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King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit (C31)
1 e4 e5 2 f4 d5

Number of games in database: 806
Years covered: 1620 to 2017
Overall record:
   White wins 38.5%
   Black wins 44.4%
   Draws 17.1%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
PRACTITIONERS
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Mikhail Chigorin  21 games
Blackburne  14 games
Joseph G Gallagher  11 games
Varlam Vepkhvishvili  13 games
NN  10 games
Frank James Marshall  9 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
K A Walbrodt vs Loew, 1900
Anderssen vs E Schallopp, 1864
Chigorin vs Znosko-Borovsky, 1903
J Schulten vs Morphy, 1857
J Rosanes vs Anderssen, 1862
Maroczy vs Charousek, 1896
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 page 1 of 33; games 1-25 of 806  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Greco vs NN 1-0101620UnknownC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
2. Philidor vs NN ½-½241790UnknownC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
3. Philidor vs NN 1-0231790UnknownC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
4. W Cook vs Locock 1-0211840EnglandC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
5. W Hanstein vs Jaenisch 1-0281842BerlinC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
6. Anderssen vs Falkbeer 1-0261851BerlinC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
7. Loewenthal vs Staunton 1-0271851London m/1C31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
8. Jaenisch vs Staunton 0-1701851London m/2C31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
9. Harrwitz vs E Williams 1-0641852Harrwitz - Williams 1852/53C31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
10. Loewenthal vs Staunton  ½-½461853London m/1C31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
11. Von Der Lasa vs Staunton 1-0251853Brusselles m/8C31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
12. Schlesinger vs Falkbeer 0-1341854UnknownC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
13. H Pollmaecher vs Anderssen 0-1441855LeipzigC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
14. M Lange vs W Hauptmann  1-0251855ErfurtC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
15. W Budzinski vs Dubois 0-1381855ParisC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
16. Winkel vs Alkmaar 1-0361856corrC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
17. S Leow vs C Eliason  0-1241856Berlin mC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
18. S Leow vs C Eliason  0-1311856Berlin mC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
19. J Schulten vs Morphy 1-0181857Morphy vs. SchultenC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
20. J Schulten vs Morphy 0-1231857New YorkC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
21. B Raphael vs Paulsen 0-15318571st American Chess CongressC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
22. B Suhle vs B Forlico  1-0221858VeneziaC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
23. D S Roberts vs S Franklin  0-1291858(T1) San FranciscoC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
24. F Erkel vs L Spitzer ½-½391858BudapestC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
25. de Riviere vs P Journoud 0-1391859Paris m/1C31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
 page 1 of 33; games 1-25 of 806  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-18-09  m0nkee1: I am yet to find a safe line through the kings gambit. I accept & play b-e7 early on black (not sure what this is called), which often gives you the check on h4. But no matter how flash the counter attack white seems to get the upper hand. There must be a quiet way through this opening. Any tips welcome. Counter-attacking just leaves a mess. I don't think this is an opening at all! just a mess for both sides! i sigh whenever it's played. I wonder with a bit of study if e5, nc6, nf3 might give anything.
Mar-06-09  FiveofSwords: hi monkee. First of all, the idea of putting the bishop on e7 is ONLY good against lines where white pushes h4. Against other stuff the bishop is much better placed on g7. No there is no quiet way through this opening and if you want a quiet game then 1...e5 is not for you. Theres a massive number of different openings besides the king's gambit where you are not going to get a quiet game after 1...e5. If you really want a quiet game then i suggest you play the opening in a way where you dont really allow your pawns to be fixed and/or exchanged, simply allow white a nice space advantage, and when you are done developing (in a possibly inferior, meager way admittedly) then proceed from there.
Mar-06-09  WhiteRook48: how about 3. exd5?
Mar-07-09  chessman95: 3.exd5 is the main line here, and black's plan is to push the pawn to e4 and block the development of white's king knight and also the d-pawn. After d3 though, white has the advantage.

<monkee> FiveofSwords is right about that. If you are looking for quiet openings after 1.e4 then ...e5 is not for you. The French, CK, or even the hypermodern Pirc and Modern Defense all have lines in them that are as quiet as it's going to get in the king pawn openings.

Mar-07-09  blacksburg: <monkee> if you can't play 1...e5 because it is too sharp, the solution is not to find a duller opening, the solution is to learn to play more sharply and practice tactics.
Mar-07-09  chessman95: Probably good advise, assuming you have the time to learn the vast amount of theory on 1.e4 e5. Even if you can't play the Open Games well, a year or two of experience in what is the hardest branch of opening theory to master (the Sicilian's pretty complicated too) will pay off when you play 'easier' openings like the French or CK. The openings that I play are fairly limited, but I know almost every opening there is, and I have found that knowledge of many openings can help you understand and play other openings.
Jul-18-10  jbtigerwolf: I've come to learn that the percentages on this site are not reliable as a true guide to opening strength for either side, as they simply contain 'games in the database'...

However, the % is a rough guide and if you look at the KGA, it is 42.7% win for Black, whereas the Falkbeer Counter Gambit is 44%... some might say that as Black you should play the Falkbeer, but this looks much more complex than the KGA and for the sake of 1.3%, it makes no sense to complicate things.

Black has a great advantage in the KGA, so simply play that. It makes sense. The King's Gambit is something that is played by one who knows what he is doing and probably plays it all the time... but it is a shaky looking opening, and there must be a reason it is not played at master level.

Jul-23-10  rapidcitychess: <jbtigerwolf><the percentages on this site are not reliable> We all know that. look at 1.Na3 in Opening Explorer or 1.g4

<Black has a great advantage in the KGA> How rash. To proclaim a gambit used by Bronstein, Fischer, Spassky, and many more to be a bad position for white is madness.

<there must be a reason that it isn't played at master level.> To be honest, why isn't the Chigorin defense to the Queen's gambit played? Why not the Alekhine? Why not the Nimzo-Rubenstein Sicilian? Why not the French Defense? All of these respected openings have gone under the radar, but are still solid. The King's gambit is no longer popular due to new defenses and counter pawn sacrifices, and things that put gambits out of business. That is why the Ruy Lopez is played in most high level 1.e4 e5 games. I hope that helps.

RCC

P.S. Carlsen played the KG at Bazna King's.

Jul-23-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: statistics in openings are meaningless. A refutation only has to be played once to put a line out of business. Gambits tend to be played by weaker players and that also affects the stats.

The only opening stat that matters is personal experience.

Jul-23-10  jbtigerwolf: Yes, I think you hit it right there. Both RCC and Eric. Thanks. Yes, I am a bit rash in my comments.

Am doing a back-flip after reading up on Morphy, Alekhine, Anderssen and Spassky... and this flamboyant, exciting opening.

So 1.e4 e5 2.f4. I will give it a whirl.

I actually like the Danish Gambit and the look of both the Blackmar (after 1..d5) and the Smith-Morra (after 1..c5) So the only reason I never tried the King's Gambit was because people said it was no good. Even Fischer said it was refuted... but it appears maybe not.

Now for black I have to think about KGA or KGD. Spassky accepted the gambit even though he used it himself... I did a quick check of the King's Gambit and it seems that folks are still accepting it... if Fischer was right about his 2..d6, then this makes no sense.

Personally, I feel I need to accept the gambit! I can't help myself. I just love the open position and I don't like the uncertainty of leaving a pawn en-prise.

Having said that, I considering 1..e5 to 1.f4; the From! I feel liberated.

There's some scary stuff in the King's Gambit, whether it's accepted or declined. I actually like the idea of thing's like combating the Falkbeer and the Adelaide. Five stars.

Jul-23-10  unsound: <jbtw> It's OK, you can accept the Gambit and be consistent with Fischer, whose "high class waiting move" was not 2...d6 but 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 d6
Jul-24-10  rapidcitychess: <unsound><"high class waiting move"> Not a high class waiting move. 4.Bc4 g5 5.d4 Bg7 is the main line. A "high class" waiting move is one to force the other player to commit their pieces, there fore their plans. e.g. <1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Be7 4.Nf3> where white can no longer play f4. 3...d6 is played in order to stop e5. On a side note, Fischer considered 3.Nf3 to be ,quote, "practically refuted." But he does not say 3.Bc4 is refuted. Also, understand practically refuted, and refuted are two different things.

RCC

Jul-25-10  MaxxLange: Fischer's article "busting" the KGA was pretty unconvincing, and his system certainly did not finish off the gambit. Hand-waving phrases like "a high-class waiting move" should make anyone suspicious. Then, we have what - 45 years of practice to judge the line by? It's OK for Black., but not really superior to other defenses.
Jul-25-10  unsound: <RCC> As you can tell from the quotation marks, I was quoting Bobby Fischer, not giving my own judgment--what are you getting on my case for? If you have a beef with Bobby, that's between you two.
Jul-25-10  rapidcitychess: <unsound> I don't have a <beef> with you or Bobby. I'm not trying to get on your case, I'm just pointing out that it isn't a waiting move. <MaxxLange>
I'm just wondering if you could post that article.

RCC

Jul-25-10  Call me Ishmael: The King's Gambit is alive and well.

There is nothing special about Fischer's line (3..d6), it's sound but not the best way to meet the KG. The Modern Defense (Abbazia) via the Falkbeer Counter Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 exf4 4.Nf3 Nf6) is the best way to meet 2.f4. This was played recently against Carlsen:

Carlsen vs Wang Yue, 2010

I think the only thing that has been refuted is the long standing claim by many that the KG is not sound. Not only is the King's Gambit sound but it's rock solid. Hopefully Carlsen's game will get GMs to give this great opening a second look.

Jul-25-10  nescio: <rapidcitychess: <MaxxLange> I'm just wondering if you could post that article.>

To save <MaxxLange> the trouble, here it is: http://www.chesscafe.com/text/bust....

Jan-25-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day

King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5


click for larger view

Feb-10-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < Call me Ishmael: ....There is nothing special about Fischer's line (3..d6), it's sound but not the best way to meet the KG....>

Black can play into the main lines of the Kieseritsky as well, or if he prefers to avoid all that, my old favourite, Becker's 3....h6.

<....The Modern Defense (Abbazia) via the Falkbeer Counter Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 exf4 4.Nf3 Nf6) is the best way to meet 2.f4.>

The jury's out on this one, though it is often played.

Feb-10-13  goldenbear: I like 1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 c6!, and I've had good results...
Feb-10-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <goldenbear> I have managed to win on both sides of 3....c6: as White after 4.Nc3 exf4 and as Black after 4.Qe2. No question that 3....c6 is stronger than 3....e4, which I faced once.
May-27-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: After 3. ♘f3, Tony Miles played 3...♘h6?! against Vlastimil Hort in 1983. The game continued:

4. exd5 e4 5. ♕e2 ♗e7 6. ♕xe4 O-O 7. ♗d3 ♗h4+ 8. ♔f1 ♗f5 9. ♕c4 ♗g4


click for larger view

Black has castled, and has developed, while White will have to untangle his pieces, and has lost the right to castle.

May-28-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: I would have liked to see Miles play 9...Na6!. It would be fun to see Hort's expression had he developed both Knight on the rim.
May-28-13  JPi: a6 square could be conjugated to c8~ Indeed it's like N has moved to c8. Thus this Knight has made a progress toward the center. Hoping Doctor Tarrash will not heard such theory :(
May-28-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Graham>: The two sources I have for Hort-Miles give the move order as 1.e4 e5 2.f4 Nh6 3.Nf3 d5 etc, transposing.
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