Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Ruy Lopez 3...d5!? Harding Gambit

In the 1974 I bought Tim Harding’s “Counter Gambits” book. In the King Pawn Ruy Lopez opening on page 81 he discussed 3.Bb5 d5 4.Nxe5 Qg5 5.Nxc6 Qxg2 6.Rf1 a6 7.Ba4 Bh3 8.Qe2 Qxf1+ 9.Qxf1 Bxf1 10.Kxf1 dxe4 “with a rough material balance (discovered checks are met by …b5). However, White’s position is surely preferable?”

I played my 3…d5!? vs Keith Hayward and others in non-rated games. Thomas Morris suggested I share my findings. Anders Tejler wrote me, “This is your chance to get a namesake if you do some analysis of the line and present a number of illustrations.”

In 1979 I wrote an article entitled “Original Analysis” for APCT News Bulletin. My improvement over the Harding line above was to play 6.Rf1 Bh3. Sometimes this is called the Sawyer Gambit. However later I discovered that a different line is best here with 6.Rf1 Qxe4+!

Hayward (2100) - Sawyer (2000), corr 1979 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d5 4.exd5 [4.Nxe5 Qg5 (4...Nge7 5.Nc3 dxe4 6.0-0+/-) and now: 5.d4 a) 5.Nxc6 Qxg2 6.Qf3 (6.Rf1 Qxe4+! 7.Qe2 Qxe2+ 8.Kxe2 a6 9.Nc3 Bd7=/+) 6...Qxf3 7.Ne5+ c6 8.Nxf3 cxb5 9.exd5 Nf6 10.0-0 1/2-1/2 Curt Jones - Sawyer, corr 1978; b) 5.Nf3! Qe7 (5...Qxg2? 6.Rg1 Qh3 7.exd5 a6 8.Bf1 Qd7 9.dxc6+-) 6.e5+/-; c) 5.d4 Qxg2 6.Qf3 (6.Rf1 a6 7.Bxc6+ bxc6=) 6...Qxf3 7.Nxf3 dxe4 8.Ne5 1-0 in 39, Ed Sawyer - Tim Sawyer, corr 1976, when Black should have played 8...Nge7!=/+] 4...Qxd5 5.Nc3 Qd6! [5...Qc5 6.d4 exd4 7.Nxd4 Bd7 8.Be3 Qb4 9.a3 Qd6 10.Qe2 0-0-0 11.0-0-0 Nxd4 12.Rxd4 Qe7 13.Rhd1 Nf6 14.Nd5 Nxd5 15.Rxd5 c6 16.Bxc6 1-0 Curt Jones - Sawyer, corr 1978] 6.d4 [Thomas Morris beat me with the move 6.Qe2!?+/-; The best move seems to be 6.0-0!+/-] 6...exd4 7.Nxd4 Bd7 8.Be3 a6 9.Bxc6 Bxc6 10.Nxc6 [10.Qe2 0-0-0 11.0-0-0+/=] 10...Qxc6 11.Qd5 Qxd5 12.Nxd5 0-0-0 13.0-0-0 Ne7 14.Nxe7+ Bxe7 15.Bd4 Bg5+ 16.Kb1 Bh6 17.g4 f5 18.g5 Bxg5 19.Bxg7 Rxd1+ 20.Rxd1 Rg8 21.Be5 1/2-1/2

You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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