Horsham Club Championship 2015-16: Pavlovic – Mansson

I played the King’s Gambit as White for a couple of years a while back (1994-5), but although my overall score with it was good, I nevertheless decided to give it up after a game in a County Match which I won! This might seem a strange decision, but the point was that the game confirmed my misgivings about the opening. I had been very lucky to win, as I had been a clear two pawns down when my opponent blundered a piece. My own experience with the opening, along with observations of other King’s Gambit games in event I participated in, suggested that while it was an effective weapon against weaker opposition, against a well-prepared opponent, I was likely to end up in a poor position from the opening. The point was that the opening had lost the surprise value it long had, following the publication of Gallagher’s 1992 book on the gambit, so Black was likely to be ready for it. Also, having followed the recent development of the opening closely, it struck me that White was having to make great efforts to prove that he was equal, let alone better, which is not desirable in a system that takes centre place in one’s repertoire!

I recall this simply because the opening appeared in my games once again, although this time I was Black. Admittedly, the line was not a surprise, as Tim has played the gambit against me before, so I was prepared with a new (for me) system.

The game, played yesterday, was in the Club Championship, saw me get the better of an encounter where both sides committed a number of inaccuracies. Out of the opening, I always seemed to be at least equal, although I let things slip a bit on a few occasions. Fortunately, this did not matter in the end.

I give the game below with some notes.

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