The King’s Gambit has the reputation of being a wild, attacking, tactical opening. Of the many variations, perhaps the most violent of them all is the Muzio, where White freely gives up a piece and launches a fierce attack on the Black.
Sometimes the effort is successful, sometimes Black, despite having been under constant pressure for almost the entire game, wins it.
But it’s always entertaining.
During the summer I participated in a thematic team match. The opening chosen was the King’s Gambit. I, however, decided to make it into a Muzio.
Here is the game!
Live Wire vs. King’s Gambit Thematic Team Match
http://www.chess.com, Aug. 2017
[Escalante and the chess.com computer]
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.O-O (This is the Muzio Gambit) 5…gxf3 6.Qxf3 Bc5+ 7.Kh1 d5 8.Qxf4 f6!? [After 8…Qf6, White has the advantage after 9.Qxc7. Worse are 8…Nf6 9.Bxd5 O-O (or 9…Be7 10.e5 O-O 11.exf6 Qxd5 12.Qg3+ +-) 10.Qg5+, 8…Nh6 9.Qxh6 dxc4 10.Qg7 Bd4 11.e5, and 8…Be6 9.Bxd5 Bxd5 10.exd5 Qxd5 11.Nc3 Qe6 12.d4 Bxd4 13.Nb5 Bb6 14.Bd2 Qf6 15.Qe4+ Qe6 16.Qxb7, all winning. The chess.com computer suggests 8…Qe7 9.exd5 f5 10.d4 Bd6 11.Qf2 11…Qg7 12.Bf4 Ne7 13.Nc3] 9.exd5 Bd6 10.Qh4 Nd7?! (The knight turns out to be misplaced here. White threatens 11.Qh5+ and gain a significant advantage. Best 10… Qd7 to lessen the appeal of the check.) 11.Qh5+ Kf8 12.d4 Nb6 13.Bb3 Qe8 14.Qh4 (Chess.com suggests this is a mistake., giving 14.Qxe8+ Kxe8 15.c4 Ne7 16.c5 Nf5 17.cxd6 cxd6 18.Nc3 Kf7. But I wanted to keep the queens on the board as it is easier to attack with a queen than without one. And I am playing a human, a person, a mistake-maker, not a computer. So let’s keep up the pressure.) 14…Qg6 (This move may be a mistake. Chess.com gives 14…Qe2 as being better and gives the continuation of 15.Re1 Qg4 16.Qxg4 Bxg4 17.c4 Bb4 18.Nc3 Rd8 19.a3. But White can vary with 15.Bxh6+ Nxh6 16.Qxh6+ and now 17.Nc3 seems to be in White’s favor.) 15.c4 Nd7 16.c5 Be7 17.Nc3 f5 18.Qf4 Ndf6 19.Qxc7?! (Somehow this doesn’t look right!) 19…Ne8 20.Qf4 h6 (White’s past pawns in the center certainly gives him the advantage in the area of the board. But they also function as a blockade to any further White attacks in the center. Meanwhile, there is activity in the kingside and he should pay attention to that part of the board.) 21.g4 Bg5 22.gxf5 Qf6 (Here is an agreement with chess.com computer and myself. Best was 22… Qh5. And after 23.Qg3 Ngf6 24.d6 Rh7 25.Be6 Rg7 26.Bxg5 Qxg5 27.Qf2, White has some problems. Perhaps 19.Qxc7 was a mistake after all. Maybe the idea of establishing a strong pawn center is a mistake and White should keep open all the attacking files, ranks, and diagonals.) 23.Qe5 [23.Ne4 only works if Black decides to pawn grabbing adventure; 23…Qxd4?! 24.Nxg5 Qxd5 (Better, of course, is 24…hxg5) 25.Bb3 Qxc5 26.Ne4 Qe7 27.Bf4 fxe4 28.Bxh6+ +-] 23…Ng7 24.Bxg5 hxg5 25.Ne4 Qh6 (25…Qxe5 26.dxe5 Bxf5 27.Ng3 Nh6 28.Nxf5 Ngxf5 29.Bc2 Ng4 30.Rxf5+ and I don’t know who exactly has the advantage.)
26.f6! Nf5 27.d6 Bd7 28.f7! (A Black defensive knight is lost – White is winning.) 28…Nge7 29.dxe7+ Nxe7 30.Nf6 Rd8 (Chess.com computer declares a mate in nine moves. How do these silicon monsters find such mates in such a short time? Meanwhile, the same beastly monster suggests 30…Bc6+. But in this line too, Black has some serious problems; 31.d5 Bb5 32.Ng4 Qh5 33.Rae1 Ng6 34.Qd6+ Kg7 35.Qf6+ Kh7 36.f8=Q Rhxf8 37.Re7+ Nxe7 38.Qxe7+ Kh8 39.Rxf8+ Rxf8 40.Qxf8+ Kh7 41.Nf6+) 31.Nxd7+ Rxd7 32.Qb8+ Kg7 33.f8=Q+ 1-0