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Evans gambit vs. Giuoco Piano

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  • Evans gambit vs. Giuoco Piano

    Does anyone here have any thoughts about, or know of good reference material for the Evans gambit? I have seen it a few times and thought it was an interesting gambit but can't seem to find much theory behind it. Does anyone here have experience with it or can offer their thoughts about it?
    White: Guioco Piano - Evans Gambit
    Haven't started looking at d4

    Black: French against e4
    QID against d4

    Learning every day to become better...one fixed blunder at a time.

  • #2
    The Evans is about as old as openings get.

    About books, I'd think about Harding and Cafferty's "Play the Evans Gambit". For general information (on all openings not too modern), the famous "Handbuch des Schachspiels".
    Have you read the Forum rules?

    Queeg: Pawn to King Four. Holly: Horsie to King Bish Three.
    Rimmer: It's called a "knight," actually, Holly...
    Queeg: Knight to King Bishop three. Holly: Queen to Rook Eight. Checkmate.
    Queeg: That's an illegal move. Holly: Oh, sorry. Queens don't move like that. I was thinking of poker.
    Holly: Cleudo? You could be Colonel Mustard.
    Cat: If it's any help, I've been studying his tactics and there's a pattern emerging: Every time you make a move, he makes one too. *Winks to Holly*
    Holly: *Winks back* Thanks, Cat.
    --Red Dwarf

    Comment


    • #3
      I know it's not exactly a new opening...I just don't see much discussion on it in forums. Thanks for the book. What do you personally think about the opening? What opponents is it most effective against?
      White: Guioco Piano - Evans Gambit
      Haven't started looking at d4

      Black: French against e4
      QID against d4

      Learning every day to become better...one fixed blunder at a time.

      Comment


      • #4
        I like Tim Harding's "Evans Gambit and a System against the Two Knights Defense" although I think I found one hole in it's analysis, and need to find an alternate line (but haven't done the research since I'm not playing much these days).

        I love the Evans gambit, although, honestly, there are lots of good gambit lines in the Italian complex (4.d4 is interesting, as is 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4). There's a ton of play here, enough to keep a casual player busy for his entire career.

        These are great choices for the developing player, as you'll get a big center, open lines, and a development advantage to launch your attack with.

        The nice thing about the Harding book is the system against the 2N; this is the same system recommended in "The Italian Gambit System" - 4.d4 ed 5.e5 - a much better choice for the developing player than 4.Ng5, which gives black lots of compensation.

        Comment


        • #5
          Heh, well, popularity is irrelevant for openings like the Evans Gambit. It's overall a very nice gambit. Declining and returning the pawn being a little more complicated than most gambits I know of.

          If you play the Evans, you're in it to attack. You'll end up with one of three things (if you go through theory);
          - A rather dull and depressing game after black returns the pawn and swaps off a bunch of stuff.
          - Decently placed pieces giving you a bit of a positional advantage, mostly coming out of 'retreat' variations.
          - A lost game, down up to 2 pawns according to computers, with an attack that can be tough to meet.

          Which I suppose is true for most gambits. It works best against docile opponents that like to sit back (again true for most gambits). As I said, computers have chopped up the swashbuckling lines but they will still work for us non-titled players because there really is enough in them. Personally I think it's one of the best gambits available.


          Ronaldinho, I just love seeing that Ng5 garbage in the 2N
          Have you read the Forum rules?

          Queeg: Pawn to King Four. Holly: Horsie to King Bish Three.
          Rimmer: It's called a "knight," actually, Holly...
          Queeg: Knight to King Bishop three. Holly: Queen to Rook Eight. Checkmate.
          Queeg: That's an illegal move. Holly: Oh, sorry. Queens don't move like that. I was thinking of poker.
          Holly: Cleudo? You could be Colonel Mustard.
          Cat: If it's any help, I've been studying his tactics and there's a pattern emerging: Every time you make a move, he makes one too. *Winks to Holly*
          Holly: *Winks back* Thanks, Cat.
          --Red Dwarf

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Ronaldinho View Post
            The nice thing about the Harding book is the system against the 2N; this is the same system recommended in "The Italian Gambit System" - 4.d4 ed 5.e5 - a much better choice for the developing player than 4.Ng5, which gives black lots of compensation.
            That's the same line I play in the Two Knights. I chose it because I wanted a line that MCO considers playable, yet is seen infrequently enough that most of my opponents won't know it. All I really know about it is what I read in MCO-14, but I've gotten some decent games with it.

            I use the similar line in the Giuoco Piano (4. c3 Nf6 5. d4 exd4 6. e5) rather than the typical Moller attack, just to get my opponents out of book and keep myself in familiar territory.

            Of course, I rarely get to play either these days, as nobody over 1400 USCF rating seems to play e5 against 1. e4. And oddly enough, the last three times I did get 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 as white, my opponents played the Philidor (2. ... d6) twice, and the Hungarian Defense (2. ... Nc6 3. Bc4 Be7) once.

            --Fromper

            "Don't be afraid of ghosts! Always play the moves you want to play unless you see a genuine tactical drawback." --Grandmaster Neil McDonald

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by anisotropy View Post
              I know it's not exactly a new opening...I just don't see much discussion on it in forums. Thanks for the book. What do you personally think about the opening? What opponents is it most effective against?
              It is most effective against those who don't know how to play against it. There are several lines where if Black is careful he should neutralize the attack and then be equal or better. As a surprise weapon, the opening is viable at even the highest levels but against a well prepared black opponent it is probably no better than equal.

              Comment


              • #8
                Out of curiosity, Crash, which lines do you think neutralize white's attack?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ronaldinho View Post
                  Out of curiosity, Crash, which lines do you think neutralize white's attack?
                  Well its been a long time since I have looked at it and all of the three games that I have played within the time frame where I kept track of my games in an electronic database were played early in a chess comeback after a long layoff but nonetheless I have won all three games that I played after

                  1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.O-O d6 7.d4 Bb6 though I did play this move one move prematurely in one game and it would have just transposed back into the main line if my opponent had chosen his play more carefully.

                  Guard f7 with as many pieces as are attacking it and you should be fine as black. I must say that I was not totally comfortable with my position in two of those games during the game but analysis after the game showed that I was fine and I did manage to get overwhelming positions in all three. I tried to return some of the material in all three games but in each case white spurned the offer in favour of complications that quickly fizzled out.

                  I have looked at some of the other lines and it seemed to me that black was okay in them too but the Ba5-b6 retreat after accepting the gambit suits me best. It also seems to me that Black's pieces seem to get developed more quickly than white's and so white's attack should not succeed.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ah, yeah. Lasker's defense.

                    My general approach is to not allow it by playing 6.d4! rather than 6.0-0. Then 6. ... d6 7.Qb3 Qd7 8.dxe5 when dxe5 seems to give white a very good attack, whereas 8. ... Bb6 when 9.Nbd2 Na5 10.Qc2 Ne7!? is the position I need to re-examine, since the theoretical continuation involves a sacrifice which I no longer have confidence in, but most people will play 10.Nxc4 which I'm happy to face. White can sidestep this whole variation, in any event, by playing 9.Bb5, which had a pretty good reputation last time I checked (which was a while ago).

                    The idea that Lasker's Defense (d6 and BB6) is a refutation of the Evans has actually won me a lot of games, because most people who haven't studied the Evans except to dismiss it don't realize how easy the Lasker defense is to sidestep.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I played the Moller attack/Greco Gambit for some time, but I switched to the Evans gambit, as a lot of the people I play will end up in the compromised defence (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4 Bxb4 5. c3 Ba4 6. d4 exd4 7. O-O exc3, a risky variation for black to play. I personally think the Evans is better then the Moller Attack/Greco Gambit, yet they are both playable.

                      About the Two Knights, I sometimes play the Wilkes-Barre/Traxler variation from the Black side, but as white I avoid the Ng5 variation entirely and play the Max Lange attack. I'm looking for an alternative, but I have more important things to worry about (tactics, endgames, Sicilian Dragon, etc.)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ronaldinho View Post
                        Ah, yeah. Lasker's defense.

                        My general approach is to not allow it by playing 6.d4! rather than 6.0-0. Then 6. ... d6 7.Qb3 Qd7 8.dxe5 when dxe5 seems to give white a very good attack, whereas 8. ... Bb6 when 9.Nbd2 Na5 10.Qc2 Ne7!? is the position I need to re-examine, since the theoretical continuation involves a sacrifice which I no longer have confidence in, but most people will play 10.Nxc4 which I'm happy to face. White can sidestep this whole variation, in any event, by playing 9.Bb5, which had a pretty good reputation last time I checked (which was a while ago).

                        The idea that Lasker's Defense (d6 and BB6) is a refutation of the Evans has actually won me a lot of games, because most people who haven't studied the Evans except to dismiss it don't realize how easy the Lasker defense is to sidestep.

                        1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.d4 exd4 7.Qb3 Qe7 may be playable for black when black is getting harassed but should be able to cover f7 sufficiently. I will have to look at it and try to remember which line I had planned if black went with that line but I suspect that if you can cover f7 you should have good chances to survive as black. I looked at the various lines of the Evans gambit pretty extensively in 1992 after misplaying the opening due to misremembering the key moves from looking at it a decade earlier than that (though as I said my opponent probably misplayed giving me an easy game) and was of the opinion that I was prepared but I have probably lost a few of those brain cells that stored that information in the interim.

                        Of course my opponent did get an attack but one that I did survive.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Octal View Post
                          I played the Moller attack/Greco Gambit for some time, but I switched to the Evans gambit, as a lot of the people I play will end up in the compromised defence (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4 Bxb4 5. c3 Ba4 6. d4 exd4 7. O-O exc3, a risky variation for black to play. I personally think the Evans is better then the Moller Attack/Greco Gambit, yet they are both playable.
                          I assume you mean 7....dxc3. That looks very risky.

                          At this point I would be more concerned with finding a way to get my king to safety if possible or pitching a pawn back at black somehow and not to try to grab another pawn that brings that b1 knight quickly into the game.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I tried the Evans Gambit in two skittles games today at the local club. I think I need to do some research before I try it again. It was interesting, anyway.

                            It occurs to me that I keep experimenting with openings and never really feel comfortable with any of them. I'm becoming somewhat comfortable playing the white side of the Smith-Morra Gambit, but I still haven't found a favorite opening for those rare occasions when my opponents answer my 1. e4 with e5. I guess that's why I stick to the Giuoco Piano/Two Knights.

                            But I was feeling adventurous today, and this thread inspired me, so when my opponent played into the Giuoco, I figured I'd try the Evans for the first time. Not a complete disaster, but it's obviously an opening that requires some prep work to play properly. I'll probably stick to the non-gambit lines in tournament play.

                            --Fromper

                            "Don't be afraid of ghosts! Always play the moves you want to play unless you see a genuine tactical drawback." --Grandmaster Neil McDonald

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The interesting thing about the compromised defense (7. ... dxc3) is that, after dwindling into obscurity during the 80s and 90s, it's actually making a comeback.

                              Computers still overvalue pawns in the opening, and they defend tenaciously ... so the question of whether or not the compromised defense is sound is being raised again.

                              In practical play it strikes me as a horrible choice (unless you're playing me!) but the truth is, if a moderate-strength player (eg, one who should know better - 1900s on FICS, say) plays it against me I strongly suspect a computer assist. Because computers love it - and they're the only things tactically alert enough to survive the resulting positions.

                              Fromper, post those games. One of the great things about the Evans is that it's so primal: big center, open lines, development advantage. If your attacking skills are sub-par, you may struggle ... but that just means you need to work on those attacking skills!

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