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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!? (Read 36392 times)
Jonathan Tait
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #54 - 05/13/16 at 08:52:45
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another critical line we've been looking at recently:

  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #53 - 03/08/15 at 19:26:54
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urusov wrote on 03/08/15 at 00:42:17:
...

My main point is that you really have to do some deep analysis to beat these lines, especially at the amateur level.  Just consider that Jim West still plays the Philidor Gambit against level A, expert and master players with surprisingly good results.  You really have to know the line well to not go wrong let alone to gain the edge -- and it is unlikely that too many players will spend the time to analyze this stuff (as even the Bologan game suggests).


The notes you gave included evaluations such as "=", +/= and so on. Such notation does not usually mean "well, what I mean is it's equal unless your opponent is really well prepared".
  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #52 - 03/08/15 at 08:59:15
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urusov wrote on 03/08/15 at 00:42:17:
As for PANFR's comments: I think you are right, that 1.  e4 e5 2.  Bc4 f5 3.  d3 Nf6 4.  Nf3 c6 5.  O-O d5 6.  exd5 cxd5 7.  Bb3! is a real challenge for Black, though you definitely have to consider 7...e4 (which really looks like the only chance) 8.dxe4 fxe4 which you'd have to analyze in depth to say anything definitive.


I think the onus is on Black to prove a defence here. For instance, after 9 Nc3 Be6 10 Ng5 Bg8 11 Qe2, Black's position looks pretty damn awful.

But 4...c6 isn't the best. I play 4...fxe4 5 dxe4 Bb4+!? (the check is important to prevent Nc3) 6 c3 Bc5. No one has managed to show a refutation as yet against the plan of ...d6, ...Qe7, ...Nc6-d8, something on e6, and ...0-0.

Incidentally, as regards the Philidor transposition: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5 3 Nf3 d6 4 d4 pretty much wins by force for White.
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #51 - 03/08/15 at 00:42:17
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PANFR wrote on 03/03/15 at 17:31:50:
Ummm... I find it rather difficult to find some value in the analysis at the Urusov site. For example, after 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5? 3.d3 Nf6 4.Nf3 c6 (a rather bad move, which earns an exclam mark there) 5.0-0 d5? 6.exd5 cxd5 7. Bb3 (not mentioned) Black will lose a pawn for nothing.


My analysis was posted in 2003 and has not been updated since then -- though I don't think anyone has written more on the line since either.  So, yes, I do not consider games played in 2011 -- though I think Bologan was just trying to play something safe to complete avoid his opponent's preparation.  I have to agree with Tait's comments here.  Estrin's idea of 3.d4 is not a real challenge for Black -- though Bologan's way of playing it is more interesting than I had recognized.

As for PANFR's comments: I think you are right, that 1.  e4 e5 2.  Bc4 f5 3.  d3 Nf6 4.  Nf3 c6 5.  O-O d5 6.  exd5 cxd5 7.  Bb3! is a real challenge for Black, though you definitely have to consider 7...e4 (which really looks like the only chance) 8.dxe4 fxe4 which you'd have to analyze in depth to say anything definitive.

My main point is that you really have to do some deep analysis to beat these lines, especially at the amateur level.  Just consider that Jim West still plays the Philidor Gambit against level A, expert and master players with surprisingly good results.  You really have to know the line well to not go wrong let alone to gain the edge -- and it is unlikely that too many players will spend the time to analyze this stuff (as even the Bologan game suggests).
  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #50 - 03/03/15 at 19:19:16
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 03/02/15 at 19:24:15:
White has many other promising continuations, which is why the opening fails except as a surprise.

Please back that up with concrete promising continuations. I am yet to be convinced that the opening fails.

As for...

Smyslov_Fan wrote on 03/02/15 at 19:24:15:
the line that Bologan played as White in one of the few GM examples. He too played a gambit line

Personally I think 7... c4 8. Ba4 d3 is okay for Black; e.g. 9. b3 a6 10. Bxc6+ bxc6 11. O-O Bc5. And even in the game continuation, Black doesn't stand too badly after either 10...Be4 or 15...Ne6.
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #49 - 03/03/15 at 17:31:50
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Ummm... I find it rather difficult to find some value in the analysis at the Urusov site. For example, after 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5? 3.d3 Nf6 4.Nf3 c6 (a rather bad move, which earns an exclam mark there) 5.0-0 d5? 6.exd5 cxd5 7. Bb3 (not mentioned) Black will lose a pawn for nothing. I found only one game (far from flawless), which is hardly surprising- playing like that as Black isn't a wise choice.

  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #48 - 03/02/15 at 19:24:15
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Urusov, I took a look at your analysis on your website. It looks impressive, but then I started doing some independent research into the line. Predictably, you prefer it when White plays in a Romantic style and answers the gambit with a gambit. Not so predictably, you ignored the line that Bologan played as White in one of the few GM examples. He too played a gambit line, but you brushed it aside with "=" after four moves. White has many other promising continuations, which is why the opening fails except as a surprise.

Here's the Bologan game with my notes. (I did use an engine to check some of the analysis, but most of it is my own and may contain errors):

« Last Edit: 03/03/15 at 14:40:47 by GMTonyKosten »  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #47 - 03/01/15 at 22:48:20
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The Calabrese is better than most people appreciate.  I like MNb's suggestion of 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5 3.d3 Nf6 4.f4!? -- which I think is basically what White should be going for, as recommended long ago by Jaenisch.  I have analyzed the Calabrese here:

http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~goeller/urusov/bishops/f5.htm

My analysis is rather inconclusive, so I think it is playable.
  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #46 - 01/21/15 at 13:01:06
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HgMan wrote on 12/01/14 at 19:06:04:
Black might have more interesting resources here than after 4...Nc6 5.a3, which looks fairly convincing for White.


You may well be right. All the same, I've not lost that position (after 5 a3) as yet: P5 W1 D4 L0

Keano wrote on 01/15/15 at 16:51:50:
Not sure if its the strongest but 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5 3.d3 is quite nice to play for White and should lead to some sort of edge.

3...Nf6 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.0-0 etc. avoiding any ...Bb4 business


Not quite. I answer 4 Nf3 with 4...fxe4 5 dxe4 Bb4+! Wink
And my score there is P16, W5, D9, L2 (the first loss was before I knew what I was doing, and the second was just a blunder)
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #45 - 01/15/15 at 16:51:50
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I had this on the board against me years ago.

Not sure if its the strongest but 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5 3.d3 is quite nice to play for White and should lead to some sort of edge.

3...Nf6 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.0-0 etc. avoiding any ...Bb4 business
  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #44 - 12/01/14 at 19:06:04
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(Bump)

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d3 Bb4 5.Nf3 c6 6.0-0 d6 (6...Bxc3?! is inconsistent with 5...c6, but it also opens up a future Ba3, which can be unpleasant)

My first instinct is too many pawn moves from Black—and maybe not in keeping with the fairly aggressive second move. But Black might have more interesting resources here than after 4...Nc6 5.a3, which looks fairly convincing for White. All in all, though, I think Black's struggling to justify 2...f5(?!).
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #43 - 05/13/12 at 17:01:21
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Glenn Snow wrote on 04/08/12 at 22:15:45:
After 1. e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d3 Nc6 5.a3 Bc5 6.Nf3 h6  (When I originally brought up 5.a3 this was the move that seemed most likely to give White trouble to me.  All still based on what Houdini is giving.) 7.O-O d6 8.Be3!?


I no longer think 6...h6 is any good because of 7 Na4 Be7 8 Nh4!, which looks terrible for Black. Who'd have thought that a little move (5 a3) could prove so difficult?!

Okay, I do have another idea, but I'm loathe to say what it is in case someone refutes that as well. I still want to play this over the board! Wink
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #42 - 04/08/12 at 22:15:45
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After 1. e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d3 Nc6 5.a3 Bc5 6.Nf3 h6  (When I originally brought up 5.a3 this was the move that seemed most likely to give White trouble to me.  All still based on what Houdini is giving.) 7.O-O d6 8.Be3!?
  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #41 - 04/08/12 at 18:30:48
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CraigEvans wrote on 04/07/12 at 21:31:33:
I quite like the idea of 5.a3 as discussed below - in your suggested line 7...h6, white has to be aware that (immediate) greed kills. Perhaps the intermediate 11.Nh4!? throws a spanner in the works, and provides the reason why 5.a3!! was a genius move:


I don't know about it being a genius move; it's quite an obvious one if you know anything about the KGD. But regarding that... 11 Nh4 certainly looks pretty strong here. Does that mean 10...Nh5 refutes the sacrifice in the reversed position? I can't find any theory on this; everyone just takes the rook. Of course in the KGD White mostly plays 7 Na4!, which is pointless in the reversed position (because of a3).

So maybe 6...h6 is correct (as in the game TalJechin gave earlier in the thread). This is played occasionally in the KGD; i.e. 6 h3 instead of 6 d3. It isn't very good for White there, but in reversed positions Black doesn't need "very good".

Quoting that game again with a couple of lines added:

  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #40 - 04/07/12 at 21:31:33
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I quite like the idea of 5.a3 as discussed below - in your suggested line 7...h6, white has to be aware that (immediate) greed kills. Perhaps the intermediate 11.Nh4!? throws a spanner in the works, and provides the reason why 5.a3!! was a genius move:

11.Nh4 Qg5 12.Nxa8 Qxh4 13.Qd2 fxe4 14.O-O!? exd3 15.Bxd3 e4 16.b4!! (Oh yes!) and the complications do not look unfavourable to white after 16...Bd4 17.b5!

But I worryingly agree that 3...Nf6 looks like an error based on the ideas outlined... it is a worrying day for my understanding of chess when so many natural moves turn out to possibly not be right. I think 3...Nc6 looks like a good chance to make this playable, though the positional 5.a3 looks like it contains a lot of hidden venom!
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #39 - 04/07/12 at 20:09:11
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CraigEvans wrote on 04/07/12 at 17:58:40:
Well, for a start I'd be thinking that 5.d4 makes much more sense than 5.Nd5.

5...exd4 must be the move (since I can see no sensible way for black to maintain the central tension). Then 6.Nxd4 fxe4 (what else) is quite strongly met by 7.Bg5!? again striving for activity and preventing ...d5.


Yes, that looks quite interesting. I tried 7...c6 but then 8 Nf5 d5 9 Nxg7+ Kf7 10 Nh5 seems a bit dodgy for Black; e.g. 10...Bg4 11 Be2 Bxe2 12 Qxe2 Nbd7 13 0-0 Qb6 14 Kh1 Rag8 15 Nxf6 Nxf6 16 Bxf6 Qxf6 17 f3 e3 18 Na4 Qa5 19 Qxe3 Qxa4 20 c3.

While I'm not ready to give up on that just yet, perhaps 3...Nf6 is inaccurate and Black should play 3...Nc6 instead, when 4 d3 Nf6 transposes to lines we've already discussed (albeit briefly), while 4 exf5 Nf6 5 Nf3 d5 6 Bb5 Bd6 7 d4 exd4 8 Nxd4 0-0 is okay for Black.
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #38 - 04/07/12 at 17:58:40
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Well, for a start I'd be thinking that 5.d4 makes much more sense than 5.Nd5. Why cede the centre and exchange pieces? White is ahead in development, black has marginally weakened his kingside and wont be able to castle for a little while - I don't believe in just playing passively against this sort of stuff.

So, after 5.d4 it would appear that we are in Terra Incognita - can anyone chart a route for black here? Though as I'm away from home I don't have my trusty engines to back me up, I'm fairly confident white must have some edge here. The sort of thing I'd be looking at is 5...fxe4 6.dxe5! exf3 7.exf6 Qxf6 8.O-O! and looking to plant something down the e-file before black gets close to castling. 8...Bxc3 seems forced, but after 9.bxc3 white has an open position and two bishops and a lead in development for his dodgy pawn structure.

So 5...exd4 must be the move (since I can see no sensible way for black to maintain the central tension). Then 6.Nxd4 fxe4 (what else) is quite strongly met by 7.Bg5!? again striving for activity and preventing ...d5. I can't believe that this is what black wants? White is the one having all the fun here...

  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #37 - 04/03/12 at 22:43:46
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CraigEvans wrote on 04/03/12 at 17:53:30:
What would black play after 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3?


4...Bb4.

The only example here being:

  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #36 - 04/03/12 at 17:53:30
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What would black play after 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3?

4...fxe4 5.Nxe5 d5 6.Nxd5! and black doesn't get his Svedenborg fun - 6...Nxd5 7.Qh5+ g6 8.Nxg6 hg 9.Qxh8 Nb4 10.O-O and I don't believe white can be bad here, though maybe black has just enough?

So, does black have an improvement on this? Or am I totally mis-assessing the position?
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #35 - 04/03/12 at 17:07:47
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The problem with 3.Bc4 is not 3...d6?! as suggested at Michael Goeller's site, as after 4.Nf3 this transposes to the Philidor Counter-Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.Bc4) which is much better for White.
As mentioned earlier in the thread the problem is the Svedenborg Variation (3.fxe4 4.Nxe5 d5), when after 5.Qh5+ g6 6.Nxg6 hxg6 Black gets very dangerous compensation for the exchange after 7.Qxh8 Kf7 and stands OK after 7.Qxg6+ Kd7.  White might have a small theoretical edge in that 7.Qxh8 line with accurate defence but I would much rather be Black in that line (hence 3.Nxe5! being the way to go against the Latvian).
  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #34 - 04/03/12 at 16:58:31
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Pardon my ignorance, but isn't 3.Bc4 still supposed to be quite strong against the Latvian?  If so, then this issue is moot.
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #33 - 04/03/12 at 16:46:05
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All this validates what I said earlier about getting rid of the pesky Bc4 by a later ...d6, ...Qe7, ...Be6. These games here prove that. And certainly Black can castle Queenside.
  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #32 - 04/03/12 at 16:02:52
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Markovich wrote on 04/03/12 at 15:38:20:
On second thought, 3.d4 exd4 4.e5 d5! 5.exd6 Bxd6 and the check from e7 will be annoying.


There's one game with that:

  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #31 - 04/03/12 at 15:38:20
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On second thought, 3.d4 exd4 4.e5 d5! 5.exd6 Bxd6 and the check from e7 will be annoying.
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #30 - 04/03/12 at 15:12:26
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3.Bxg8 is a completely unprincipled move, so I would never look for White's advantage in that direction.

I think I would look first at the reversed Falkbeer with B-QB4 thrown in. That's not just any extra move, it's White's QB sitting on the just-exposed diagonal.  I suppose 3.d3 must be good, but it doesn't look like a sufficiently sharp reaction to Black's bad move.

It's a very cute idea for Latvian players, though.
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #29 - 04/03/12 at 13:17:48
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TN wrote on 04/03/12 at 09:03:12:
Thank you very much for your analysis Jon. You've nearly convinced me to play 2...f5 the next time someone plays 2.Bc4 against me!  Cheesy

SWJediknight wrote on 04/03/12 at 11:21:50:
I find Jon's analysis quite convincing, in the sense that while 2...f5 may not equalise with as much certainty as 2...Nf6 it seems that Black always gets a playable position with some counterplay.


It's good for psychological value at least. Smiley

Here's a bit more analysis:

  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #28 - 04/03/12 at 11:21:50
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1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 f5 4.d4! is indeed the problem with the Rousseau Gambit (we've already seen that 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5 3.d4 exd4 isn't anywhere near as convincing for White).
I find Jon's analysis quite convincing, in the sense that while 2...f5 may not equalise with as much certainty as 2...Nf6 it seems that Black always gets a playable position with some counterplay.
  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #27 - 04/03/12 at 10:18:34
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Here's one more game with a3 :)

[pgn][Event "POL-chT"]
[Site "Lubniewice"]
[Date "1993.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Sikora Gizynska, Bozena"]
[Black "Wiliczkiewicz, Zdzislawa"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C23"]
[WhiteElo "2185"]
[BlackElo "2015"]
[PlyCount "62"]
[EventDate "1993.??.??"]
[EventType "team"]
[EventRounds "11"]
[EventCountry "POL"]
[Source ""]

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 f5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. d3 Nc6 5. a3 Bc5 6. Nf3 h6 7. O-O d6 8. b4 Bb6
9. Nd5 Nxd5 10. Bxd5 Qf6 11. h3 f4 12. c3 g5 13. a4 a6 14. d4 g4 15. dxe5 dxe5
16. hxg4 Bxg4 17. Qd3 h5 18. Bb2 h4 19. Nh2 Bd7 20. Rfb1 Rh7 21. b5 axb5 22.
axb5 Rxa1 23. Rxa1 Nd8 24. Qf3 Qg5 25. c4 h3 26. Rc1 Bc5 27. b6 cxb6 28. Kf1
hxg2+ 29. Kg1 Qh4 30. Qxg2 Bxf2+ 31. Kf1 Bh3 0-1

[/pgn]

It's a pity 2.Bc4 isn't more common. :)

And of course it would be nice if f5 worked against 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 too... Btw, what's the big difference there, is it 4.d4! or something else?
  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #26 - 04/03/12 at 09:03:12
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Thank you very much for your analysis Jon. You've nearly convinced me to play 2...f5 the next time someone plays 2.Bc4 against me!  Cheesy
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #25 - 04/03/12 at 06:55:30
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Glenn Snow wrote on 04/02/12 at 16:12:30:
Houdini thinks 5.a3!? (In the variation 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5 3.d3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Nc6.) is good for White.  Although I'd guess black would be OK with careful play it's certainly a practical choice for White.


Ah yes, 5 a3 is interesting. Now we do have a reversed KGD with the useful extra move a2-a3, preventing both ...Bb4 and negating ...Na5. The question is whether the KGD is good for an advantage even with an extra move. The only game I have with this is...

  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #24 - 04/02/12 at 18:02:54
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Really funny stuff - 3.d3 b5!??
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #23 - 04/02/12 at 16:12:30
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Houdini thinks 5.a3!? (In the variation 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5 3.d3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Nc6.) is good for White.  Although I'd guess black would be OK with careful play it's certainly a practical choice for White.
  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #22 - 04/02/12 at 08:23:13
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TalJechin wrote on 04/02/12 at 07:37:36:
3.d4 exd4 4.e5 might be a little something for white, or maybe it's just White's higher rating that speaks..


Yes, White certainly has compensation in this reversed Falkbeer, but I'm not sure he's better.

In the game either 10...Be4!? or just 7...c4(!) 8 Ba4 d3 (e.g. 9 b3 a6 or 9 0-0 Nge7 10 b3 a6) seems okay for Black.
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #21 - 04/02/12 at 07:37:36
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3.d4 exd4 4.e5 might be a little something for white, or maybe it's just White's higher rating that speaks..

  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #20 - 04/01/12 at 18:04:36
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TalJechin wrote on 04/01/12 at 13:28:14:
Well, 3.Nc3 offers some extra options, e.g. a Tarrasch Counter Gambit with an extra tempo seems like a fun way to play!


Yes, but (3 Nc3 Nf6 4 exf5) 4...d5 is a mistake. Black should play 4...Nc6 again, transposing to the Deferred variation 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 Bc4 f5 4 exf5 Nf6.

Then 5 d4!? is an interesting try, but it seems that Black can defend; e.g.

  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #19 - 04/01/12 at 17:28:17
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Just in case: TalJechin refers to 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Nc6 4.Nf3 Bc5 5.d4 Nxd4!? with I met once in a rapid game and was all too happy to draw.
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #18 - 04/01/12 at 13:28:14
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Well, 3.Nc3 offers some extra options, e.g. a Tarrasch Counter Gambit with an extra tempo seems like a fun way to play! (just took a quick dip in the database, I'll leave the serious analysis to you)

  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #17 - 04/01/12 at 11:24:07
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TalJechin wrote on 04/01/12 at 08:06:09:
Perhaps 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d3 Bb4 5.Ne2 then?

In a KG white's extra tempo (Nc3) would allow N-QR4 now.


After 3 d3 Nf6 4 Nc3 (which of course is the same thing) I'd prefer 4...Nc6 (rather than 4...Bb4). Then 5 Nge2 could be answered by 5...Na5 (as in the reversed KG), or if 5 Nf3 only then 5...Bb4.

This also arises via 1 e4 e5 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 Bc4 f5!? (which might be called the Calabrese Counter-Gambit Deferred) 4 d3 Nf6 etc.
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #16 - 04/01/12 at 08:06:09
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Perhaps 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d3 Bb4 5.Ne2 then?

In a KG white's extra tempo (Nc3) would allow N-QR4 now.
  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #15 - 04/01/12 at 07:34:17
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Glenn Snow wrote on 04/01/12 at 03:20:29:
Isn't 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5 3.d3 Nf6 4.Nf3 plus over equals?

BPaulsen wrote on 04/01/12 at 03:27:52:
I think I'd rather play white after 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5 3.d3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.0-0 Bc5 6.Nc3 d6 7.Bg5. Is black aiming for something more incisive earlier in that duffer sequence of obvious moves?


Yes, those moves are too obvious. Black can't allow Nc3 coupled with Bg5. Instead: 4...fxe4 5 dxe4 Bb4+!? 6 c3 Bc5 intending ...d6, ...Qe7, ...Be6 and/or ...Nc6-d8 etc. I've found it's surprisingly difficult for White to achieve anything here.

One game:

  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #14 - 04/01/12 at 03:27:52
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I think I'd rather play white after 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5 3.d3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.0-0 Bc5 6.Nc3 d6 7.Bg5. Is black aiming for something more incisive earlier in that duffer sequence of obvious moves?
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #13 - 04/01/12 at 03:20:29
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Isn't 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5 3.d3 Nf6 4.Nf3 plus over equals?
  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #12 - 03/31/12 at 09:36:42
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Okay, a few replies:

SWJediknight wrote on 03/29/12 at 13:09:23:
Therefore most critical are probably 3.d3 (initiating a reversed King's Gambit Declined) and 3.Nc3, when White should get a nice edge, though nothing decisive.

I'm looking for something more concrete than one move suggestions. I'd answer these two moves: 3 d3 Nf6 and 3 Nc3 Nf6 (or 3...Nc6!?).

Gambit wrote on 03/29/12 at 17:22:38:
After 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5 3 d4 d6 4 Nf3 b5 transposes to the Philidor Counter-Gambit: Newark Gambit.

3 d4 is better met by 3...exd4, when 4 e5!? d5 followed by ...c5 is a strange sort of reversed Falkbeer. I think Black is okay here.

Bresando wrote on 03/29/12 at 13:09:41:
In case you don't know, you can find some analysis at goeller's "Urusov gambit system" website. I think he advocated 3.f4 as a way to create a sharp simmetry which should be in principle favourable to white.

3 f4 is met by 3...exf4!, transposing to the Bishop's Gambit with 3...f5!? which is not at all bad for Black.

MNb wrote on 03/30/12 at 03:17:07:
Modification: 3.d3 spoils all Black's fun

How does it do that exactly? As you suggest lower down, 3 d3 Nf6 4.f4 (this stems from Jaenisch I think, rather than Staunton) 4...Nc6 is not so bad for Black either.

Next? Smiley
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #11 - 03/31/12 at 06:47:33
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Gambit wrote on 03/30/12 at 22:19:20:
No, 3 d3 is a bad move, and rates a ?.


1...e5 is a bad move because it weakens the d5 and f5 squares, and makes the f7-pawn even more vulnerable. The best square for Black's queen is d8 so it makes no sense to create the possibility of moving it. Moving the f8-bishop isn't much better since any move along the f8-a3 diagonal will leave the g7-pawn protected. This is why the only move that scores well at the top level against 1.e4 is 1...c5.
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #10 - 03/30/12 at 22:19:20
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No, 3 d3 is a bad move, and rates a ?.
  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #9 - 03/30/12 at 21:54:54
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Gambit wrote on 03/30/12 at 20:27:46:
White is being a scaredy cat if he plays 3 d3.

Predictable. As I wrote: if LDZ writes this it's a good move.

Gambit wrote on 03/30/12 at 20:27:46:
I would continue 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5 3 d3 Nf6, transposing to the Latvian Gambit Declined.

Fortunately we get a move this time, albeit one that has been widely known since 1972 at least, when Harding in his book on the Bishop's Game gave 4.f4. According to him this move stems from Staunton.
Which obviously is no Latvian Gambit Declined.

Schuld,H - Koetsheid,P [C23]
corr, 1902

1-0

Lyell drew twice with 4...Nc6 in 1985.
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #8 - 03/30/12 at 20:27:46
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The Elephant Gambit, 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 d5, is not as dubious as you think it is. I have played it when I was younger, and won some nice games. In my first game, back in 1991, I drew FM Rudy Blumenfield. I was rated 1856 at the time, he, 2391. It was a big deal.

White is being a scaredy cat if he plays 3 d3. I would continue 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5 3 d3 Nf6, transposing to the Latvian Gambit Declined. Some old games of mine include ...Nc6 - Na5, trading off the pesky Bc4. Other plans include ...d6 , ...Qe7 ,  ...Be6, exchanging the Bc4.

And yes, I and other gambiteers still play these dangerous and risky openings over the board, Gilchrist.
  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #7 - 03/30/12 at 04:00:13
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Just a question, but how often do people actually play these gambits in tournaments? Smiley

When I used to play 1. e4 for almost ten years, the only dubious gambit I faced was 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d5?!
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #6 - 03/30/12 at 03:17:07
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Modification: 3.d3 spoils all Black's fun, but not White's. I recognize a trend: all strong moves that question LDZ's beloved openings "spoil the fun." So I strongly recommend studying moves rejected by LDZ for this reason.
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #5 - 03/30/12 at 01:32:49
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That is just avoiding all the fun.
  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #4 - 03/29/12 at 17:33:32
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What's wrong with 3.d3?
  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #3 - 03/29/12 at 17:22:38
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After 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5 3 d4 d6 4 Nf3 b5 transposes to the Philidor Counter-Gambit: Newark Gambit.
  
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Re: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #2 - 03/29/12 at 13:09:41
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In case you don't know, you can find some analysis at goeller's "Urusov gambit system" website. I think he advocated 3.f4 as a way to create a sharp simmetry which should be in principle favourable to white. My patzer mind would make me play something like 3.Nf3, but i've heard black is not badly placed in the 3.Bc4 latvian, is it right? (edit:sorry, jediknight posted while i was writing. 3.Nf3 confirmed as nothing special.)
  
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Re: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #1 - 03/29/12 at 13:09:23
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I don't believe in most of these early ...f5 lines for Black but this one appears at first glance to be rather more resilient than many of the others.

Not 3.Nf3, as that transposes to a decent line of the Latvian Gambit for Black.  Black can generate very dangerous compensation in the exchange sacrifice line 3...fxe4 4.Nxe5 d5 5.Qh5+ g6 6.Nxg6 hxg6 7.Qxh8 Kf7, and 7.Qxg6+ Kd7 is OK for Black.

I'm not convinced by 3.exf5 Nf6 either- White is a tempo up on the King's Gambit Accepted but Bf1-c4 isn't necessarily the most useful of extra tempos, it can easily be hit by a subsequent ...d5.  I'm also not sure if White gets much against 3.d4 exd4.

Therefore most critical are probably 3.d3 (initiating a reversed King's Gambit Declined) and 3.Nc3, when White should get a nice edge, though nothing decisive.
  
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C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
03/29/12 at 10:45:00
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So what's wrong with this then? Smiley
« Last Edit: 03/29/12 at 13:30:51 by Smyslov_Fan »  

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