxf4 d5 7.Kd2! d4 8.Nd5 Nxd5 9.exd5 g5 10.Qh5 Qb4+ 11.Kd1 Qxb2 12.Rc1 which you give as better black, is conform Rybka equal.


Fritz 10 suggests 12...Bg7 13.Qe2+ (else 13...0-0) 13...Kf8 14.Bxc7 Nd7 15.Bd6+ Kg8 16.Nf3 (or 16.Qe8+ Nf8 17.Nf3 Qxa2) 16...Nf6 17.Bc5 Bd7 (17...Qxa2 18.c4 Qa4+ 19.Qc2 =), and assesses the positions as -/+.  I think the real truth probably lies in between what Fritz and Rybka say- messy but probably slightly advantageous to Black.
  
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Re: is the Mason gambit playable?
Reply #50 - 10/26/10 at 16:56:05
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TalJechin wrote on 10/26/10 at 14:36:58:
I have only joined stuff from my database, so maybe it won't stand up to Brabo's computer's lines, we may soon see...

As for the main discussion, it seems much more in the spirit of the Mason to answer 3...Nc6 with 4.d4 so that White will remain in the kind of position he chose from the start.

Brabo's b6 line could perhaps be met by Tim Nagely's Qd2!? see the last game in the pgn I've attached.

At your service.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.d4 Qh4+ 5.Ke2 b6 6.Qd2 Ba6+ 7.Kd1 Bxf1 8.Nf3 Qh5 9.Rxf1 g5 10.Nd5 0-0-0 11.Qe2 Kb7 (Only here I divert from the cc game) 12.c3 f6 13.Kc2 Re8 14.a4 a5 15.Bd2 Qg6 with insufficient compensation for the sacrificed pawn.

In general I use the rule that before the Rybka area, one needs to be very critical to games and analysis. This also counts for my own cc-games (played between 1998 - 2004) in which Rybka today can often find an amelioration.
  
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Re: is the Mason gambit playable?
Reply #49 - 10/26/10 at 14:36:58
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Hadron wrote on 10/26/10 at 11:12:30:
Seen this thread has screamed off at a tangent, I will actually answer the (orginal) question..
<Is the Mason Gambit playable?>
Any opening is playable, depends what you play, who against and in what circumstance...after all this is how the likes of Lev and Brian Wall win with their contrived nonsense...any crap is worth a try at blitz.
If on the other hand you want to know if it is sound, the answer is no.
I played an email game recently where I was greeted with 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Qh4+ 4.Ke2 Ne7!? and this unassuming inbetween move that rather kills the Mason. I could only find 9 games with this move, 8 won by Black. I even wrote to GM Lane (check out: http://www.chesscafe.com/archives/archives.htm and the June 2010 Archive which will save me repeating the whole sorry story here) who was not a great deal of help...
If you have any idea.....would be good to know.
Thanks
HTH
Grin


I did a search of my KG-database, and there seems to be two ideas for white, either 5.Nf3 Qh5 6.Kf2 g5 7.g4 - which goes back to a corr game from 1931. Or 6.d4 g5 7.Kf2 d6 8.Bc4 where white has achieved a 50% score in three games.

I have only joined stuff from my database, so maybe it won't stand up to Brabo's computer's lines, we may soon see...

As for the main discussion, it seems much more in the spirit of the Mason to answer 3...Nc6 with 4.d4 so that White will remain in the kind of position he chose from the start.

Brabo's b6 line could perhaps be met by Tim Nagely's Qd2!? see the last game in the pgn I've attached.
« Last Edit: 10/26/10 at 16:12:20 by TalJechin »  

MasonKeresGambit4_Ne7.pgn ( 7 KB | Downloads )
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #48 - 10/26/10 at 11:12:30
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Seen this thread has screamed off at a tangent, I will actually answer the (orginal) question..
<Is the Mason Gambit playable?>
Any opening is playable, depends what you play, who against and in what circumstance...after all this is how the likes of Lev and Brian Wall win with their contrived nonsense...any crap is worth a try at blitz.
If on the other hand you want to know if it is sound, the answer is no.
I played an email game recently where I was greeted with 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Qh4+ 4.Ke2 Ne7!? and this unassuming inbetween move that rather kills the Mason. I could only find 9 games with this move, 8 won by Black. I even wrote to GM Lane (check out: http://www.chesscafe.com/archives/archives.htm and the June 2010 Archive which will save me repeating the whole sorry story here) who was not a great deal of help...
If you have any idea.....would be good to know.
Thanks
HTH
Grin
  

I'm reminded again of something Short wrote recently, approximately "The biggest fallacy in chess is the quasi-religious belief in the primacy of the opening."
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #47 - 10/25/10 at 23:44:24
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My latest check-up on the lines suggests that either the whole 8...f3 line is indeed better for Black, or that 11.Bf2 isn't White's best.  I'll have a look at possible 10th/11th move tries later including MNb's ideas and Brabo's replies when I have time, but for now, a summary of why I no longer trust 11.Bf2.

Fritz 10 still gives 12.Bg2 Qg8 13.Qe2 Ke8 14.0-0-0 Kd8 as equal, but it looks to me like a classic case of a computer mis-assessing the position; White has central control but I can't see what White can do with it.  Fritz also gives 12.Be2 as close to equal but I think it has a similar objection; the bishop isn't well-placed there.

12.Bc4+ is insufficient after 12...Ke8, as none of White's alternatives to 13.f4 work (13.Qe2 gxf3 14.Qxf3 Bg4 15.Qf4 Qd7!).  In the main line 16...Bf5!, as correctly given, is initially underestimated by Fritz but looks convincing, e.g. 17.Qe2 should be met by 17...Kf8 and if 18.Be6 Bxe6 19.Qxe6 then simply 19...Qc8.  Also 12.Rg1 h5, e.g. 13.Qd2 Ke8 14.Bc4 Nd7 renewing the threat of ...Bxh4+, doesn't quite work for White.   12.Qe2 seems to be best met by the irritating 12...Nb4 rather than the immediate 12...gxf3 13.Qxf3 Bg4 14.Qf4 followed by 15.Bb5 or 15.Bc4+ which gives White compensation.  The idea of ...Nb4 is to prevent ...gxf3 from being easily met by Qxf3 and I think Black ends up with the edge here as well.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #46 - 10/25/10 at 19:24:41
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Txh SWJediKnight,
Quote:
14.Qd3! (14.Nxe4?! d5 15.Qe2 dxe4 16.Qxe4 Qd6 with advantage for Black) 14...d5   15.Bxd5 (15.Nxd5?! Nxf2 -/+) 15...Nd6 16.0-0-0 and White retains attacking chances against the exposed king, e.g. 16...h5 17.Bxc6+ bxc6 18.d5 Kf7 (18...cxd5?! 19.Qg6+ Kf8 20.Nxd5 with excellent compensation) 19.dxc6, with two pawns and an attack for the piece.

My idea is
14.Qd3,d5 15.Bxd5,Nd6 16.0-0-0,
untill our analysis runs parallel
but now not 16.....h5 but 16....Bf5!
and black has solved two of his three problems
a) The massive white centre is not so massive any more.
b) Finally Black gets his pieces out.


  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #45 - 10/25/10 at 19:00:43
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SWJediknight wrote on 10/24/10 at 13:20:26:
The reason why the bishop might be better placed on f2 than on e3 is that it prevents ...Bxh4+.  After 11.Bf2 Nf6, I agree that the bishop looks misplaced on g2- after 12.Bg2 Qg8 13.Qe2 g3 14.Be3 Kg7 15.0-0-0 is given as equal by Fritz- why, I'm not sure, because that bishop on g2 is a bit of an embarrassment.

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 f3! 9.gxf3 Be7 10.Be3 d6 11.Bf2 Nf6 12.Bg2 Qg8 13.Qe2 Ke8! It seems you didn't grasp my Qg8 idea which is a Loyd Turton. This terms comes from the problem world. I've been a  trained solver and composer in the past of chessproblems and studies. I let you look it up on wikipedia for what it stands.

Quote:
But it may not matter anyway, for 12.Bc4+ doesn't look bad for White to me, e.g. 12...Ke8 13.f4 (13.Nd5 Na5! leaves Black better, e.g. 14.Bd3 Nxd5 15.exd5 c6 16.dxc6 Qb6+) 13...Na5 14.Be2 Rg8 15.Qd3 with good compensation, e.g. 15...d5 16.e5 Ne4 (16...Nd7? 17.Qh7!) 17.Nxe4 dxe4 18.Qxe4, or simply 16...Nc6 17.0-0-0.

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 f3! 9.gxf3 Be7 10.Be3 d6 11.Bf2 Nf6 12.Bc4+ Ke8 13.f4 Nxe4 (Already indicated by micawber. Also indicated immediately by Fritz 11 and Rybka so unless I miss something very simple, time to upgrade Fritz 10.) 14.Qd3 d5 15.Bxd5 Nd6 16.0-0-0 Kf8 or Bf5 both with advantage for black.

Quote:
Or 12...Kg7 13.Qd2 Rf8 14.Be3 (the bishop now belongs on this square as there is no ...Bxh4+ threat) 14...Ng8 15.0-0-0, for 15...Rxf3 is risky on account of 16.Rdf1 (e.g. 16...Rxf1+ 17.Rxf1 Bf6 and White has a powerful attack for the piece).  I think at the very least White is very close to full compensation following 11.Bf2 and 12.Bc4+.


1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 f3! 9.gxf3 Be7 10.Be3 d6 11.Bf2 Nf6 12.Bc4+ Kg7 13.Qd2 d5!? (Rf8, Rh7 are interesting alternatives to play for an advantage but today my preference goes to d5.) 14.exd5 Na5 15.Bd3 Nxd5 16.0-0-0 Bb4 and in this razorsharp position black seems to have the better from the complications.
« Last Edit: 10/25/10 at 21:35:17 by brabo »  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #44 - 10/25/10 at 18:08:11
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14.Qd3! (14.Nxe4?! d5 15.Qe2 dxe4 16.Qxe4 Qd6 with advantage for Black) 14...d5 (14...Bf5 15.Nxe4 d5 16.Nf6+ Bxf6 17.Qxf5 dxc4 18.0-0-0 with a continuing attack, e.g. 18...Qd6 19.Rhe1+ Kf7 20.d5 Ne7 21.Qh5+ Kf8 22.Qxg4 and the threat of Re6 encourages Black to take the perpetual following 22...Bxb2+).  15.Bxd5 (15.Nxd5?! Nxf2 -/+) 15...Nd6 16.0-0-0 and White retains attacking chances against the exposed king, e.g. 16...h5 17.Bxc6+ bxc6 18.d5 Kf7 (18...cxd5?! 19.Qg6+ Kf8 20.Nxd5 with excellent compensation) 19.dxc6, with two pawns and an attack for the piece.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #43 - 10/25/10 at 08:47:59
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Quote:
But it may not matter anyway, for 12.Bc4+ doesn't look bad for White to me, e.g. 12...Ke8 13.f4,Na5


But what if Black plays 13...Nxe4 (14.Nxe4,d5) which seems to make an inroad on White's compensation....

  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #42 - 10/24/10 at 13:20:26
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brabo wrote on 10/20/10 at 16:33:50:
Unbelievable, only 2 hours after my post you come up with not less than 6 different improvements. However looking at the depth of the analysis, not more than 1 move, I wonder how serious this all is.
Your claim that things are unclear already confess that not enough time has been put in the reply.

Whites alternatives 13.Nd5, 13.Rf1, Rg1 and 13.Kc1 in the 11...Ke8 line can all be answered by Qd7. The idea is clever : Kd8 followed up in some cases by Qe8. Black later can bring the king completely in safety by developing the bishop from c8 and putting the king on c8. The compensation for the piece minus will be tough to prove on the long term.

13.Kc1 in the line 11...Kg7 can be answered by a6 creating counterplay on the queenside. The fact that the a1 rook is locked up, makes the situation look grim for white.

Finally your last idea 11.Bf2 in the 11...Kg7 line is interesting but too slow. After 11.Bf2 Nf6 12.Bg2 can't be the solution. The bishop is really misplaced on that square. One possible continuation from Rybka that I like, is Qg8 benefiting of no more Bc4.

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Qh4+ 4.Ke2 Qe7 5.d3! Nf6 6.Bxf4 d5 7.Kd2! d4 8.Nd5 Nxd5 9.exd5 g5 10.Qh5 Qb4+ 11.Kd1 Qxb2 12.Rc1 which you give as better black, is conform Rybka equal.


I think some of the above is a bit harsh- sometimes "unclear" can be a lazy assessment but it can sometimes be difficult to do much better, and I have limited time to go through all of the variations.  There are numerous alternatives for both sides at each move.

The reason why the bishop might be better placed on f2 than on e3 is that it prevents ...Bxh4+.  After 11.Bf2 Nf6, I agree that the bishop looks misplaced on g2- after 12.Bg2 Qg8 13.Qe2 g3 14.Be3 Kg7 15.0-0-0 is given as equal by Fritz- why, I'm not sure, because that bishop on g2 is a bit of an embarrassment.

But it may not matter anyway, for 12.Bc4+ doesn't look bad for White to me, e.g. 12...Ke8 13.f4 (13.Nd5 Na5! leaves Black better, e.g. 14.Bd3 Nxd5 15.exd5 c6 16.dxc6 Qb6+) 13...Na5 14.Be2 Rg8 15.Qd3 with good compensation, e.g. 15...d5 16.e5 Ne4 (16...Nd7? 17.Qh7!) 17.Nxe4 dxe4 18.Qxe4, or simply 16...Nc6 17.0-0-0.

Or 12...Kg7 13.Qd2 Rf8 14.Be3 (the bishop now belongs on this square as there is no ...Bxh4+ threat) 14...Ng8 15.0-0-0, for 15...Rxf3 is risky on account of 16.Rdf1 (e.g. 16...Rxf1+ 17.Rxf1 Bf6 and White has a powerful attack for the piece).  I think at the very least White is very close to full compensation following 11.Bf2 and 12.Bc4+.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #41 - 10/22/10 at 09:59:43
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MNb wrote on 10/22/10 at 00:03:34:
When playing a corr. game or investigating an opening seriously I work methodically as well. Knowing my limitations I take a lot more time for checking and rechecking than I do now.
This thread is just a silly pastime for me. Later (and that might take more than a year) I will look systematically at this. That includes the questions if White has to play 9.Bc4+ at once and if Black has better than 9...d5 in that case..

I've played 6 years correspondence but gave it up in 2004 because to play on the level that I wanted (my careerrecord ended at + 16, = 4, -0 with several victories against + 2400 players) , requests full dedication and I concluded that I was missing too many other things due to correspondence. Correspondence was also damaging my OTB chess. Only after I stopped or at the end when few work was needed in the remaining cc games, I was able to prepare properly for OTB and develop my general understanding of chess. This forum is a relaxed form for me to do some analytical work without the need to have it perfect from the first time as is needed in correspondence and without the pressure of having to reply within a certain timeframe. Also a strong point of this forum compared with correspondence is the interaction. Maybe you have different experiences but I never had any sharing of ideas and analysis with opponents after a game. In general my enthousiasm has cooled down with correspondence.

Concering Bc4+. Personally I think white should wait with it so blacks king stays on the weak f7 spot. However I doubt this can be done successfully without creating other disadvantages.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #40 - 10/22/10 at 00:03:34
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Good work, my compliment.
brabo wrote on 10/21/10 at 21:07:31:
Contrary to you, I work very methodically.
Important modification: contrary to me in this thread. When playing a corr. game or investigating an opening seriously I work methodically as well. Knowing my limitations I take a lot more time for checking and rechecking than I do now.
This thread is just a silly pastime for me. Later (and that might take more than a year) I will look systematically at this. That includes the questions if White has to play 9.Bc4+ at once and if Black has better than 9...d5 in that case.

brabo wrote on 10/21/10 at 21:07:31:
The game Babula-Votruba, Cihak 1969 is starting with 8.Bc4+ which isnt' the same as what we are discussing here. Pollock-Gossip, Montreal 1894 concerns a completely different opening so not sure why you bring that game up.
Well, I noted that in some lines you do follow up with d6-d5 later. So I thought it might be handy to compare the two lines to get ideas and to check if there are transpositions. When I have time and when I feel like I will do it myself.

brabo wrote on 10/21/10 at 21:07:31:
Gallagher-Hresc, Geneve 1991 also has no direct link to my analysis because I don't sacrifice with d5.
It has no link. I just liked to mention which line troubled (past tense; it has been quite a while ago when I went over the Hamppe-Allgaier) me most. That might come in handy when in the end you appear not satisfied with the ...d6 and ...Be7 idea after all.
Just trying to be helpful; sorry for mentioning if it is not appreciated. You're welcome if it is.
Alas I have other, more serious things to do. Thanks for providing me with some fun.
  

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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #39 - 10/21/10 at 21:07:31
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MNb wrote on 10/20/10 at 00:17:58:
At the other hand - why not resist the temptation of that check on c4 once again? 11.Kd2 and only after Bxh4 12.Bc4+ and 13.Qg1.

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 f3! 9.gxf3 Be7 10.Be3 d6 11.Kd2 Nf6 of course and you tell me if white has something else than returning to my earlier mentioned variations with Bc4+.

Quote:
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 f3! 9.gxf3 Be7 10.Be3 d6 11.Bc4+ Kg7 I propose 12.Qe2 and only after Bxh4+ (which you want to avoid) 13.Kd2. After eg Bf6 14.Qf2 Na5 15.Bd3 c5 16.Nd5 cxd4 17.Bf4 White completes his/her development by directing all pieces to the King's Wing. 16...Bxd4 17.Bxd4 cxd4 18.Raf1 shows the same idea.

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 f3! 9.gxf3 Be7 10.Be3 d6 11.Bc4+ Kg7 12.Qe2 Bxh4+ (Here it is ok because white would otherwise get too easy 0-0-0 and white also doesn't have the often very annoying Qg1 here) 13. Kd2 Bf6 14.Qf2 Na5 15. Bd3 c5 16.Nd5 cxd4 (Probably the best although I doubt that white can equalise either after Bxd4. Black is afterall a piece up which is a lot.) 17.Bf4 Nc6 (Using the free black squares) 18. Raf1 Ne5 19.fxg4 Be6 20.Kc1 Nxd3+ 21.cxd3 Bxd5 22.exd5 and after these massive exchanges blacks extra piece is likely to be decisive.)

Quote:
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 f3! 9.gxf3 Be7 10.Be3 d6 11.Bc4+ Ke8 The same here. White does not need to play Kd2 voluntarily. I'd prefer 12.f4 Bxh4+ 13.Kd2 Bf6 14.Qg1 Nge7 15.Re1. After 12...Na5 13.Bd3 c5 Rybka suggests 14.Bf2 (after other moves ...Bxh4+ seems annoying). The idea is to complete development by castling queenside and prepare a central break. Then Black's King will be unsafe.

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 f3! 9.gxf3 Be7 10.Be3 d6 11.Bc4+ Ke8 12.f4!? (Interesting but a bit slow and it also closes at least temporarily the f and g files which are often necessary for finding the compensation) Bxh4+ (Probably the best now that the Qg1 idea isn't so menacing anymore) 13.Kd2 Bf6 14.Qg1 Na5 (There are other ideas e.g. with Nge7 but I prefer this idea because now black gets nice counterplay) 15.Bd3 c5! (A strong pawnsacrifice to put whites king in open air too. Black can permit it. He is afterall having a piece more.) 16.dxc5 dxc5 17.Bxc5 b6 18.Bf2 Bxc3 19.bxc3 and whites e and f pawns are looking thin as compensation for the piece.

Quote:
Anyhow, I recommend to play through the game Babula-Votruba, Cihak 1969. White had fair chances, even though Black had more or less won a tempo via 9.Bc4+ d5 10.Bxd5. There is also the golden oldie Pollock-Gossip, Montreal 1894, where White can improve with 16.Be4.

To be honest, it was the game Gallagher-Hresc, Geneve 1991 that troubled me most.

Contrary to you, I work very methodically. Not only I review all reference games of the latest megabase but I also take a look at the latest downloads from twic, the megacorrespondence database and finally the latest downloads from iccf. I can tell you that I found 6 games with the f3 idea of which none was of much theoretical importance. In fact the whole variation is still in a very early theoretical stadium. The game Babula-Votruba, Cihak 1969 is starting with 8.Bc4+ which isnt' the same as what we are discussing here. Pollock-Gossip, Montreal 1894 concerns a completely different opening so not sure why you bring that game up unless in my database the game is wrongly published. Gallagher-Hresc, Geneve 1991 also has no direct link to my analysis because I don't sacrifice with d5.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #38 - 10/20/10 at 16:33:50
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SWJediknight wrote on 10/19/10 at 22:48:11:
I note with interest that when I feed that line into Fritz up to 10...d6 it only gives Black as up by 0.4-0.5 of a pawn.  I've looked at those lines and both of them have a strong air of "unclear" about them- even if Black is better with best play, it's going to be tough to prove.

Especially as White has alternatives- in the 11...Ke8 line White has 13.Nd5, 13.Rf1, 13.Rg1 and 13.Kc1, while in the 11...Kg7 line White can also consider 13.Kc1.  White can also consider 11.Bf2!? (this is also an alternative to Kd2 at move 12 in the Bc4+ lines, but if White is to defend the h4-pawn in this way it makes more sense to do so immediately, keeping more options open). 

Fritz 10's big idea after 11.Bf2 is to meet 11...Nf6 with 12.Bg2, followed by Qd2, 0-0-0 and f4 with long-term attacking chances.  This 8...f3 line strikes me as much more "open-ended" than the lines considered previously, but that means it's going to be even harder to reach any definite conclusions. 

I still see nothing here to make me prefer this for Black to 3...Qh4+ 4.Ke2 and one of Black's alternatives to 4...d5.  I've discussed 4...Qe7 (which I still consider best) and other areas to explore include 4...d6 5.Nf3 Qe7 (5...Bg4 6.Nd5) 6.Kf2 c6 followed by 7...g5, and 4...c6 (or 4...Ne7) 5.Nf3 Qh5 6.d4 g5.  All lead to interesting complications, but also chances of advantage for Black.

Unbelievable, only 2 hours after my post you come up with not less than 6 different improvements. However looking at the depth of the analysis, not more than 1 move, I wonder how serious this all is.
Your claim that things are unclear already confess that not enough time has been put in the reply.

Whites alternatives 13.Nd5, 13.Rf1, Rg1 and 13.Kc1 in the 11...Ke8 line can all be answered by Qd7. The idea is clever : Kd8 followed up in some cases by Qe8. Black later can bring the king completely in safety by developing the bishop from c8 and putting the king on c8. The compensation for the piece minus will be tough to prove on the long term.

13.Kc1 in the line 11...Kg7 can be answered by a6 creating counterplay on the queenside. The fact that the a1 rook is locked up, makes the situation look grim for white.

Finally your last idea 11.Bf2 in the 11...Kg7 line is interesting but too slow. After 11.Bf2 Nf6 12.Bg2 can't be the solution. The bishop is really misplaced on that square. One possible continuation from Rybka that I like, is Qg8 benefiting of no more Bc4.

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Qh4+ 4.Ke2 Qe7 5.d3! Nf6 6.Bxf4 d5 7.Kd2! d4 8.Nd5 Nxd5 9.exd5 g5 10.Qh5 Qb4+ 11.Kd1 Qxb2 12.Rc1 which you give as better black, is conform Rybka equal.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #37 - 10/20/10 at 00:17:58
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brabo wrote on 10/19/10 at 20:21:29:
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 f3! 9.gxf3 Be7 10.Be3 d6 11.Bc4+
It's interesting that you postpone the check Bc4+ in order to avoid the immediate counterblow d7-d5. I do not like 11.Bf2 very much - why should that bishop be better on f2 than on e3? At the other hand - why not resist the temptation of that check on c4 once again? 11.Kd2 and only after Bxh4 12.Bc4+ and 13.Qg1.

brabo wrote on 10/19/10 at 20:21:29:
A) 11...Kg7 12.Kd2 Nf6 13.Qg1 d5! 14.Bxd5 Bb4 15.Bxc6 bxc6 16.a3 Bxc3 17.bxc3 and i've doubts about whites compensation.

This time I don't like JediKnight's suggestion 13.Kc1 - how is Ra1 going to get into play? I propose 12.Qe2 and only after Bxh4+ (which you want to avoid) 13.Kd2. After eg Bf6 14.Qf2 Na5 15.Bd3 c5 16.Nd5 cxd4 17.Bf4 White completes his/her development by directing all pieces to the King's Wing. 16...Bxd4 17.Bxd4 cxd4 18.Raf1 shows the same idea.

brabo wrote on 10/19/10 at 20:21:29:
B) 11...Ke8 12.Kd2 Nf6 13.Qe2 Na5!? 14.Bd3 and again I've doubts about whites compensation.
The same here. White does not need to play Kd2 voluntarily. I'd prefer 12.f4 Bxh4+ 13.Kd2 Bf6 14.Qg1 Nge7 15.Re1. After 12...Na5 13.Bd3 c5 Rybka suggests 14.Bf2 (after other moves ...Bxh4+ seems annoying). The idea is to complete development by castling queenside and prepare a central break. Then Black's King will be unsafe.

Anyhow, I recommend to play through the game Babula-Votruba, Cihak 1969. White had fair chances, even though Black had more or less won a tempo via 9.Bc4+ d5 10.Bxd5. There is also the golden oldie Pollock-Gossip, Montreal 1894, where White can improve with 16.Be4.

To be honest, it was the game Gallagher-Hresc, Geneve 1991 that troubled me most.
  

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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #36 - 10/19/10 at 22:48:11
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I note with interest that when I feed that line into Fritz up to 10...d6 it only gives Black as up by 0.4-0.5 of a pawn.  I've looked at those lines and both of them have a strong air of "unclear" about them- even if Black is better with best play, it's going to be tough to prove.

Especially as White has alternatives- in the 11...Ke8 line White has 13.Nd5, 13.Rf1, 13.Rg1 and 13.Kc1, while in the 11...Kg7 line White can also consider 13.Kc1.  White can also consider 11.Bf2!? (this is also an alternative to Kd2 at move 12 in the Bc4+ lines, but if White is to defend the h4-pawn in this way it makes more sense to do so immediately, keeping more options open). 

Fritz 10's big idea after 11.Bf2 is to meet 11...Nf6 with 12.Bg2, followed by Qd2, 0-0-0 and f4 with long-term attacking chances.  This 8...f3 line strikes me as much more "open-ended" than the lines considered previously, but that means it's going to be even harder to reach any definite conclusions. 

I still see nothing here to make me prefer this for Black to 3...Qh4+ 4.Ke2 and one of Black's alternatives to 4...d5.  I've discussed 4...Qe7 (which I still consider best) and other areas to explore include 4...d6 5.Nf3 Qe7 (5...Bg4 6.Nd5) 6.Kf2 c6 followed by 7...g5, and 4...c6 (or 4...Ne7) 5.Nf3 Qh5 6.d4 g5.  All lead to interesting complications, but also chances of advantage for Black.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #35 - 10/19/10 at 20:21:29
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1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 Nf6 9.Bxf4 Bb4 10.Bd3 d6 11.0-0! and I must admit that I can't find a way to keep the advantage for black.

So I switched my attention to my second best variation to search for a black advantage which I believe now after few days of extra analysis is the most critical test for white.

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 f3! (I've seen this move mentioned in some old thread without any further analysis) 9.gxf3 Be7 10.Be3 d6 (A new idea although I must admit that the whole variation is extremely rare. Here I think black should restrict himself of taking on h4 too soon.) 11.Bc4+ and now black has

A) 11...Kg7 12.Kd2 Nf6 13.Qg1 d5! 14.Bxd5 Bb4 15.Bxc6 bxc6 16.a3 Bxc3 17.bxc3 and i've doubts about whites compensation

B) 11...Ke8 12.Kd2 Nf6 13.Qe2 Na5!? 14.Bd3 and again I've doubts about whites compensation.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #34 - 10/16/10 at 21:07:12
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MNb wrote on 10/16/10 at 19:56:53:
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 Nf6 9.Bc4+ d5 10.Nxd5 f3 11.gxf3 Kg7 12.Be3 Na5 13.Nxf6 Nxc4 14.Nh5+ Kh7 15.Qe2 Bb4+ 16.c3 Nxe3 17.Qxe3 Rf8!
18.f4 is unclear.

I don't agree:
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 Nf6 9.Bc4+ d5 10.Nxd5 f3 11.gxf3 Kg7 12.Be3 Na5 13.Nxf6 Nxc4 14.Nh5+ Kh7 15.Qe2 Bb4+ 16.c3 Nxe3 17.Qxe3 Rf8! 18.f4 Bd6 19.Rf1 Be7 20.0-0-0 Qe8 21.Ng3 Bxh4 22.Rde1 Qg6 23.Kb1 Bd7 and black has a big advantage thanks to his extra piece.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #33 - 10/16/10 at 19:56:53
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brabo wrote on 10/16/10 at 17:27:54:
Why do you go forward with Kg6?

Because I am a poor and unsystematical analyst.

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 Nf6 9.Bc4+ d5 10.Nxd5 f3 11.gxf3 Kg7 12.Be3 Na5 13.Nxf6 Nxc4 14.Nh5+ Kh7 15.Qe2 Bb4+ 16.c3 Nxe3 17.Qxe3 Rf8!
brabo wrote on 10/16/10 at 17:27:54:
Another example that blacks strategy should be not keeping the extra piece at any cost but always be ready to sacrifice it back.

Passive (counter)sacs don't have to be accepted. 18.f4 is unclear.
  

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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #32 - 10/16/10 at 18:52:01
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It's because Brabo considers 3...Nc6 to be the most critical reply.

I am happy to defend those lines myself as Black, having played the black side of 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.d4 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5!? (6.Ne5 is safer) 6...h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 which soon transposed after a quick Nc3.  But from these discussions it seems clear to me that if Black is to prove a clear-cut edge against the Hamppe-Allgaier it is going to require deep computer analysis and rebuttals against several possible White alternatives around moves 10-13.  Black has nothing better than to go in for those lines after 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6, or 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.Nc3, or 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4- but I'm still having a hard time believing that this is true of 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3, at least outside of the highest levels of correspondence play.

If faced with 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3, particularly if it was a serious game, I would almost certainly opt for 3...Qh4+ and I still like 4.Ke2 Qe7 for Black (there are also alternatives that haven't been discussed yet; 4...d6, 4...c6 and 4...Nge7 are all worth a look). 

We also need to bear in mind that after 3...Qh4+ 4.Ke2 Black has a wide choice and only needs to learn one line, at least four of which offer chances of an advantage, whereas after 3...Nc6 White also has the Steinitz Gambit (4.d4) and the Pierce Gambit (4.Nf3 g5 5.d4).  I think the latter in particular is probably unsound, but you need to know your stuff as Black in either line to have much chance of emerging with advantage against accurate play.  I have a sneaking suspicion that proving an advantage against 3...Nc6 4.d4 will probably prove to be no easier than after 3...Qh4+ 4.Ke2- and that's before we get around to considering the Hamppe-Allgaier approach discussed at length in this thread.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #31 - 10/16/10 at 17:46:17
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Typical chesspub, instead of discussing the "masion gambit" in the title, it's the Hamppe Allgaier in most replies - no wonder it's hard to find the correct threads later...
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #30 - 10/16/10 at 17:27:54
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MNb wrote on 10/16/10 at 14:20:24:
]
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 Nf6 9.Bc4+ d5 10.Nxd5 f3 11.gxf3 Kg7 12.Be3 Na5 13.Nxf6 Nxc4 14.Nh5+ Kg6 15.Nf4+ and White still has chances. It doesn't matter so much thatpieces are exchanged. What matters is which pieces are exchanged. In this case it's all Black's active ones.

Why do you go forward with Kg6? It is a middlegame not an endgame unless you want to prove via selecting bad moves for black that you are right. 14...Kh7 15.Qe2 Bb4+ 16.c3 Nxe3 17.Qxe3 Rf8! Another example that blacks strategy should be not keeping the extra piece at any cost but always be ready to sacrifice it back.
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I still have to see any crushing attack against White's King in the Hamppe-Allgaier. This factor is one of White's minor worries.
Black doesn't need any crushing attack with a piece up. Only thing black needs, is 1 disturbing check e.g. on h4 or g3 which makes an end to whites initiative. If black succeeds in that (and here contrary to the Cochrane gambit such annoying check can happen) the game is on the long run, lost for white.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #29 - 10/16/10 at 17:01:39
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When I was a young, ambitious and aggressive player = long before computer era, I played a similar line called Steintz Gambit in several games that ran 1 e4 e5 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 f4 exf4 4 d4 Qh4+ 5 Ke2 and main line was here d5 leeding to a total mess. I remember a blitz game at local club in this line where I defeated a 2000 player when my king somehow somewhow ended up at a8. I think I meet d6 in one standardtime game and b6 Nb5 Ba6 a4 in a couple of blitz games. However there was some reason why I gave up this line, fails to remember why. Perhaps I gave up Nc3 becouse of some line after Nf6 or most likely I wanted to play safer lines with white.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #28 - 10/16/10 at 16:22:27
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MNb wrote on 10/16/10 at 14:20:24:
]1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 Nf6 9.Bxf4 Bb4 10.Bd3 d6 11.Qd2 Kg7 12.0-0-0 Nxd4 13.e5 Nh5 14.Rhf1 Be6 15.exd6 Bxd6 16.Be3 Nc6 17.Be4 Be5!? 18.Qe1 Qe8 19.Bxc6 bxc6 and that extra piece on h5 is quite silent after 20.Bxh6+ Kxh6 21.Qxe5 Qg6 22.Qxc7.

Seems I made a typeerror because 18...Qe8 doesn't fit with 19...bxc6. Or black plays 18...Qe7 with 19...bxc6 or black plays 18...Qe8 with 19...Qxc6. Not a mix of both possibilities as I wrongly copied from my database. After the correction your intentions don't work.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #27 - 10/16/10 at 14:20:24
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]1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 Nf6 9.Bxf4 Bb4 10.Bd3 d6 11.Qd2 Kg7 12.0-0-0 Nxd4 13.e5 Nh5 14.Rhf1 Be6 15.exd6 Bxd6 16.Be3 Nc6 17.Be4 Be5!? 18.Qe1 Qe8 19.Bxc6 bxc6 and that extra piece on h5 is quite silent after 20.Bxh6+ Kxh6 21.Qxe5 Qg6 22.Qxc7.
Please note that I don't strive to find anything decisive for White but long term compensation. It's not my task to find a forced win.

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 Nf6 9.Bc4+ d5 10.Nxd5 f3 11.gxf3 Kg7 12.Be3 Na5 13.Nxf6 Nxc4 14.Nh5+ Kg6 15.Nf4+ and White still has chances. It doesn't matter so much thatpieces are exchanged. What matters is which pieces are exchanged. In this case it's all Black's active ones.

brabo wrote on 10/16/10 at 11:27:17:
Besides in the Cochrane gambit whites king is safe while in this variation this is certainly less the case.

I still have to see any crushing attack against White's King in the Hamppe-Allgaier. This factor is one of White's minor worries.
Of course there is also JediKnight's 11.Qd2 to deal with.
Don't worry, I don't intend to play this in neither corr. or OTB chess. My interest is only and purely academical. As such I am happy with equality, unclear play, sufficient long term compensation and even a perpetual.

SWJediknight wrote on 10/16/10 at 13:23:57:
Incidentally after Fritz analysed further its assessment after 14.Bc4 fell to about 0.3 of a pawn.

Rybka, after fed with the recommended moves for Black, quickly gives equality, eg 14.Bc4 Qe7 (Qxh4 15.Bg3 or Rf8 15.Bxh6+) 15.Qd2 Nd8 (to protect f7 and prepare ...Be6) 16.e5 Be6 17.d5.
At the other hand Rybka prefers 12...Ba5 at once to 12...Nh5.
  

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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #26 - 10/16/10 at 13:23:57
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Just to recap, I gave the following:
Quote:
Perhaps White should try 11.0-0 instead of 11.Qd2 (after which I can't improve on your analysis or assessment).  For instance, 11...Bxc3 12.bxc3 Kg7 13.Qd2 and White has a strong centre and pressure down the f-file to compensate for the material deficit.  Or 11...Kg7 12.Ne2, planning Ng3 and also c3 chasing away the a5-bishop, e.g. 12...Nh5 13.c3 Ba5 (not 13...Nxf4?! 14.Nxf4) and now perhaps 14.Qb3 or 14.Bc4.

It's possible that Black could still be better with best play here (Fritz 10 assesses the resulting positions as 0.6 to 0.8 of a pawn better for Black), but play is more open-ended, it certainly isn't an easy route to advantage for Black.

Incidentally after Fritz analysed further its assessment after 14.Bc4 fell to about 0.3 of a pawn.
  
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Re: is the Mason gambit playable?
Reply #25 - 10/16/10 at 13:12:23
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[quote author=5D4D5E5D503F0 link=1208413606/11#11 date=1286993300][quote author=6F6B765958555752555B54483C0 link=1208413606/10#10 date=1286971544]There was an analysis of the Hampe-Allgaier at this thread:
http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1217111507/19#19   10.Bd3 is a better option for White in your first line, and that the H-A-G is currently looking unclear/equal.
[/quote]
I can't see why this is a better option for white after 10...d6.
I give one sample line (starting from move 1 just to read easier and avoid confusion) :
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 Nf6 9.Bxf4 Bb4 10.Bd3 d6 (Don't see this mentioned in the old thread although it is Rybkas and Fritz first choice. So like to know what you recommend against it.) 11.Qd2 Kg7 12.h5 Nxd4 13.Bxh6+ Rxh6 14.Qg5+ and black still has a slight advantage.[/quote]

I think white should build up his attack first, if possible so I'd suggest the natural 11.0-0, something like this:

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. Nf3 g5 5. h4 g4 6. Ng5 h6 7. Nxf7 Kxf7 8. d4 Nf6 9. Bxf4 Bb4 10. Bd3 d6 [i][b]11. O-O[/b] Kg7 12. Ne2 Qe8 13. c3 Ba5 14. Ng3[/i] with compensation according the engine, though only at 23ply. Maybe black should prefer 12...Bxc3 13.bxc3 Qe8 though a later Bf4-d2-c3 could make the king a bit uncomfortable.

Just my 2 cents, unless it's already been mentioned somewhere...

Ooops, [quote]I think that objectively speaking White's hopes rest on my earlier suggestion, 9.Bxf4 Bb4 10.Bd3 d6 11.0-0. [/quote] just noticed this now. Anyway, I agree :)
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #24 - 10/16/10 at 12:52:07
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brabo wrote on 10/16/10 at 11:07:03:
SWJediknight wrote on 10/15/10 at 00:19:02:
B: 9.Bc4+ d5 10.Nxd5 f3 11.gxf3 Kg7 12.Nxf6 (12.c3!?) 12...Qxf6 13.e5 (13.Be3!?) 13...Qf5 14.Be3 looks unclear/equal to me.  White now has two pawns for the piece as well as attacking chances and a strong centre.

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 Nf6 9.Bc4+ d5 10.Nxd5 f3 11.gxf3 Kg7 12.Nxf6 (12.c3!? Bd6! with advantage for black. MNb also hints such evaluation) 12...Qxf6 13.e5 (13.Be3!? Bd6! with advantage for black) 13...Qf5 14.Be3 I believe the complications favour black. Besides your statement of two pawns for a piece and attacking chances has no sense because I also indicated that black has 13... Nxe5 if he wants something easier for advantage. In fact that is the whole problem of the Hampe-Allgaier variation. Black can at any desired time sacrifice the extra material back for other advantages : endgame, structure, attack,... I gave several examples already that whites task is far from easy if not impossible to not only avoid these countersacrifices but also increase the pressure.

Upon a closer look, you may well be right- it seems that Black can always return the piece for two or three pawns via a knight "sac" on e5 or d4.  One such line arises after 13.c3 Bd6 14.f4 (14.fxg4 Qg6 followed by ...Bxg4) Re8 15.Qe2 Bxf4 16.0-0 when Black has to find 16...Nxd4! to avoid coming under a big attack (it is doubtful if Black would find this OTB except at a very high level), but unfortunately for White it leaves Black a pawn up for not a lot.

Black does indeed get some advantage after 12.c3 Bd6, but has to play very accurately to prove it, e.g.
13.Ne3 Rf8 14.Qd2 Kh8! or 13.Qd3 Nxd5 14.Bxd5 Rf8 or 13.Nf4 Rf8 14.Qd2 Qe8.

I think that objectively speaking White's hopes rest on my earlier suggestion, 9.Bxf4 Bb4 10.Bd3 d6 11.0-0.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #23 - 10/16/10 at 11:27:17
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MNb wrote on 10/15/10 at 00:37:14:
What I see is an unprotected black King, so I would rather evaluate this as unclear. 17.Be4 Ne5 18.Bxb7 Rb8 19.Bd5 Bxd5 20.Nxd5 and White is ready for a nasty pin on the long diagonal.

I see black being a full piece up while white has no clear attacking scheme so I bet on blacks chances. Besides
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 Nf6 9.Bxf4 Bb4 10.Bd3 d6 11.Qd2 Kg7 12.0-0-0 Nxd4 13.e5 Nh5 14.Rhf1 Be6 15.exd6 Bxd6 16.Be3 Nc6 17.Be4 Be5!? (This looks easier than your 17...Ne5 to keep the advantage) 18.Qe1 Qe8 19.Bxc6 bxc6 and can't find anything decisive for white while blacks extra piece starts to talk more and more.
Quote:
You might be right here. I had put some faith in 12.c3 and 12.fxg4, but Bd6 looks good in both cases. White might try 12.Be3 Bd6 13.Qe2 though. Black's kingside is airy once again. It's in such cases that I feel that White plays an improved version of the Cochrane Gambit...

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 Nf6 9.Bc4+ d5 10.Nxd5 f3 11.gxf3 Kg7 12.Be3 Na5! looks again easier than your 12...Bd6 after which white has to permit some exchanges and his attack mostly runs out of steam. I am pretty sure you get a huge score with white on the board but in a high level correspondence game I estimate whites drawing chances rather slim. Besides in the Cochrane gambit whites king is safe while in this variation this is certainly less the case.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #22 - 10/16/10 at 11:07:03
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SWJediknight wrote on 10/15/10 at 00:19:02:
B: 9.Bc4+ d5 10.Nxd5 f3 11.gxf3 Kg7 12.Nxf6 (12.c3!?) 12...Qxf6 13.e5 (13.Be3!?) 13...Qf5 14.Be3 looks unclear/equal to me.  White now has two pawns for the piece as well as attacking chances and a strong centre.

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 Nf6 9.Bc4+ d5 10.Nxd5 f3 11.gxf3 Kg7 12.Nxf6 (12.c3!? Bd6! with advantage for black. MNb also hints such evaluation) 12...Qxf6 13.e5 (13.Be3!? Bd6! with advantage for black) 13...Qf5 14.Be3 I believe the complications favour black. Besides your statement of two pawns for a piece and attacking chances has no sense because I also indicated that black has 13... Nxe5 if he wants something easier for advantage. In fact that is the whole problem of the Hampe-Allgaier variation. Black can at any desired time sacrifice the extra material back for other advantages : endgame, structure, attack,... I gave several examples already that whites task is far from easy if not impossible to not only avoid these countersacrifices but also increase the pressure.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #21 - 10/15/10 at 22:05:06
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MNb wrote on 10/12/10 at 22:06:02:
I thought Black had a forced draw:
Welling,G - Van Mil,J [C33]
Eindhoven, 1973
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Qh4+ 4.Ke2 d5 5.Nxd5 Bg4+ 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Nxc7+ Kd8 8.Nxa8 Ne5 9.h3 Bxf3+ 10.gxf3 Qg3 11.d3 Qxf3+ 12.Ke1 Qg3+ 13.Ke2 Qf3+ 14.Ke1 Qg3+ ½–½

Not exactly like this. White must move his pawn a bit further 11.d4, because the text enables 12...Qxh1 option, after which 13.Bxf4 Nf3+ 14.Ke2 Nf6 gives Black better chances (e.g. immediate 15.Nc7 fails 15...g5 16.Bg3 Nh5).
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #20 - 10/15/10 at 00:37:14
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brabo wrote on 10/14/10 at 18:36:30:
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 Nf6 9.Bxf4 Bb4 10.Bd3 d6 11.Qd2 Kg7 12.0-0-0 Nxd4 13.e5 Nh5 14.Rhf1 Be6 15.exd6 Bxd6 16.Be3 Nc6 and I believe blacks chances are still better.

What I see is an unprotected black King, so I would rather evaluate this as unclear. 17.Be4 Ne5 18.Bxb7 Rb8 19.Bd5 Bxd5 20.Nxd5 and White is ready for a nasty pin on the long diagonal.

brabo wrote on 10/14/10 at 18:36:30:
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 Nf6 9.Bc4+ d5 10.Nxd5 f3 11.gxf3 Kg7 (I believe this is stronger than your Be6) 12.Nxf6 Qxf6 13.e5 and now Qf5 as Nxe5 look very good for black.

You might be right here. I had put some faith in 12.c3 and 12.fxg4, but Bd6 looks good in both cases. White might try 12.Be3 Bd6 13.Qe2 though. Black's kingside is airy once again. It's in such cases that I feel that White plays an improved version of the Cochrane Gambit...
  

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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #19 - 10/15/10 at 00:19:02
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Re. "the opening", I meant the Hampe-Allgaier branch rather than the Mason Gambit as a whole- I hope I've made that clear!  Note that 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 transposes directly to the Vienna Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 exf4) so if 3.Nc3 is insufficient due to 3...Nc6 so is the Vienna Gambit against 2...Nc6.

As it happens, checking MNb's lines:

(1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 Nf6)

A: 9.Bxf4 Bb4 10.Bd3 d6 11.Qd2 (I prefer 11.0-0 for the reasons I gave before) 11...Kg7 12.0-0-0 Nxd4 13.e5 Nh5! indeed looks much better for Black. 

B: 9.Bc4+ d5 10.Nxd5 f3 11.gxf3 Kg7 12.Nxf6 (12.c3!?) 12...Qxf6 13.e5 (13.Be3!?) 13...Qf5 14.Be3 looks unclear/equal to me.  White now has two pawns for the piece as well as attacking chances and a strong centre.

I see Micawber also suggested 3...Qh4+ 4.Ke2 Qe7, and I found a source on it here:
http://www.kjcchess.com/gambitopeningg0.html
The conclusion of that article was quoted in Chess Monthly at a column where the late Mike Fox (a devotee of 3.Nc3) and Richard James used to comment on random stuff.  Hansen,LB: 'This game could be a serious blow to the 3.Nc3 line in the Kings Gambit.'

After 3...Qh4+ 4.Ke2 Qe7 5.d3 Nf6 6.Bxf4 d5 7.Kd2 (this is indeed probably best), Fritz 10 suggests 7...d4, e.g. 8.Nd5 Nxd5 9.exd5 g5 10.Qh5 Qb4+ 11.Kd1 Qxb2 12.Rc1, which might give an edge for Black- though admittedly it's exactly the sort of chaotic position that a 3.Nc3 aficionado would feel at home in!  Maybe you are right that 5.d3 is the best reply.

5.Kf2!? (mentioned by Micawber) might be worth a look, since the draw offer 5...Qh4+ can be met by 6.g3 fxg3+ 7.Kg2 gxh2 8.Rxh2.  I don't believe White has enough compensation here, but I imagine that fans of the line could have a lot of fun with this in rapid games.

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My conclusion, the variation is perfect as a surprise weapon till probably just below topgrandmaster level. However against a prepared strong black player I think it is very risky.

I agree with that assessment, both for the Hampe-Allgaier branch that arises from 3.Nc3 Nc6 and the Mason Gambit as a whole.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #18 - 10/14/10 at 18:43:09
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SWJediknight wrote on 10/14/10 at 00:26:33:
Your ideas in the Hampe-Allgaier are interesting- with 9.Bc4+, 11.0-0 and 11.Qd2 all looking playable, it all goes to show that the opening is in a decent theoretical state

As mentioned in my previous posts, I've some serious doubts about that. Besides I am only posting what I believe today are the most critical lines for white. There are other ideas which I didn't show and also aren't clear how white will get full equalty against. My conclusion, the variation is perfect as a surprise weapon till probably just below topgrandmaster level. However against a prepared strong black player I think it is very risky.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #17 - 10/14/10 at 18:36:30
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MNb wrote on 10/13/10 at 23:29:21:
Perhaps I can.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 Nf6 9.Bxf4 Bb4 10.Bd3 d6 11.Qd2 Kg7 and as 12.h5 leads to nothing perhaps 12.0-0-0 as Nxd4 (but 12...Nh5!?) 13.e5 Nd5 14.Bc4 Nxc3 15.Qxd4 c5 16.Qf2 Nxd1 17.Rxd1 is quite a mess.

I think black can improve in this line with 13.. Nh5 instead of 13.. Nd5 see:
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 Nf6 9.Bxf4 Bb4 10.Bd3 d6 11.Qd2 Kg7 12.0-0-0 Nxd4 13.e5 Nh5 14.Rhf1 Be6 15.exd6 Bxd6 16.Be3 Nc6 and I believe blacks chances are still better.
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White also can deviate at an earlier stage: 9.Bc4+ (iso 9.Bxf4) d5 10.Nxd5 f3 11.gxf3 Be6 12.fxg4 Nxe4 and my analysis leads to a forced draw. Given the poor reputation of the gambit I consider this a moral victory  Kiss.
It means that White has to play 8...Bb4 9.Bc4+ as well.

Also here I've some other analysis in my database.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 Nf6 9.Bc4+ d5 10.Nxd5 f3 11.gxf3 Kg7 (I believe this is stronger than your Be6) 12.Nxf6 Qxf6 13.e5 and now Qf5 as Nxe5 look very good for black.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #16 - 10/14/10 at 18:24:07
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SWJediknight wrote on 10/13/10 at 22:20:49:
Perhaps White should try 11.0-0 instead of 11.Qd2 (after which I can't improve on your analysis or assessment).  For instance, 11...Bxc3 12.bxc3 Kg7 13.Qd2 and White has a strong centre and pressure down the f-file to compensate for the material deficit.  Or 11...Kg7 12.Ne2, planning Ng3 and also c3 chasing away the a5-bishop, e.g. 12...Nh5 13.c3 Ba5 (not 13...Nxf4?! 14.Nxf4) and now perhaps 14.Qb3 or 14.Bc4.

It's possible that Black could still be better with best play here (Fritz 10 assesses the resulting positions as 0.6 to 0.8 of a pawn better for Black), but play is more open-ended, it certainly isn't an easy route to advantage for Black.

I am using Fritz 11 and Rybka 3.1 running on quite fast hardware. If I can get 0.6 or 0.8 after 14 moves with black then I'm willing to  sign for it.
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Meanwhile, although I'm not completely familiar with the theory after 3.Nc3 Qh4+ 4.Ke2, my impression is that the main line 4...d5 5.Nxd5 Bg4+ 6.Nf3 Bd6 7.d4 Nc6 8.c3 0-0-0 9.Kd3 Qh6 10.Kc2 leads to outright chaos, where White's strong centre compensates for the lost pawn

Here I have 10....Nge7, 10...Kb8 and 10....Nb8 as acceptable continuations with no clear advantage for any side.
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, but that 4...Qe7!?, intending ...Nf6 and ...d5, may give Black an edge.  Fritz 10's openings book gives 5.d4 Nf6 6.Kf2 (better is 6.Bxf4 Nxe4 7.Kf3(!) Nxc3 8.bxc3 d5 9.Kf2, but this still favours Black) 6...d5 7.e5?! Ng4+ which is excellent for Black.  5.Nf3 is an alternative for White, but if for example 5...d5 6.Kf2 dxe4 7.Nxe4 Nf6 8.Nxf6+ Qxf6 9.Bb5+ c6 10.Re1+ Be7 11.Bc4 0-0 I think Black still stands better.

I have in my analysis after 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Qh4+ 4.Ke2 Qe7 5.d3! Nf6 6.Bxf4 d5 7.Kd2! dxe4 8.dxe4 Bg4!? (Nc6 is also interesting) 9.Nf3 Nbd7!? (Again Nc6 is interesting) 10.Qe2 Qb4 11.Kc1 0-0-0 12.a3 and white is just hanging on. Anyway I am not interested in digging further in these lines because I play blacks side and I think the critical line is with 3...Nc6.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #15 - 10/14/10 at 17:51:49
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My personal opinion is
that a safe way for black and an annoying one for white is
3.Nc3, Qh4+ 4.Ke2,Qe7!? (4...c6 as safe and sound as well)
In Bauer-Bracot 1999 things went wrong for white as early as move 5:
5.d4,Nf6 6.e5,d6 -/+.
(of course 5.d3 and 5.Kf2 are probably somewhat better, but Black is OK anyway).

As for "Wellings variation"  iso
6....Nc6 Black can also consider 6...Bd6 7.d4,Bxf3 (7...Nc6 is now possible as well) 8.gxf (8.Kxf3?!,Qh5+ 9.Kf2,Qxd1 10.Bb5+,c6 is dubious) 8....,c6 (unclear; Grafl-Wisnewski, 2000)
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #14 - 10/14/10 at 00:26:33
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Oops, I forgot about that line you mentioned!  Anyway I think White does have an improvement, 9.Qe1 (instead of 9.h3 Bxf3+ =) 9...Nxf3 10.Qxh4+ Nxh4+ 11.Ke1 f3 12.d3 (or 12.h3, but not 12.d4 fxg2 13.Bxg2 Nxg2+ 14.Kf2 Nh4!) 12...fxg2 13.Bxg2 Nxg2+ 14.Kf2 Kc8 15.Kxg2 Kc8 and White comes out with rook and pawn for two pieces (a rough material balance) and has better development and central control, so probably has some advantage.

Your ideas in the Hampe-Allgaier are interesting- with 9.Bc4+, 11.0-0 and 11.Qd2 all looking playable, it all goes to show that the opening is in a decent theoretical state- certainly better in my opinion than the positions resulting from 3.Nc3 Qh4+ 4.Ke2 Qe7 (has anyone got any ideas for White there?)
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #13 - 10/13/10 at 23:29:21
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SWJediknight wrote on 10/13/10 at 22:20:49:
after which I can't improve on your analysis or assessment.

Perhaps I can.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 Nf6 9.Bxf4 Bb4 10.Bd3 d6 11.Qd2 Kg7 and as 12.h5 leads to nothing perhaps 12.0-0-0 as Nxd4 (but 12...Nh5!?) 13.e5 Nd5 14.Bc4 Nxc3 15.Qxd4 c5 16.Qf2 Nxd1 17.Rxd1 is quite a mess.
White also can deviate at an earlier stage: 9.Bc4+ (iso 9.Bxf4) d5 10.Nxd5 f3 11.gxf3 Be6 12.fxg4 Nxe4 and my analysis leads to a forced draw. Given the poor reputation of the gambit I consider this a moral victory  Kiss.
It means that White has to play 8...Bb4 9.Bc4+ as well.

SWJediknight wrote on 10/13/10 at 22:20:49:
Meanwhile, although I'm not completely familiar with the theory after 3.Nc3 Qh4+ 4.Ke2, my impression is that the main line 4...d5 5.Nxd5 Bg4+ 6.Nf3 Bd6 7.d4 Nc6 8.c3 0-0-0 9.Kd3 Qh6 10.Kc2 leads to outright chaos, where White's strong centre compensates for the lost pawn.

So Welling's play still cannot be improved after 6...Nc6 ?
  

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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #12 - 10/13/10 at 22:20:49
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Perhaps White should try 11.0-0 instead of 11.Qd2 (after which I can't improve on your analysis or assessment).  For instance, 11...Bxc3 12.bxc3 Kg7 13.Qd2 and White has a strong centre and pressure down the f-file to compensate for the material deficit.  Or 11...Kg7 12.Ne2, planning Ng3 and also c3 chasing away the a5-bishop, e.g. 12...Nh5 13.c3 Ba5 (not 13...Nxf4?! 14.Nxf4) and now perhaps 14.Qb3 or 14.Bc4.

It's possible that Black could still be better with best play here (Fritz 10 assesses the resulting positions as 0.6 to 0.8 of a pawn better for Black), but play is more open-ended, it certainly isn't an easy route to advantage for Black.

Fritz 10's first choice isn't 10...d6 (at least not initially, perhaps if it is run for a long period of time it might change its mind?) but it does look like a more critical continuation than those given in the previous thread.

Meanwhile, although I'm not completely familiar with the theory after 3.Nc3 Qh4+ 4.Ke2, my impression is that the main line 4...d5 5.Nxd5 Bg4+ 6.Nf3 Bd6 7.d4 Nc6 8.c3 0-0-0 9.Kd3 Qh6 10.Kc2 leads to outright chaos, where White's strong centre compensates for the lost pawn, but that 4...Qe7!?, intending ...Nf6 and ...d5, may give Black an edge.  Fritz 10's openings book gives 5.d4 Nf6 6.Kf2 (better is 6.Bxf4 Nxe4 7.Kf3(!) Nxc3 8.bxc3 d5 9.Kf2, but this still favours Black) 6...d5 7.e5?! Ng4+ which is excellent for Black.  5.Nf3 is an alternative for White, but if for example 5...d5 6.Kf2 dxe4 7.Nxe4 Nf6 8.Nxf6+ Qxf6 9.Bb5+ c6 10.Re1+ Be7 11.Bc4 0-0 I think Black still stands better.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #11 - 10/13/10 at 18:08:20
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SWJediknight wrote on 10/13/10 at 12:05:44:
There was an analysis of the Hampe-Allgaier at this thread:
http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1217111507/19#19   10.Bd3 is a better option for White in your first line, and that the H-A-G is currently looking unclear/equal.

I can't see why this is a better option for white after 10...d6.
I give one sample line (starting from move 1 just to read easier and avoid confusion) :
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 Nf6 9.Bxf4 Bb4 10.Bd3 d6 (Don't see this mentioned in the old thread although it is Rybkas and Fritz first choice. So like to know what you recommend against it.) 11.Qd2 Kg7 12.h5 Nxd4 13.Bxh6+ Rxh6 14.Qg5+ and black still has a slight advantage.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #10 - 10/13/10 at 12:05:44
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There was an analysis of the Hampe-Allgaier at this thread:
http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1217111507/19#19   10.Bd3 is a better option for White in your first line, and that the H-A-G is currently looking unclear/equal.

White also has the Pierce Gambit (5.d4) but after finding improvements for Black over Tim Harding's analysis I think it's unsound.

However I agree that 3...Nc6 is a good alternative to the 3...Qh4+ lines.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #9 - 10/13/10 at 07:38:25
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MNb wrote on 10/12/10 at 22:06:02:
I thought Black had a forced draw:
Welling,G - Van Mil,J [C33]
Eindhoven, 1973
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Qh4+ 4.Ke2 d5 5.Nxd5 Bg4+ 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Nxc7+ Kd8 8.Nxa8 Ne5 9.h3 Bxf3+ 10.gxf3 Qg3 11.d3 Qxf3+ 12.Ke1 Qg3+ 13.Ke2 Qf3+ 14.Ke1 Qg3+ ½–½

Black has 3...Nc6 of course.

I recommend 3...Nc6 as a way to get a plus for black. A few sample lines:
4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.d4 Nf6 9.Bxf4 Bb4 10.e5 Ne4 11.Bc4+ d5 12.exd6(e.p.)+ Kg7 13.dxc7 Nxc3 14.0-0 and still small plus for black

4.d4 Qh4+ 5.Ke2 b6 6.a4 Ba6+ 7.Nb5 0-0-0 8.Nf3 Qg4 9.h3 Qg3 10.Qe1 Re8 11.Qxg3 fxg3 12.Kd1 Nf6 13.Nxa7 Kb7 14.Nxc6 and still small plus for black

Sure no easy stuff but at this stage I call the opening dubious for white.

Besides 3.. Qh4+ is certainly not better for white. Black has after 4.Ke2 at least 4... d5 and 4... Qe7 as acceptable continuations.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #8 - 10/12/10 at 22:06:02
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I thought Black had a forced draw:
Welling,G - Van Mil,J [C33]
Eindhoven, 1973
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Qh4+ 4.Ke2 d5 5.Nxd5 Bg4+ 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Nxc7+ Kd8 8.Nxa8 Ne5 9.h3 Bxf3+ 10.gxf3 Qg3 11.d3 Qxf3+ 12.Ke1 Qg3+ 13.Ke2 Qf3+ 14.Ke1 Qg3+ ½–½

Black has 3...Nc6 of course.
  

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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #7 - 10/12/10 at 20:26:36
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He didn't, he covered the Allgaier, Hampe-Allgaier and Pierce Gambits.

John Emms in Play the Open Games as Black gave the 3...Qh4+ 4.Ke2 d5 line as unclear/equal, and suggested 4...d6 and 4...Qe7 as alternatives but did not show a definite advantage for Black.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #6 - 10/12/10 at 19:46:46
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Please check Harding's column on chesscafe, I believe two or three years ago  had an analysis of this gambit.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #5 - 10/12/10 at 18:21:12
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I believe it would be theoretical news indeed if White were better after 3. Nc3 Qh4+.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #4 - 10/12/10 at 17:58:36
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the masons gambit is not only playable, but it offers white a great + out of the opening if you understand the lines and the concepts.  i wouldnt worry about being tortured by black in this line.  it gives more than equality against Qh4+
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #3 - 04/17/08 at 14:25:17
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Yes, there is a book in German by Bangiev. Maybe one can find it in other languages as well.
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #2 - 04/17/08 at 08:33:54
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Thank you very much for answearing me. In the games I went trough came also Qh4, then Ke2 then d5 or d6 in both cases with unclear fights. Is there a book which coveres this?
  
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Re: is the masion gambit playable?
Reply #1 - 04/17/08 at 08:17:52
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I'm afraid it's not playable due to the 3...Qh4+ line..
  
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C33: Is the Mason gambit playable?
04/17/08 at 06:26:45
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I replayed some old games including the maision gambit (1e4 e5 2f4 ef 3Nc3)

I am sure this leads not to a white advantage. But I am wondering if this old opening is playable (unclear position) or if there is a refuation (black is better).

I felt a bit in love with the idea let your openend attack, let torture me in the middle game and ending up after a while of suffering  in a better ending.

« Last Edit: 07/24/11 at 00:52:01 by Smyslov_Fan »  
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