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The King's Gambit

Product Code: B0084QT


There was a golden era when The King’s Gambit was the favourite opening of every attacking player. In the glory days of Paul Morphy it was considered almost cowardly to play anything else. Legends such as Spassky and Bronstein kept the flame burning in the 20th century, but its popularity faded as players became distrustful of White’s ultra-aggressive approach. Nevertheless there are honourable exceptions whose games prove that this ancient weapon can still draw blood – Short, Nakamura and Zvjaginsev are world-class players who have used the King’s Gambit successfully. In this groundbreaking work, GM John Shaw shows that the ultimate Romantic chess opening remains relevant and dangerous even in the computer era.


GM John Shaw has been Scottish Champion three times. This is his most ambitious book to date, and was many years in the making.

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Customer Reviews

Excellent coverage of most variations Review by GoBoSox
This is a really strong addition to the coverage of the King' Gambit. Over 600 pages of material are well covered, mostly the mainlines. Chapter1, especially Sections 5-9 offer coverage of the Flude variation in Kieseritsky, several games backed up with very good annotations explain the wonderful complications. His second Chapter is Ivanchuk's Refutation of a White move order involving 6. d4 and, basically, White shouldn't play it... Shaw doesn't really cover the Muzio/Polerio Gambit (4.Bc4 g4) in depth, as Bc4 is bad for White. He offers just one game and that features the Bishop sac on f7 which involves a clever trap and in the provided game Black agrees to and loses... However, he does cover some other similar piece sacrifices that offer White reasonable chances in similar situations. He does provide 60 pages of coverage involving 4. Nc3 along with both tactical piece sacs and thematic strategic ideas - either that lead to lasting play for the gambit material... Chapter 15 is the Bishops Gambit, 3. Bc4, is another line that he considers refuted, not that White is totally lost but that White really needs to find several improvements to gain equality. Outright accepting the gambit pawn and going into the serious complications of the Kieseritsky, Fisher or Cunningham Defenses, is one way Black can gain equality Black should look at the early d5 at move 3 or even Move 2, Chapters 18 (Falkbeer Counter Gambit) & 19 (Nimzowitsch Counter Gambit), at move 3, d5 offers Black a few simple methods to get an even game, and perhaps an edge. In the Declined variations with 2... Bc5, Chapters 16 &17, he feels that White should be optimistic about gaining an advantage. The final chapters, 20 & 21, contain coverage of rare lines for both Black & White, even though the lines my not be bad, they are rare for a reason.

Overall, the information and explanation of the various lines covered are excellent. I do wish he provided followed a traditional naming variation, or similar to Victor Bologan explain the background of the variation. For example, Chapter 1, Section 1, covers Kieseritsky's 4. h4 but could not fine any useful reference... his foreword from June 2013 is interesting and note that this is not the last word on the King's Gambit. (Posted on 11/29/2019)

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Product Details

Additional Information

ISBN 9781906552718
Manufacturer Quality Chess
Author/s John Shaw
Pages 680
Publication Date Jul 16, 2013
Notation Type FAN - Figurine
Book Binding Type Paperback