2010-07-14

Attacking Chess Opening Overview - Reti Gambit

Overview
This gambit against the French is not very well know and has not had a large amount of popularity.  It is slowly gaining players who like and - and there are some GMs are also playing it.  It is a fun chess opening that is played against the French defense.  The most recent book on it was written by Thomas Johansson and is called The Fascinating Reti Gambit.

History
The gambit was first played by Reti just before he switched from 1.e4 to playing 1.Nf3.  Sad to say that he did not continue playing the variation and it was fairly obscure for a long time.  In the 90s a number of GMs starting playing the variation.  Most players of the French Defense look down on it and most books only give a line on it and say Black as equality or an advantage.

Moves
The gambit starts out like this.  1.e4 e6 2. b3


This takes Black out of his standard French play and White ends up playing a gambit.  The main line plays as follows:

2... d5 3. Bb2 dxe4 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Qe2 Bb4 6.O-O-O Qe7 7.Kb1 Ndb7 8.g4 O-O 9. g5 Nd5 10. Nxe4


Common Tactics
  1. Opposite side castling - this often leads to crazy attacks where White and Black try to mate each other first.
  2. g4-g5 - This attack often forces the Black knight to a less than ideal location.
  3. Bg2 will give White more influence in the center and often wins back the sacrificed pawn.
Summary
The main purpose behind the gambit is to throw Black into a tactical game instead of the many quiet games that they can have playing the French defense. The game is much more open than the standard French defense, and with opposite side castling it is sure to have both sides attacking. The Reti Gambit is very interesting and the games are full of interesting tactical ideas.