Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Evans Gambit


In 1825 William Lewis had ' Subscription Rooms ' in St Martin's Lane, near St Paul's Cathedral, London. Here he gave chess lessons and give odds to those he believed were ready to play him. His most renowned student was Alexander McDonnell, who four years later played the famous marathon match against

LaBourdonnais. Sometime in 1826/27, a Captain Evans, visiting London, called in at St Martin's, anxious to show Mr Lewis an interesting line he used in the opening.As Lewis wasn't available, he asked McDonnnell if he would be interested in testing the opening. Here is the game they played, The first Evans Gambit played in London and won by Captain Evans in twenty moves.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.0-0 d6 5.b4 Bb4 6.c3 Ba5 7.d4 Bg4 8.Qb3 Qd7 9.Ng5 Nd8 10.de5 de5 11.Ba3 Nh6 12.f3 Bb6 13.Kh1 Bh5 14.Rd1 Qc8 15.Rd8 Qd8 16.Nf7 Qh4 17.Qb5 c6 18.Qe5 Kd7 19.Qe6 Kc7 20.Bd6 MATE. CAPTAIN WILLIAM EVANS- ALEXANDER McDONNELL.


More is known about Captain Evans than is normal for a chess player active in the first half of the 19th century. He was born in 1790 on a farm in St Dogwells, North Pembrokeshire. At 14 he went to sea and by the age of 29 he was a Captain of a Government Mail steamer, in a regular run between Milford Haven and Waterford. In a letter he wrote towards the end of his life he states that he discovered " his gambit " in 1824 on one of these regular trips between Wales and Ireland. It was whilst studying the Guioco Piano in Sarratt, that he suddenly conceived the idea.

Paul Morphy described the Evans Gambit as " that most beautiful of openings " and for fifty years it remained immensely popular.

Captain Evans played most of his chess with local friends in Waterford, coming to London when on leave to test his skill - and his gambit - against the finest chess players. In 1838 he played a series of games with Staunton at the Westminster Chess Club.

Due to ill health he was pensioned by the Royal Mail Steam Company when only 50. He then moved to Greece where the more temperate climate allowed him to resume his profession as captain of a steamer in the Mediterranean. He returned to Britain in 1842, often visiting London to play chess. Eventually he settled in Ostend where the tale of meeting the chessplaying Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia originated.As time passed it was begining to be called an 'alleged ' tale.

Thanks to the remarkable coincidence of Colin Russ meeting Evans' great granddaughter - and the subsequent provision of the letter sent to the Captain by the Grand Duke on behalf of " His Imperial Majesty ", the Tsar of Russia - the story has been proved to be absolutely true.

Captain Evans was buried in Ostend in 1872. An inscription on his grave reads " To the sacred memory of William Davies Evans, formerly Commander in the Post Office and Peninsular and Oriental Steam Services; Superintendent in the Royal Mail Steam Company, and inventor of the system of tri-coloured light for shipping. Also well known in the Chess World as the author of the Evans Gambit ".

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bb4 5.c3 Be7 6.d4 Na5 7.Be2! ed4 8.Qd4 Nf6 9.e5 Nc6 10.Qh4! Nd5 11.Qg3 g6 12.0-0 Nb6 13.c4 d6 14.Rd1 Nd7 15.Bh6! Nce5 16.Ne5 Ne5 17.Nc3 f6 18.c5 Nf7 19.cd6 cd6 20.Qe3 Nh6 21.Qh6 Bf8 22.Qe3 Kf7 23.Nd5 Be6 24.Nf4 Qe7 25.Re1 Resigned ( 25... Bh6 26.Bc4! if 25... d5 26.Bf3 if 25... Re8 26.Ne6 Qe6 27.Qe6 Re6 28.Bc4 or 27... Ke6 28.Bb5 wins.) KASPAROV- ANAND, 1995.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bb4 5.c3 Be7 6.d4 Na5 7.Be2 ed4 8.Qd4 d6 9.Qg7 Bf6 10.Qg3 Qe7 11.0-0 Bd7 12.Nd4 0-0-0 13.Nd2 Nc614.Qe3 h5 15.Rb1 Nh6 16.Qd3 b6 17.a4 Kb8 18.a5 Na5 19.Qa6 Ka8 20.e5! Qe5 21.Bf3 d5 22.Nc4 Bc8 ( 22... Nc4 23.Ra1 Na5 24.Ra5 ba5 25.Nc6 ) 23.Qa5 Qd4 24.Qa2 Qc3 25.Be3 Bb7 26.Bb6 cb6 27.Nb6 Kb8 28.Nd5 1-0. SHIROV-TIMMAN, 1995.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bb4 5.c3 Be7 6.d4 d6? 7.de5 Ne5 (If 7... de5 8.Qb3 Na5 9.Bf7 Kf8 10.Qa4 is strong ) 8.Ne5 de5 9.Qh5! g6 10.Qe5 Nf6 11.Ba3! Rf8 12.0-0 Ng4 13.Qg3 Ba3 14.Na3 Qe7! 15.Bb5! c6 16.Nc4! Qe6 ( 16... cb5 17.Nd6 Kd8 18.Rfd1 Bd7 19.Nb7 Kc8 20.Nd6 Kd8 21.Rd4! Ne5 22.Rad1 Kc7 23.f4 Ng4 24.h3 Nf6 25.f5 Kb6 26.Qe3 Kc7 27.Rc4! bc4 28.Qc5 Bc6 29.Nb5 wins ) 17.Rad1 cb5 18.Qc7 Bd7 19.Nd6 Ke7 20.Nf5! gf5 21.ef5 Rac8 22.Rd7 Qd7 23.f6! Nf6 24.Re1 Ne4 25.Re4 Kf6 26.Qd7 Resigns. FISCHER- CELLE, 1964.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bb4 5.c3 Bc5 6.0-0 d6 7.d4 ed4 8.cd4 Bb6 9.d5 Na5 10.Bb2 Nge7 11.Bd3 0-0 12.Nc3 Ng6 13.Ne2 c5 14.Rc1 Rb8 15.Qd2 f6 16.Kh1 Bc7 17.Ng3 b5 18.Nf5 b4 19.Rg1 Bb6 20.g4 Ne5 21.Be5 de5 22.Rg3 Rf7 23.g5 Bf5 24.ef5 Qd5? 25.gf6 Rd8 26.Rcg1 Kh8 27.fg7 Kg8 28.Qh6 Qd6 29.Qh7! Kh7 30.f6 Kg8 31.Bh7 Kh7 32.Rh3 Kg8 33.Rh8 MATE. ANDERSSEN- ZUKERTORT, 1869.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4. b4 Bb4 5.c3 Bc5 6.d4 ed4 7.cd4 Bb6 8.0-0 d6 9.Nc3 Bd7? 10.e5 de5 11.Re1 Nge7 12.Ng5 Be6 13.Be6 fe6 14.Ne6 Qd6 15.Ng7 Kf8 16.Qg4 Bd4 17.Ne4 Qb4 18.Ne6 Ke8 19.Nf6 Kf7 20.Ng5 Kf8 21.Ba3!! Qa3 22.Qe6 Nd8 23.Qf7 Nf7 24.Ne6 MATE. CLEMENS- EISENSCHMIDT, 1890.

1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bb4 5.c3 Bc5 6.0-0 Nf6 7.d4 ed4 8.cd4 Bb6 9.e5 d5 10.ef6 dc4 11.d5 Qf6 12.dc6 Qa1 13.Re1 Be6 14.Qd7 Kf8 15.Re6 Bf2 16.Kh1 h6 17.cb7 g5 18.ba8/Q Kg7 19.Qe4 Qf6 20.Rf6 Rf8 21.Qde7 Bc5 22.Rh6 Kh6 23.Qg5 MATE. PAULSEN- SCHNEIDER, 1864.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.d4 ed4 7.0-0 dc3 8.Qb3 Qe7 9.Nc3 Nf6? ( On 9... Bc3 10.Qc3 a.f6 11.Ba3 d6 12.Bd5! Bd7 13.Rab1 0-0-0 14.Nd4 is crushing. b.Nf6 11.Ba3 d6 12.e5 Ne4 13.Qb2 Ne5 14.Ne5 Qe5 15.Rfe1 wins a piece. Best is 9... Qb4 10.Bf7 Kd8 11.Bg5 Nge7 12.Nd5 Qb3 13.ab3 Bb6 ( 13... Bb4!? ) 14.Rfc1 h6 15.Rc6 hg5 16.Nb6 cb6 17.Rb6 )  10.Nd5! Nd5 11.ed5 Ne5 12.Ne5 Qe5 13.Bb2 Qg5 14.h4! Qh4 ( If 14... Qg4 15.Rfe1 Kd8 16.Qe3 Bb4 17.Qh6!! gh6 18.Bf6 Be7 19.Be7 Ke8 20.Bg5 Kf8 21.Bh6 Qg7 22.Re8 wins.) 15.Bg7 Rg8 16.Rfe1 Kd8 17.Qg3 Resigns. FISCHER- FINE , 1963: Skittles Game.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.0-0 Nf6 7.d4 0-0 8.de5 Ne4 9.Bd5 Nc3 10.Nc3 Bc3 11.Ng5! Ne5 12.Qh5 h6 13.f4 Ba1 14.fe5 Qe7 15.Nf7 Qc5 16.Kh1 Qd5 17.Nh6 Kh8 18.Nf5 Kg8 19.Ne7 MATE. KOSSAK- DUFRESNE, 1851.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.d4 ed4 7.0-0 d3 8.Qb3 Qf6 9.e5 Qg6 10.Re1 Nge7 11.Ba3 b5 12.Qb5 Rb8 13.Qa4 Bb6 14.Nbd2 Bb7 15.Ne4 Qf5 16.Bd3 Qh5 17.Nf6 gf6 18.ef6 Rg8 19.Rad1 Qf3 20.Re7 Ne7 21.Qd7!! Kd7 22.Bf5 Ke8 23.Bd7 Kd8 24.Be7 MATE. ANDERSSEN- DUFRESNE, 1853.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.d4 ed4 7.e5? d5 8.ed6 Qd6 9.0-0 Nge7 10.Ng5? 0-0 11.Bd3 Bf5! 12.Bf5 Nf5 13.Ba3 Qg6 14.Bf8 Qg5 15.Ba3 dc3 16.Bc1 Qg6 17.Bf4 Rd8 18.Qc2 Ncd4 19.Qe4? Ng3 20.Qg6 Ne2 MATE. MARACHE- MORPHY, 1857.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.d4 ed4 7.0-0 dc3 8.Qb3 Qf6 9.e5 Qg6 10.Nc3 b5 11.Nb5 Rb8 12.Qe3 Nge7 13.Qe2 Qh5 14.Ba3 Bb7 15.Rad1 Nf5? 16.Rd7!! Kd7 17.e6 Kc8 18.ef7 Ba8 19.Na7 Na7 20.Qe6 Kd8 21.Rd1 Nd6 22.Rd6 cd6 23.Qd6 Kc8 24.Be6 Kb7 25.Bd5 Qd5 26.Qd5 Ka6 27.Qc4 Kb7 28.Qe4 Nc6 29.Ne5 Ka6 30.Qc4 Ka7 31.Bc5 Rb6 32.Bb6 Bb6 33.Nc6 Bc6 34.Qc6 Resigns. KOLISCH- ANDERSSEN, 1861.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4. b4 Bb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.d4 ed4 7.0-0 d6 8.cd4 h6 ( 8...Bb6 9.Nc3 Nf6? 10.e5 de5 11.Ba3 Bd4 12.Qb3 Be6 13.Be6 fe6 14.Qe6 Ne7 15.Nd4 ed4 16.Rfe1 Ng8 17.Nd5 Qd7 18.Qd7 Kd7 19.Ne7 wins ) 9.Qb3 Qe7 10.Nc3 Bc3 11.Qc3 Bd7 12.e5 de5 13.Ba3 ed4 14.Nd4 Qf6 15.Rae1 Nge7 16.Nc6! Qc3 17.Re7 Kf8 18.Rf7 Kg8 19.Ne7 Kh7 20.Bb2!! Resigns. GLOBUS- GROSS, 1884.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4. b4 Bb4 5. c3 Ba5 6.0-0 Bb6 7.d4 Qf6 8.Bg5 Qg6 9.de5 Qe4 10.Nbd2 Qg6 11.Re1 h6 12.Bh4 Nge7 13.Ne4 0-0 14.Nf6!? gf6 15.Bf6 Nf5 16.Bd3 Qh5 17.g4 Qg4 18.Kh1 Bf2 19.Re4 Qh3 20.Qg1! Ng3 21.Qg3 Bg3 22.Rg1 d6 23.Rg3 Qg3 24.hg3 Bf5 25.Rh4 Bd3 26.Rh6 Bh7 27.Ng5 Ne5 28.Rh7 Ng6 29.Rg7 Kh8 30.Rg6 MATE. GALBRAITH- HARDING, 1892.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.0-0 d6 7.d4 Bb6 8.de5 Bg4? 9.Bb5 Bf3 10.Qf3 de5 11.Qg3 Qf6 12.Bg5 Qe6 13.Na3 Nf6 14.Bf6 gf6 15.Rad1 Bc5 16.Qg7 Ke7? 17.Bc4 Rag8 18.Qg8 Rg8 19.Be6 fe6 20.Nc2 Rg4 21.Rfe1 f5 22.ef5 ef5 23.Ne3 Be3 24.Re3 Ke6 25.Rh3 Rg7 26.Rh6 Ke7 27.Rb1 Nd8 28.f3 b6 29.Rd1 Nf7 30.Rc6 Rg8 31.Rc7 Kf6 32.Ra7 Rc8 33.Rdd7 Ng5 34.Rdc7 1-0 McDONNELL-BOURDONNAIS, 1834.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bb4 5.c3 Bf8 6.d4 Qe7 7.0-0 d68.Qb3 g6 9.de5 de5 10.Rd1 Bh6 ( 10...Nf6? 11.Ng5 Nd8 12.Nf7 Nf7 13.Bf7 Qf7 14.Rd8 Ke7 Ba3 wins ) 11.Nbd2 Qf6 12.Ba3 Nge7 13.Bd5 0-0 14.Bc6 bc6 15.Qb4 c5 16.Qc5 Nc6 17.Nc4 Re8 18.Nd6! cd6 19.Qc6 Bg4 20.Rd6 wins CHIGORIN-STEINITZ, 1882.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bb6 6.a4 a5?! 6.b5 Nd4 7.Nd4 Bd4 8.c3 Bb6 9.d4 ed4 10.0-0! Ne7 11.Bg5 h6 12.Be7 Qe7 13.cd4 Qd6? 14.Nc3 Bd4 ( 14... Qd4 15.Qb3, or even 15.Nd5 Qc4 16.Rc1 Qa2 17.Rc7 ) 15.Nd5! Ba1 16.Qa1 0-0 ( 16... f6 17.b6 cb6 18.Rb1 ) 17.e5 Qc5 18.Rc1 c6 19.Ba2 Qa3 20.Nb6 d5 21.N a8 Kh8 22.Nb6 Be6 23.h3 Rd8 24.bc6 bc6 25.Rc3 Qb4  26.Rc6 Rb8 27.Nd5 Qa4 28.Rc1 Qa3 29.Bc4 1-0 KASPAROV-PIKET, 1995.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bb6 5.a4 a6 6.a5 Ba7 7.b5 ab5 8.Bb5 Nf6 9.Ba3 Ne4 10.Qe2 Nf2 11.Ne5 Nd4 12.Nd7!! Ne2 13.Nf6 MATE. HELMS- TENNER, 1942.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bb6 5.0-0 d6 6.h3 Nf6 7.d3 0-0 8.Nc3 h6 9.Be3 Nb4 10.Ne2 Nc6 11.Ng3 d5 12.Bb5 de4 13.Bc6 bc6 14.Ne5 ed3 15.cd3 Qe8 16.Bb6 ab6 17.f4 Nd5 18.Qh5 f6 19.Ng6 Qe3 20.Kh2 Rd8 21.Rfe1 Qd3 22.Rad1 Qc2 23.Ne7 Kh8 24.Qf7 Bh3 25.Re2! Qd1 26.Nh5 Rg8 27.Ng8 Rg8 28.Re8 Resigns. MacDonnell- Boden, 1861.


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