The Reti Gambit, like the Belgrade Gambit introduces energy and activity into a static position. If you're opening with 1.e4 you're probably looking for an open game.
But you'll often encounter opponents who want to keep things closed. They will respond to your lively King's Opening with the hopelessly dull 1...e6. Another French Defense fanatic!
But fear not, there is an antidote for the French Defense. It is the pretty nifty Reti Gambit. Guaranteed to wipe the smile off your opponent's face. The Reti G is contained within the French Defense family in the ECO Index, C00 - French Defense; Reti G.
The Reti G made it's first appearance in top-level competition in the Richard Reti - Geza Maroczy encounter in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1920.
Reti was one of the leading lights of the newly emerging Hypermodern School in chess. Along with his fellow adherents, Nimzowitsch, Tartakower, Spielmann and others, Reti constantly developed opening systems, that controlled rather than occupied the center.
This idea became a very respectable answer to the French Defense. Many other leading players found room for it in their opening repertoires. Rudolph Spielmann used it against Roberto Grau 10 years later with entertaining results.
1.e4 e6 2.b3! d5 3.Bb2 takes us into the Reti Gambit. The Main Line continues 3...dxe4 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Qe2. There are several possible continuations:
Other possible ideas include 5...Qd4, 5...b6, 5...Bc5, 5...Bd6 and 5...Bb4 0-0-0. It's also possible for Black to decline this gambit with the earlier 3...Nc6 or 3...Nf6.
Take a look at the Reti G Analysis using Fritz. This gambit is quite playable and appears frequently even at high levels in the game. Here are some examples of the Reti G in the field.
Richard Reti certainly came up with an exciting way to destroy the French Defense practitioner's best laid plans. Just rip the head off Black's pawn formation and watch him crumble.
It's a matter of solving the problem that Black sets for you and in the same act setting him a problem that he probably won't solve. When you throw a spanner in the works like that, the panic and confusion arising from it can be enough to induce critical mistakes from your opponent.
Most gambits have that ambush theme in them. They are by their very nature tactical riddles. They do their best work in the face of settled positional opening systems. One of the best ones is used to muddy the waters in the Ruy Lopez Opening. It goes by the name of the Marshall Attack.
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