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Evans Gambit (C52)
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 b4 Bxb4 5 c3 Ba5

Number of games in database: 725
Years covered: 1825 to 2017
Overall record:
   White wins 50.2%
   Black wins 33.8%
   Draws 16.0%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Mikhail Chigorin  39 games
Adolf Anderssen  32 games
Blackburne  14 games
Wilhelm Steinitz  39 games
Adolf Anderssen  30 games
Johannes Zukertort  16 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Anderssen vs Dufresne, 1852
Fischer vs Fine, 1963
Chigorin vs Steinitz, 1892
N Marache vs Morphy, 1857
C Bayer vs Falkbeer, 1852
Morozevich vs Adams, 2001
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 page 1 of 29; games 1-25 of 725  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Captain Evans vs McDonnell 1-0201825LondonC52 Evans Gambit
2. McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais 1-0341834LondonC52 Evans Gambit
3. La Bourdonnais vs Bonfil ½-½371837?C52 Evans Gambit
4. La Bourdonnais vs Jouy 1-0321838Paris (France)C52 Evans Gambit
5. G Walker vs H H Boncourt 0-1301838Paris (France)C52 Evans Gambit
6. Von Der Lasa vs Mayet 1-0301839BerlinC52 Evans Gambit
7. Staunton vs NN 1-0211840?C52 Evans Gambit
8. E Morphy vs A P Ford 1-0231840New OrleansC52 Evans Gambit
9. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-0191842LondonC52 Evans Gambit
10. Staunton vs Cochrane ½-½411842London (England)C52 Evans Gambit
11. Staunton vs NN 1-0251843London (England)C52 Evans Gambit
12. Salpius vs Anderssen 1-0371849BerlinC52 Evans Gambit
13. Morphy vs E Morphy 1-0251850New OrleansC52 Evans Gambit
14. J McConnell vs Morphy 0-1251850New OrleanC52 Evans Gambit
15. Dufresne vs Anderssen 1-0351851BerlinC52 Evans Gambit
16. Judy vs Lady B. 1-0341851CasualC52 Evans Gambit
17. Anderssen vs Dufresne 1-0311851BerlinC52 Evans Gambit
18. Anderssen vs Mayet 1-0231851BerlinC52 Evans Gambit
19. Anderssen vs Mayet 1-0341851BerlinC52 Evans Gambit
20. Anderssen vs Dufresne 0-1341851BerlinC52 Evans Gambit
21. E Kossak vs Dufresne 1-0191851BerlinC52 Evans Gambit
22. Dufresne vs Anderssen 0-1341851It BerlinC52 Evans Gambit
23. Dufresne vs Anderssen 0-1191851BerlinC52 Evans Gambit
24. Anderssen vs Dufresne  1-0291851It LondonC52 Evans Gambit
25. W Hodges vs C E Ranken 1-0321851London (England)C52 Evans Gambit
 page 1 of 29; games 1-25 of 725  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <bartleby> The game you posted is from Nuremburg 1896. At Hastings Pillsbury played 4....Bxb4 5. c3 Bd6 twice, winning both.

Schiffers vs Pillsbury, 1895

Bird vs Pillsbury, 1895

Jun-28-06  Bartleby: Yes I know, I got my links confused. There's no post-edit function, unfortunately.
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: I make mistakes too... sometimes you can delete your entry and type it in again.
Jun-28-06  WMD: Other times, the mods will remove it for you.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Here's one of the greats getting taken down in a compromised defense:

J Mortimer vs Lasker, 1891

But the race is not always to the swift:

Taubenhaus vs Tarrasch, 1892

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Well, here is an Evans with a very nice combination...unfortunately, I am the victim.

[Event "benberren's mini-tournament"]
[Site ""]
[Date "2006.07.01"]
[Round "?"]
[White "aerial"]
[Black "keypusher"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C52"]
[WhiteElo "1820"]
[BlackElo "1781"]
[Annotator "Fritz 8 (30s)"]
[PlyCount "49"]
[EventDate "2006.??.??"]

C52: Evans Gambit Accepted: 5 c3 ♗a5
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4
Bxb4 5. c3 Ba5 6. Qb3 (I had never seen this before.) Qf6 (Maybe 6...Qe7 next time.) 7. d4 Nxd4 8. Nxd4 exd4 9. O-O dxc3 (Last book move.) 10. Qb5 Bb6 11. Bg5 (11. e5 Qf5 12. Nxc3 Ne7 ) 11... Qg6 (Fritz the fearless materialist gives 11... Qc6 12. Qe5+ Kf8 13. Qxc3 Qxe4 14. Nd2 ) 12. Nxc3 c6 13. Qe5+ Kf8 14. Rad1 d6 15. Qxd6+ Qxd6 16. Rxd6 Ne7 17. Rb1 Ke8? (Suspecting nothing. Fritz still thinks Black is a little better after 17... Bc7 18. Rd2 Ng6. But then he would, wouldn't he?)

click for larger view

18. Rxb6! axb6 (Better is 18... f6 19. Bxf6 gxf6) 19. Nb5! (Beautiful!) cxb5 20. Bxb5+ Bd7 Forced. 21. Rxd7 f6 Forced again. 22. Rxb7+ Kf7 23. Bc4+ Kg6 24. Be3! (Suddenly I saw that, if the knight moved out of danger, Bf7 is mate!) 24...Ra4?? (But White is winning even after 24... Rhc8 25. Be6 Re8 26. f4 h6 27. Rxb6) 25. Bb3 (25. Bb3 Rxe4 26. Bc2) 1-0

Practically everyone in this tournament is better than I am, so there might be quite a few games like this to come.

Jul-04-06  Eggman: <<Practically everyone in this tournament is better than I am, so there might be quite a few games like this to come.>>

If you can make sure not to fall behind in develop then you can really turn things around in your favour. After move 12 [diagram]

click for larger view

... White has one of the biggest leads in development I've ever seen.

If I were you I would stick to the old-fashioned Center-pawns-out-Knights-out-Bishops-out-Castle- Queen-out-connect-Rooks-Rook-to-open-file approach ... just as an experiment if nothing else. I can almost guarantee that, win or lose, you won't find yourself on the receiving end of this kind of drubbing.

Also, if you do find yourself behind in development fight back hard with threats, including offers to trade pieces, for example after 16.Rxd6 then perhaps 16...f6 17.Bh4 Ke7 (a developing move as it starts to clear the way to connect the Rooks) 18.Rfd1 Bc7 19.Rd2 Nh6 (another developing move) and Black is still somewhat uncomfortable but he has an extra pawn and it isn't clear that White has any advantage. Black can think about ...Nf7 & then ...Rd8 or perhaps ...Nd6 & ...Be6. It difficult to see what White would do. For example 20.e5 Bxe5 21.Ne4 is thematic but doesn't seem to bring White much.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: In this game, from the same tournament, both sides provide prodigies of self-sacrifice, as on successive moves White offers, and Black refuses, a knight, a bishop, the exchange, and the queen. White and Black then try to swindle one another, but only White's swindle works.

[Event "benberren's mini-tournament"]
[Site ""]
[Date "2006.07.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "keypusher"]
[Black "drengur1"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C52"]
[WhiteElo "1781"]
[BlackElo "1892"]
[Annotator "Fritz 8 (30s)"]
[PlyCount "51"]
[EventDate "2006.??.??"]

C52: Evans Gambit Accepted: 5 c3 ♗a5
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4
Bxb4 5. c3 Ba5 6. Qb3 (It worked against me, so maybe I can make it work against someone else.) 6...Qf6 7. d4 Nxd4 8. Nxd4 exd4 9. O-O dxc3 10. e5 Qxe5 11. Bxf7+ Kf8 12. Na3 Ne7 (New to me.) 13. Nc4 Qf5 14. Nxa5 Qxf7 15. Qxc3 c6 (Fritz thinks Black remains better after 15... Nd5 16. Qg3 d6) 16. Ba3 b6? 17. Rfe1? (Simply 17. Nxc6 dxc6 18. Qxc6 Rb8 19. Rfe1 wins. I saw this, but didn't trust myself!) 17... c5 18. Rad1!? d5 (18... bxa5 19. Qxc5 Kg8 20. Rxe7 ) 19. Nb3 d4? (19... Kg8!) 20. Nxd4 (Here's the first of a sequence of offers, but stronger is 20. Rxd4!! cxd4 21. Nxd4 Bg4 22. Rxe7 Qxe7 23. Bxe7+ Kxe7 24. Qc7+ Kf8 25. Qf4+ (Fritz)) 20... Nd5 (20... Bg4 21. Ne6+ Bxe6 22. Rxe6 Qxe6 23. Qf3+ Kg8 24. Qxa8+ Nc8 ) 21. Bxc5+! (the bishop...) Kg8 22. Nc6 (now the queen, which must be refused, since if 22... Nxc3 23. Rd8+ wins) 23. Rxd5 Bxc6 (Obviously forced.) 24. Re7? (I was discouraged, knowing I had missed a win back at move 17. But here Fritz finds that 24. Rd6 Bd7 25. Qd3 $18 Re8 26. Bb4 Rxe1+ 27. Bxe1 Be8 28. Rd8 Qe6 29. Bc3 h6 30. Qd4 Rh7 31. Qa4 is quite decisive) 24... Qg6? (Here he should have played 24... Qxe7 25. Bxe7 Bxd5, which is about even. But no doubt he thought that, with the bishop, rook on d5 and mate all hanging, and with the rook unable to retreat, that he was going to win on the spot.)

click for larger view

25. Qc4! (Not deep, or even original, I suspect. But still a thrilling move to play.) Qb1+ 26. Rd1+ 1-0

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Undiscouraged by getting whipped by aerial, I again ignore development in favor of grabbing everything that isn't nailed down. But this time it works:

[Event "benberren's mini-tournament"]
[Site ""]
[Date "2006.08.02"]
[Round "-"]
[White "valeriuzaharia"]
[Black "keypusher"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "1885"]
[BlackElo "1772"]
[TimeControl "259200+86400"]
[Mode "ICS"]
[Termination "normal"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4 Bxb4 5. c3 Ba5
6. Qb3 Qe7 7. d4 Nf6

An idea I got from Jobava vs Aronian, 2004.

8. dxe5 Nxe5 9. Nxe5 Qxe5 10. Bxf7+ Ke7
11. O-O Rf8 12. f4?!

Jobava played 12. Bd5.

12....Bb6+ 13. Kh1 Qxe4

Looks risky, but does Black have a choice?

14. Nd2 Qc6 15. Ba3+ d6
16. Rae1+ Kd8 17. Nf3

click for larger view

At this point I expected to lose shortly.

17....Bd7 18. Nd4(?) Bxd4 19. cxd4 Qb5 (Because of the exposed bishop, White can't avoid the exchange of queens.) 20. Rf3 Qxb3 21. Bxb3 Re8 22. Rfe3 Rxe3 23. Rxe3 Bf5 24. h3 h5 25. Bf7 g6 26. d5?

Surely a mistake.

26....Kd7 27. Kg1 Rf8 28. Be6+ Bxe6 29. Rxe6? Nxd5 30. Rxg6 Nxf4 31. Rg7+ Kc6 32. Kh2 Rf5 33. Bc1 Nd3 34. Bg5 Nc5 35. Be3 Re5 36. Bf4 Re2 37. a3 Ne6! 38. Rf7 Rf2! 39. Rf6?

After the better 39. Kg3, the pawn ending is still lost.

39....Nxf4 40. Kg3 Rxg2+

I saw this led to a won pawn ending and didn't bother looking at other possibilities.

41. Kxf4 Rf2+ 42. Kg5 Rxf6 43. Kxf6 Kd5!

After cowering in fear through the opening, Black's king gets sweet revenge in the ending.

44. Kg5 Ke5! 45. Kxh5 Kf5!

A straight pawn race would also win, but this is much more fun.

46. Kh6 c5 47. h4 c4 48. h5 Kf6 49. Kh7 Kf7 50. Kh6 c3 51. Kg5 c2 52. h6 c1=Q+ 0-1

Aug-02-06  NateDawg: <keypusher>

What would you do if White played 13.♕xb6!
13...axb6? 14.fxe5 would lose a piece, while
13...♕xe4 14.♗a3+ ♔xf7 15.♕b3+ d5 16.♗xf8 ♔xf8 is good for White.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <NateDawg> -- Good question! I overlooked 13. Qxb6!, and luckily my opponent did too. Shame on us both! Although I think Black may have decent fighting chances in your second variation. Anyway, thanks for the pointer.
Aug-02-06  Makofan: Here is a fun game with 7.Qb3 Qe7 for you

[Event "?"]
[Site "Mobile"]
[Date "1855.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Morphy, P"]
[Black "Ayers"]
[Result "1-0"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.d4 d6 7.Qb3 Qe7 8.d5 Nd4 9.Bb5+ c6 10.Nxd4 exd4 11.dxc6 Qxe4+ 12.Kd1 Bg4+ 13.f3 Bxf3+ 14.gxf3 Qxf3+ 15.Kc2 Qe4+ 16.Kb2 Bxc3+ 17.Nxc3 dxc3+ 18.Qxc3 O-O-O 19.Re1 Qd5 20.cxb7+ Kxb7 21.Rb1 Nf6 22.Bc6+ Qxc6 23.Ka1+ Kc7 24.Qa5+ Kc8 25.Qxa7 Nd7 26.Bd2 1-0

Nov-22-06  2021: What makes a difference between C51 and C52? They are about the same.
Nov-23-06  Archives: C52 is one higher than C51.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <2021> Seriously though, C52 is the "main variation" of the Evans gambit, so C51 includes all its other variations (especially those where the gambit is declined on black's 4th move, and with other bishop moves than Ba5 on his 5th move).
Dec-12-06  2021: <Eyal> <Archives> Thank you, but what I ment similar to <beatgiant's> kibitz. Shouldn't C52 be more popular than C51?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: 2021:

C51 also includes games that reach the so-called Normal Position, even if Black plays ...Ba5 along the way:

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4 Bxb4 5. c3 Ba5 6. d4 ed 7. 0-0 d6 9. cd Bb6.

click for larger view

As its name implies, the Normal Position was a very common way to accept the gambit in its glory days back in the 19th century. So that is one reason there are more games classified C51.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <keypusher> Yes, I haven't noticed that when I tried to answer <2021>'s question. But what you say really brings back the question - what's the point of C52 as a separate category?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Eyal> I think it's just as you say -- to cover all those lines in which ...Ba5 has "independent significance" instead of just transposing into other lines as with the Normal Position. You can only reach Lasker's Defense, the Compromised Defense, etc. if you play 5...Ba5. So that's why it has a separate designation.

Of course it's arbitrary in a sense. You could also give 5...Be7 or 4...Bb6 or even 5...Bd6 a separate designation. But those lines weren't seen to be as important when then they set up the ECO codes.

Dec-04-07  PADutchImprover: " <Knight13:> I don't think this is a bad way to play the Evans: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4 Bxb4 5. c3 Ba5 6. d4 d6

Black doesn't get crushed too easily."

Watch out for 7. d5 followed by 8. Qa4+ with several threats that demand careful play from Black.

Jul-17-08  jon01: An interesting game was played in Heart Of Finland today. IM Mikael Nouro defeated IM Joose Norri with Evans Gambit.

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4 Bxb4 5. c3 Ba5 6. d4 d6 7. Qb3 Qd7 8. Nbd2 Bb6 9. a4 exd4 (novelty, in Short - Sargissian, 2008 9. ...Nh6 was played) 10. cxd4 Nxd4 11. Qc3 Nxf3+ 12. gxf3 f6 13. a5 Bc5 14. Nb3 Ne7 15. Rg1 Ng6 16. Nxc5 dxc5 17. Be3 b6 18. Rd1 Qe7 19. Bd5 Rb8 20. Bc6+ Kf7 21. f4 (I think white has made very logical moves and has an attacking plan) ...Rd8 22. Rxd8 Qxd8 23. Bd5+ Kf8 24. f5 Ne7 25. Ba2 Ba6 26. Bh6! (after black captures the bishop, he will be mated in four moves) ...Qd3 27. Qxd3 Bxd3 28. Rxg7 Ke8 29. Rxh7 Nc6 30. Bd5 Nd8 31. Rxc7 b5 32. e5 1-0

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <jon01> Thanks, that is a really fine game. Hope it winds up in the database.
Nov-08-08  MichaelJHuman: Why is this line unpopular?

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Nc4 Bc5
4. b4 Bxb4
5. c3 Ba5
6. O-O d6
7. d4 Nf6

Why move the black bishop a 3rd time before developing more material? Nf6 seems playable, but I am a weak player so I know little.

Feb-07-09  blacksburg: <michael> 8.Qa4 looks scary.
Feb-26-11  Tigranny: I think I might try the Evans Gambit some day.
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