Wednesday, 15 October 2008

What is the Budapest Gambit?

About this Opening
This is a great opening for people who like attacking, open, play. The Budapest Gambit can often catch many players by surprise.

The opening has been chosen due to the sharp positions that rise from a relatively simple set of moves. Whether the opponent chooses to accept or decline the gambit the resulting positions will be familiar to you once you have read and studied this book. Positions where you can keep challenging your opponent to solve dynamic problems over-the-board make this good for rapid play games (a defining feature of the Budapest Gambit).

The names Budapest Gambit and Budapest Defence tend to be used interchangeably, though Gambit the more common.

The Budapest Gambit has its own Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings code of ECO A51-52. ECO A51 refers to the Budapest Gambit Declined and the Fajarowicz variation and the ECO A52 refers to the Budapest Gambit Accepted (non-Fajarowicz).

This opening is a strong expansion to any repertoire and has been used at all levels of play, for over 100 years, showing the strategic aspects of this opening have solid foundations.

The first known recorded game of the Budapest Gambit was between Mor Alder and Geza Maróczy in Budapest, 1896.

The result of the game was a victory for the Hungarian Grandmaster, Maróczy, and the game instantly broke the mould of the usual Queen’s Gambit games popular at the time. It is worth noting that Maróczy was primarily a defensive player, so the introduction of a gambit such as this by him was an indication of the strategically merits of the gambit.

Over the years the opening has declined in popularity, as it is not seen as being complex enough for continuous play by any one Grandmaster. Though, the opening has been employed at the highest level in recent years by Grandmasters more as a surprise defence or attack.

The Initial Position
The opening of the Budapest Gambit (BG) begins when the following position arises:

This is most commonly reached through the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5.

It is worth examining this position to see the relative merits of the position. Firstly, we will look at the position from White’s perspective.
White has a good square for his Queen’s Knight on f3, tucked behind the pawn on f4 and an open diagonal for his dark-square Bishop, with no hindrance for his pawns to advance. White will typically be looking to castle Kingside with this opening, though there is still development to be made before this. But most pressing is the Pawn on d4 and whether to take, push or leave. In the d4-c4 setups white is often expecting to exchange the pawn on the c-file rather than the centre pawn on the d-file and many players who choose the d4-c4 for its slow development and safe lines can get into an uncomfortable position, even this early in a game.

Black’s analysis can be done in the same way.

Black is looking to castle Kingside, though in many BG games the King castles Queenside to allow his Kingside pawns to advance up the board and help in the attack. Black seeks to get his Queen on the open file, if the central pawns are exchanged, once the King’s Bishop is out in the open. The Queen’s Knight develops naturally and d6 will open the lines for the Queen’s Bishop.

It is early on and much can happen, but it is often useful to take 2 minutes at each step to see the overall plan and make sure that moves you make are both flexible and strategically sound. Connecting moves and ideas such as King Bishop out first to allow, castling, d6, Queen on the open file and Queen Bishop out allow plans to flow naturally.


photray94 said...

Great blog Scorebook! Very interesting! I'm not a fan of the Budapest Gambit but I enjoy studying one opening as much as I would another.

Scorebook said...

It's true, photray94, that you should have a broad understanding of most openings, but a deep understanding for a select few. These select few will make up your repertoire.

From this blog you can choose to either extract a broad knowledge of the opening and view some interesting games or you study the opening in more depth and incorporate it into your repertoire! Either way... keeping reading and replying!

Thanks for your post - if you have any questions or comments please post them.