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  1. 03 Apr '09 02:51
    In an attempt to learn something new I have of recent tried the Halloween Gambit. Can anyone recommend any good books on the Halloween , so far the best material I have is from Unorthodox openings newsletter # 13.
  2. Donation !~TONY~!
    1...c5!
    03 Apr '09 02:59
    Originally posted by dirtysniper
    In an attempt to learn something new I have of recent tried the Halloween Gambit. Can anyone recommend any good books on the Halloween , so far the best material I have is from Unorthodox openings newsletter # 13.
    I know of a big .pdf on it with a lot of analysis, but I think that's what you have right? Otherwise you should probably do your own work with a strong engine.
  3. 03 Apr '09 10:20 / 1 edit
    I like the idea of getting Sniper to do his own work but certainly
    NOT with a strong engine, especially if it's for the Halloween Gambit.

    The HG is one big trap you will get false figures from a box.
    It will be right. white/black is losing but it will dismiss all the 'bad'
    moves which are often played on both sides of this opening.

    Sniper will will get positions v humans he has necver seen before
    if he studies using a box.

    Try 6 set positions after 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nxe5
    and see what lpositions you get from under 1400's.



    You might get one of them playing the 'Trick or Treat' variation.
    (which I have just made up) from the diagram Black does
    not take the Knight but instead playes 4...Nxe4?!
  4. 03 Apr '09 10:34
    Google is your friend!

    Here is the first result, which is also the best theoretical article so far (to my knowledge)
    http://www.chessville.com/UCO/Halloween_Gambit/Part_1.htm

    I've been playing this silly gambit for some years now, and it's a lot of fun !
    Initially i tried it after reading tim krabbe's article
    http://www.xs4all.nl/~timkr/tour/breeze.htm

    I normally play aggressive but sound (or almost sound) gambits, but i wanted too try something wild where my opponent wouldn't be able to recite 20 moves of theory...i decided to play it as long as no one would refute it over the board

    Well i'm still playing it after 2 years.
    I even play it in OTB competition with pretty good results (2 wins, 1 draw in a good position against 2270 elo player)
    And you can see i'm having fun with it on this site too!
  5. 03 Apr '09 12:20
    And some more practical advice for you sniper : here is what i most often meet when playing the halloween

    Strong club players aware of the gambit :
    They often play the variation called "euwe's refutation"
    1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 d5

    or this :
    1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 Bb4 8.Qf3 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 Qe7

    (If you're well prepared you can get good play against these 2 variations)
    or they refuse it usually with
    6. .. Ne5 7.f4 Ng6 8.e5 Bb4 !
    Annoying but still playable. Maybe there's a slight advantage for black but some correspondence games seem to show it's not that much trouble for white.

    strong club players not aware the gambit
    Many different tries usually getting black into trouble, except when they wisely refuse the gambit, where i usually get a balanced game.

    Engines : the halloween can be a good way to defeat an engine! I've noticed in internet blitz that i often got demolished by the same variation which is supposed to be bad for black. I quickly realized it was clearly engine play (i don't know which one but many of them seem to follow the same track) :

    1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Ne5 7.f4 Ng6 8.e5 Ng8 9.d6 cxd6 10.exd6 Qf6 11.Nb5 Kd8 12.Be3








    then instead of the best 12...Nh6, they usually get greedy and go pawn-snatching : 12...Qxb2 ?!

    Then they beat you because they are engines.
    Well until i got fed up and decided to work this line with my engine. And since it's a very forcing variation, you can get to a position where even an engine will be in trouble !
    it begins like this : 13.Bd4 Qb4+ 14.c3 Qb2 15.g3! and for example 15...b6 16.Be2 Bb7 17.00 Be4 18.f5 + -

    I think it must be crafty or some other strong free engine. i don't think rybka would fall in this trap. But they seem to be fairly common amongst those internet cheaters.

    Anyway good luck and fun with this nonsense opening.
    Playing only this kind of openings is certainly not good for improving your chess ability, but having just one fun line like this in your repertoire can bring some fresh air to your chess!

    And a little provocation for mr greenpawn : i don't think it's just a big trap, there's more than that (you can even have some positionnal squeeze!), anyway it can't be worse than the latvian (and will certainly bring better practical results)
  6. 03 Apr '09 12:36
    Originally posted by shorbock
    And some more practical advice for you sniper : here is what i most often meet when playing the halloween

    Strong club players aware of the gambit :
    They often play the variation called "euwe's refutation"
    1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 d5

    or this :
    1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 Bb4 ...[text shortened]... t be worse than the latvian (and will certainly bring better practical results)
    Tried it against Fritz in a 15 minute game.It plays 12...,Nh6
    I even had to force it to play 5...,Nc6,on it's own it opts for 5....,Bd6 returning the piece.Perhaps there is a good White reply against that?
    Very intresting that fritz,being a piece up,considers the position after 12....,Nh6 equal.Maybe it's not such a nonsense opening
  7. 03 Apr '09 15:23 / 1 edit
    Hi Shorbuck - excellent post.

    Good to see someone who has experience playing it coming on.

    I played it once seriously v an IM - lost but it was not the opening it was me.
    (and his good play).

    The Chess Addicts in CHESS magaizine found out I had a league
    match on the 31st of October in '96 so wanted me to play the HG
    on Halloween night.

    I agreed. V O. Penrose (brother of Jonathan). he played 2.....Nf6,
    I played the gutless 3.Nc3 trying to swing it back into a 4 Knights.
    He played 3....Bb4 (the Three Knights) - I lost.

    I know th HG carries a lot of venom as it's not too uncommon a move
    in Scotland. It's certainly worth a punt under 2000.

    I'd still put it in the 'Trap' class. Funnily enough I discuss what
    I consider a trap on the latest Corner.

    http://chessedinburgh.co.uk/chandlerarticle.php?ChandID=319

    If 4.Nxe5 is the best move in that position then it's not a trap.
    (also 150 years of opening theory and opening principles have just
    been tossed out of the window).

    I was not kidding with the 'Trick or Treat' variation - which I made
    up as I was writing. Black is no way forced to take the Knight.

    A few years back I happened upon a crowd of juniors analysing this
    and watched them slaughtering Black after 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4. Ng6 6.e5.

    "See if you can so that to me?" I offered and sat down amongst them.

    This happened, I'm Black.


    That was enough to convince them they had not refuited Chess.

    (the whole thing is a trap from the Petroff - you must know your Traps)

    Of course it's not all forced (it is after 6.e5?) the HG is one big trap,
    for both sides!

    And that brings me nicely onto today's hot tip:

    When faced with a sacrifice your first consideration must be.

    "What happens if I don't take it?"

    Is it as good as The Latvian? Yes.
    The variations of the Latvian I play (as both colours) are very trappy. So is the HG.

    Of course Black gets his Latvian in before the HG.

    After 2.Nf3 you might see a Petroff, Philidor, Elephant (2...d5) or
    indeed a Latvian. So you need a sharp line v the Petroff
    (the Cochrane Gambit - 3.Nxf7!?)

    Keep playing the HG if you enjoy playing it and thrive on the messy
    positions it can toss up. And it t looks like you can - Good Luck.