The Immortal Game – How to Play the King’s Gambit!
There are many famous games in chess but one stands out as being so great, all other brilliancies are named after it!
We’re talking about the original Immortal Game, played in 1851 between Adolf “Attack, always attack!” Anderssen and top French player Lionel Kieseritzky.
In this video, IM Valeri Lilov analyzes the Immortal Game as part of the King’s Gambit section of his Pawn Structure Explained for Club Players course.
As is usual in the King’s Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.f4), Black accepts the pawn sacrifice with 2…exf4. There are many different options available for both sides, usually dictated by each person’s attitude to holding on to the extra pawn and keeping their Kingside intact.
The Immortal Game continues with 3.Bc4 which is considered best even today. White doesn’t fear the following 3…Qh4+ 4.Kf1 as the knight will be able to develop with tempo.
Kieseritzky plays the counter-gambit 3…b5, which is not to be recommended – Black gives back the pawn for nothing.
Anderssen goes after the f-pawn with a series of moves which tie up Black’s knight and queen, even sacrificing his Bishop to get a big lead in development. On move 15, all of Kieseritzky’s pieces apart from his queen are still on their starting squares!
Adolf brings his last minor piece into the action with Nb1-c3-d5, letting his b-pawn fall. His own King position looks shaky but is safe for now.
Both rooks, however, are hanging! Undeterred, Anderssen puts his remaining bishop on d6, challenging his black counterpart and denying it the sight of e7. Black captures the g1 rook.
Now comes the incredible part: Anderssen doesn’t recapture the Bishop; nor does he save his other rook! Instead, he plays the sensational 19.e5!!, cutting Black’s Queen off from some defensive squares.
Black captures the second rook…with a check! Anderssen is unperturbed and shelters his King. 2 rooks and a bishop down, will White’s attack be strong enough?
Watch the rest of the video to see how this fantastic contest ends! And, if you enjoyed this free preview, check out the full course here.
Other interesting articles for you: