Team challenge Latvian gambit


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Thibault de Vassal    (2008-08-22)
Team challenge : Latvian gambit

Based upon an idea by Ilmars, let's try to create a special Latvian thematic tournament that could start at the beginning of september, consisting in two teams : Latvian gambit "defenders" and latvian gambit "refuters" (that will play either Black or White), this could be interesting to improve the theory in this opening.

Any player who wishes to play this tournament may post in this thread "I am in as White (or Black)" and I'll make pairings in a few days/weeks.

Michael Aigner    (2008-08-22 18:11:08)
Interesting idea :-)

I played the Lavtian Gambit in OTB chess when I was young, therefore I would like to play on the side of the defenders. Whats about time control - are we going to have 40 days for 10 moves? Best regards!

Ilmars Cirulis    (2008-08-22 18:56:04)
Yeah! :))

I am in White team - in "Refuters"! :)

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-08-22 18:57:32)
Time control

Of course, games will be unrated, time control would be 40 days + 40 days / 10 moves.

Michael Aigner    (2008-08-22 19:06:12)
I am in as a defender!

I am in as a defender!

Normajean Yates    (2008-08-25 11:44:44)
I am in as defender (black)

I am in as black.

Rodolfo d Ettorre    (2008-08-25 12:09:56)
Me defender too!

Darkness vs Light, I am black!

Michael Aigner    (2008-08-25 13:06:30)
Where is the light?

It seems there are not many players out there who dare to play White against the Latvian gambit ;-)

Ilmars Cirulis    (2008-08-25 15:55:28)

I agree with simul too. :P

Iouri Basiliev    (2008-08-26 11:49:40)
i'm in

i'll play on the white side :)

Normajean Yates    (2008-08-27 04:49:14)

I said i am in as black, but so far it is unofficially. If I am too overloaded -- chess [here and elsewhere] is already taking up too much of my time, and chess is not life, not for me, so I will have to think before officially entering.

Ilmars Cirulis    (2008-08-30 11:11:51)

We have 2 "refuters" vs 2 (maybe 3) "defenders".
Will every play with every from opposite team?

Normajean Yates    (2008-08-31 11:33:30)
team game - is okay

team game is okay...

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-09-05 19:23:28)
Team challenge : Latvian gambit

"Will every play with every from opposite team?"

Good question : I think yes, at least if there are no more than 4 players in each team. Do anyone else want to enter a team or may we start the tournament ?

Scott Nichols    (2008-09-05 23:44:23)
I will refute that!

As soon as I find out what it is! :) I'm in.

Ilmars Cirulis    (2008-09-07 22:04:46)

Scott, nice to see you in! (It is 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5)

Thibault, when we will start the tournament? :)

Ilmars Cirulis    (2008-09-08 09:53:39)

*When will we...

Normajean Yates    (2008-09-08 14:41:49)
not game i meant diff.

when I wrote 'team game is okay' I meant consultation-game - team decides on a move.

too busy to play individual games as part of team, even unrated - dont want to spoil latvian reaserch by my bad games.

So, one contestant less. Have a good latvian match! [without me - at present I'd only have bad games to contribute so repeat I am NOT playing]

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-09-09 18:32:31)
One player needed to save Latvian gambit

Current teams :

Defenders : Michael Aigner, Rodolfo d'Ettorre
Refuters : Ilmars Cirulis, Iouri Basiliev, Scott Nichols

We need one more player in the defenders team ! One game to play against each player of the opposite team...

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-09-09 23:29:51)
Latvian gambit team match

Here we are.. the teams :

Defenders : Michael Aigner, Rodolfo d'Ettorre, Denis Ivanchenkov
Refuters : Ilmars Cirulis, Iouri Basiliev, Scott Nichols

I'll create the games tomorrow if everything's ok :)

Rodolfo d Ettorre    (2008-09-10 04:30:29)
Ok for me ...

Per me va bene

Michael Aigner    (2008-09-10 12:36:25)

Ok for me, too!

Ilmars Cirulis    (2008-09-10 12:58:40)

It's ok for me too! :)

Denis Ivanchenkov    (2008-09-10 17:50:43)
I'm ready as well.

Just looked ratings: Defenders: Michael Aigner, 2561 Rodolfo d'Ettorre, 1900 Denis Ivanchenkov 1741 Refuters: Ilmars Cirulis, 1628 Iouri Basiliev, 2154 Scott Nichols 1980 Looks like team match will be quite interesting

Denis Ivanchenkov    (2008-09-10 18:06:36)
Da question!

Are we going to use chess software? this is very crucial point. As for me I NEVER use chess programs during the game - sometimes after the game is finished. And if we are not gonna settle this question - then I'm out. Well, I may still take part but just playing for fun not seriously. Still I admit usage of books and available games of grandmassters that may be used for reference.

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-09-10 19:32:43)
Use of engines

FICGS rules authorize the use of chess engines (like any other kind of help) but in "NO ENGINES" tournaments.. So engines are ok in this tournament also. Do you want to take part anyway ?

Denis Ivanchenkov    (2008-09-10 21:01:07)
It depends upon

what my team-mates think. I'll be playing WITHOUT chess engine. If Michael Aigner and Rodolfo d'Ettorreare are OK with it then I'm in. If they think I should use chess engine (to avoid giving an advantage to opponents) then I leave.

Rodolfo d Ettorre    (2008-09-11 04:20:36)
It is ok for me....

Using a chess engine is allowed, just an option, but is not mandatory. So, Denis should be in, even if he chooses not to use brain prosthetic, I mean chess engines.

Michael Aigner    (2008-09-12 00:32:11)

It is Ok if you did not want to use an engine - this tourny is just for fun. Michael

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-09-12 15:02:52)
Latvian gambit tournament just started !

You can find the tournament in "SPECIAL TOURNAMENTS"

Good luck to Michael, Rodolfo and Denis :)

Michael Aigner    (2008-09-23 14:38:05)
Oh my god!

Oh my god, is this opening bad! I knew the lavtian gambit ist not really a sound opening joice but I never realized how bad it is. Good luck to the Blacks - we will need it ;-) Michael

Iouri Basiliev    (2008-09-23 15:07:07)
Michael Aigner

It is bad. From the beginning blacks is really worse and hardly faiting for the draw. Imho collapse will come around move 20.

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-09-23 16:37:22)
Latvian gambit theory

It seems to me that the theory grew a lot these last months, one month it is dead, next month it is alive, how is it going ? Is Latvian gambit theorically dead today ?

Let's try to gather links to the best articles around it :)

Denis Ivanchenkov    (2008-09-24 15:48:33)
some info

Wikipedia says that ECO code of Latvian gambit is C40 but says that C40 is actually "King's Knight Opening (C40)"

Andrew Stephenson    (2008-09-24 16:03:18)
Latvian meatballs

With best play black gets into an ending and trys to grovel his way to a draw a pawn down. The main line runs: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.Nxe5 Qf6 4.Nc4 fxe4 5.Nc3 Qf7 6 e3 c6 7.d3 exd3 8.Bxd3 d5 9.O-O I think any deviations from this by black give an even worse game At this point Black can try 9...Bc5 then 10 b4! Bd6 (10..Bxc4 11 Ncxd5 is crushing)11 Re1 Ne7 12 Nexd5 cxd5 13 Nb5 Bxb4 (0-0 14 Nxd6) 14 Bd2 0-0 15 Bxb4 and the d5 pawn will drop leaving white as usual a pawn up for nothing 9...Bd6 10 Re1 Ne7 11 Nexd5 cxd5 12 Nb5 0-0 13 Nxd6 Qxf2+ 14 Kh1 Nbc6 (14 ..Bg4 15 Qd2 Qh4 16 b4 is great for white)15 Rf1 Bg4 16 Bxh7+ Kh8 17 Rxf2 Bxd1 18 Be3 d4 19 Rxf8+ Rxf8 20 Bg1 Kxh7 21 Rxd1 leaving the usual technically lost ending for black!!

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-09-24 17:57:33)
Latvian gambit ECO code

... is C40, definitely.

Iouri Basiliev    (2008-09-25 11:58:00)
Andrew Stephenson

Hey Andrew, why You don't playing in the match black or white? For me 4.d4 is the best whites move. Developing, space, defence - all in one :)

Ilmars Cirulis    (2008-09-26 19:24:13)

I like my game with Michael Aigner. :)

I meant 18.Ba3 instead of 18.Be2, but it is interesting anyway.

Ilmars Cirulis    (2008-09-26 19:30:52)

Actually... maybe Be2 was the best...

If it is true, than I like my brain failure. :)

Ilmars Cirulis    (2008-09-27 10:47:05)
Good example

... how not to play with white. (The game)

Iouri Basiliev    (2008-10-06 12:30:18)
Latvian gambit

My first two games with Michael and Rodolfo simply confirmed - "LG is bad opening". 15-20 moves and black can resign. I choose 3.Nxe5 as most difficult for black. 3.Bc4 has been played with Denis. Do not expect more than 20 moves here as well.

Denis Ivanchenkov    (2008-10-06 15:22:50)

Russkie ne zdayutsya! :))

Iouri Basiliev    (2008-10-06 16:26:06)

But gambit is Latvian :))

Kevin D. Plant    (2008-10-08 23:55:37)
Latvian Gambit

I wished I had seen this earlier. I am actually playing in the 6th World Latvian Gambit Championship Semi-Finale.

Scott Nichols    (2008-10-09 01:54:55)
Pawn promotion

Can someone clear up just how exactly to promote a pawn to something other than a Queen here. Not knowing just cost me a frigging half a point! :(

Iouri Basiliev    (2008-10-09 10:32:43)

Normally you should see all 4 possible pieses Q,R,N,B on the pop-up window. Do your browser allows pop-up?

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-10-09 11:42:51)

(Kevin, maybe we'll launch another tournament in a while)

Iouri, I don't think there's such a pop up window here :) .. Scott, please read the F.A.Q. in the help section... all explained. In bried, you just have to use the PGN format.

Iouri Basiliev    (2008-10-10 23:39:53)

Strange :) I was sure. Maybe not recovered after Amsterdam :)

Scott Nichols    (2008-10-11 00:04:22)

Thanks Louri, the pop-up window was what I was waiting for, and when it didn't show I knew I was sunk, :(. And it had to happen in the WCH tourney also.

Rodolfo d Ettorre    (2008-10-11 07:03:49)

I did not have any promotion in Latvian Gambit Team challenge ...

Denis Ivanchenkov    (2008-10-17 23:03:11)

You sacrificied a knight??? I'm just wondering - whether my position is THAT bad???

Ilmars Cirulis    (2008-10-18 15:22:14)
To Denis

Why not?! Your king is naked!

Iouri Basiliev    (2008-10-20 16:54:53)
2 Denis

Sorry, but your position isn't bad - it's lost after move 5. Interesting that "theory" do not gives correct moves for white. Let's see...

Denis Ivanchenkov    (2008-10-20 18:00:30)
Iouri Basiliev

Do you mean that there is checkmating sequence?

Iouri Basiliev    (2008-10-20 20:14:27)
2 Denis

Not yet, but mat will come soon. About next 12-15 moves if you play best.

Denis Ivanchenkov    (2008-10-20 22:58:43)
Iouri Basiliev

ok. Definitely I will NOT play Latvian gambit for blacks any more!

Iouri Basiliev    (2008-10-21 14:10:51)

The games are over. Steel do not 100% sure about 3.Bc4, the game Ilmars-Michael needs to be analysed, but 3.Nxe5 simply wins. Anyhow, it was nice to study deeply this opening imho. Thanx to all players!

Ilmars Cirulis    (2008-10-22 14:02:51)

Next I will move d pawn as fast as it will be possible. :)

Normajean Yates    (2008-10-24 08:02:03)
Requeisat In Pace

Latvian Gambit, R.I.P. :(

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-10-24 09:59:15)
Revenge ?

I think it will be even more interesting to have another team match in a while, any player who wish to try to defend the Latvian gambit may post here to play.

Normajean Yates    (2008-10-24 15:28:48)
in a while is right...

The new theory that has come up has to be looked at seriously first... only one draw so far, rest all are white wins!

I wonder if black managed to win or has chances in any game in the iccf latvian tourney that llmars is playing in...

Michael Aigner    (2008-10-24 19:38:43)
The only draw wa a lucky one!

Unfortunately I have to say that my draw against Ilmars was lucky becaus he mixed two moves. Until that White was clearly better. I played my games without any information about the openeing theory of the lavtian gambit - only brief analysis. Now I can say this is not enough to defend this opening. On the other hand there might be ways to survive with black if one knows ideas, plans, opening theory .... Is there any good book with more or less reliable analysis of this opening? Next time better opening preparation is definately needed ;-)

Normajean Yates    (2008-10-26 00:13:03)
Aigner, the book is *here*!

Book for latvian? it seems they get outdated nowadays before they get published.. there is Kosten's book, ECO, ..., etc. Good to have them at hand, but it looks like all the lines have got outdated! Best is to search internet - and look at posts specially llmars's posts - here..

Interesting, your draw -- so the only way to draw with black against llmars in the latvian gambit is - no preparation! :)

Scott Nichols    (2008-10-26 03:38:49)

There is a really good article on the Latvian revisited at

Rodolfo d Ettorre    (2008-10-26 04:05:15)

Maybe the Damiano is more sound than the latvian Gambit. :-)

Normajean Yates    (2008-10-26 08:03:34)
ive seen those chesville articles before - not bad for a starting uderstanding.. but the lines - dont follow them blindly! doublecheck with latest databases and - with llmars :)

Ilmars Cirulis    (2008-10-26 09:31:03)
More (!) (!)

Ilmars Cirulis    (2008-10-26 09:34:40)
To Normajean

I don't have any authority. I am just making big noise. :D

Normajean Yates    (2008-10-26 20:06:26)
i disagree...

I disagree :) I mean - i dont know your OTB interest and it is not relevant - but even if we assume for the sake of argument that a superGM might defeat you 10-0 OTB with latvian as black , then that will be because of tactical complications they can create, NOT because of mastery over latvian [ok the two are connected.. they can *see* more of what can be extracted out of things...

Even if we assume above (purely for argumnt's sake) you are at least some kind of authority on authorities ;) [i mean you gave so many links...]
,br> Not really. I have a low opinion of Silman's books :( ;)

Iouri Basiliev    (2008-10-29 14:36:03)
Latvian gambit

Latvian Gambit is bad opening for blacks: e4 e5 Nf3 f5?? is Kings Gambit(KG) (trans)position with extra tempo for white. KG is not playable at high level due to white can achieve draw at maximum. Extra tempo gives whites at LG anormous advantage in comparison with KG. Whatever "theory" is talking about. Sorry.

Normajean Yates    (2008-10-29 18:23:20)
to Iouri Basiliev

But we agree with you! Only, it is not mathematically proven, and we do NOT hope to prove it, so we want to increase the likelihood that the statement is true :) Or, at least we want to reduce the margin of error [all in the Bayesian paradigm] Bayesian because - if you talk of conventional probability P rather than likelihood, then if P is the probability that the position after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 is a win for white, then either P=0 or P=1 [as chess is a complete information game], only we do not know whether P=0 or P=1.

Iouri Basiliev    (2008-10-30 11:37:44)
2 Normajean Yates

You better play poker :)))

Normajean Yates    (2008-10-30 21:54:44)
.to Iouri Basiliev

I dont play poker, but contract bridge is NOT a complete information game, and I am a better contract-bridge player [both at team-of-4 and at pairs] than a chess or bigchess player :)

And at contract bridge, even duplicate [i mentioned team-of-4 and pairs - both are duplicate bridge] one can talk meaningfully of 'conventional' probabilities, not only of bayesian likelihoods...

Normajean Yates    (2008-11-02 02:36:49)
to Iouri Basiliev - extra tempo..

Loss of tempo? I claim that after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 the unique move that puts white into *zugzwang* is 2..f5!!. Disprove the statement mathematically if you can! :D