80. The Refutation of the King’s Gambit – Part 11

This is the final part of my series on the King’s Gambit. For many readers, who are not interested in this topic, it may have appeared to be far too long. However, the thing is, if you shout “Refutation!” you are obliged to deliver the proof. I hope, I have been successful with that endeavor and that some of you have enjoyed the ride!

[Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "King's Gambit"] [Black "Schallopp Variation"] [Result "*"] [ECO "C36"] [Annotator "Wahls"] [PlyCount "62"] [SourceVersionDate "2002.05.06"]

{[%evp 0,62,25,18,5,1,-2,-2,3,-19,-16,-42,-39,-31,-54,-59,-54,-41,-41,-43,-38,
-38,20,8,8,8,8,8,-8,-29,-12,-14,10,-3,-3,-8,6,-2,-3,-13,8,-9,-4,20,20,31,0,0,0,
0,0,-8,44,0,0,0,0,-43,-60,-67,0,0,-50,-50,-40]} 1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 Nf6
4. Nc3 d5 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Bb5+ {[#] This move has only been played 7 times in almost 800 games, but receives the highest evaluation by Stockfish. Here is, what may be the reason for this discrepancy: While it actually could be White's
best move, it doesn't appear to be very attractive due to its lame character.
White plays directly for the draw and doesn't receive any substantial winning
chances. Obviously, this perspective is rather unattractive for the average
King's Gambit player. Black has several options to play for a slight advantage
without any risk.} c6 7. Qe2+ Be6 8. Nxd5 Qxd5 9. Ba4 {[#] These moves are
more or less forced. Nevertheless, we already lost 6 of the 7 games we started
with after 6.Lb5+. Yet another proof that chess is a difficult game.} Nd7 {
There are alternative ways of piece development available and also one interesting
idea to improve the location of the queen:} (9... Na6 10. Bb3 Qd7 11. d4 Bd6
$15) (9... Qd8 $5 {The queen is heading for f6.} 10. Bb3 (10. O-O $6 Nd7 11. d4
(11. Bb3 $2 Nc5 $17) 11... Bd6 12. Bb3 Qf6 13. Bxe6 fxe6 14. Re1 O-O-O {
Black is returning the pawn for positional benefits.} 15. Qxe6 Rde8 16. Qxf6
Rxe1+ 17. Nxe1 Nxf6 18. Bd2 Re8 $17 {Black's kingside majority is very strong
and the king will probably arrive at f5 in the short-term.}) 10... Qf6 11. d4
Bd6 12. Bxe6 fxe6 (12... Qxe6 $15) 13. Bd2 Nd7 14. O-O-O O-O (14... O-O-O 15.
Rhf1 g5 $15) 15. Ng5 Rae8 16. Ne4 Qe7 $15 {Black holds on to his extra pawn.})
(9... Be7 {That's how our only practical example continued.} 10. Bb3 Qd6 11. d3
$2 (11. d4 Nd7 12. Bxe6 fxe6 13. Bd2 O-O 14. O-O-O Rae8 15. Rhe1 Bd8 $15) 11...
Nd7 $146 (11... O-O $2 {0-1 (43) Wilshusen,H-Gonschior,M Germany 1986}) 12.
Bxe6 fxe6 13. Bd2 e5 $17) 10. Bb3 Qb5 $1 {[#]} (10... Qd6 11. d4 (11. Ng5 $2
Nc5 $17) 11... Be7 (11... O-O-O $5 12. Bd2 h6 13. O-O-O g5) 12. Bxe6 fxe6 13.
Bd2 O-O 14. O-O-O Rae8 15. Rhe1 Bd8 $15 {Again, Black ends up with an extra
pawn, but it is not that easy to make progress.}) 11. Qxb5 {White can't avoid
the exchange of queens:} (11. d3 $2 O-O-O 12. Bxe6 Re8 13. a4 Qh5 14. Nd4 Qh4+
15. Kd1 fxe6 $19) 11... cxb5 {That's a micro pattern we know from the
Caro-Kann or the Skandinavian Defense. This change of structure helps Black to
gain a lot of space on the queenside.} 12. d4 (12. d3 $6 {This recuperates the
pawn, but leaves Black with a big positional plus.} Bd6 13. Nd4 Rc8 14. Nxb5
Bb8 15. Nc3 O-O 16. Bd2 Nc5 17. Bxe6 Nxe6 18. O-O-O f6 $15 {Black's majority
is more threatening.}) 12... Bd6 13. O-O (13. Bxe6 $2 fxe6 14. Bd2 h6 15. O-O-O
O-O $19 {leaves White with no compensation for the minus pawn.}) 13... Nf6 {[#] } 14. c3 {The idea is to prevent a future Nd5-b4 and also to play a2-a4, when
the answer b5-b4 can be countered by c3-c4.} (14. Re1 $6 O-O-O 15. Bxe6+ fxe6
16. Rxe6 Rhe8 17. Rxe8 Rxe8 18. Bd2 Kd7 (18... Ne4 19. Re1 Kd7 20. Re2 g5 $15)
19. Ne5+ Bxe5 20. dxe5 Nd5 $15 {Black's king and knight are very active here.})
(14. Ne5 $6 Nd5 15. Bxd5 Bxd5 16. Bxf4 f6 17. Nd3 Be7 $15) 14... Bxb3 (14... h6
$5 15. Re1 O-O-O 16. Bxe6+ fxe6 17. Ne5 (17. Rxe6 $2 Rhe8 $17) 17... Bxe5 18.
Rxe5 Nd5 19. Rxe6 Rhe8 20. Rxe8 Rxe8 21. Kf2 g5 $36) 15. axb3 Rg8 {Black can't
prepare g5 with 15..h6:} (15... h6 $2 16. Nh4 g5 17. Nf5 Kd7 18. g3 $11) 16.
Re1+ (16. Nh4 $2 g5 17. Nf5 Kd7 18. g3 Bc7 $17) 16... Kf8 17. Bd2 g5 18. c4 {
[#] Of course, White has to get his majority going. Its effectiveness, however,
is limited by the fact, that it is impossible to push both of the pawns to the
5th rank.} h6 {Preparing Kg7.} 19. Bc3 (19. cxb5 $2 Kg7 20. h4 Kg6 $19 {
While White's pawns are shattered, Black's majority remains extremely powerful.
}) (19. h4 a6 20. cxb5 Nd5 $15 {Black returned the pawn for obtaining the
superior structure.}) 19... b4 {The bishop cannot be tolerated on the long
diagonal.} (19... Ng4 20. Bd2 Nf6 21. Bc3) 20. Bd2 a6 ({An alternative
approach is} 20... a5 21. c5 Bc7 22. Bxb4 Kg7 23. Bd2 (23. Bc3 Nd5 $15) 23...
Rge8 24. Rxe8 Rxe8 25. Kf1 Nd5 $36) 21. Ra4 Kg7 22. h4 (22. Bxb4 $2 b5 $17)
22... a5 {Black has to abandon his g-pawn.} (22... Kg6 $2 23. Bxb4 $11) 23.
hxg5 hxg5 24. Nxg5 b6 {[#] After the material equilibrium has been restored,
Black ends up having the better piece activity. Here, his king plays a
important part.} 25. Raa1 (25. Nf3 Nh5 26. Raa1 Kf6 $15 {White has to pay
attention to his vulnerable g-pawn.}) 25... Nh5 26. Nf3 Ng3 27. Ne5 (27. Rad1
$2 Rad8 $17) 27... Nf5 28. Bxf4 Nxd4 29. Nc6 $8 Nf3+ 30. gxf3 Kf6+ 31. Kf1 Bxf4
$15 {[#] Black's pieces are more active and will try to target White's b-pawns
in the long-run.} *

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