5

The king's gambit has a lot of initiative and attack. Is there a good defense to neutralize this initiative?

  • If I recall correct, 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 d5! 4.exd5 Bd6! is played most often at the top level. This line doesn't refute the gambit but does give Black much easier game. The book on King's gambit form John Shaw is a must if you play ...e5, in my humble opinion. Just search for it on Amazon and you will find it... – AlwaysLearningNewStuff Sep 26 '14 at 22:33
3

The best way is Fischer's way. he had a low opinion of it, and so he wrote an entire paper on it's neutralization. Here is the paper and here is his proposal

[Title "King's gambit bust!"]
[StartPly "6"]
[FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"]

 1. e4 e5
 2. f4 exf4
 3. Nf3 d6

What have we achieved here.

  • Our opponent is a pawn down
  • Our bishop is freed, pointing at the somewhat weakened kingside. With the idea of Bg5 and other threats.
  • The knight jump on e5 isn't a plan anymore
  • Lots of ideas for black.
3

I'm not an e5-player, but sometimes I play it when I know that someone is well-prepared against my usual defenses or in blitz games for fun. Here is what I'm using:

[Title "KG random side variation"]
[StartPly "16"]
[FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"]

 1. e4 e5
 2. f4 exf4
 3. Nf3 Ne7
 4. Bc4 d5
 5. exd5 Nxd5
 6. O-O Be7
 7. d4 Be6
 8. Qe2 O-O

3. Ne7 might be rated as suspicious but it's viable move to make. It's not widely played so there's a chance that your oponent won't know theory here at all. Those kinds of position are rather equals for human beings. Of course it's always a tiny tiny plus but it's nothing decisive.

  • 1
    The reason is I slightly prefer the B) line you mentioned over, for example, 5. Bb5 in your first variation. And also your A) line has much more theory than 5. Bc4. Plus you know, moves like 3. ... - Ne7 might be surprising somehow :) – Pijotrek Sep 28 '14 at 7:33
2

I've had success with the Cunningham Defense as it keeps White from castling:

[Title "Cunningham Defense"]
[StartPly "9"]
[FEN ""]

1. e4 e5 
2. f4 exf4 
3. Nf3 Be7 
4. Bc4 Bh4+
5. Kf1
1

If you're looking to “fight fire with fire”, the Falkbeer Countergambit may interest you.

[Title "Falkbeer Countergambit"]
[StartPly "9"]
[FEN ""]

1. e4 e5 
2. f4 d5!? 

If you are interested in very sharp, attacking play, then you will enjoy this defense. White must be very careful from the beginning because it is very easy to lose the game from a single misstep.

[Title "Falkbeer Countergambit"]
[StartPly "9"]
[FEN ""]

1. e4 e5 
2. f4 d5!? 
3. fxe5?? Qh4+
4. g3 Qxe4+
  • But I think that d3 will be a positional advantage for white in this play. – Akash Roy Nov 13 '18 at 9:31

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