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The Stem Game of the Evans Gambit

Evans, William Davies - McDonnell, Alexander [C51]
London 1829

Notes by Boris Schipkov

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4
The Italian Game.
3...Bc5








   
4. b4
The famous Evans Gambit. White sacrifices a pawn, planning to seize the centre with a tempo with c3 and d4. William Davies Evans was a sailor in the Royal Navy from 1804 to 1815 and then a captain of the packet ship "Aukland". As "Village People", a disco group sing: "Where can you find pleasure, Search the world for treasure, Learn science technology, Where can you begin to make your dreams all come true, On the land or on the sea... In the navy, Yes, you can sail the seven seas". It's good to be the captain!
As a chessplayer William Davies Evans invented the Evans Gambit, as the captain he invented a system of tri-coloured lights (green, red and white) for the safety of ships sailing at night.
Before in 1826 Evans castled at once 4. O-O d6, then played 5. b4 Bxb4 6. c3 Ba5 7. d4 Bg4, Evans, W - McDonnell, A, London 1826.
4...Bxb4 5. c3 Bc5
Now players prefer 5...Ba5, e.g. Nisipeanu vs Caruana, Sparkassen Chess Meeting, Dortmund 2015.
6. O-O








   
6...Nf6?!
A dubious move. 6...d6 is better, 7. d4 Bb6 8. dxe5 dxe5 9. Qxd8+ Nxd8 10. Nxe5 Nf6, with equality.
7. d4 exd4?
The decisive error, though after 7...Bd6 8. dxe5 Bxe5 9. Ng5 O-O 10. f4 Bd6 11. Nxf7 Rxf7 12. Bxf7+ Kxf7 13. e5 Bc5+ 14. Kh1 White is better, because the black king is in danger.
8. cxd4 Bb6








   
9. e5!
White attacks in the centre and on the kingside.
9...d5
Or 9...Ng4 10. Bg5 f6 11. Bc1 d5 12. exd6 cxd6 13. Re1+ Kf8 14. Nc3 Ba5 15. Qd3, and White has a big advantage.
10. exf6 dxc4 11. Re1+ Kf8 12. Ba3+ Kg8 13. d5 Na5








   
14. Be7!
White plans Qd2, followed by Qg5 or Qc3.
14...Qd7 15. fxg7 Kxg7 16. Qd2 Qg4 17. Qc3+ Kg8








   
18. Qxh8+!!
Great! Captain Evans sacrificed a queen to checkmate the rival.
18...Kxh8 19. Bf6+ Qg7 20. Re8+
Black resigned. 1-0










Move
   

Evans, William Davies - McDonnell, Alexander [C51]
London 1829

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4 Bxb4 5. c3 Bc5 6. O-O Nf6 7. d4 exd4 8. cxd4 Bb6 9. e5 d5 10. exf6 dxc4 11. Re1+ Kf8 12. Ba3+ Kg8 13. d5 Na5 14. Be7 Qd7 15. fxg7 Kxg7 16. Qd2 Qg4 17. Qc3+ Kg8 18. Qxh8+ Kxh8 19. Bf6+ Qg7 20. Re8+ 1-0



"Village People" sing the song "In the Navy".

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© 2015 Boris Schipkov