- Paperback: 216 pages
- Publisher: Trafford Publishing; First Edition edition (January 30, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1412046475
- ISBN-13: 978-1412046473
- Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.5 x 10.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,086,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Fascinating King's Gambit Paperback – January 30, 2005
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About the Author
Thomas Johansson is a 34-year-old Swedish chess player and a devoted fan of the King's Gambit. This is his second book on this ancient but forever young opening. His first book, The King's Gambit for the Creative Aggressor! published by Kania Schachverlag in Germany, was well received by the critics in 1998 and reprinted in 2001.
Top customer reviews
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Unfortunately, the book reads about as well as an IRS tax return: rich in information, cryptic in presentation. Most of the book is simply a list of moves, with only minimum explanation given. The book could definitely have used more prose. The author's choice to use a glossary of symbols to represent things like "only move", "better is", and "space advantage" only exacerbates the problem.
That said, I am still glad I purchased the book. I imagine it will be a valuable resource throughout my chess career.
If you are a person who likes opening books that go through illustrative games, then this book is not for you, it goes through lines, and that is the kind of opening book I love.
At first I found the lines hard to follow becuase the I thought the book was not set out that well. It does take more time to go through for this reason but do not let this put you off. With time I became to get used to the set out of the lines and after a bit of work it has paid off. In fact, once you understand it the set out is excellent. If you love gambits then buy this book!
The book has a nice index of variations and also covers the usual Declined lines, though only in a fraction of the detail of the Bishop's Gambit. If you are looking for hints on how to play against the KG as black, you should know this book does not cover the usual Kf3 lines at all, though the author gives you a hint that he switched to the Bishop's gambit to avoid the lines following from 3 ... g5.
Why is the Bishop's Gambit not better known? Probably because of the very scary Qh4+ moves, which start as early as move 3 and require White's Kf1, losing the right to castle and seemingly entombing the King's Rook. Johansson covers these Queen checks in a series of short chapters, but summarizes it as "not really that scary". I can attest myself that though the lines are sharp, it does turn out that they are not that bad. After Kf1, Nf3 White just loses some tempos in retreat and finds the white king has found a safe shelter behind black's own e pawn, now sitting on f4. Or, as happened recently to me, tries for more with Qg4 which loses to Bxf7+ KxB Ne5+ forking king and queen.
DEFENSE. HE EXPLORES FULLY RELEVANT VARIATIONS IF BLACK SHOULD DECLINE THE GAMBIT. NO TEARS