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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Chessable - Grandmaster Gambits 1.e4 (2021) (Read 5934 times)
SWJediknight
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Re: Chessable - Grandmaster Gambits 1.e4 (2021)
Reply #37 - 07/16/21 at 15:33:56
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Eric Rosen has had a number of fine attacking wins in the Stafford Gambit at blitz, and on Lichess.org it's scored quite well for Black, so maybe it's good in the right hands as a blitz weapon.  When his opponents find one of the several "refutations", he ends up a pawn down for not much, but that's often just a slight disadvantage in blitz.  But it's telling that he doesn't use the line in serious tournament games, like at the recent Las Vegas tournament where he preferred to defend a slightly offbeat line of the Scotch Game.  I think in tournament games you run the risk of having many depressing losses where you never really had much for the pawn, and unlike at blitz, you have to suffer for quite some time.

Like the Halloween Gambit for White, it's one of those lines that I'm happy to try at blitz or in casual games from time to time for a bit of fun, but I'm having too much fun with the rather sounder gambits and attacking lines arising from the Two Knights Defence, the Ruy Lopez Modern Steinitz and the Scandinavian lines advocated by David Smerdon to make the Stafford a regular part of my repertoire.

Another line that can be a lot of fun in blitz is the Nakhmanson Gambit for White, 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.Nc3?! (instead of 6.Re1 d5 7.Bxd5 Qxd5 8.Nc3 as discussed earlier).  White gets a strong attack after 6...dxc3 7.Bxf7+ Kxf7 8.Qd5+, followed by Re1 and then taking on e4.  The main problem with it is that Black can play 6...Nxc3 or 6...Nd6, and end up with an extra pawn for just half a pawn's worth of compensation.  Again, at blitz and in casual games this line can provide some players with a lot of fun, but in classical tournament chess it's too risky.

In contrast the anti-Lange lines with 5...Nxe4 6.Re1 d5 7.Bxd5 Qxd5 8.Nc3 are sound, the problem with them is rather that they're equal and that in practice Black scores well, and at higher levels it can be hard to create winning chances.
  
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Re: Chessable - Grandmaster Gambits 1.e4 (2021)
Reply #36 - 04/27/21 at 01:06:20
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Yeah that's interesting. It's even more interesting if you put it in an engine, which shows that any 1973 analysis (or older, depending on where Harding got it from) needs to be regarded with suspicion.  The HIARCS opening book gives 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 Nc6 4.d4 Qe7 (the engine very slightly prefers 4...Nxe5, but really about the same) 5.Nxc6?. The engine much prefers 5.Nc3 Nxe5 6.dxe5 Qxe5 7.f4.

Should we discuss this in the Stafford Gambit thread?
https://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?num=1498414874
  
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Re: Chessable - Grandmaster Gambits 1.e4 (2021)
Reply #35 - 04/26/21 at 22:40:06
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On a historical note, seeing (what is now called) the Stafford Gambit reminded of the bit on it in Tim Harding's 1973 book Counter Gambits:

After 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 Black can play, instead of the usual 3...d6, a move not mentioned by Keres, nor by Hooper in his study of the Petroff:  3...Nc6?!.  The main idea behind this is a version of the Legal trap: 4. Nxc6 (If 4. d4 Qe7! 5. Nxc6 Qxe4+ 6. Be2! with the edge to White) 4...dxc6 5. d3 Bc5 6. Bg5?? (6. Be2 is correct) 6...Nxe4!! and Black wins, since if 7. dxe4 Bxf2+ or 7. Bxd8 Bxf2+ 8. Ke2 Bg4 mate.
  
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Re: Chessable - Grandmaster Gambits 1.e4 (2021)
Reply #34 - 04/26/21 at 22:02:38
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bragesjo wrote on 04/26/21 at 10:27:27:
This thread got me to think of a Chessbase 1h DVD about a black repertoar in Stafford Gambit and has a chapter called 'The refutation".

For those who don't know, the Stafford Gambit is 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 Nc6 4.Nxc6 dxc6. And you mean this DVD. https://shop.chessbase.com/en/products/ris_stafford_gambit_in_60_minutes
  1. Introduction
  2. Theory
  3. Typical Tactics
  4. Let's have some fun
  5. h7-h5
  6. Refutation
  7. Stafford Reversed and Move Order
  8. Outro

Obviously the DVD is better with the Refutation chapter than without. Even those who are only interested in white might want to know why some of their other options are *not* the refutation. I haven't seen the DVD, so I don't know if Robert Ris actually recommends it for black, or just covers the theory in some neutral way.

For myself or any of my students (if I still had any) I would be quite satisfied with Richard James's article. It gives more than enough information. https://chessimprover.com/stafford-gambit/ As Larry Evans said about similar openings, take the pawn and win.

If some student were keen to always play gambits as black, first I would try to discourage it. Failing that, I would recommend they have a lot of different gambits up their sleeve, so as not to present a fixed target. In that case it might be worth looking at the Stafford Gambit. It's just one more way to give up a pawn for inadequate compensation. About the only merit to that opening strategy is that most players, even at the very top, are much worse defenders than attackers. How much of a pawn that difference is worth is the $64,000 question.

But I don't think the Stafford Gambit is at all comparable to the Anti-Max Lange. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.O-O Nxe4 is just equal. There is no refutation. I took a look at the statistics, white scores about 47%. Interestingly, if we look at games before 1999, white used to score about 45%. This makes sense, because over time computers will cause statistics in equal positions to trend to 50%, and statistics in winning positions to trend to 100%. To me, the choice is between a few "serious" craft, like the Spanish or Scotch or Positional Italian, a raft of "other" openings which give equality, and the "dubious" flotsam and jetsam. If you choose the "other" category, it doesn't really matter which one. Just find one that interests you, study it well, and keep playing it until you are no longer satisfied with the results.
  
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Re: Chessable - Grandmaster Gambits 1.e4 (2021)
Reply #33 - 04/26/21 at 18:30:10
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Yes, but I will say a couple of things in defense of Soltis. First, what he writes is generally factually correct, in a journalistic sense. The moves he gives happened, the results happened. It's like Wikipedia -- not 100% guaranteed to be true, but all factual and sourced (provided the contributors adhere to the Wikipedia standards). Second, if one tries to insist that Soltis needs to meet a higher research standard, then the rebuttal is he is not writing for that level. He is simply presenting the book moves for the lower two levels I mentioned before. If someone wants more, they will need to buy a different book, a much more expensive book.

Having said that, sometimes the mistakes in Soltis are entirely his fault. I have in mind a horrid blunder in his Tchigorin Defense book which was beneath a grandmaster. Beneath most club players actually. And he didn't get it from any game.

As for me, I didn't read Soltis because I trusted his analysis. I read Soltis because I knew other players would rely on it. But these days there aren't many points are to be found in out-preparing Soltis. Most players use databases and engines and don't even look at Soltis, so my methods also have to be different.
  
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Re: Chessable - Grandmaster Gambits 1.e4 (2021)
Reply #32 - 04/26/21 at 17:45:13
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I seem to recall that Soltis's analysis of the Møller Attack in that book was also quite flawed, according to Nunn in Secrets of Practical Chess.
  
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Re: Chessable - Grandmaster Gambits 1.e4 (2021)
Reply #31 - 04/26/21 at 17:14:01
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TopNotch wrote on 04/21/21 at 12:09:27:
Ditto my friend and if this Chessable Course was marketed as a Blitz & Rapid repertoire my verdict on it would have been less harsh.

This is of course correct. As Ehlvest repeatedly says in Grandmaster Opening Preparation, it all depends on your level.

Winning once in a while by catching someone in an opening they haven't seen before isn't too impressive, e.g. the recent Jones - So, New in Chess Classic 2021.
https://chessexpress.blogspot.com/2021/04/he-chose-poorly.html

Of course it's nice to win, and against a stronger opponent if we know it and they don't then we will take it. But the litmus test of any white opening is: If you play it repeatedly against equal-level opponents, how will your results be? And the answer will depend on your level.
  • At a lower level players will avoid the book moves in a second game. They haven't looked at it in the meantime and they are afraid that you have.
  • At a higher level players are more confident. For one thing they did look at it at home! That's one of the reasons they made it to the higher level. Here you will face the book moves, so if your opening is less than equal you are going to suffer.
  • At a somewhat higher level, they will not just study the book, they will improve on it. This is a severe test for any opening. A "merely" equal opening can become quite unpleasant if your opponents are constantly making you think of new things at the board. It's very helpful if other strong players are also playing "your side" so you aren't alone against an army in the battle of new moves.
  • I won't speak about what happens at the highest level. There are books about it, for example the aforementioned Ehlvest book.

I'm trying a new policy of not posting about openings without giving some moves. In 1996 I picked up Soltis (1996) Winning with the Giuoco Piano and the Max Lange Attack, and played through the whole thing to prepare for black. This was an ordinary professional thing to do, since I could count on white players to also be studying this "latest" theory.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6
I usually play 3...Bc5 and found some ideas for black against Soltis there as well.
4.d4 exd4 5.O-O Nxe4 6.Re1 d5 7.Bxd5
A 2000-player once tried 7.Nc3. He was surprised by 3...Nf6 because as mentioned he usually saw 3...Bc5 from me, but he was even more surprised that I knew more theory after 7.Nc3 than he did.
7...Qxd5 8.Nc3 Qa5 9.Nxe4 Be6 10.Neg5 O-O-O 11.Nxe6 fxe6 12.Rxe6 Bd6 13.Bg5
A 1700-player once tried 13.Ng5 against me. Often when I ask lower-rated players why they do something like this, they will say that they knew the book move but wanted to try something different. I can't criticize this because I have sometimes done the same thing! If there is something you are wondering about, then play it against a strong player and your question will be answered. But if the answer is you are "afraid" to play the book move (see above) because your opponent might know more, then that's not good.
13...Rde8
13...Rdf8 is the other move.
14.Qe1 Qxe1+ 15.Raxe1 Rxe6
or 15...Kd7 16.Rxe8 Rxe8 17.Rxe8 Kxe8
16.Rxe6

* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
*

Here Soltis continues 16...Kd7 17.Re4 Re8 18.Rxe8 Kxe8 19.Kf1 and suggests white is better in the ending, based on a correspondence game which white won. But he missed a tactical trick for black, played in a later correspondence game, and which nowadays you can easily find in the otb databases.

Anyway back then I didn't have any million-games database. I went looking for an improvement the old-fashioned way, and thought of 16...Rf8!?, with the idea ...Rf5-c5! There is more to it than that, I did a little work on the position. It's equal of course. One nice thing is it's not as drawish as 16...Re8. I didn't have long to wait, and in 1997 I won a training game against a master.

Years later in 2003 I also won a blitz game with 16...Rf8 against another young master. I hesitated a few seconds over whether to "reveal" this idea in a blitz game, but since I rarely play the Two Knights anyway I figured a little "reputation" was more beneficial than a little secrecy. This blitz game shows I think how a little preparation goes a long way, since too many people just copy what someone else shows them.

Today I can see I was far from the first one to think of 16...Rf8, because the first game in the database is from 1994. That's before Soltis's book came out, so I guess Soltis also did not have a great database. At least he was clever enough to be looking at correspondence games.
  
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Re: Chessable - Grandmaster Gambits 1.e4 (2021)
Reply #30 - 04/26/21 at 10:27:27
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This thread got me to think of a Chessbase 1h DVD about a black repertoar in Stafford Gambit and has a chapter called 'The refutation".
  
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Re: Chessable - Grandmaster Gambits 1.e4 (2021)
Reply #29 - 04/25/21 at 18:20:42
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MW wrote on 04/24/21 at 20:38:14:
just click on the blue variation


Thanks. That works.

I tried a couple of the free "short and Sweet" books and was favorably impressed. There is plenty of good material for free, but I can see benefit to buying the complete version, when available.
  
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Re: Chessable - Grandmaster Gambits 1.e4 (2021)
Reply #28 - 04/24/21 at 20:38:14
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If you just want to read the text and play through the moves rather than clicking on "review or overstudy" just click on the blue variation info at the top of the variation you want to play through and it is then kind of like an e-book.
  
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Re: Chessable - Grandmaster Gambits 1.e4 (2021)
Reply #27 - 04/24/21 at 18:30:32
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TopNotch wrote on 03/08/21 at 03:43:39:
Anyone has any thoughts on this new Chessable Course, 'Grandmaster Gambits 1.e4' by Simon Williams & Richard Palliser?


I am new to Chessable. I started a free course. It proceeded in drill fashion of my repeating the moves that had been played. That may be a good idea for a line one has chosen. But it seems a waste of time when one merely wants to find out the content/direction of the course.

Is all Chessable based on drills!
  
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Re: Chessable - Grandmaster Gambits 1.e4 (2021)
Reply #26 - 04/23/21 at 15:50:02
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TopNotch wrote on 03/08/21 at 20:40:58:
we are treated to another internet encounter where the line is tested again, this time Ginger gets to employ one of the Courses big novelties 13.c3!? against an unsuspecting fellow GM, for the record I think that 14...Rad8 is even more convincing than what 'DryCounty' did, anyway lets tune in and witness all the 'Fun' Ginger was having: https://youtu.be/Uywru5_sHNE?t=4433


I may be beating a dead horse in saying that the Anti-Max Lange (5...Nxe4!) is basically equal, especially after 8...Qd7 and subsequent play. The position at move 13 looks equal. I doubt see that 13c3 changes the evaluation, but have not seen the course. According to Stockfish, the given game remains equal until move 31 when the engine identifies 31Ne4 as a (natural) mistake (31a4 still equal). At move 24 Williams states the game is probably equal, but if anyone is better it's black - bishop vs knight in the endgame. I think his judgment is right.

I think GM Williams' mistake was talking during a speed chess game vs. a fellow GM! When I talk during a speed game, it probably costs me at least 200 rating points. Also, as he admits more than once, he forgot the theory (past move 13). So he's looking for an advantage that thinks he has, but just can't find. That's a misdirection and waste of time and energy. We've all been there.

To me the game illustrates that chess is a hard game. One can easily go astray. GM Williams makes his first real mistake on move 31. Nor does he suspect that he went wrong.

The moves up to move 13 may be the most drawish sequence available. But even here there is some residual interest. I currently think 13Nc3 is best. 13Qh5!? might be the most "startling" move in the position. The dangling knight is well and truly poisoned. The game remains about equal after the precise 13...Rae8! 14Qd5!

5...Nxe4! has been known to be basically equal, since forever. Yet players can still win from either side, even at the GM level, provided that one is talking during a speed game.

50-0 is certainly not a move to build a career around. But it can be fun in a casual or speed game.
  
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Re: Chessable - Grandmaster Gambits 1.e4 (2021)
Reply #25 - 04/21/21 at 12:09:27
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FreeRepublic wrote on 04/20/21 at 20:16:22:
SWJediknight wrote on 03/15/21 at 11:42:52:
Probably the best line against 8...Qd7 is the "mainstream" 9.Nxe4 Be7 10.Bg5 0-0 11.Bxe7 Qxe7 12.Nxd4 Bd7


Some authors have been disdainful of white's chances. That includes Lokander, "White is struggling to equalize," and Fishbein, who advocates 5.e5 instead of 5.0-0.

Burgess and Baker are the only recent authors, that I know of, who advocate 50-0. On move thirteen, they cover 3 moves for white. Fishbein covers two moves. With some overlap that is 4 moves in total I've looked at a couple more.

As a teenager, I only looked at these lines from the black side of the board. As white, I played the Ruy Lopez. A few decades later, I am having fun playing these lines for white.

Why bother playing a line that "only equalizes"? For starters, it is hard to prepare all the lines in the Ruy. While I respect the Giuoco Pianissimo, I can't bring myself to play it for white. Secondly, I am amazed at the number of players on-line who do not basic theory that I knew as a teenager. Thirdly, I actually see these lines. It's not like burning the midnight oil finding something I like against the Marshall countergambit, only to face a Schlieman deferred. Fourthly, chess is a long game. Equality in the opening still leaves room for a middle and end game contest.

Finally this line, along with the Evans gambit, garners style points. White is clearly playing for open lines and development, casting other concerns aside. It does not given an advantage, but it doesn't lose either.


Ditto my friend and if this Chessable Course was marketed as a Blitz & Rapid repertoire my verdict on it would have been less harsh. The discussion boards on Chessable has long since died down regarding this Course and Ginger himself has moved on to other openings in his Twitch and Youtube streams.

The trend by many authors promoting Opening courses on chessable is to market the lines in Youtube blitz streams or so called Speed Runs. Sometimes these streams can be quite insightful, especially when the overall results are unedited.
  

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Re: Chessable - Grandmaster Gambits 1.e4 (2021)
Reply #24 - 04/20/21 at 20:16:22
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SWJediknight wrote on 03/15/21 at 11:42:52:
Probably the best line against 8...Qd7 is the "mainstream" 9.Nxe4 Be7 10.Bg5 0-0 11.Bxe7 Qxe7 12.Nxd4 Bd7


Some authors have been disdainful of white's chances. That includes Lokander, "White is struggling to equalize," and Fishbein, who advocates 5.e5 instead of 5.0-0.

Burgess and Baker are the only recent authors, that I know of, who advocate 50-0. On move thirteen, they cover 3 moves for white. Fishbein covers two moves. With some overlap that is 4 moves in total I've looked at a couple more.

As a teenager, I only looked at these lines from the black side of the board. As white, I played the Ruy Lopez. A few decades later, I am having fun playing these lines for white.

Why bother playing a line that "only equalizes"? For starters, it is hard to prepare all the lines in the Ruy. While I respect the Giuoco Pianissimo, I can't bring myself to play it for white. Secondly, I am amazed at the number of players on-line who do not basic theory that I knew as a teenager. Thirdly, I actually see these lines. It's not like burning the midnight oil finding something I like against the Marshall countergambit, only to face a Schlieman deferred. Fourthly, chess is a long game. Equality in the opening still leaves room for a middle and end game contest.

Finally this line, along with the Evans gambit, garners style points. White is clearly playing for open lines and development, casting other concerns aside. It does not given an advantage, but it doesn't lose either.
  
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Re: Chessable - Grandmaster Gambits 1.e4 (2021)
Reply #23 - 03/15/21 at 11:42:52
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I checked the database (Chesslive.de, via ChessBase) and it seems that while 8...Qd7 has been gaining in popularity, the majority of recent games have seen 8...Qh5 or 8...Qa5 (Qh5 gaining against Qa5 in recent years, but Qa5 is still quite common).
Probably the best line against 8...Qd7 is the "mainstream" 9.Nxe4 Be7 10.Bg5 0-0 11.Bxe7 Qxe7 12.Nxd4 Bd7, as while 9.Rxe4+ Be7 10.Nxd4 f5 11.Rf4 0-0 12.Nxc6 Qxc6 gives White more of a flurry of activity, Black is more likely to get an edge there due to the bishop pair after fending off White's initial activity.  In the first line White's active knights keep the position balanced.
  
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