Chess Opening: Allgaier Gambit


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Introducing the Allgaier Gambit - an opening variation of the King's Gambit. An interesting attacking weapon for club players

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Chess Opening: Allgaier Gambit

  2. 2. The position on the board is known as the King's gambit 1.e4 e5 2.f4 ef 1.e4 e5 2.f4 ef The standard King's gambit position: now Black must decide to accept or decline the pawn! White's general strategy is <ul><li>Give up the f-pawn to gain central control (d4)
  3. 3. Develop quickly and naturally
  4. 4. Attack the vulnerable f7 square
  5. 5. Checkmate the Black King! </li></ul>By accepting the pawn with 2. ..ef, Black wins a pawn but is likely to have to defend a direct attack. Accepting the pawn is however the only way to instantly challenge White's opening choice. Once Black has accepted the pawn, a decision has to be made as to how to blunt White's initiative One try is with 3. .. g5 but this allows White to play the risky but tricky Allgaier gambit
  6. 6. g5 also has a threat! It could go to g4 disrupting the White Knight on f3. Remember White wants to develop and attack quickly! Black in turn decides to support the extra pawn on f4 immediately with g5 (Note: although f4 is not currently attacked it easily could be.) White's brings the Knight to f3 preventing Black from playing Qh4+ which would disrupt White's King position. The Knight also eyes the important central squares d4 and e5. 3.Nf3 g5?! 1.e4 e5 2.f4 ef 3.Nf3 g5?! Remember...Black wants to disrupt White's plans! With g5 played, Black if given time could also play h6 when the chain of pawns on the Kingside would be very difficult to break through .
  7. 7. For tactical reasons Black cannot defend with h6 or f6 (see next slide) There is now a lot of pressure on g5. 4. .. Be7 doesn't appeal either after 5.hxg5 Bxg5 6.d4, White has a significant advantage White plays h4 so that Black can not consolidate with h6 4. h4 g4 1.e4 e5 2.f4 ef 3.Nf3 g5?! 4.h4! g4 So Black is left with the aggressive looking g5-g4 attacking White's knight and planting two pawns in White's territory!
  8. 8. Tactical Points 1.e4 e5 2.f4 ef 3.Nf3 g5?! 4.h4! f6? - 5.Nxg5!! Followed by Qh5+ After 4.h4! f6?? (Diagram) White can secure a big advantage With 5.Nxg5!! when 5. … fxg5 is met by Qh5+ And 4. .. h6 is also a blunder Now 5.hxg5 and Black cannot take back anyway because the Rook on h8 will be hanging!
  9. 9. The Knight on g5 appears to have nowhere to go! ... The sacrifice on f7 therefore is not just tempting, it's virtually forced! Black plays pawn to h6 to attack the White Knight. Of course this isn't forced but other moves are less effective. Note that if Black tried to win material by playing f6 instead of h6 the reply Qxg4 (with the threat of Qh5+) is good for White. White's Knight opts to go to g5 which makes it the Allgaier Gambit – it could go to e5 which is considered 'objectively more sound' but is not so aggressive...or fun! 5. Ng5?! h6 1.e4 e5 2.f4 ef 3.Nf3 g5?! 4.h4! g4 5.Ng5?! h6
  10. 10. Therefore Black has no option but to recapture on f7 with the King or White will simply have a winning advantage Judging compensation is an important chess skill. Here White is a whole Knight down but in return: <ul><li>Black's King is exposed and has lost the right to castle
  11. 11. White is threatening to win the g4 pawn (Qxg4)
  12. 12. White will have an easier time developing pieces
  13. 13. The pawn on e4 secures White a central advantage; with a timely d4 White can dominate here.
  14. 14. White has the initiative </li></ul>The Knight sacrifices itself on f7, winning the f7 pawn and forking Queen and Rook 6.Nxf7! Kxf7 7.Nc3! 1.e4 e5 2.f4 ef 3.Nf3 g5?! 4.h4! g4 5.Ng5?! h6 6.Nxf7 Kxf7 7.Nc3 The position can now be considered unclear – White has sacrificed material but has compensation.... So why continue with 7.Nc3? See on the next slide!
  15. 15. Qxg4 Looks tempting as at least gains a pawn back. The problem is that the Queen is very exposed on g4 and Black is likely to take over the initiative e.g. 7.Qxg4 Nf6 8.Qxf4 Bd6 9.Qf3 Nc6 and Black is clearly winning White has plenty of 7th move choices; White's 7 th Move 1.e4 e5 2.f4 ef 3.Nf3 g5?! 4.h4! g4 5.Ng5?! h6 6.Nxf7 Kxf7 7.Nc3 Bc4+ Perhaps looks more tempting than Qxg4 but it only helps the Black King to escape to safety e.g. 7.Bc4+ d5! (a pawn sac to free Black's position) 8.Bxd5+ Ke8 and White still has a lot to do to prove adequate compensation! d4 Logically increasing control of the centre while releasing the dark square Bishop. It's a good move but unfortunately it's very committal! Remember pawns can't move backwards so once the pawn commits to d4 it can never be used on d3 to support the potentially vulnerable pawn on e4. Nc3 Finally Nc3, apart from bringing the Knight in to the game, the importance of this move is that it maintains flexibility! All the other moves are still available (d4, Bc4, Qxg4) but White can wait to see how Black continues before choosing which option is best!
  16. 16. Final Thoughts <ul><li>If you play the King's Gambit regularly sooner or later you'll meet an opponent who accepts the Gambit and then attempts to defend the pawn with the immediate 3. … g5
  17. 17. Against this defence the Allgaier gambit is well worth a try.
  18. 18. While it may not lead to the objectively best positions, it will give an unclear position that will suit attacking players
  19. 19. Unless your opponent has spent hours memorizing a computer like defence (unlikely) White's practical chance are very good.
  20. 20. White must maximise the compensations that arrive after the Knight sacrifice 6.Nxf7
  21. 21. At move 7 White has several tempting moves. Of these Nc3 is generally considered best. </li></ul>