the queen’s gambit | since 1490

queen's gambit

chess has been on my mind since illustration friday’s novelty topic / it brought back youthful memories of board games we used to play: chess, scrabble, and chinese & regular checkers \ back then you played on a real board with wooden pieces & tiles / you also played with someone breathing the same air as you, i.e., a live person right in front of you \ back then too the chess players i knew were the american <fischer, who else?> and the russians <kasparov, karpov & spassky> / today’s top players have names like carlsen, anand & aronian

so i thought i’d research the most recent chess openings & get acquainted once again with the game / well, turns out there are 1,327 named openings & variants \ and there is an “encyclopedia of chess openings” / i settled instead on learning about one of the oldest known chess openings, the queen’s gambit \ it is mentioned in the gottingen manuscript <~ 1471 or 1500-1505> which is the earliest known work about modern chess / “modern” here pertains to modern rules of movement for the pawn, bishop and queen but no castling as we know it \ and opposite to “old” forms of chess such as shatranj <from which modern chess descended>

gambit’s early meaning in chess was “an opening move by white that sacrifices material” / its first recorded alternate meaning in 1855 was that of “an opening move meant to gain advantage” \ the queen’s gambit starts with the moves:  1. d4 d5,  2. c4  / and black’s succeeding play is either queen’s gambit accepted or queen’s gambit declined \ when accepted, the succeeding plays lead to alekhine’s defence, mannheim variation, fuhrman variation, steinitz variation, two knights variation, etc. / when declined, the choices of defense are slav, orthodox, semi-slav, chigorin, baltic, marshall, albin countergambit, etc.

i cannot play a decent game of chess / i’m sure i will be decimated after just 6 moves \ i do like re-playing well-known games, analyzing after-the-fact & admiring the players’ brilliance

here’s the queen’s gambit accepted: anand vs. ponomariov, 2002


and the queen’s gambit declined:  topalov vs. kramnik, 2006

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