The Campbell Report
Correspondence Chess
"On the Square" Article

Gary Good, also known as der Geezer Gambiteer to his friends on the premier discussion group for cc players TCCMB, writes about his specialty below, the gambit opening. To find out more about this interesting fellow read his The Brief Autobiography of a Gambiteer

Gary Good can be reached at: good2gary1@ihs2000.com

By Gary Good

This is to be the first in a series of 3 articles dealing with the "romantic" gambit opening; 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.c3!?

Diagram 1
Position after 4.c3!?

Mark Morss, the editor of HARD CHESS, was the inspiration behind this project. During the early moves of our second ICCF encounter with this gambit in the finals of the 13th USCC Championship (US13F), Mark very kindly invited me to guest-write three articles on this opening for his column. This is the first of those results, and I'd like to dedicate this work to Mark and can only hope that it approaches the quality standards of his previous work. Mark has agreed to collaborate with me in a future article in annotating our two games from US12P01 and US13F, which were both accepted variations of the gambit.

Mark has already explored one reply accepting the gambit with 4....dxc3 5.Nxc3 in his January 1999 column entitled "The Importance of the Open Game, the Goring Gambit". However over the past 1-1/2 centuries, white has also brazenly offered black a second pawn after 4.....dxc3 5.Bc4!?, and in fact this is precisely how the gambit was essayed in the "stem game" in 1877 at Leipzig, Germany by Prof. C.T. Goring vs L. Paulsen, the well-known opponent of Paul Morphy and Adolf Anderssen. Thus the name Goring Gambit, however, for those chess history buffs, there has been a recent counterclaim by a German master, Helmut Warzecha, in his 1993 monograph "Das Goring Gambit", where he claims to have found a correspondence game between London & Edinburgh in 1824 in which the first variation 5.Nxc3 was used!? Perhaps some readers can research and clarify this bit of chess trivia. Nevertheless Goring's name has appropriately remained with the opening, since he was the first to introduce it into master play.

Another important point related to chess opening "names" in this case is that this second variation 5.Bc4 is closely related to the Danish Gambit i.e.---1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Bc4 etc. In fact some have named this line the "Half-Danish" or "Danish with the Knights out". Therefore the student is strongly advised to study the theory of both openings, as transpositional opportunities abound.

But first I'd like to begin this series by analyzing the declined variations of the Goring Gambit, beginning with what I believe is now the most popular method of declining by black 4....Nf6. I've been playing this gambit for some 40 years in CC, and until Vytas Palciauskas' well publicized victory with this move over J. Mondragon prior to his capturing the 10th World CC Championship in 1984, 4.....d5 had been the popular choice of those black players who did not wish to venture into the shark-infested waters of 4......dxc3. The 4....d5 declining variation will be addressed also in a later article.

It has been pontificated by many opening experts in the past; "One can never refute a gambit by declining it", but it has also been said, "Descretion is the better part of valor", especially when one is unprepared OTB it might be added! Indeed, I myself have used 4.....Nf6 from the black side of the gambit on several important occasions. This gambit has some very large teeth, and I would never feel comfortable playing 4...dxc3 as black vs a very strong player, in the fear that he would have some new "sockdolager" in the offing. Hey, if it's good enough for the World Champ Vytas Palciauskas, then it's good enough for me. Therefore I will annotate 2 games that I've played from the white side in this line and one from the black side.

Game 1: Good - Bacon US13F

Game 2: Abramson - Good USCF-85NF15

Game 3: Good - Everitt NAPZ-M04

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Send your comments to: good2gary1@ihs2000.com.

Copyright © 2000 by Gary Good

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