Enchanting world of ambits

Gambits refer to the Opening in chess where a player would sacrifice a piece or a pawn in the early stages to whip up an attack.

However, the era of Gambits in the 18th and 19th centuries, dubbed as the ‘Romantic Era’ of chess is almost a forgotten chapter now as modern chess emphasizes on material and positional equality at all times. However, occasionally one does come across some sharp and volatile Gambits even in Master tournaments these days.

In the game which follows, Black opts for the Benko Gambit and sacrifices a pawn in the Opening stages. However, he fails to stir up an attack and it is White who is on the aggressive side throughout in the game.
White: Giorgi Kacheishvili (2577) – Black: Olli Salmensuu (2443) [A5
Batumi ,1999
Benko Gambit
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5
The Benko Gambit, one of the volatile and exciting response to the Queen’s Gambit. Black sacrifices a pawn in the Opening to initiate an attack
4.cxb5 Accepting the gambit
4. ..a6 5.b6
Not accepting the second pawn
5. ..e6 6.Nc3 Bb7
The usual continuation is 6...Nxd5 7.Nxd5 exd5 8.Qxd5 Nc6
7.e4 exd5
If 7...Qxb6 8.Nf3 Be7 9.Ne5!? Qc7 10.Nc4 Nxe4 11.Nxe4 exd5 12.Qg4 dxe4 13.Bf4 Qc6 14.Qxg7 Rf8
8.exd5 d6 9.a4 a5 10.Nge2 White played a novelty here which appears interesting. If  10.Bb5+ Nbd7 11.Nge2 Be7  
10...Be7 11.Ng3 0–0 12.Be2
If 12.Nf5 Nbd7 13.Qf3
12...Na6 Not the right choice as Black had a better move in 12...Nbd7 13.Nf5 Nxb6
13.0–0 Nb4 14.Nf5 Nd7 Here 14. ..Bc8 or 14. ..Rb8 appears better. If 14...Nbxd5 15.Bf3  15...Nxc3 16.bxc3 Rb8 17.Re1 Re8 18.Bxb7 Rxb7 19.Bg5 Rxb6 20.Rxe7 Rxe7 21.Bxf6 gxf6 22.Qg4+ Kf8 23.Qg7+ Ke8 24.Nxe7 Qxe7 25.Qxh7 gives advantage to White
15.Bb5 Nxb6


16.Bh6 A stinging move by White as he sacrifices his bishop to open up Black’s castle.
16...gxh6 Black hardly has any choice but to accept the sacrifice. If 16...Bf6 17.Bxg7 Bxg7 18.Qg4 Qf6 19.Ne4 Qxb2 20.Rab1
17.Qg4+ Bg5 18.f4 h5 If 18...Kh8 19.fxg5 hxg5 (19...Qxg5 20.Qxg5 hxg5 21.Nxd6 Bxd5 22.Nxd5 N6xd5 23.Nxf7+) 20.Qh5
19.Qg3 White refuses to exchange queens as he wants to keep the attack going. White also can have a pleasant ending by exchanging queens with 19.Qxg5+ Qxg5 20.fxg5
19...h4 If 19...N4xd5 20.fxg5
20.Qg4 h5 21.Qxh5 White is still not interested in recovering his sacrificed bishop and hangs on to his queen
21...Bf6 22.Ne4 Bc8  
If 22...Bxd5 23.Ng5 Bxg5 (23...Re8 24.Qh7+ Kf8 25.Qh6+ Kg8 26.Bxe8) 24.fxg5 Qc7 (24...Be6 25.g6) 25.Rf4
23.Qg4+ Kh8 24.Ra3 Better appears 24.Nexd6 Bxf5  25.Nxf5 N6xd5
24. .. N6xd5 25.Rh3
White has a neat checkmating trap with 25.Rxh4 Bxh4  26.Qg7 checkmate
25...Bxf5 26.Qxf5 Ra7
If 26...Bd4+ 27.Kh1 Qe7 28.Ng5 f6 (28...Nf6 29.Rxh4+ Kg7 30.Rh7+ Kg8 31.Qh3 Nfd5 32.Rh8+ Bxh8 33.Qh7checkmate) 29.Rxh4+ Kg8 30.Ne6 Rf7 31.Rf3 Rh7 32.Rg3+ Kh8 33.Rgh3
27.Bc4  Ne3 Black should have checked 27...Bd4+ 28.Kh1 Rg8 (28...Ne3 29.Rxe3 Bxe3 30.Nf6) 29.Bxd5 Nxd5 30.Qxd5
28.Rxe3 Bd4 29.Kh1 d5 30.Ng5 f6
If 30...Kg7 31.Qh7+ Kf6 32.Re6+! fxe6 33.Qh6+
31.Ne6
If 31.Ne6 Qe7 (31...Qd6 32.Rh3) 32.Rh3 Qh7 33.Qxh7+ Rxh7 34.Nxf8 Rf7 35.Ng6+ Kg7 36.Nxh4 dxc4 37.Nf5+ 1–0


White to play and checkmate in two moves (There are three ways to checkmate) 1.Qxh6+ Kxh6 2.Rh8 checkmate
And 1.Qd3+ f5  2.Qxf5 checkmate
And 1.Rh8+ Kxh8  2.Qxh6 checkmate.

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