King's Gambit, Rice Gambit
|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|
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.
|This article uses algebraic notation to describe chess moves.|
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. These events stretched from Monte Carlo, Saint Petersburg, and Ostend, to Brooklyn and Trenton Falls. In a 1905 Pillsbury National Correspondence Chess Association event, 230 amateurs played the gambit by mail. So obsessed was Rice with his pet line, he formed The Rice Gambit Association in 1904, at his home in New York. With Dr. Lasker as Secretary, the Association even published a book of all the games played in the theme tournaments.
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". 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.
However, modern engine analysis has shown that 16...Ng3 is considered stronger than 16...Bf5. Then 17.Nd2 f6 18.d6+ Kh8 19.dxc7 Qh1+ 20. Kf2 Qh2+ 21. Ke1 Qh4 22. Bxf8 Ne4+ 23. Ke2 Qf2+ 24. Kd3 Qe3+ 25. Kc2 Qxc3+ 26.Kb1 Nxd2+.
- Soltis 1978, p. 165.
- Sunnucks 1970, p. 404.
- Hooper & Whyld 1996, Rice Gambit, p. 340.
- Matanović 1997 (Vol C), p. 209, n. 28.
- Hooper, David and Kenneth Whyld (1996). The Oxford Companion To Chess. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0192800493.
- Matanović, Aleksandar, ed. (1997). Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings C (3rd ed.). Yugoslavia: Chess Informant. ISBN 86-7297-035-7.
- Soltis, Andy (1978). Chess to Enjoy. Stein and Day. ISBN 0-8128-6059-4.
- Sunnucks, Anne (1970). The Encyclopaedia of Chess. Hale. ISBN 0709110308.