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"Chess is touchstone to the intellect." Goethe

The Göring Gambit Refused by Shawn L. Svare

In this article I shall examine the many plans Black has at his disposal for countering the Göring Gambit, most of which include the undermining of whites e4 pawn. I will even look at my favorite line to the Göring Declined, the development of the king's knight to f6. In this line black seek to gain a devolpment tempi by attack the e4 pawn. One warning this is not a line for the week hearted, but for those who dare tread this path it has it rewards.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.c3 Nf6 This line is a little risky for black but it offers good complication that require accurate play from both sides. Other defenses include...
I. 4...Bc5 At first glance one would think that allowing White an ideal pawn center can not be in Black's best interest. but as you will see this gives white only a small advantage, Black seem to still have a good game in spite of whites center. 5.cxd4 Bb6 6.Bc4 d6 7.Ng5 This is rather forcing but seems to work out well for White.
A) 7... Bxd4 8.Bxf7+ Kf8 9.Bxg8 Rxg8 (9...Kxg8 10.Qb3+ d5 11.exd5 Na5 12. Qa4 c5 13.dxc6 Nxc6 14.Qc4+ +- Wins for White.) 10.Nxh7+ Ke8 11.Bg5 Qd7 12.Nc3+= , Analysis by Shawn Svare.;
B) 7...Nh6 8.0-0 0-0 9.Be3 adds good complication to the game. Other moves such as 9.d5 or 9.Nf3 offer little. 9...Bxd4 10.Nxf7! (10.Bxd4 Qxg5!-/+ , is better for black) 10...Nxf7 11.Bxd4
B1) 11...Qe7 12.f3 Nxd4 13.Qxd4 Kh8 14.Nc3 Ne5 (14...c6 15.Bxf7 Rxf7=) 15.Nd5 Qd8= , Analysis by Fritz 4.01;
B2) 11...Nxd4 12.Qxd4 c5 (12...c6 13.Rd1 Qe7 14.f3 Be6 15.Bxe6= , As analyzed by Shawn Svare.) 13.Qd5 Qf6 14.Nc3 Re8 15.Rad1= Lord - Thomas, corres AUS/NZD 1986;

II. 4...Qe7 I've never been a big fan of this move for black, as you will see this is not a safe position for the queen and it will have to move again soon. 5.Bd3 (5.cxd4 Qxe4+ 6.Be2 d5= , COMP Chess 46 - COMP Bcp, CH World Comp 1977, white won.) 5...d5 (5...Nf6 6.0-0 dxc3 7.Nxc3 d6= , This line needs further looking into. I think that white still has some compensation for the pawn due to the development advantage and the position of Black's dark squared bishop. White could possible continue with 8.Be3 aiming at Black most likely castle position or 8.Bg5 threatening 9.Nd5!) 6.0-0
A) 6...dxc3 7.exd5 c2 8.Qxc2 Nb4 9.Bb5+ Bd7 (9...c6 10.dxc6 Nxc2 11.cxb7+ Kd8 12.bxa8Q+- , gives White a clear advantage.) 10.Qxc7 Bxb5 11.Re1 Be2 12.d6 Qxc7 13.dxc7+= , White should have little trouble capitalizing on Black's week king position.;
B) 6...dxe4 7.Bxe4 Qd6 8.Re1 Here I think 8...Be7 works a little better then 8...Be6. but in either case white has some advantage. 8...Be7 (8...Be6 9.Bxc6+ Qxc6 10.Nxd4 Qd7 11.Nxe6 fxe6 12.Qh5+ g6 13.Qe5 Bg7 14.Qxe6+ Qxe6 15.Rxe6++-, Michalek J - Cejkova M, CH Czechoslovakia 1992) 9.Bxc6+ Qxc6 10.Nxd4 Qg6 11.Bf4 c6 12.Nd2 Bh3 13.Bg3 Bd7 14.Nc4 += , According to analysts by the author.;

III. 4...Nge7 5.Bc4 (5.Nxd4 6.cxd4 d5= , comes under consideration. Although 5.Bc4 seem more active for both sides.) 5...d5 6.exd5 Nxd5 7.0-0 Be7 8.Qb3 and now either
A) 8...Na5 9.Qa4+ c6 10.Bxd5 Qxd5 11.cxd4 0-0 12.Nc3 Qh5 13.Bd2 (13.Ne5 Bd8 14.b4 f6 =+)
A1) 13...Be6 14.d5! (14.b3 Bd8=+) 14...Bxd5 15.Nxd5+- (15.Qxa5 Bxf3!-+) ;
A2) 13...Bd8 14.Rfe1 b5 15.Qc2 Nc4= (15...Bf5 16.Qc1 Nc4=) ;
B) 8...Be6 is an interesting alternative to 8...Na5 9.Nxd4 (9.Qxb7 Na5 10.Bb5+ Kf8 11.Qa6 +=) 9...Nxd4 (9...Na5 10.Qa4+ c6 11.Nxe6 fxe6 12.Be2 +=) 10.cxd4 0-0 11.Qxb7 Bf6 12.Rd1 Qd6 +=, The question here is dose black have adequate compensation for the pawn. Eric Schiller believes so, I am not so sure, Black dose have a substantial lead in development but blacks pieces are in an awkward position, this leaves some room for White to regain some lost tempi before black is able to attack.;

IV. 4...d3 This is a timid way of responding to the Goring gambit but my research I found that black has many ways in which to obtain an equal game. 5.Bxd3 Bc5 (5...d6 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Nbd2 g6 8.Nd4 Ne5 9.Be2 Bg7 +=, Metger J - Shoosmith H, Ostende 1907) 6.0-0 d6 7.Nbd2
A) 7...a5 8.Re1 Nge7 9.Nf1 0-0 10.Be3 Bxe3 11.Nxe3 Ng6 12.Bc2 Be6 13.Nd4! Qf6 (Both 13...Bd7 14.Ndf5=; and 13...Nxd4 14.cxd4= seem to offer only equal. White's center pawn majority is countered by Black's queenside pawn majority.) 14.g3 Nge5 15.f4 Nc4= , Penrose J - Keres P, Moscow 1956;
B) 7...a6 8.Nc4 Nge7 9.a4 a5 10.Be3 Bxe3 11.Nxe3 Ne5=, Cordoba - Eslon, Espana, 1984;

V. 4...d5 This is not a new move in the Goring gambit but many have coined it as the "Modern response" due in some part to it more recent use and in some part to it bearing a striking resemblance to the modern response to the King's Gambit. The truth of the matter is you can find reference to this line in the late 18th century in the game Sachse-Kauert corres, 1792. white prevailed in 25 moves. In modern chess this line has even been seen at top level play and is a subject I intend to cover more thoroughly in a future article. For now we will look at the following alternatives.
A) 5.e5 dxc3 6.Nxc3 d4 (6...Bb4 7.Bb5 a6 8.Bxc6+ bxc6 9.0-0 Bxc3 10.bxc3 =+, Pennycuick - Paige, Bognor Regis, 1963) 7.Nb5 Bc5 -/+ , Van Der Kooij J - Van Geemen, Corres NLD 1985;
B) 5.exd5 5...Qxd5 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 Bg4 8.Be2 Bxf3 9.Bxf3 Qc4
B1) 10.Bxc6+ Qxc6 (10...bxc6 11.Qe2+ Qxe2+ 12.Kxe2 0-0-0= , Ghizdavu-Skopje 1972. ) 11.0-0 Ne7 12.Qb3 Qb6= Svare-Chessica 03.12.1999;
B2) 10.Bd2 Qxd4 11.Bxc6+ bxc6 12.0-0 Ne7=, Fritz 4.01;
B3) 10.Qb3 Qxb3 11.axb3 Nge7 12.0-0 a6 =+, Grbac B - Dusper H, Italian open 1994]

After paying our respects to the alternatives let's return to the main line.

5.e5 Ne4

I. 5...Nd5 This move has vary few early sources but as of late has found some followers. 6.cxd4 (6.Bc4 Nb6 7.Bb3 dxc3 8.0-0 cxb2 9.Bxb2 Be7 10.Qe2 -/+ , Looks threatening but its bark is worse than it's bite. Black won in Grbac B - Mikac M, Italian open PCA 1994) 6...d6 (6...Bb4+ 7.Bd2 Bxd2+ 8.Qxd2 d6 9.Nc3 Nxc3 10.Qxc3=, was better for white in Sermek - I. Sokolov, Portoroz 1993) 7.Bb5
A) 7...dxe5!? is possibly stronger 8.Nxe5 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 0-0 10.Bxc6 bxc6 11.0-0 c5 += (11...Bd6 I don't think black has compensation for the pawn after, 12.Nxc6 Qh4 13.g3 Qh3 14.Qf3 +=, as in Neumeier - Klinger, Vienna 1988) ;
B) 7...Be7 8.Nc3 Nxc3 9.bxc3 0-0 10.0-0 Bg4 (10...Bf5 11.Re1 d5 12.Bd3 Bxd3 13.Qxd3 Na5=) 11.Qd3 Qc8 12.Bf4 Qf5 13.Qxf5 Bxf5 14.Rfe1 d5 15.Bg5=;

II. 5...Ng8 6.Bc4 d5 7.exd6 Bxd6 8.0-0 Nf6 (8...Nge7 9.Nxd4 0-0 10.Re1 Ne5=) 9.Re1+ Be7 10.Bb5 0-0 11.Bxc6 bxc6 12.Nxd4 Bd7 13.Qf3 Re8 14.Bg5 Rb8 +=;

III. 5...Ng4 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 Qe7 8.Be2 d6 9.h3 Nh6 10.Bg5 Qd7+=

6.Qe2 f5

6...d5 7.exd6 f5 8.Nxd4 Nxd4 9.cxd4 Bxd6 10.f3 Qh4+ 11.Kd1! (11.g3 Bxg3+ 12.hxg3 Qxh1 13.fxe4 fxe4=, Veilimirovic - Trifunov, Vrnjacka Banja 1993. Black won.) 11...0-0 12.fxe4 fxe4 13.Qc4++- , Bazan - Luna, Buenos Aires 1970]

7.exf6

7.Nxd4 Nxd4 Stronger is ( 7...Bc5 8.Nxf5 0-0 9.Qxe4 d5 10.exd6 Bxf2+ 11.Kxf2 Bxf5 =+) 8.cxd4 d5 9.exd6 Bxd6 10.f3 Qh4+ 11.Kd1! (11.g3 Bxg3+ 12.hxg3 Qxh1 13.fxe4 fxe4= , Veilimirovic - Trifunov, Vrnjacka Banja 1993. Black won.) 11...0-0 += , Uzman - Bisguier, Norristown 1973

7...d5 8.Nbd2

(8.fxg7 Bxg7 9.Nxd4 0-0 10.Be3 Nxd4 11.cxd4 Nxf2 12.Bxf2 Re8-+ , Black won in Casafus - Boey, Lugano 1968)

8...Qxf6 9.Nxe4 dxe4 10.Qxe4+ Qe6

(10...Be7 11.Bb5 dxc3 12.0-0=)

11.Bd3

(11.Qxe6+ Bxe6 12. cxd4 0-0-0 13.Be3 Bb4+ 14.Ke2= , Nilis - Ligoure, Cannes 1990.ended in a draw.)

11...dxc3 12.bxc3 Be7 13.Bf4 Bf6

(13...0-0 14. Bc4!+- , Black resigned in Schneider - Kaiszauri, CopenHagen 1980)

14.Kd2 Qxe4 15.Bxe4 Bd7+=

I agree with the analysis by Cimmino , white is better here. But as you can seen black has many chances to equalize the game and white must be prepared to meet them. This is not to say that the goring gambit is bad for white, only that both White and Black have every chance to make that one fatal mistake.