A Budapest Gambit Revival

An interesting tendency during the last couple of decades has been an increasing prevalence of very sharp and direct openings. Instead of King’s Indians we are getting a lot of Slavs, and openings such as the Ruy Lopez have been replaced by the Scotch.

I suspect this is largely connected to the rise of chess engines as a study tool. Most modern players will be making use of an engine when they analyze which in turn will nudge them towards position in which engines excel. This means direct openings in which sharp play is possible in the very early moves.

Among the latest openings to find favor with the 2700 club is the ancient Budapest Gambit with 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5, which recently claimed a noteworthy victim in the game Gelfand – Rapport. Here’s a nice video explaining what happened:

Could this have started a fashion? Well maybe, because the following game was played shortly thereafter. But White can get a small advantage with 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.e3, intending to put his king’s knight on h3. And if he’s really worried about the Budapest there’s always 2.Nf3!

Nigel Davies

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About NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in St. Helens in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days Nigel teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 15 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Besides teaching chess, Nigel is a registered tai chi and qigong instructor and runs several weekly classes.