by Srinivas Reddy
(Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India)
The annotated game below is between Jan-Willem Te Kolste and Rudolf Spielmann in which, Rudolf plays the Latvian Gambit, which can be a successful opening for Black.
Year : 1925
White : Jan-Willem Te Kolste (Netherlands)
Black : Rudolf Spielmann (Austria)
Although, there are many variations in the Latvian Gambit (also called the "Greco Counter Gambit"), only some of them could suit well for solid play by Black.
Here are some of them listed below:
4)Main Line Variation
Though some of the above mentioned variations might push Black into an inevitable insecure position, if he's not careful while carrying out moves.
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5
Normally, for a classical game these above two moves are considered common and so called as Latvian Gambit opening for Black. Any variations, if so arisen are carried forward after these two steps.
3.d4 fxe4 4.Nxe5 Nf6
On his third move, White tries to maintain centre of control by pushing his pawn swiftly. But Black has an answer for that, Rudolf exchanges a pawn and supports it with his knight.
5.Bc4 d5 6.Be2 Bd6 7.Bg5 O-O
Kolste brings out his bishop, but retreats after a threat from Rudolf with his pawn. Afterwards, it's Black's turn to threaten his enemy's minor piece and he receives the same reply from his opponent. Now, Black castles pushing his King into safe side.
8.c4 Nc6 9.f4 exf3 10.Nxf3 dxc4
Kolste who is playing White, now tries to bring his pawn into forward position. But Rudolf shows no mercy and is dashing towards his opponent's kingdom eliminating the weak pawn structure. The White King is getting vulnerable and is exposing himself to attacks.
11.Bxc4+ Kh8 12.O-O Bg4
Kolste seems to trying to set the things right by knocking off Black's weak pawn and checks the enemy king. White also castles and is trying to protect his King.
13.Nc3 Qd7 14.Qd2 Bxf3
White now tries to bring his Knight into position and it seems to be a good move. But Black is hatching a plan and knocks off the weak Knight guarding the King.
15.Rxf3 Nxd4! 16.Rh3 Qxh3! 17.Qxd4 Qxh2+
Kolste brings it down with a Rook. But the Rook gets threatened by Knight. He moves it aside without much insight. The Rook gets attacked by Queen. Kolste doesnt seem to be much bothered and tries to gain a Knight. But Rudolf now unfolds a drama, with an unanticipated move, checking the King (and it might result to mate also..) which forces Kolste to resign.
The Latvian Gambit, although looking like a harmless opening for Black, can force the opponent (White) to make blunders in order to stand firm. If Black can avail of these opportunities he can earn certain advantages which can lead to victory.
Play through this well worked victory by Spielmann to take full instruction.