The Boden-Kieseritzky-Morphy Gambit is lightly regarded and is never played by grandmasters, but it has one of the best records for White of any opening played below the master level. It scores a phenomenal 62% in all games in the chess databases. This book examines an opening which can be quite useful for beginners and amateur chess players. The gambit we will examine (1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.Nf3!? or 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4!?) has been used by Paul Morphy among other strong players. In my view it is as good a gambit as most others. You won't find it on chessboards of grandmasters these days because White really cannot claim a serious advantage from this opening. Without doubt, White gets enough compensation for the pawn, but no more than that. For amateur use, this is enough, and it is also fun. The opening leads to exciting play with excellent attacking chances. The gambit can be used in the Bishop's Opening (1.e4 e5 2.Bc4) or against the Russian Game (Petrov: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6). It is important to remember that most amateur players have poor defensive skills. If a grandmaster has an extra pawn but pays the price of having the king stuck in the center for a while, that's not a big deal. However, failure to castle is one of the most common sources of defeat for most amateur players. Therefore, as a practical matter, this gambit provides excellent opportunities for the first player to win the game. One of the key factors here is that the recommended lines for Black usually involve the advance of the pawn from f7 to f6. This creates a weakness which is easy to exploit if Black makes a mistake. The variations chosen for White in this approach are fairly simple to play, and easy to learn. I concentrated on the moves which are considered best for Black in various opening books and encyclopedias.
About the Author(s)
Eric Schiller (born March 20, 1955 in New York City) is an American chess player, trainer, arbiter and one of the most prolific authors of books on chess in the 20th century. In 1974, Schiller was the Illinois Junior Champion. Schiller played for the University of Chicago team several times at the Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship. He was an organizer of the Hawaii International chess festivals 1994-98 including 1998 US Open California Champion 1995. Later that year, he appeared as a chess adviser for the music group Phish on some of the stops for their "Chess Tour" where they played an ongoing game of two chess moves per tour stop and some "band vs. audience" partial games as part of their stage performance.
Schiller was an arbiter at several notable games and championships including the FIDE World Chess Championship 2000. While Vladimir Kramnik and Garry Kasparov opted not to participate in the event, they had both endorsed Schiller for this sensitive role during the planning stages. As of April 2009, Schiller has a FIDE rating of 2166. He is also an International Arbiter and International Trainer. Schiller's expertise and publications in the Flohr-Zaitsev Variation made him a sought-after expert when Gary Kasparov used that opening at the second game at the World Chess Championship 1990.