Saturday, 13 August 2011


Today I was introduced to the Halasz Gambit. It was shown to me by Matt Radisich, and starts with 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd 3.f4! According to Matt, when playing 3.f4! you are supposed to shout 'Halasz!', which increases the effectiveness of the move.
Doing a little research, I found that it dates back to the 19th Century. However for most of its life it didn't seem to have any sort of name, only acquiring the Halasz moniker after being played by a Hungarian CC player of that name in the late 1960's.
It turns out that this opening has some significance in the history of Australian Correspondence Chess as well. It was played in the first game finished under auspices of the Correspondence Chess League of Australia. Played in 1929 it was won by G.W. Robertson against James McCrackett. Here it is with notes by Tim Harding, based on original comments by Frank Crowl.

Robertson,G.W - McCrakett,James [C21]
Australia corr, 1929

The first game to finish from the newly formed CCLA in 1929, boasting 38 members. 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.f4 Known nowadays as the Halasz Gambit but its origins are in the early 19th century. I have seen it written (Australian CC "The First 50 Years") that this was 'a favourite opening of Alexander McDonnell' but there are none of his games with it in OECG. Can any be traced? 3...Bc5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.Nbd2 d6 [6...d5 seems more energetic, and if 7.e5 Ne4 whereby the black N would occupy a commanding post.] 7.a3 a5? 8.Qe2 0-0 9.0-0 Bd7 10.e5 Re8 11.Ng5! h6? Immediately fatal. Some prospects of defence lay in [11...Bg4 and if 12.Bxh7+ But by (12.Ndf3 White would retain the better game.) 12...Kf8] 12.Nde4 Nxe4 13.Nxf7!! Kxf7 14.Qxe4 Rg8 15.Bc4+ Notes abridged from those by Crowl in Australasian Chess Review, April 1930. 1-0

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