Takchess Chess Improvement

A Novice chessplayer works to get better at chess using an improvement program based upon the methods of Michael de la Maza and the teachings of Dan Heisman

Sunday, July 23, 2006

King Gambit Statistics and Opening Study

For the last 2 years, I was under the impression that the King Gambit was a poor opening for white. This was in the face of reason since I often lost to it as black. In reading some of the Retis book Masters of the Chessboard I became very interested in the Anderssen's and Morphy's KG games and decided I should try it. I eventually started to play it exclusively as white when I recieve a e5 response to my e4. This replaced by beloved guico piano.

One of the great things about the King Gambit is it's rich history and the changes in the chess community opinions on it. There is always alot of trash talking about it. The Gambit is unsound and you should accept it or you would be foolish to accept it declining gives one a much stronger game.

Some lines as the Falkbeer offer a countergambit just to confuse things. The KGA and KGD theory has evolved throught the years and style has changed. There appear to be about 15 ways to decline and accept all which lead to some interesting play. I currently am agnostic as to whether it is better to accept or decline. In fact my play against the KG is poor because I am constantly switching my lines to further my education. I have lost about 25 of my last 31 as black. ahem.............

I thought it would be interesting to gather some statistics on my KG games. Since I play on playchess the interface automatically saves my games in my database. I have played as white about 108 games of which I have won 56 of them. The trend line is good in my first 18 trys as white I lost 14 of them. My last 17, I won 11 of them. As for the accepted vs declined,59 accepted and 43 declined. I counted the typical Falkbeer as a decline and a Falkbeer that transformed into a Abazia as an acceptance.

There were a wide range of defenses and acceptance strategy. Since I was to spend some time effectively studying I investigated which lines than I played most. In my games as white there were only a few which followed the Kiesiretsky Line . KGA then black plays a quick g5. This is the more classical line and is fun to play and learn about. I was surprised to see only two Cunningham KGA. 5 Fischer defences KGA. the big winners in the KGA was 20 games with acceptance than Nc6,10 KGA with acceptance than Nf6,15 games which I call the modern line which is acceptance than a center counter d6, The rest of the KGA were one offs.

As for the KGD, I had 8 Falkbeers, 10 KGD with NC6( a number of these with pawns on e5 and d6 philidorish), 6 KGD classical with 2... Bc5. with 3 KGD with a philidor type defense and a bishop pin on the N at f3, the rest are one offs.

I am surprised the Kieseritsky is not played more. There are alot of GM games in this line and it is considered in some camps to be the most sound line but tricky. Perhaps people shy away from it for that reason. Interesting enough, I have a book on the King Gambit by Korchnoi and I can't find the lines where Black accepts and plays an early Nc6. This is a line I have seen the most.

I will update my blog as I learn more about these lines.


  • At 6:16 AM, Blogger Mitchell said…

    Im glad you posted on the kings gambit. I am about to embark on a kings gambit journey to find out why it destroys my defenses regularly. I guess I just started by reading your post. I would also like to trade links with you. Please let me know. knightskewer.blogspot.com

  • At 8:37 AM, Blogger takchess said…


    here is my current homepage. I'm studying it a little at a time. The KGA Fischer defense is as tough to play as anything. I've decided to stick with playing this as black again KG.
    I certainly would mind linking you to my blog when I do my next blog housecleaning.

  • At 12:52 PM, Blogger transformation said…

    thanks for your comment, which id like to constructively address then ask you a question at my post, please, if i may.

    as regards the KGA. i have played 1.d4 then latter 1.c4 then even moved to varying with 1.Nf3 to vary my openings and avoid 1.c4 ...e5.

    but my coach, who got me started at both CTS then thereafter CTArt3.0 in a BIG way, suggested i only play 1.e4. and that he could help me build it in CB9 faster that way--he is (-)uscf master, 2200 ICC.

    having been already familiar with a lot of GM games, i could do it, of course, not deep book. but since i already played 1.e4 ...c6 and varied to ...e6 and played ...d6 in my much earlier youth, i could handle part of what to do.

    the way i learned the caro was just to play it, and not do the book, then check the chessBase.com dBase only after lots of games, to see how 2600+ handle it, just as Aashagard suggests in Excelling At Chess.

    thus, he also suggested i ONLY play gambits, and my favorite was KGA and beat the most 200-300 elo>+.

    i do not have your rank, so cannot address the sound/unsound part, but do love it.

    warmly, david in seattle

  • At 6:14 PM, Blogger takchess said…

    Reti is often quoted in his Masters of the Chessboard his advice to people starting out. Play open games (at least 1 e4)you may even win less than d4 but you will learn more. I agree and except for a brief time playing the Torre attack only have played 1 e4. This is what I have played: Ruy, Giuco and all it's variants,Center gambit and Danish Gambit, Elephant Gambit and the Scotch. The KG facinates me and I love to study these games as it often produces wild positions. As to ratings I am under 1200 in my limited tourney play and play about 1400-1600 on playchess depending on the week. good luck with the circles

  • At 7:53 PM, Blogger transformation said…

    takchess: thanks for mentioning that. GM-Ram is a book that i like a lot. i have it right next to me. ive got in qued for the next year.

    first i wish to read seirawans winning chess endings. ive done pandolhpini, chernev's practical chess endings also.

    i do a LOT of CTS and crArt3.0, so im pretty well covered, for now. alburts chess training pocket book is simply something to carry around or sit in the bathtub with.

    why, i may hubmly ask, isnt your OBP rating higher. you chess knowledge is not inextensive?

    thx, dk

  • At 4:00 PM, Blogger takchess said…

    As MDLM sites Chess Knowledge does not = chess ability. 8) My OTB is on a fairly limited set of games so may not yet be a statisically valid sample. Normally what I base my strength on is 1) playchess rating I play most days and how I fair against the stronger players at my Friday Night chess club. I am having more wins against stronger players there plus alot of games that are interesting...Also I pick up and drop the 7 circles I am not consistant which would lead to better ratings. I plan I doing some heavy Ct-art next week.

  • At 11:57 PM, Blogger King of the Spill said…

    Nice post, and I like how your agnostic about the whole Black response question. I fear that I am going to never be happy with just one Black response, what with so much to explore.

  • At 2:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i recently played a game with a guy who played (2)Be7..thats as new...the game went like this...(1)e4 e5 (2)f4 Be7 i didnot expect that so i played (3)Bc4 whioch i think is correct!! what are your views..please mail me at thegame_1002@yahoo.co.in

  • At 3:57 PM, Blogger takchess said…

    that is the classical King gambit decline

    see this collection for ideas about the classical


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