Monday, August 2, 2021

Elephant Gambit by Skatchkov

The Elephant Gambit is a favorite among enterprising players who want to threaten White early in the game. This old chess opening was formerly called the Queen Pawn Countergambit. I played this gambit as Black in postal chess games in 1988 or 1989 with mixed success. Players I think of with the Elephant Gambit include Emil J. Diemer, Tom Purser, Jonathan Rogers, and Philip Corbin. With this chess opening the gambit player accepts some risk to activate all or most of the Black pieces for an attack. The game ends suddenly in this Elephant Gambit blitz game between Alvaro Donatti of Uruguay and Pavel Skatchkov of Russia.

Donatti – Skatchkov, Titled Tuesday INT, 29.06.2021 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d5 3.Nxe5 Bd6 4.d4 dxe4 5.Bc4 Bxe5 6.dxe5 [Another common continuation is 6.Qh5 Qe7 7.Qxe5 Qxe5 8.dxe5 Nc6] 6...Qxd1+ 7.Kxd1 Nc6 8.Bf4 Nge7 9.Bg3 Bf5 10.Nc3 Ng6 11.Re1 [11.e6 0–0–0+ 12.Kc1 fxe6 when White is down a pawn but has compensation due to doubled e-pawns.] 11...Ngxe5 12.Bb5 0–0–0+ 13.Kc1 a6 14.Ba4 [14.Bf1 Rhe8+=] 14...Rd4 15.Bb3 f6 [15...Rhd8-/+] 16.Nd5 [16.Bd5 Re8=+] 16...Re8 17.Ne3 Be6 [17...Bg6-/+] 18.Bxe6+ Rxe6 19.Nf5 Rc4 [19...Rd7=+] 20.Nxg7 Rd6 21.Rd1 Nd4 22.Bxe5? [22.c3=]
22...Ne2+ [Mate next move] 0–1

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  1. Very interesting opening! I play it myself. There was recently an excellent book published about the Elephant Gambit.

    1. yes I have a copy of the one by Jonathan Rogers Winning with the Elephant gambit. I think I got it years ago from Tom Purs

  2. Yes, it leads to some wild games!

  3. There is a more recent book published about the Elephant Gambit. It is called “The Exhilarating Elephant Gambit” by Aabling - Thomsen and Jensen. 416 pages, a heavy tome.

    Purser and I were friends since 1991, when I subscribed to his BDG World. I was fortunate enough to buy a complete set of BDG World issues from him directly. We used to talk on the phone a lot. I contributed games and analyses to his Blackmar Diemer Gambit World until he ceased publication in 1998.

    Tom V. Purser was a good friend. He will be missed by all who knew him.

  4. Yes, I also knew Tom Purser for the last 30 years of his life. Great guy and much missed.


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