King's Gambit, Rice Gambit

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King's Gambit, Rice Gambit
a b c d e f g h
a8 black rook
b8 black knight
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
d6 black bishop
f6 black knight
d5 white pawn
e5 white knight
c4 white bishop
f4 black pawn
g4 black pawn
h4 white pawn
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
d2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
f1 white rook
g1 white king
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Moves 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.h4 g4 5.Ne5 Nf6 6.Bc4 d5 7.exd5 Bd6 8.0-0
Named after Isaac Rice
Parent King's Gambit

The Rice Gambit is a chess opening that arises from the King's Gambit Accepted. An offshoot of the Kieseritzky Gambit, it is characterized by the moves 1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 g5 4. h4 g4 5. Ne5 Nf6 6. Bc4 d5 7. exd5 Bd6 8. 0-0 (instead of the normal 8.d4). White offers the sacrifice of the knight on e5 in order to get his king to safety and prepare a rook to join the attack against Black's underdeveloped position.


The Rice Gambit was heavily promoted by wealthy German-born, American businessman Isaac Rice towards the end of the 19th century. He sponsored numerous theme tournaments where the diagram position became the starting point of every game played. Such giants of the chess world as Emanuel Lasker, Mikhail Chigorin, Carl Schlechter, Frank Marshall, and David Janowski were among the participants.[1] These events stretched from Monte Carlo, Saint Petersburg, and Ostend, to Brooklyn and Trenton Falls.[1] In a 1905 Pillsbury National Correspondence Chess Association event, 230 amateurs played the gambit by mail.[1] So obsessed was Rice with his pet line, he formed The Rice Gambit Association in 1904, at his home in New York.[2] With Dr. Lasker as Secretary, the Association even published a book of all the games played in the theme tournaments.[2]

Concrete analysis has long since shown the gambit to be "neither good nor necessary", so it has been abandoned in serious play and stands only as "a grotesque monument to a rich man's vanity".[3] The Encyclopedia of Chess Openings (1997) analyzes

8...Bxe5 9.Re1 Qe7 10.c3 Nh5 11.d4 Nd7 12.dxe5 Nxe5 13.b3 0-0 14.Ba3 Nf3+ 15.gxf3 Qxh4 16.Re5 Bf5 (or 16...Qg3=) 17.Nd2 Qg3+ 18.Kf1 Qh2 19.Bxf8 g3 20.Bc5 g2+ 21.Ke1 Qh4+ (or 21...g1=Q 22.Bxg1 Qxg1+ 23.Bf1 Ng3 with an unclear position) 22.Ke2 Ng3+ 23.Kf2 Ne4+

with a draw by perpetual check, attributing this analysis to José Raúl Capablanca, Amos Burn, and Edward Lasker.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Soltis 1978, p. 165.
  2. ^ a b Sunnucks 1970, p. 404.
  3. ^ Hooper & Whyld 1996, Rice Gambit, p. 340.
  4. ^ Matanović 1997 (Vol C), p. 209, n. 28.


External links[edit]