Thursday 19 June 2008

The Worst Opening Ever?

According to The Complete Chess Addict, this would have to be the Irish Gambit. For those not familiar with the line, it goes 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nxe5
Now it is hardly surprising that the theoreticians have passed this variation by, but a number of years ago I did write an article on it for Australian Chess Forum. It was intended to be an April Fools edition 'special', and I was going to attribute it to the well know opening author "Lary Gane", but at the last moment I bottled it, and left it under my own name instead.
Here is a game from the article where the player with the white pieces was Patrick Connell, who at the time was putting in a serious bid to be considered the worlds leading expert in the line. It just so happened that I had the task of deflating that balloon.

Connell,P - Press,S [C44]
Belconnen Spring Cup Belconnen, 1994

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nxe5 (D)
3. ... Nxe5!N
This obvious move was apparently a novelty. Searches of various databases have not been able to find an earlier example. 4.d4 Black now has to decide where to put the Knight. 4...Ng6 5.f4 d6 6.Bd3 f5 Black decides to fight White's broad pawn centre with this dynamic thrust. 7.0-0 [ White could try the tempting 7.exf5 N6e7 8.Qh5+ Kd7 9.0-0 Nf6 10.Qe2 c6 but Blacks king will be safe on c7.] 7...Nf6 8.exf5 Ne7 9.Re1 [ An aggressive move like 9.g4 only plays into Black's hands. With no pawn cover White's king is likely to come under attack. ] 9...Kf7! 10.Nc3 Nxf5 11.Ne4 Nxe4 12.Bxe4 d5 13.Bf3 c6 Black must be happy with his position. Although White controls the e file, the Black knight on f5 more than compensates. 14.Qe2 Bd6 [ 14...Nxd4 is the move to play if you ever get this position. It brings the pawn count back into balance, but more importantly, Black gains a queenside pawn majority.] 15.Bd2 Nxd4 16.Qd3 Nxf3+ 17.Qxf3 Bf5 18.Bc3 Qb6+ 19.Kh1 Rhe8 Black has completed his development and challenged White along the e-file. The rest of the game is simply a matter of technique. 20.Qh5+ Bg6 21.Qg4 Re4 22.Rxe4 Bxe4 23.Qxg7+ Ke8 24.Re1 Qc7 25.Qg8+ Bf8 26.Be5 Qf7 27.Qg3 Qg6 28.Qh3 b6 29.a3 Bc5 30.b4 Be7 31.Rf1 Bf5 32.Qf3 Kf7 33.c4 Rg8 34.cxd5 Be4 35.f5 Qxg2+ 36.Qxg2 Bxg2+ 37.Kg1 Bxf1+ 38.Kxf1 cxd5 0-1

1 comment:

TrueFiendish said...

Of course, the "story" continues that the "pioneer" was asked, on his deathbed, what possessed him to take the pawn. "I didn't see it was defended," he replies, and expires.

But anyone with The Complete Chess Addict knows all about that.