Gambit & Counter-Gambit Tournaments

From 2018, these tournaments will be webserver only. Each tournament has a  choice of openings available within each section i.e. (a) Gambit Openings (as White) and (b) Counter Gambit Openings (as Black).

Each Tourney usually consists of five players in All-Play-All format, so eight games in all, one with White and one with Black against each of the others. *** Occasionally the Gambit and Counter Gambit Tourneys may be combined if there are insufficient entries.
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Gambit Tournaments
In each game White selects the opening from the Gambit list*. In other words in each pairing of two games each player chooses the opening in the one game where he has White. You can choose any combination of Gambits, from the same Gambit in all games to four different Gambits.
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Counter-Gambit Tournaments
In each game Black selects the Opening to be played from the Counter-Gambit list*. Thus, in each pairing of two games, each player chooses the Opening in the game where he is Black. Once again you can choose any combination of Counter Gambits, from the same in all games to four different gambits.

* The lists of Gambits & Counter-Gambits changes every season to provide variety of play. The list for each season is given in the Summer issue of the magazine.

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NB. ‘The best way to refute a gambit is to accept it’ (Steinitz) Give it a try!

Contact the Tournament Director Alex Relyea for more information.

The themes for the season 2018-19 are as follows:-

Gambit Tournaments.

In each game White selects the opening from the following Gambit list. In other words in each pairing of two games each player chooses the opening in the one game where he has White. You can choose any combination of Gambits, from the same Gambit in all games to four different Gambits.

(1) French Defense Alekhine-Chatard Attack: Albin-Chatard Gambit     1. e4 e6 2.  d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e5 Nfd7 6. h4 Bxg5 7. hxg5

 White sacrifices a pawn against the French Classical for an open h-file and an attack.

(2) Queen’s Gambit Accepted 1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3

An extremely topical opening.  For those who would wish to try 3. e4, ICCF is offering a postal thematic in that line in December.

(3) Scandinavian Defense 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qd6 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nf3 a6 6. g3 Bg4 7. Bg2 Nc6 8. O-O O-O-O 9. d5 Ne5 10. Nxe5

 Does White have enough for his Queen?  Can Black afford to take the Queen?

(4) Sicilian Kan 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. c4 Nf6 6. Nc3 Qc7 7. Be2

 Black can win a pawn by taking on c3 and e4.  Does he dare?

(5) Petroff Defense: Cochrane Gambit 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nxf7

 An almost pre-historic gambit to inject some life into the Petroff, which has the reputation of a forced draw.

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Counter-Gambit Tournament

In each game Black selects the Opening to be played from the following Counter-Gambit  list. Thus, in each pairing of two games, each player chooses the Opening in the game where he is Black. Once again you can choose any combination of Counter-Gambits, from the same in all games to four different Counter-Gambits.

(1) Benko Gambit 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5 4. cxb5 a6 5. bxa6

Being an American, I can call this the Benko, though you might better know it as the Volga.  Unusually, this is a positional gambit, and Black can retain his positional edge into the endgame without needing to win the pawn back.  We tried this opening last year with some success, so this year I am mandating acceptance of the gambit.

(2) Elephant Gambit 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d5

Chessbase lists 32(!) moves that have been tried as Black’s second.  2.. d5 is an unusual idea that may be worth a try.

(3) Center Game 1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. Qxd4 Nc6 4. Qe3 Nf6 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. Bd2 O-O 7. O-O-O Re8 8. Qg3 Rxe4

Did White Gambit a pawn, or Black an exchange?  This is for you to decide.

(4) Grunfeld Defense 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Qb3 dxc4 6. Qxc4 O-O 7. e4 a6 8. Be2 b5 9. Qb3 Nc6 10. e5 Be6

 Black offers three minor pieces for the Queen.  Again, who has the compensation?

(5) Catalan Defense 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Be7 5. Nf3 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Qc2 b5 8. a4 b4 9. Ne5 Qxd4 10. Bxa8

8..b4 allows White to win the exchange, but is it quite safe for White to take?