King’s Gambit Miniatures
The King’s Gambit is full of traps. I’ve written three books on King’s Gambit Miniatures because there are so many traps in an opening that is hundreds of years old and still being played and players still losing under 20 moves. Whether accepted or declined, the King’s Gambit can be dangerous if not handled correctly in the opening. Here are some of the shortest miniatures and traps in the King’s Gambit. So pull out a chessboard and play over some of the shortest games in the King’s Gambit.
1.e4 e5 2.f4, now you have to decide if you want to accept the gambit with 2…exf4 and allow White quick development, or decline the gambit and develop you pieces quickly. The quickest trap in the King’s Gambit is to decline the pawn and play 2…Bc5. Now if White takes the pawn and plays 3.fxe5 instead of the more developing moves 3.Nf3, then Black can play 3…Qh4+ 4.Ke2?? [4.g3 Qxe4+ 5.Qe2 Qxh1] 4…Qxh4 mate. This was first played by N. Tchinenoff vs. R. Maillard in Paris, 1925.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 Bc5 3.Ne2 Qf6 4.c3 Nc6 5.g3 Nh6 6.Bg2 Ng4 7.Rf1 Nxh2 8.fxe5?? [best is 8.Rh1] 8…Qxf1+! [a queen sac] 9.Bxf1 Nf3 mate 0-1, V. Manko – Jankwitz, Corr. 1900. A nice mate with a knight after a Queen sacrifice.
One bad trap is 1.e4 e5 2.f4 Bd6 3.Nf3 Nf6? 4.fxe5, winning a piece. (It’s been played)
1.e4 e5 2.f4 Qh4+ 3.g3 Qh6 4.fxe5 f6 5.Nf3 Bc5? 6.d4, threatening the bishop and the queen.
Black can also decline taking the pawn with other second moves. For example, 1.e4 e5 2.f4 d6 3.fxe5? Qh4+ 4.g3 [4.Ke2 Qxe4+ 5.Kf2 dxe5] 4…Qxe4 5.Qe2 Qxh1 [winning the rook] 6.exd6+ Be7 7.dxc7 Na6, and Black wins, Manuel Torre – Bill Wall, San Antonio, Texas 1971.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d6 3.Nf3 [quicker development and safer than 3.fxe5] 3…Nf6 4.fxe5 dxe5 5.Nxe5 Nxe4 6.Qe2 Bf5 7.d3 Nd6 8.Nc6+ [discovered check and winning the queen] 1-0 Bill Wall – Danny Overcash, Statesville, NC 1979
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bg4 5.h3 Bh5?! [5…Bxf3] 6.g4 Bg6? [6…exf4] 7.f5 traps the bishop.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.Bc4 Bg4 5.O-O Nd4 6.Bxf7+ Kd7? [6…Kxf7 had to be played, then White plays 7.Ng5+ and 8.Qxg4] 7.Nxe5+ dxe5 8.Qxg4+ Ke7 Nxc2?? 10.Qe6 mate . Joe Zachary – David Ostro, Winston-Salem, NC 1975.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d6 3.Bc4 Nc6 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.O-O Nd4 6.Bxf7+ Kd7? [another person afraid of …Kxf7] 7.Nxe5+ dxe5 8.Qxg4+ Ke7 9.fxe5 h6 10.c3 and Black resigned. If 10…Nc6, then 11.Qe6 mate. Tom Lee – Mark Bergquist, Columbus, Ohio 1982.
1.e4 e5 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 d4 4.Nd5?[4.Nce2] 4…c6 wins the knight, Dan Hayes – Bill Wall, Dayton, Ohio 1980.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 exf4 5.Bc4 Qh4+ 6.g3? [6.Nf2 was better] 6…fxg3 7.Qe2 g2+ 8.Kd1 gxh1=Q?? [Black wins after 8…Bg4] 9.Nf6+ Kd8 10.Qe8 mate Sanders – NN, New York 1910.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.fxe5? [the wrong pawn] 3…Qh4+ 4.g3 [4.Ke2 Qxe4+ 5.Kf2 Bc5+ wins for Black] 4…Qxe4+ 5.Kf2 [5.Qe2 Qxh1 wins the rook] Bc5+ and White resigned, O. Rigaud – John Cooper, Nice Olympiad 1974.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 [the right pawn] 3…Qxd5 [sometimes it is not good to bring the queen out too early if it gets attacked, losing tempo] 4.Nc3 Qe6 5.Nf3 exf4+ 6.Kf2 Bd6? 7.Bb5+ and Black resigned. Black’s choices are 7…c6 8.Re1, losing the queen, or 7…Kd8 8.Re1 Qf6 9.Re8 mate. Delmar Saxton – Darting, Corr. 1936. This must be one of the shortest correspondent games ever.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.Nc3 Qd8 5.Qe2 c6 6.Qxe5 Be7 7.Qxg7? [a poison pawn] 7…Bf6 8.Qg3 Bh4, and White loses his queen 0-1, Dave Evans – Bill Wall, Guam 1974.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 exf4 4.d3 Qh4+ 5.Kd2 Bc5 6.Nf3 Be3 7.Ke2 [a self-mate. Best to play 7.Kc3] 7…Qf2 mate. Deubner – Greiner, Dayton 1972.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 e4 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Qe2 Bf5 6.Nxe4 Nxe4 7.d3 Qh4+ 8.g3 Qe7 9.dxe4? [9.Bg2] 9…Bxe4, winning the rook. White resigns, E. Mascotti – David Gedult, France 1977.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.Nf3 dxe4 4.Nxe5 Nc6 5.Bb5 Nf6 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.Bxc6+ Bd7 8.Bxa8 Bg4 and White resigns as he loses his queen, NN – Beis, Germany 1940. But did White have to resign? White may be OK after 9.Bxe4 Bxd1 10.Bc6+ Ke7 11.Kxd1 Ng4 12.Re1+ Kd6 and White has compensation for his queen.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 Nc6 3.Bc4 exf4 4.Nc3? Qh4+ 5.Kf1 [5.Ke2 Nd4+] 5…Bc5 6.Nf3?? [attacking the queen, but forgetting something] 6…Qf2 mate. H. Christiansen – O. Hansen, Denmark 1968.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 Nf6 3.fxe5 Nxe4 4.Bc4? Qh4+ 5.g3 [5.Ke2 Qf2+ wins for Black] 5…Nxg3 6.hxg3 Qxh and Black wins, Jerry Latell – Bill Wall, Palo Alto, CA 1986.
1.e4 e4 2.f4 f5 3.exf5 e4? [best to play 3…Qf6] 4.Qh5+ g6 5.fxg6 h6 [5…Nf6 6.g7+ Nxh5 7.gxh8=Q] 6.g7+ Ke7 7.Qe5+ Kf7 8.gxh8N mate. A mate by promoting a pawn to a knight! H. Reinle – Lange, Murnau, Germany 1936.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 f5 3.exf5 exf4? 4.Qh5+ g6 5.fxg6 Qe7+ 6.Ne2 favors White.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 f6 3.Bc4 Nh6 4.fxe5 Bc5? 5.d4 [5.Qh5+ g6 6.Qxh6] 5…Bb6 6.Qh5+ g6 [6…Ke7 7.Bxh6 wins for White] 7.Qxh6 wins for White.
If Black accepts the gambit, White is supposed to get quicker development. However, quicker development doesn’t mean bringing out the king so early as this game that I observed: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Kf2? Qh4+ 4.Kf3?? Qh5+ 5.g4 fxg3+ and White loses his queen, Jerry Nash – Jim Jordan, Dayton 1979.
Another bad idea for White is 3.b3? which is too slow. For example, 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.b3? Qh4+ 4.g3 fxg3 5.h3 [5.Nf3 g2+ 6.Nxh4 gxh1=Q] g2+ 6.Ke2 Qxe4+ 7.Kf2 gxh1=N mate. Another checkmate by promoting a pawn to a knight! Wiede – Alphonse Goez, Strassburg 1880.
Getting the Queen out too early without other development is also not good.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Qf3 Nc6 4.Ne2 Bc5 5.d3 g5 6.g3 Ne5 7.Qg2 [7.Qh5 Nf6 8.Qh6 Nfg4 9.Qg7 Nf3+ 10.Kd1 Nf2 and mate with two knights] 7…f3 and White resigned. Hoerner – Lorenz, Corr. 1950. White gets his queen trapped after 8.Qh3 d6 9.Qh5 h6 and 10…Nf6.
3.d4 seems pretty safe.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.d4 Qh4+ 5.Ke2 d5 5.exd5 Qe7+ 6.Kf2 Qh4+ 7.Ke2 Qe7+ 8.Kf2 Qh4+ 9.Ke2 and draw by perpetual check. John Lutes – E. Lense, Columbus, Ohio 1964.
In the King’s Gambit Accepted, 3.Bc4 is popular, but White needs to be careful.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 d5 4.exd5 Qh4+ 5.Kf1 f3 [Black is threatening 6…Qxc4+] 6.Qe1+?? [White had to play 6.Bb5+] 6…Qxe1+ 7.Kxe1 fxg2, and Black wins the rook and gets his queen back. Ed Molendu – Morgan Everett, Michigan 1973.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 d5 5.exd5 f3 6.Bb5+ c6 7.dxc6? [time to play 7.Nxf3] 7…fxg2 8.Kxg2 Qg5+ and 9…Qxb5, winning the bishop 0-1, Tom Louie – Bill Wall, Guam 1974.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.Qh5 c6 7.Bxf4 Qe7 [not 7…Nxf4?? 8.Qxf7 mate] 8.Qe5? [best to play 8.Ne2] 8…Nxf4 0-1, Jerry Wall – Bill Wall, Stony Point, NC 1976
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 g5 4.h4 f6? [exposing the king too much] 5.Qh5+ Ke7 6.Qf7+ Kd6 7.e5+ fxe5 [7…Kc6 8.Qd5+ Kb6 9.Qb5 mate; 7…Kxe5 8.Qd5 mate; 7…Kc5 8.Qd5+ Kb6 9.Qb5 mate] 8.Qd5+ Ke7 9.Qxe5 mate, M. Braune – NN, Germany 1900.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 g5 4.Nf3 g4 5.Nc3? [This should lose. White could try 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Ne5+ Ke8 7.Qxg4] 5… gxf3 6.Qxf3 Qh4+ 7.g3 fxg3?? [This loses. Black just needs to move his queen] 8.Qxf7+ Kd8 9.Qxf8 mate Bill Wall – Phil Lewis, North Wilkesboro, NC 1976.
Most common is the King’s Gambit Accepted is 3.Nf3. An early example is this: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 d5 [Black has other choices here] 4.Nc3 dxe4 5.Nxe4 Bg4 6.Qe2 Bxf3?? [best to play 6…Qe7] 7.Nf6 discovered check and mate. Judge Alexander Meek – Adbor, New Orleans 1855.
And a more recent example, with 3…g5: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.h4 g4 5.Ng5 f6 6.Qxg4! fxg5 [a poison knight. Black should try 6…h5] 7.Qh5+ and Black resigns as he gets mated or loses a lot of material. Bill Wall – Dan Hayes, Dayton 1980. The game could have continued 7…Ke7 8.Qxg5+ Ke8 9.Qh5+ Ke7 10.Qe5+ Kf7 11.Bc4+ Kg6 12.h5+ Kh6 13.Qxf4+ Kg7 14.h6+ Nxh6 15.Qxh6 mate.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.h4 f6 5.Nxg5 Ne7? [5…h5] 6.Qh5+ Ng6 7.Nxh7 Qe7? [7…Kf7 8.Qd5+] 8.Qxg6+ Qf7 9.Nxf6+ wins for White.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.h4 f6 5.Nxg5 fxg5? 6.Qh5+ Ke7 7.Qxg5+ Nf6 8.e5 wins for White.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.O-O [risky move. White could also try 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Ne5+ and 7.Qxg4] 5…gxf3 6.Qxf3 Bd6 7.d4 f6?? [exposing the king] 8.Qh5+ and Black resigns as White threatens 9.Qf7 mate next move. Lou Friscoe, Steve Beach, Columbus 1979.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.d4 g4 5.Ne5 d6 6.Nxg4 Qh4+ 7.Nf2 Bg4?? [7…Bg7] 8.Qxg4 wins a piece.
3…Be7 can be played. 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 Be7 4.Bc4 Bh4+ 5.Nxh4? [not good. Best is 5.Kf1] Qxh4+ 6.g3 fxg3 7.O-O [castling into mate, but what else? 7.Qf2 g2+ 8.Ke2 d5 threatens the bishop and threatening 9…Bg4, winning the queen] 7…Qxh2 mate. Cara – Cassano, Italy 1980.