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Lawrence Day vs Michael Adams
Staunton Memorial (2006), Crowthorne ENG, rd 9, Aug-23
King's Gambit: Accepted. Bonsch-Osmolovsky Variation (C34)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-24-06  KingG: I think White should have tried h5 at some point. For example, 11.h5 Ne7 12.Bxf4 doesn't look too bad.

Or even earlier, 9.h5 Ne7 10.h6!?(or even 10.Qd3, putting pressure on h7) might be interesting.

h5 could have been played on a couple of other occasions as well. In fact, even in the final position, it might be White's best move, creating some complications.

Aug-24-06  mang00neg: is this game incomplete or did resignation occur in the final position? also why not 12. Bxg6 Be6 13. Bxf7+ Bxf7 14. Qd3 seems fine or in the actual gamem why was 13. d5 rejected?
Aug-24-06  Kingdom NL: If 12. Bxg6 Be6 13.Bxf7 Bxf7 14. Qd3, 14..Bc4 is very unpleasant after Q moves will follow 15...Re8
Aug-24-06  lentil: wtf?! 12. Bxg6 Be6?? simply loses a piece to 13. Bd3

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <wtf?! 12. Bxg6 Be6?? simply loses a piece to 13. Bd3> Don't forget that white Queen is hanging.:-D
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 7.0-0 looks fine too. Black cannot hold the f-Pawn for long there. 13.Qc2 was a mistake. 13.d5 Bg4 would be bad as well for white but after 13.Bd3 the game is still far from over.
Aug-25-06  Kingdom NL: I agree with you Honza, 7.0-0 looks better but if I had to choose I already like black his position more.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <Kingdom NL> I don't know. For example, 7.0-0 Bd6 (preventing eventual Bxg6 and Bxf4) 8.c4 c5 9.b4!? cxb4 10.a3 looks quite promising for white and white has other fine continuations as well. After 8...f5 9.Bc2 c5 10.Re1+ Be7 11.Nc3 0-0 12.Nd5 white is clearly better. I think that it is still black who has to fight for equality, not white.
Aug-25-06  KingG: I don't think there is anything wrong with 7.h4, but then it's bit strange to not play h5.

Personally i prefer 5.Nc3 in this opening, as i think the knight is better placed on e4 than the bishop, but it's quite sharp.

Spassky showed how it's done in the following game Spassky vs Seirawan, 1985.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <I don't think there is anything wrong with 7.h4> Probably not. But 7.0-0 is viable alternative at least. I think that potential of King's Gambit is still far from being drained.:-)
Aug-25-06  Kingdom NL: @ Honza..what about 7.0-0 Bd6 8. c4 c6 instead of c5? Looks quite equal to me but Im happy to hear your point of view :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: Some history about 3..Ne7:
a) Back in 1983 the Toronto Chess Club held 15-minute tournaments on Wednesday evenings. Bryon Nickoloff and I were the IM favorites. Maybe 10% of the time somebody else won the event, but usually it was either he or I. As I recall the first time he surprised me with 3..Ne7 4.d4 d5 I played the obvious but bad 5.exd5?! Nxd5 6.c4(?) Bb4+ 7.Kf2 Ne3 8.Qa4+ Nc6 9.d5 to rush lemming-like to my doom. Well that didn't work, so next time I had White against the Nick I played 5.Nc3 developing the problem piece and leaving the awkward ♘ at the blocked e7-square, so I won that one~and Spassky later made the startling brevity vs Seirawan also with 5.Nc3 referenced above. Thereupon Nickoloff gave up 3..Ne7 and mentioned that 5.Bd3!? was even stronger than 5.Nc3 since Black was left with a "stupid game". b) 7.h4!? is looking for adventure. More 'spiderly' was simply 7.Bxg6 hxg6 8.Bxf4 when White's Queen-side pawn majority is healthier than Black's with the doubleton g-pawns. Consummate King's gambiteer David Bronstein might have played that. c) 8.h5 Ne7 9.h6 is certainly possible. After 9..g6 10.d5! threatening ♕d4 is scary so Black more likely lets the g-file open, with a mess. d)11.Qb3? Played fast and loose, this move is spectacularly weak. 11.h5 is arv and strong. e) 11..Nb6! Ouch! I thought he was going to play 11..Nf6. Suddenly Black is happy. f) 13.Qc2??? What can I say? The hand did not respond (13.Bd3) to the brain's command. I suspect it is something about aging. And also, every 1400-player will recognize such..
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: Nigel Short in the Sept. 7 Guardian:
"Those with a predilection for antiquated openings were thrilled to see the veteran Lawrence Day venture the King's Gambit against the British number one Michael Adams at the Staunton Memorial the other week. That joy was, alas, extremely short-lived as the Canadian lost pathetically in 13 brief moves. The result was no surprise, given the disparity in rating between the pair, but the spectators were cheated out of a more spirited display from Day: if every King's Gambiteer were to resign the moment he got a dubious position, a pretty sorry opening it would be. One might conclude that the King's Gambit has no place in modern tournament chess - but that would be wrong. Its dodgy reputation is unquestionably an asset. Most leading young players view hours spent studying the venerable sacrifice as time wasted (Adams is old and canny enough not to fall into this category), and therefore content themselves with a brief and superficial acquaintance with its complexities. This leaves ample opportunity for the industrious archaeologist to familiarise himself with the ancient labyrinth into which he might drag his victim. In the 20th century, Boris Spassky was unquestionably its most outstanding practitioner, and he never lost a game with it. His success was due to his remarkable flexibility; he could easily switch from full-frontal assault to a quiet, queenless endgame at a moment's notice. Mind you, even Spassky understood that proffering a valuable pawn on the second move was an extremely hazardous affair, and he essayed it only intermittently..."

a) Nigel doesn't mention that he himself has played some very fine King's Gambits; b) Mikey is highly unlikely to repeat this variation since 7.Bxg6 makes for a clear White advantage; c) 13.Qc2?? is a ridiculous move. After 13.Bd3 (intended) or even 13.d5 there is worthwhile play. After my hand spaz I saw no point in prolonging the suffering. White was dead.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Thank you for some very interesting comments, Lawrence!
Dec-31-07  xrt999: < Honza Cervenka: <I don't think there is anything wrong with 7.h4> Probably not. > I cant even look at this game after 7.h4.

I mean , no offense, but what is the point of 7.h4? 8.h5 to drive the knight back?

Dec-31-07  RookFile: Well, it's not like white never plays h4 in the King's Gambit. Of course he does. As IM Day mentioned, he might have kept right on going with h5 and h6 while he was at it.

Bottom line: if you want to play it safe, the King's Gambit is the wrong opening.

Thank you IM Day for your comments!

Dec-31-07  Riverbeast: <Mikey is highly unlikely to repeat this variation since 7.Bxg6 makes for a clear White advantage>

Is it so clear? Black has a bishop pair and an open h file...

After 7. Bxg6 hxg6 8. Bxf4 Bg4, I wouldn't mind playing black's game...Maybe black should try to castle queenside...

Dec-31-07  thewolf: I was actually at the game and believe i was the only member of the public there to witness the game other than those involved in the tourney. It was a weird game as Mr Day seem to leave the playing area after nearly every move while Adams just waited patiently for him to return. I distinctly remember him making his last move really quickly after another lengthy break and resigned soon afterwards in the final position.I think the game only lasted 15 to 20 minutes.
Dec-31-07  xrt999: 7.Bxg6 seems to be the logical refutation to this opening.

Unfortunately, someone who plays the KG may not be comfortable or willing to transpose into a non-KG positional game with more concrete lines with a move like 7.Bxg6. As was mentioned above, Spassky could morph from KG lines into these positions seamlessly and without discomfort, perhaps intentionally.

People who play the KG want to disrupt the norm; 7.h4 is more stylisctically aligned with KG theory and proponents of the KG wouldnt suprise me to argue in favor of a crud move like 7.h4. In fact, Day calls 7.h4 "looking for adventure".

I call it "a bad move".

Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: Now I don't like either 7.h4 or 7.Bxg6 but maybe 7.Qe2 e.g. 7..Be7 8.Bxg6 hxg6 9.Bxf4 Bg4 10.Nc3 intending 0-0-0. After 7.Bxg6 hxg6 Black should also want to castle long. He has an interesting way to develop the ♖ at h5 which gives counterplay. The KGA is far from played out but the moves aren't easy to find. As for not staying at the board, that's true. I had an itchy shin rash that distracted from sitting still. Also, though I didn't know it, I was working on a nasty stomach ulcer which blew out a few months later. Still, after 1.e4 e5 there are some very boring ways to play for a draw with White but I just never found them to be much fun.
Jan-14-08  xrt999: thanks for your comments. When I say bad move, I mean that in the context of the KG, which I find distasteful.

maybe I am playing too much against the computer.. As white, I find the KG is useless against the engine because of the engine's ability to exploit the vague and subtle deficiencies in the KG. On the other hand, the engine will also play the KG as white quite often; again, its ability to exploit the positional weaknesses in the KG which its human opponent cannot grasp and defend.

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