domingo, 29 de abril de 2012

Mijaíl Tal (1936-1992)

Mijaíl Tal (1936-1992)

«Si prohibiesen el ajedrez, probablemente me haría contrabandista».

Chess Secrets

Secretos de ajedrez es una serie de libros que pretende descubrir los misterios de los aspectos más importantes del ajedrez, como la estrategia, ataque, defensa, juego de apertura, los finales, la preparación de a bordo y la actitud mental. En cada libro, el autor elige y estudia profundamente una serie de grandes jugadores que han sobresalido en los aspectos del juego, con gran influencia de sus compañeros e inspirando a todos.

sábado, 7 de abril de 2012

The Danish Gambit

Danish Gambit
The Danish Gambit, known as the Nordisches Gambit (Nordic Gambit) in German, and the Noors Gambiet
(Northern Gambit) in Dutch, is a chess opening that begins with the moves:

1. e4 e5
2. d4 exd4
3. c3

White will sacrifice one or two pawns for the sake of rapid development and the attack. However, with care, Black can accept one or both pawns safely, or simply decline the gambit altogether with good chances.
Although it may have been known earlier, Danish player Martin Severin From essayed the gambit in the Paris 1867 chess tournament and he is usually given credit for the opening. The Danish Gambit was popular with masters of the attack including Alekhine, Marshall, Blackburne, and Mieses, but as more defensive lines for Black were discovered and improved, it lost favor in the 1920s. Today it is rarely played in top-level chess.


From the very beginning the nomenclature of the Danish Gambit was very confusing. The idea stems from a famous correspondence game London-Edinburgh, 1824: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Bc5 5.c3 Qe7 6.0-0 dxc3 7.Nxc3. The Swede Hans Lindehn played 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 on a regular basis from 1857 at latest. He defeated the later World Champion Wilhelm Steinitz with his gambit in London, 1864. It is possible, that Severin From met Lindehn in Paris in this period and learned about the gambit there. According to Graham Burgess, in Denmark itself, the opening is called the Nordic Gambit.

Many games transposed to the Göring Gambit, as Nf3 for White and ...Nc6 for Black are very logical moves. As Carl Theodor Göring also used to play the double gambit, there was hardly any difference.
Remarkably enough, the idea to sacrifice just one pawn (Nxc3) is older in the Göring Gambit than in the Danish. 
Paul Morphy encountered it at the first USA-Congress of 1857 against Alexander Meek. In the Danish, especially Alexander Alekhine applied 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3, but on unimportant occasions.

Main variations
The Danish Gambit is a variation of the Center Game that is important enough to be treated on its own. It is C21 in the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings classification.
After 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3, Black can safely decline the gambit with 3...d6, 3...Qe7, or 3...d5 (Sörensen Defense or Capablanca Defence). If Black enters the Danish Gambit Accepted with 3...dxc3, the main possibilities are:

  • 4.Nxc3 (Alekhine Variation)
  • 4...d6 5.Bc4 Nc6 6.Nf3 (Göring Gambit, by transposition)
  • 4...Bc5 5.Bc4 Nc6 6.Nf3 (Göring Gambit, by transposition)
  • 4...Nc6 5.Bc4 and 6.Nf3 (Göring Gambit, by transposition)
  • 4...Bb4 5.Bc4 (5.Qd4 is an independent option) Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 d6 7.Qb3 Qe7 8.Ne2 Alekhine-Pomar,   clock simul Madrid 1943
  • 4.Bc4 (Lindehn's continuation)
  • 4...d6 5.Nxc3 (also Göring Gambit, by transposition)
  • 4...cxb2 5.Bxb2 (Danish Gambit Accepted, )
  1.  5...Bb4+ 6.Kf1 or 6.Nc3
  2.  5...d6 6.Qb3
  3.  5...d5 (Schlechter Defense)

Alekhine recommended that White play 4.Nxc3. This line often transposes into the Göring Gambit of the Scotch Game. There are only few lines with Black omitting ...Nc6 and/or White omitting Nf3. This move order enables White to avoid the critical main line of the Göring Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.c3 dxc3 5.Nxc3 Bb4) by keeping open the option of meeting an early ...Bb4 by developing the king's knight to e2 rather than f3 and this preventing Black from disrupting White's queenside pawn structure, as Alekhine did in his game against Pomar above.

White can instead offer a second pawn with 4.Bc4. The second pawn can be safely declined by transposing into the Scotch Gambit. Accepting the pawn allows White's two bishops to rake the Black kingside after 4...cxb2 5.Bxb2.

White will often follow up with Qb3 if possible, applying pressure on Black's b7 and f7 squares. Combined with White's long diagonal pressure on g7, this can make it difficult for Black to develop his bishops.
Schlechter recommended one of the most reliable defenses for Black: by returning one of the pawns with 5...d5 Black gains time to complete development. After 6.Bxd5 Nf6 (Bb4+ is also possible) 7.Bxf7+ Kxf7 8.Qxd8 Bb4+ 9.Qd2 Bxd2+ 10.Nxd2 c5, Black regains the queen. Most theorists evaluate this position as equal, but some believe that the queenside majority gives Black the advantage in the endgame.The popularity of the Danish plummeted after Schlechter's defense was introduced as the resulting positions are not what 

White generally desires from a gambit opening. There have been attempts, especially by German correspondence player Ingo Firnhaber, to revive the gambit idea with 7.Nc3, but according to Karsten Muller and Martin Voigt in Danish Dynamite, this line gives insufficient compensation after 7...Nxd5 8.Nxd5 Nbd7 (8...c6?? 9.Nf6+) 9.Nf3 c6, since the piece sacrifice 10.0-0 is dubious on account of 10...cxd5 11.exd5 Be7! If White instead plays 6.exd5, his light-square bishop is blocked and after 6...Nf6 7.Nc3 Bd6 Black can complete development relatively easily. 

The big advantage of Göring's move order (Nf3 first, before c3) is avoiding Schlechter's defence, since after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.c3 dxc3 5.Bc4 cxb2 6.Bxb2 Black cannot safely play 6...d5 with the queen's knight committed to c6. The big advantage of 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 is the option to meet 3...d5 with 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.cxd4 Nc6 6.Be3 instead of 6.Nf3 transposing to the Göring Gambit Declined (the main objection being the Capablanca Variation, 6.Nf3 Bg4 7.Be2 Bb4+ 8.Nc3 Bxf3 9.Bxf3 Qc4, when White must exchange queens or give up castling rights). It also has the advantage of avoiding Blacks other options after 2.Nf3.

Martin Severin Janus From (8 April 1828 – 6 May 1895) was a
Danish chess master

Born in Nakskov, From received his first education at the grammar school of Nykøbing Falster. He entered the army as a volunteer during the Prussian-Danish War (Schleswig-Holstein War of Succession), where he served in the brigade of Major-General Olaf Rye and partook in the Battle of Fredericia on July 6, 1849.

After the war From settled in Copenhagen. He was employed by the Statistical Bureau, where he met Magnus Oscar Møllerstrøm, then the strongest chess player in Copenhagen. Next, he worked in the central office for prison management, and in 1890 he became an inspector of the penitentiary of Christianshavn. In 1891 he received the order Ridder af Dannebrog ("Knight of the Danish cloth", i.e. flag of Denmark), which is the second highest of Danish orders. 

In 1895 Severin From died of cancer. He is interred at Vestre Cemetery, Copenhagen.

Chess career
From won a chess tournament in Copenhagen 1862, followed by Magnus Oscar Møllerstrøm, Søren Anton Sørensen, Hans A. Lindehn, A. Mathiassen, and others. In 1865 he was elected President of Københavns Skakforening ("Copenhagen Chess Association"), today Denmark's oldest chess club, and held that position for many years. He tied for 12–13th in the Paris 1867 chess tournament, won by Ignatz
von Kolisch.

He essayed the Danish Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3) at Paris 1867, and he is usually given credit for the opening. His name is attached to From's Gambit in the Bird's Opening (1.f4 e5).