The Budapest Gambit

Wed, 2013-08-14 19:11 -- IM Max Illingworth
[White "Introduction"]
[Black "Budapest Gambit"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO "A52"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[PlyCount "6"]
[EventDate "2013.??.??"]

{A little-covered topic in chess literature is how to use databases to learn
an opening, but it is an important skill as it is essential to be able to use
databases at the club level and above. The program I/^ll be using for this
interactive post is ChessBase 12, but you could also use Chess Assistant or
Fritz, or if you don/^t have any chess programs, a free online database such
as those provided at the New In Chess, ChessTempo,, or websites. The opening I'll use as an example this week is the
Budapest Gambit, which occurs after} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 Ng4 {. I've
intentionally selected an opening I don't have much experience with to try and
replicate the learning process with chess databases as much as possible. The
first step of our process is to try and understand the ideas behind the
starting moves. A specialist book on the Buadpest (such as 'The Fabulous
Budapest Gambit' by Viktor Moskalenko) would be helpful for this, but by
looking at some games of the old masters, we can quickly develop a basic
understanding of the opening by seeing the key ideas for both sides in their
simplest form. Also with this method we will quickly see whether we like the
arising middlegames!} * 
[White "Rubinstein, Akiba"]
[Black "Mieses, Jacques"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A52"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[EventDate "1918.??.??"]

{Let's begin by looking at the first game from the position with 3...Ng4 in my
database.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 {With this move we sacrifice a pawn, but White's
extra pawn will be doubled after he takes on e5.} 3. dxe5 ({At lower levels
you'll occasionally face} 3. d5 {, but after} Bc5 4. Nc3 d6 5. e3 O-O {Black
obtains a very active position and already has the easier game.}) 3... Ng4 {
Black will aim to regain the pawn on e5 - if he successfully does so he will
have an active knight on e5.} 4. Bf4 (4. Nf3 {occurs slightly more frequently,
but 4.Bf4 is played by stronger players and scores better.}) 4... Nc6 5. Nf3
Bb4+ 6. Nc3 (6. Nbd2 {is a lot more common, but we can see that after} Qe7 {
and ...Ngxe5 we will regain our sacrificed pawn, whereas after 6.Nc3 our
initial sacrifice will be permanent in nature.}) 6... Qe7 {When you learn an
opening it's important to ask questions about moves you are not sure about, as
by answering them you improve your feel for the opening in question.} ({For
instance you might be tempted to further ruin White's pawn structure with} 6...
Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 {. In fact this will transpose to the game after} Qe7 8. Qd5 {.
Always make a note of transpositions you see in your openings, both to try and
move order your opponents out of their lines and to avoid being move ordered
out of what you want to play.}) 7. Qd5 {White hangs on to his extra e5-pawn.}
Bxc3+ 8. bxc3 Qa3 $5 {This move switches the attack to White's weak queenside
pawns.} (8... f6 9. exf6 Nxf6 {is the main line, but Mieses's move is an
interesting alternative; he beat Rubinstein with it, after all! This is
another advantage of analysing old games - you pick up ideas that your
opponents have either forgotten or simply do not know. There is a saying that
'old and forgotten is as good as new'!}) 9. Qd3 (9. Rc1 {is the best move,
when Black should play 9...f6 10.exf6 Nxf6 with a similar position to the note
to move eight as} Qxa2 $2 10. h3 Nh6 11. e4 {leaves Black in a horrible
position with misplaced pieces and no central control. Often when playing a
gambit it's more important to keep the initiative than to regain the invested
material.}) 9... Qa5 {Black tries to attack as many pawns as possible with his
queen! However one should be careful about moving the queen so many times in
the opening.} 10. Rc1 Ngxe5 11. Nxe5 Nxe5 12. Qg3 $1 {This move retains
White's extra pawn and a big advantage, whereas} (12. Qd5 Qxd5 13. cxd5 d6 {
would give Black a solid position.}) 12... d6 (12... Ng6 13. Bxc7 Qxa2 14. Qe3+
Ne7 15. Bd6 {wins for White.}) 13. Qxg7 Ng6 14. h4 $1 {White threatens to win
material with h5.} h5 15. e4 Be6 16. Bg5 $1 {An accurate move, keeping Black's
king stuck in the centre (you can't castle through check).} Kd7 {Had
Rubinstein played the correct move here, he would probably have won the game.}
17. f4 $2 {White can't afford this sort of ambition with his king still in the
centre.} (17. Qd4 $1 Rae8 18. Be2 {followed by 0-0 was a simple way to obtain
a big advantage with an extra pawn and two bishops. Again} Qxa2 $6 19. c5 $1 {
will give White a winning attack against Black's king.}) 17... Rae8 $1 {Now
White cannot play 18.f5 because of 18...Bxf5.} 18. Be2 $2 {Now this natural
move is too slow.} (18. Kd2 $1 Kc8 $1 19. f5 Bxf5 20. exf5 Qxa2+ 21. Rc2 Qb1
22. fxg6 Qe1+ 23. Kd3 Qe4+ 24. Kd2 Qe1+ {with a draw by perpetual check would
be the correct ending for the game. But Rubinstein was no doubt still chasing
the big advantage he had earlier and didn't adjust to the new circumstances.})
18... Qxa2 19. O-O (19. f5 Bxc4 20. Bxc4 Rxe4+ {would again give Black a
winning attack.}) 19... Rhg8 20. Qd4 Qxe2 21. f5 {This regains the piece, but
White's position remains in tatters.} Bxc4 (21... Nxh4 $1 22. fxe6+ fxe6 23.
Rf7+ Kc8 24. Rf2 Rxg5 $1 25. Rxe2 Nf3+ 26. Kf2 Nxd4 27. cxd4 {with a winning
endgame two pawns ahead was also very strong.}) 22. fxg6 Rxe4 23. Qxa7 Rxg6 24.
Rf2 Qd3 25. Qxb7 Re2 $1 26. Rxe2 Qxe2 {Black is only up one pawn, but he has
the much better opposite-coloured bishop and his king is safer.} 27. Ra1 Rg8 (
27... f6 {was immediately winning, based on} 28. Ra7 Qe1+ 29. Kh2 Qe5+ 30. Kh1
d5 $1 {.}) 28. Ra7 Qe1+ 29. Kh2 Qe5+ 30. Kg1 $2 (30. Kh1 {would avoid an
immediate defeat.}) 30... Qc5+ 31. Kh1 Bd5 {White reisgned, as} (31... Bd5 32.
Qa6 Re8 $1 {leaves White powerless to meet the threats of ...Re1 and ...Qf2.
Incidentally Rubinstein only scored .5/3 against the Budapest in this Berlin
tournament! I'll leave it to you to play through his other games, against
Schlechter and Vidmar.}) 0-1
[Event "Gyor"]
[Site "Gyor"]
[Date "1924.08.13"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Walter, Max"]
[Black "Vajda, Arpad"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A52"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[PlyCount "94"]
[EventDate "1924.??.??"]
[EventRounds "15"]
[EventCountry "HUN"]

{Of course White isn't forced to defend the e5-pawn; he might also return the
pawn and try to take as much of the centre as possible.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 3.
dxe5 Ng4 4. e4 Nxe5 (4... h5 {was the way the pioneers of the Budapest met 4.
e4, but it's hard to put one's faith in such an anti-positional move.}) 5. f4 {
This is White's idea: he wants to take as much of the centre as possible and
destroy Black in time to make the last train. Objectively we shouldn't be
afraid but it's important to remember the following reply:} Nec6 $1 {From g6
the knight would have been misplaced as the f4 and e5 squares are in White's
control. As we'll see, the b8-knight can always enter the game via. a6 or d7.}
6. Be3 {Otherwise Black could develop his bishop to c5, with active play.} (6.
Nf3 Bc5 7. Nc3 O-O 8. Bd3 d6 {is the standard way Black would develop his
pieces. The d4-square is quite weak in this position and Black could exploit
it with ...Bg4, ...Nd4 and ...Nbc6.}) 6... Bb4+ 7. Nd2 Qe7 {This move
threatens to take on e4 because of the pin.} 8. Qc2 (8. Bd3 Na6 9. Ngf3 Nc5 10.
Qc2 {is the more frequent continuation, which bears some similarity to the
game.}) 8... Na6 ({You might be wondering what happens if Black just castles?
Well done, you've just found a good novelty! A novelty is a new move, which
has not been played before. After} 8... O-O 9. Ngf3 Re8 10. Bd3 Bc5 11. Bxc5
Qxc5 12. O-O-O Nb4 13. Qb3 d6 {I like Black's position as he has excellent
play against White's centre. Black might follow up with ...Nd7, ...Qb6 and ...
Nc5 to accentuate this central pressure. The big advantage of a novelty is
that your opponent is unlikely to have seen it before, giving you a
significant practical advantage at the start of the game.}) 9. Bd3 $2 (9. a3 $1
Bc5 10. Qc3 {would be a much better way to play. The key point is that with 9.
a3 White prepares b4, when b5 would fork the two knights.}) 9... Bc5 $1 {We
can see why the bishop is misplaced on d3; now Nb4 eliminates the key defender.
} 10. Bxc5 Nxc5 11. a3 $2 (11. Qc3 {was the only way to hang on.}) 11... Qd6 $1
{Black wins a crucial pawn with a simple fork.} 12. Be2 Qxf4 {I won't go
through the rest of the game as technique in converting the advantage doesn't
apply to the opening phase, unless of course you achieved a winning position
through preparation alone!} 13. O-O-O Qe3 14. Qc3 Qxc3+ 15. bxc3 Ne5 16. Nh3 d6
17. Nf4 Bd7 18. Nd5 O-O-O 19. Rdf1 Rde8 20. h3 Rhf8 21. g4 Ng6 22. h4 Nxe4 23.
h5 Nxd2 24. Kxd2 Ne5 25. h6 Rg8 26. g5 c6 27. Nf4 g6 28. Kc2 Kc7 29. Kb3 Be6
30. Kb4 Rgf8 31. Ng2 Nd7 32. a4 f6 33. gxf6 Nxf6 34. Nf4 Bf5 35. Rh2 Ne4 36.
Bf3 Nc5 37. a5 Nd3+ 38. Nxd3 Bxd3 39. Rff2 Rf4 40. Be2 Rxf2 41. Rxf2 c5+ 42.
Kb3 Rxe2 43. Rf7+ Kc6 44. Rxh7 g5 45. Rg7 Rh2 46. a6 bxa6 47. Rxa7 Rxh6 0-1
[Event "Politiken Cup 07th"]
[Site "Copenhagen"]
[Date "1985.??.??"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Karolyi, Tibor Jr"]
[Black "Hector, Jonny"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A52"]
[WhiteElo "2445"]
[BlackElo "2295"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[PlyCount "36"]
[EventDate "1985.06.??"]
[EventRounds "10"]
[EventCountry "DEN"]

{When learning an opening you also need to be aware of the key traps and
tactical ideas so you can avoid a quick descent into a bad position, and can
exploit the early mistakes of your opponent. With this game I'll show an
attacking method that will put White under a lot of pressure early in the game.
} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 Ng4 4. Nf3 {This is the solid continuation; White
quickly returns the pawn with the hope of achieving a small edge.} Nc6 (4...
Bc5 {is more accurate, forcing White to play} 5. e3 Nc6 {blocking in the
c1-bishop, though we'll see that the bishop is well placed on the long
diagonal after b3 and Bb2.}) 5. Nc3 (5. Bf4 {transposes to Rubinstein-Miesis.})
5... Bc5 6. e3 Ngxe5 7. Be2 O-O 8. O-O {Now the normal move would be 8...d6,
but Hector is not known for normality!} a5 $5 {With this move Black prepares
to eventually play ...Ra6-h6(g6), swinging the rook over for a kingside attack!
} 9. b3 (9. Nxe5 Nxe5 10. b3 {leads to the same position as after 9.b3 Nxf3 10.
Bxf3 Ne5 11.Be2.}) 9... Nxf3+ ({The more common continuation would be} 9... Re8
10. Bb2 Nxf3+ 11. Bxf3 Ne5 12. Be2 Ra6 {, which actually transposes to a
position with about 200 games played. Black has scored an excellent 52% from
this position but the world's leading expert at beating back attacks (Houdini)
thinks White has a small edge.}) 10. Bxf3 Ne5 11. Be4 {Normally White plays 11.
Be2 here, but despite the speed at which White's position goes downhill this
isn't a bad alternative.} Ra6 {Objectively this attack isn't 100% sound, but
it poses a lot of practical problems for White and even if White plays the
best moves Black's position is still playable. So it's a pretty good gamble
below the 2400 level, and even above as this game shows!} 12. g3 $6 {This
over-cautious move already gives Black some initiative.} (12. Bb2 {is correct,
when Black should take a breather with 12...Re8 as} Rh6 13. Na4 $1 Qh4 14. Bxe5
{would now defend h2, and} Qxe4 15. Bxg7 Kxg7 16. Nxc5 Qh4 17. Qd4+ Qxd4 18.
exd4 {gives Black insufficient compensation for the pawn.}) 12... Rh6 13. Na4
Ba7 {Often White will try to block out this bishop with c5 at some point, and
the game kind of shows why.} 14. Bg2 d6 {It's instructive to see how White can
get into trouble so quickly in this line without making any obvious mistakes.
The only way to achieve a good position against this ...Ra6-h6 plan is to play
very actively, but most players react to such attacks in a very defensive
manner.} 15. Qe2 (15. Bb2 Bg4 {is very unpleasant, as f3 hangs the e3-pawn and
other moves leave the light squares all weak:} 16. Qc2 Qg5 17. Bxe5 dxe5 {and
Black is just better with a very strong kingside initiative.}) 15... Re8 {
Lining the rook up against the queen opens up all kinds of tactical motifs
later in the game.} 16. f3 $2 {Another mistake, severely weakening the e3-pawn
and failing to get the rest of White's pieces into play.} Qg5 (16... Bf5 {with
the threat of ...Bd3 was also very strong.}) 17. Nc3 {This loses, but it was
already hard to suggest a good defence for White.} Qh5 $1 18. Bh1 Nxc4 $1 {
White resigned here, as there's a deadly threat of ...Nxe3 and} (18... Nxc4 19.
bxc4 Rxe3 $1 20. Bxe3 Bxe3+ 21. Rf2 Qxh2+ 22. Kf1 Qxh1# {is mate!}) 0-1