I was reading A Bust to the King's Gambit by Bobby Fischer. The game starts with

1 P-K4 P-K4 2 P-KB4 PxP 3 N-KB3


  [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppp1ppp/8/8/4Pp2/5N2/PPPP2PP/RNBQKB1R b KQkq - 0 3"]

Bobby Fisher commented that

"the move I played 3...P-KN4 against Spassky, but this is inexact because it gives White drawing chances in the ensuing ending: e.g., 4 P-KR4 P-N5 5 N-K5 N-KB3 6 P-Q4 P-Q3 7 N-Q3 NxP 8 BxP B-N2 and now 9 P-B3! (replacing Spassky ’s 9 N-B3) 9...Q-K2 10 Q-K2 B-B4 11 N-Q2 leads to an ending where Black’s extra Pawn is neutralized by White’s stranglehold on the dark squares, especially KB4."

It seems that the move 3...P-KN4 is still played frequently even today (even more popular than Fisher's recommended move P-Q3). So does this mean that Fisher's conclusion that "3...P-KN4 ... is inexact" inexact?

  • 4
    Fischer's "bust" to the King's Gambit was written in the 60's, way before the advent of computers in chess. The analysis in the article is not exhaustive, and the conclusions reached in it are to be taken with a grain of salt. Moreover, at the time of writing that article Fischer was on a mission to find "the refutation" to the opening, no matter if a refutation existed or not. – Scounged Dec 8 at 7:49
  • @Scounged, I understand the first part of your comment. As Fisher was on a mission to find the refutation to the opening, if he can prove that the move 3...P-KN4 refutes King's gambit, his mission is completely. Instead, he concluded that is 3...P-KN4 is inexact. – Zuriel Dec 8 at 13:17

Apparently instead of 5...Nf6 in the line Fischer gave, 5...d6 6.Nxg4 Be7 is superior for Black.

You might look to Shirov for what is best in the King's Gambit. He gave 1.e4 e5 2.f4? in his book and said "Prove me wrong". In the past I saw him play a 3-minute game against 3000 rated computer on ICC in the King's Gambit and he crushed it.

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.