12 June 2013

Philidor on Gambits

I am reading some old chess books, and entering their games into my database. The ChessBase Onine database (the largest, to my knowledge) lacks many of these classic instructive games from the works of Pedro Damiano, Ruy Lopez, Gioachino Greco, and even François-André Danican Philidor. Last night, I posted a snippet concerning en passant from the 1750 edition of Philidor's Chess Analysed. This morning, I have been going through some of Philidor's notes on the King's Gambit.

Many writers have made reference to Philidor's views that a gambit defended against well leads to a draw. It may be of interest to read Philidor's actual words.
[A] Gambit equally well attacked and defended, is never a decisive party on either side; it is true that he who gives a Pawn has the pleasure of always having the attack, and the prospect of winning, which would be a certainty, if he who is on the defensive did not play regularly well for the ten or twelve first moves.
A. Danican Philidor, Analysis of the Game of Chess (London, 1790), 71.
I was unable to find this assertion among Philidor's analysis of gambits in the 1750 edition.

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