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Friedrich Bethge vs Legal
Berlin (1930), Berlin GER
Danish Gambit: General (C21)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-09-03  Erwin: Great game,very neat finish
Sep-09-03  helloriker: In the danish, as with most gambits, you are not supposed to try to hold on to the pawns. The lost tempo becomes to great to stop any attack. Instead of 10 0-0 black could have played d5 blocking the queen bishop line and forcing white to give back a tempo. This opens up blacks light colored bishop to be brought in. He could have also played Qg5 which prevents the pin of the queen to the king and allows the bishop to interpose the check. Personaly I would have only taken two of the pawns and not the third. Giving up that much tempo for black is really hard to defend against. Even after cxb2 he didn't need to go after the e4 pawn he had a clear advantage of 2 pawns with very little development. Like celebrate said it is time to consoldate the position. Almost any even trade favors black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Helloriker> After 10...d5 11. R(a1)e1 Be6 12. Bxd5 0-0 13. BxBe6 fxe6 14. Rxe6 white has a winning attack (discovered check will win the black queen or mate if the queen runs to the wrong square). Fritz 8 avoids this fate in it's assessment of 10...d5 by giving up the queen with 10...d5 11. R(a1)e1 dxc4 12. RxQe7 Qxc4 with about a 3.0 plus assessment for a winning white advantage.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: The move 4. Qb3?! here appears to be a very rare try in the Danish Gambit. 4. Bc4 is normal, after which Batsford Chess Openings (Kasparov and Keene) recommend 4...cxb2 5. Bxb2 d5! as leading to quick equality for black.

Black's best chances to improve on his play in this game appear to be at moves five, six and eight.

Instead of 5...Nf6, I prefer 5...Nc6.

Instead of 6...Bc5, I prefer 6...Nc6.

7....0-0 may be OK, but I think black is better off here after 7...Qe2 8. Ngf3 Nc6.

Instead of 8...Nxe4?, 8...Nc6 is much better. Fritz 8 analyzes a black advantage after 8...Nc6 9. 0-0 Na5 (9...d6 and 9...0-0 are also good options) 10. Qb5 Nxc4 11. Bxf6 Qxf6 12. Qxc5 Nxd2 13. Nxd2 Qf4 14. Rad1 b6 15. Qd5 Rb8 (0.97 black advantage, 11/30 deep, 4,776kN). And black has a solid two pawn advantage, no weaknesses and is about to grab the initiative with 16...Bb7. What more could black ask after snatching three pawns in the opening after only 15 moves?

Note that I tend to agree that as a rule it is advisable to give back the pawns captured in a gambit, when you can do so with advantage. However, in this case, it did not appear neccessary to overdo it. Maybe that is why 4...Qb3 is a rare try in the Danish, and perhaps should remain so (at least in serious tournament play).

Sep-09-03  Shadout Mapes: I love this opening. As patzer2 said, after 5. Bxb2 d5! comes 6. Bxd5 Nf6 7. Bxf7+ Kxf7! 8. Qxd8 Bb4+ 9. Qd2 Bxd2 10. Nxd2 and black gives his two pawns up to trade queens.
Sep-09-03  helloriker: <patzer2> what about 14 Qf7, this prevents the discovered check.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Sneaky/Celebrate2006> Fritz 8 likes 7. ...0-0 giving it a solid 1.28 advantage after 8. N(g)f3 d5 9. Bxd5 Nxd5 10. Qxd5 Qxd5 11. exd5 Rd8 12. Rd1 Rxd5 13. Ne4 Bd4= 14. Ke2 Rxd1 15. Rxd1. Apparently black has nothing to fear after 7. ...0-0 8. e5 Ng4 9. Ne4 Qe7 10. Nf3 Bb4+ 11. Nc3 Nxe5 12. Nxe5 Qxe5+ 13. Kf1 Bxc3 14. Qxc3 Qg5 15. Qe5 Qh6 with a 1.38 assessment for a black advantage.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <helloriker> You are correct that after my line, following your 10. ...d5, that 14....Qf7 holds the position for black, though white may have a perpetual after 15. Bxg7 Kxg7 16. Qg3+ Kh8 17. Qe5+ etc.

However, Fritz 8 gives 10. ...d5 11. Bxd5 Nc6 Bxe6 0-0 13. Bd5 Qd7 14. Ne4 Bd6 15. Nxd6 cxd6 16. Qg3 Ne5 as giving a 3.38 plus score advantage to white. So, I figured I was missing something. Sure enough, I was missing a critical move in the combination. After 10...d5 11. Rae1 Be6 12. Bxd5 0-0 13. Qg3! (not 13. Bxe6!?) 13. ...g6 [13. f6 Rxe6] 14. Qc3! [14. Qe5 also wins but is much weaker] 14. ...f6 15. Rxe6 and white will quicikly snatch the black queen and or mate.

Now I did run this variation by Fritz 8, as I should have done earlier, and it does lead to a quick mate, starting with a 12.13 plus score for white after 14. Qc3!

Thanks again, however, for the good catch! I learned something to help improve my play as a result. If nothing else, the moves 13. Qg3! and 14. Qc3! in this variation are instructive and entertaining (certainly worth a look).

Sep-10-03  helloriker: <patzer2> In those variations you went through you show black casteling king side into the attack. This is never an advisable tactic. Have you looked at trying to fend off the attack by play Qg5, this allows the darksquared bishop to come back and interpose the rook check. You could also just step the king over to d8 after the rook check. Moving towards the king side is suicidal when you are down this far in tempo. The only way to regain tempo is to move the king away from the attack and not into it. It would take white atleast a couple of moves to reposition his pieces to take advantage of the uncastled king.
Sep-10-03  helloriker: that would be 10 ... Qg5
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <helloriker> Is that 10...Qg5 instead of 10...d5 (or 10...0-0 as in the game) that you want to look at? Or do you wish to investigate 10...d5 11. R(a)e1 Be6 12. Bxd5 Qg5 (instead of 12...0-0)?
Sep-10-03  helloriker: that would be instead of 10 ... d5 I think you lose the f pawn but that is it. White is going to have to reposition the bishops to gain an attack on the queen side and that gives black the tempo to develop and defend against it. Possibly with d6 in a later move to give the king some manuverability and allow the bishop to develop. I would also try to seudo castle the king on the queen side if tempo permits it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <helloriker> Appears that 10...Qg5 (instead of 10...0-0 or 10...d5) gives white several excellent options. Without cranking up Fritz 8 or looking too deeply, 11. Bxf7+, 11. Re1+ or 11. Nf3 all look like they lead to a solid white advantage.

At this point (black's tenth move) it is doubtful whether black can survive the white attack, and I think it would have been much better for him to have played one of the earlier options recommended above such as 7...0-0 or 8...Nc6.

Sep-12-03  helloriker: <patzer2> Looking at those moves to both the checks I would say you play Kd8 and sacrifice the castle. If 11 Nf3 then Qg6. Nf3 makes it a little harder for black to defend but it is not imposible. Especially if black can make good moves to lock down the board. The G file is critical to control if black wants to castle king side. Black could play 10 Kd8 but this move is better to wait on since if it is done on a check it will allow black to possibly pick up a tempo. The nf3 line does look like the best option for white.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <helloriker> Suggest you run it through a computer program for analysis or to try and defend the position as black. I would much prefer to defend black's position after 7...0-0 or 8...Nc6 than to have to defend after 10....Qg5. This move may avoid any immediate tactical shot, but looks like it creates a positional and tactical nightmare for black to have to defend against. White is already well developed and this black queen foray gives white more tempo and development for the attack.
Sep-12-03  helloriker: <Patzer2> I would rather play it from back there as well, but I think that the position is still holdable for black. I don't have a chess computer to run the positions through though. After looking at it further I think Qf8 is probably blacks best move after 10 Nxd2, the queen is in a relatively safe location protecting the f and g pawns. Whites only obvious move is the Rae1+ possibly with a line that would look like this

10 Nxd2 qf8 11 Rae1+ Be7

now white has no really clear move I would think 12 Ba3 or 12 Nf3 would be whites moves. at any rate this position looks very defendable to me. And black doesn't have to give back the pawns. Although he can to regain some tempo and get his king to the queen side of the board.

This game is an exellent demonstration of why not to castle into the attack :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <helloriker> 10. ...Nxd2 Qf8 11. Rae1+ Be7 12. Qg3 f6 13. Qxc7 and white has a winning position.
Aug-12-04  mack: I presume this must have been a game of the day. "That can't be Legal"? Something like that?
Oct-29-04  Apocalypse79: Good position with two bishops.
Nov-26-05  DeepBlade: <Apocalypse79> That is also the reason why Whit did win the game. It is fatal to castle kingside for Black, because the 2 Bishops are pointing at it. Heck, the 2 Bishops are the main reason why people play the Danish!
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheTamale: If I were Black, instead of resigning, I'd play on with 12. g5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheTamale: Please disregard last comment; I have no idea what I was thinking.
Jun-27-09  WhiteRook48: 10 Rfe1 maybe
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Better call S Saul. I can make it Legal.
Dec-18-18  GumboGambit: An entertaining Legal Brief
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