Gambit night is back!

Its a well known fact that Gambit Night is one of the crazier nights in the Bristol chess calendar. This fun night from North Bristol Chess Club is rapidly becoming a summer tradition so the Bristol Chess Times endeavoured to find out some more.

Im ashamed to say that Gambit Night is the only Bristol Tournament I have never played in after 13yrs in the league.  Its not a deliberate thing, more a timing issue over the summer months as I’ve often been away or unavailable. So what is Gambit night?

Gambit Night is an evening of blitz with a twist.  At the start of every game the players choose a card with a random gambit written on it. The players are forced to set up the board from the position on the card and then the clocks are started (10 minutes)! Im told that much crazy crazy play follows and it is especially a great leveller between players of different skill. For a league that prides itself on a very high standard of serious chess, the North Bristol CC Gambit Night provides a well established tradition of tongue in cheek chess with a healthy dose of fun (and swearing).  To top it all off the North Bristol crew only charge a modest £3 charge for a full evening of gambit mayhem. Bargain!

To honour this upcoming crazy night in the Bristol chess calendar I decided to look at some dubious gambits with a Bristol twist.  Lets start with “The Clifton Gambit” which stems from a correspondence match between Clifton and Dublin chess clubs in the 19th century.  It took me a while to translate this gambit from the old style notation recorded on the Clifton website and to be honest was left a little cold with its lack of immediate craziness.

The Clifton Gambit

  1. e4 e5 2. f4 pxp 3. Be2?!

cliftongambit

Just what exactly is white gaining from this move?  A quick scan of the statistics shows white scores 51% whilst the computer shows  a score of -1.2 so quite frankly I’m unimpressed.  If you are going to gambit then atleast lets get some dynamic compensation going.  Maybe I’m missing something…

In my quest for a crazy dynamic gambit I was reminded of Horfield’s Mike Harris (Bristol Chess Times first correspondent who will be attending Gambit night and reporting back on his findings) love of the Latvian.  Mike will literally play anything in the Latvian so I’ve just chosen the best gambit I could find with the stupidest name.  Ladies and Gentlemen I give you The Lobster Gambit.

The Lobster Gambit

  1. e4 e5 2.nf3 f5 3. g4?!

lobstergambit

Lovely stuff! Now thats a gambit I can get behind! What a lovely claw shape! Heres hoping North Bristol CC are paying attention and add this crustacean to their deck of gambit cards in the next couple of days.

Ill be honest that my knowledge of Bristolian themed gambits is limited so I welcome any thoughts from longer serving league members than myself.  The final (tenuous) Bristolian connection I could find was the Wing Gambit of the Bishops opening, purely based on Bristol’s proud aeronautical heritage with Conchord. Like I said tenuous.

The Wing Gambit

  1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Bc5 b4

winggambit

This remarkable move scores a nice healthy 60% with white (from 94 games) and only scores -0.52 with computer analysis.  Dare I say that in the context of a standard club player, then this might actually be sound?! Heres hoping for picking this card at Gambit Night!

So that ends our tour of Bristol themed gambits.  Im sure more knowledgable heads than me may have other crazy lines with a west country twist so feel free to leave a comment below!

Gambit Night is on the 3rd August this year at the Ratepayers Arms, Filton.  The first round starts at 19:45 and entries are accepted on the night. Any questions (and special thanks) can be directed to Steve Woolgar: knightskies@sky.com.

Lets go burn some pawns!


mecircle

Jon Fisher

Jon is the Editor of The Bristol Chess Times and Publicity and Recruitment Officer for The Bristol & District Chess League. He plays for Horfield Chess Club and has been known to play 1. b3 on occasion.

 

Welcome to The Bristol Chess Times

Hello and welcome to the relaunch of The Bristol Chess Times! I know what some of you are thinking…”relaunch Jon?…Bristol Chess Times?”.

Long term stalwarts of the Bristol & District Chess League will remember The Bristol Chess Times as a printed magazine that came out several times a year featuring articles and game compilations from the local league and tournaments.  Unfortunately The Bristol Chess Times ran its last print edition some time in the early 2000’s and lets face it, its never been replaced. The league has sorely missed it.

As the incoming Publicity and Recruitment Officer for the Bristol & District Chess league its my responsibility (and passion) to pull together our community and bolster our ranks.   To welcome and attract players to all clubs and give newcomers to the league the welcome the deserve.  Ive played in the Bristol & District Chess League since 2004 and a more loyal, committed bunch of woodpushers I have yet to meet.  But I also feel that the sense of community I feel when I visit all of the clubs also needs a voice to rally around.  A voice to share our masterpieces and our blunders. A voice to share our relegation woes and our promotion hopes. A voice to announce our joy at the drubbing we just gave Downend (ahem, sorry I mean local rival).

horfieldcup

Enter The Bristol Chess Times…

From today, The Bristol Chess Times will be promoting and pushing fresh new content about our 110yr old league!  Here you will find a wide range of chess content including (but not limited too):

  • Weekly round ups of all the divisions results in the Bristol & District Chess League;
  • Interesting game reviews submitted by readers (that means you!)
  • Overviews of Tournaments and upcoming events
  • Updates from the Chess in Schools programme and other local chess initiatives
  • Articles on the league and hot topics of debate (increments anyone?)
  • Anything else that you want to be covered

To be clear our objectives are twofold:

  • Build the best local community for league chess in the UK
  • Encourage and attract new players of all abilities to the Bristol & District Chess League

Thats great Jon!  How can I help?” I hear you all cry.

At the time of writing we are just in the process of setting up The Bristol Chess Times so now is the time to engage.  We are looking for contributors to the magazine, whether that is a one off or a regular feature writer.  The above list of topic ideas should help get you all thinking about how and what you could contribute. For example, Mike Harris from Horfield Chess Club is very tempted by a monthly column called “Mucking around on the Dark Squares”, although we all agree we probably need to work on the title of that one!

I am the editor of the magazine so any questions or requests then fire them at me to bristolchesstimes@gmail.com

postergraphic

If the journalistic fever has not taken you over just yet, then you can still help us by simply engaging and sharing the content that The Bristol Chess Times produces. Commenting and sharing goes a long way to increasing the visibility of the league and thus helps recruitment.

Im sure I will write more in good time but for now I wanted to get us going and celebrate the rebirth of The Bristol Chess Times.

Thank you for reading, together we can do this!


mecircle

Jon Fisher

Jon is the Editor of The Bristol Chess Times and Publicity and Recruitment Officer for The Bristol & District Chess League. He plays for Horfield Chess Club and has been known to play 1. b3 on occasion.