Sharpen your sword! Puzzle king Bill Harvey presents 237 violent positions from 15 gambit variations - ranging from the rare Lisitsin and the neglected Blumenfeld, to the popular Milner-Barry and the fashionable Gajewski - where one side is poised to deliver the final blow.
Studying typical tactics is one of the best ways to get to know an opening: you will discover the traps and the pitfalls, develop both a sense of danger
and a feel for opportunities, and learn to stay always on the alert.
In The Gambit Files, the author surveys the common tactical motifs for each variation, and then invites you to hone your cut-and-thrust skills
with thematic puzzles.
Whether you're looking to breathe new life into your current openings or to overhaul your repertoire, The Gambit Files will help you to slay your opponents faster and with confidence.
A veteran of hundreds of tournaments in online, postal and over-the-board competition, Bill Harvey has taught chess in schools for a dozen years in the Washington, D.C. area, and edited two chess puzzle columns.
Harvey is the webmaster of http://wtharvey.com, where readers can find 10,000 critical positions from historical and modern games with a quick link to the solution. This is his first book.
Long before I learned how to read chess notation, I remember marveling over the final position in the famous "Shower of Gold" game, Levitsky-Marshall, Breslau 1912. Notation can make a game permanent, but it is the winning combination that captures a young explorer's attention. In any opening, characteristic strategies yield typical tactics. A good grounding in the combinations that we are likely to face in the opening we wish to master gives us a clearer understanding and appreciation of that opening.
Gambits are a remedy for chessplayers who have become complacent. As King Solomon would say, "Don't set your heart on your wealth, but never say, 'I have enough.'" Studying gambits makes us better people: There's greed and fear, along with braggadocio and uncertainty - and to some extent, there's an equal measure of each. This is exactly what gets in the way of formalized gambit study. Memorizing lines often leads to cold, unemotional middlegames. This is not really what the student seeks.
For this book I have reviewed thousands of chess games for interesting combinations, relying on the engines Rybka 3 and Fritz 6 to verify that the combinations here are sound and unique. These positions should give the reader a good idea of the kind of power that must be harnessed, or faced, in a gambit. Following the review of the themes and strategies for each gambit, I have provided a collection of puzzles taken from miniatures to help to improve the reader's understanding of the variation. The solutions are given at the end of the book, with their starting diagrams for convenience.
007 Chapter 1. The Lisitsin Gambit (A04)
013 Chapter 2. Scandinavian Defense – Portuguese Gambit (B01)
024 Chapter 3. Caro-Kann Fantasy Variation (B12)
033 Chapter 4. The Wing Gambit (B20)
040 Chapter 5. Grand Prix Attack – Tal Gambit (B21)
045 Chapter 6. French Defense – Milner-Barry Attack (C02)
052 Chapter 7. The Rosentreter Gambit (C37)
056 Chapter 8. Petroff’s Defense – Cochrane’s Gambit (C42)
059 Chapter 9. The Scotch Gambit (C44)
067 Chapter 10. Ruy López – Gajewski Gambit (C96)
073 Chapter 11. The Albin Countergambit (D08)
083 Chapter 12. The Winawer Countergambit (D10)
088 Chapter 13. The Geller Gambit (D15)
095 Chapter 14. The Blumenfeld Gambit (E10)
102 Chapter 15. Queen’s Indian Defense – Polugaevsky Variation (E17)