Saturday, February 5, 2011

Italian Game Evan's Gambit Compromised Defense

New York 1963

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bc4, Bc5
4. b4 ....

The aggressive Evan's Gambit named after the Welsh sea Captain William Davies Evans, the first player known to have employed it.  The idea behind the move 4. b4 is to give up a pawn in order to secure a strong centre and bear down on Black's weak-point, f7.

4. ....  Bxb4
5. c3, Ba5
6. d4, exd4
7. 0-0, dxc3

The Compromised Defense.  In this variation, White plays a gambit and gains a tempo, while maintaining threat at f7.

8. Qb3, Qe7
9. Nxc3, Nf6
10. Nd5, Nxd5
11. exd5 ....

With the gambits, White opens the e-file and the a1-h8 diagonal.  Both sides struggle to control them.

11. .... Ne5
12. Nxe5, Qxe5
13. Bb2, Qg5
14. h4 ....

Another gambit.  White intends to fully control the long diagonal.

14. .... Qxh4
15. Bxg7, Rg8
16. Rfe1+!! ....

It does not matter now if the Bishop takes the Rook; the effect would be the same.

16. .... Kd8
17. Qg3 Resigns

Black cannot escape the mating threat 18. Bf6+ without losing the Queen.  If 17.....Qh6, 18. Bf6+ Qxf6, 19. Qxg8 mate.  A spell-binding finale.

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