The Evans Gambit revived

A few months ago I was thinking about what kind of public presentation of On the Origin of Good Moves I wanted to organize. For obvious reasons those reflections became meaningless soon after. Still I'm happy having received the first copy of my book and to (rather privately) raise my glass to its welfare.

My new book is for a big part about 19th century chess and one of the central questions is whether this carries any message to the players of our day. Some of the openings that were characteristic for those days have completely disappeared from the modern tournament practice, like the King's Gambit and the Evans Gambit.

At the moment the online Magnus Carlsen Invitational is being held and I was happy to see the fourth game of the Nakamura-Firouzja match bringing the old days back alive. It was a Scandinavian in 'Evans gambit style', with White sacrificing his b-pawn for a big lead in development. Black didn't manage to catch up and Nakamura finished this miniature with an elegant coup.

In the world's elite games of our days it's a very rare occurrence that a player doesn't manage to survive the opening stage. For Nakamura's countryman Paul Morphy, mid 19th century, it was almost common practice to settle matters before his opponents reached the middlegame. For those who want to learn something about 'Blitzkrieg' chess, Morphy's games are still very instructive. The Evans game Morphy-Hampton is one typical example, but in his oeuvre many more can be found - some of them are included in On the Origin.

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On the Origin of Good Moves

Deo volente is not the right expression in this context but if everything goes well, within a few months my new book On the Origin of Good Moves will be published. This book is the result of my research into the history of chess improvement and it partly is an elaboration of the main themes from my book Move First, Think Later, inspired by an evolutionary perspective.

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Adolf Anderssen (1842)
White mates in 5