I have been a gambiteer all my life, man and boy, and recommend the life. The King’s Gambit, the Goring, the good ole Blackmar-Diemer, various systems in the French (Milner-Barry, Matulovic); everything I suppose but the Queen’s Gambit itself, which in any case isn’t a gambit pure anyway! A pawn down but with the wind in your sails, what ever could go wrong? Such fun and daring, such quick mobilisation, sac, sac. Online play, faster and faster time-limits, younger players at all levels. All of this has encouraged a more daring approach and here is an excellent textbook for the aspiring player which takes such daring, giving him/her something to chew on and think about.
The new book from Quality Chess ‘Mayhem in the Morra’ is therefore just to my liking.The author, Marc Esserman, is an American IM. 14 chapters, 358 pages, algebraic figurines. Forewords by van Wely and Christiansen.
The binding is strong, the examples varied and attractively presented, the numerous jokes and asides welcome and I didn’t spot any misprints. And I did look. Morra Gambit books can range from modest (Carr), thorough (Burgess), dated (Smith) down to unreliable (Flesch). Now read-on …
‘I can’t get them to attack’ moaned one chess teacher to me recently. Well, try this book. The gambit is not without theory to be learnt, don’t be fooled or start thinking lazily, but it does give White a more or less free hand, especially at the outset. Transpositions to the Alapin examined, happily; hedgehogs smoked out of their burrows and history (“Morphy and the Romantics run wild”) not forgotten.
The cover, a parody of an American newspaper, is funny and apt. Well indexed and bursting with enthusiasm, you should give this book your time. Sicilian players owe it to themselves to drop-by too. A lovely book. Where is Marc Esserman tonight? I want to stand him a drink.