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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Budapest Gambit Revisited

      The Budapest Gambit (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5) was first played in 1896 but became popular in 1918 after Dr. Milan Vidmar won a game employing it. It enjoyed a rise in popularity in the early 1920s, but nowadays it’s rarely seen in professional circles because it has a lower performance level for Black than many other openings. Still, GM Robert Byrne once opined that it is a respectable defense that is worth considering, GM Arthur Bisguier has been known to play it throughout his career and GM Boris Avrukh called it “almost respectable.”

      When I posted on it about 6 months ago I wrote that in looking over my games with it I didn’t find a single one worth posting so came to the conclusion that it wasn’t worth playing. I wrote that in connection with OTB and CC games I’ve played against reasonably strong opponents.
      I’ve been playing it a lot in online blitz and have had good results, but none of my opponents have been rated very high. I did take another look at a game against a local master I played in one of my last OTB tournaments and it’s too bad we didn’t get to play out the ending because my opponent exceeded the time limit right when it was looking to be a very difficult one.
      In the game White took a positional approach and I managed to maintain equality throughout the game until I made the mistake in thinking my a and b Pawns would be more than his N could handle. White missed an opportunity to win one of the P’s and we reached the following position:

      In this position White lost on time and I’m really not sure what the result should be. A general rule where a N vs. 2P’s is: A N can normally hold 2 connected passed P’s provided it is reasonably near them and they have not reached the 6th rank. ‘Reasonably’ is rather vague, but it is difficult to give an exact rule because of the peculiarity of the N’s move.

      Another rule is: If the K is supporting the P’s while the other K is far off, the N’s task is impossible and one of the P’s will queen. If the defending K is in front of the P’s with proper support from the N, then the N can easily be sacrificed for them.

For more information on the Budapest check out the following links:

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