Evans Gambit

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4

evans.gif (4790 bytes)

This opening, a variation of the Giuoco Piano, is named after the British sea captain, W. D. Evans who invented it in the 1820s. With 4.b4 White deflects the Black Bishop from its control of the centre squares and  White gives up a pawn to gain rapid development and open lines for his pieces. With 4.b4 White deflects the Black Bishop from its control of the centre squares and This opening is not as popular today as it used to be but it is still played by grandmasters such as Nunn and Timman and Kasparov.

As Steinitz said, "The refutation of a gambit frequently lies in its acceptance." so Black generally accepts the gambit pawn as demonstrated in the following games:

Fischer,R - Fine,R [C52]
New York, 1963

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.d4 exd4 7.0-0 dxc3 8.Qb3 Qe7 9.Nxc3 Nf6 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.exd5 Ne5 12.Nxe5 Qxe5 13.Bb2 Qg5 14.h4 Qxh4 15.Bxg7 Rg8 16.Rfe1+ Kd8 17.Qg3 1-0

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Paulsson,A - Frolander,A [C52]
Rilton Cup (2), 1995

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.d4 exd4 7.0-0 dxc3 8.Qb3 Qf6 9.e5 Qg6 10.Nxc3 Bxc3 11.Qxc3 Nge7 12.Ng5 0-0 13.Bd3 f5 14.exf6 Qxf6 15.Bxh7+ Kh8 16.Qh3 1-0


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Chigorin,M - Steinitz,W [C52]
Wch02-Havana (15), 1889

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.0-0 Qf6 7.d4 Nge7 8.d5 Nd8 9.Qa4 Bb6 10.Bg5 Qd6 11.Na3 c6 12.Rad1 Qb8 13.Bxe7 Kxe7 14.d6+ Kf8 15.Nxe5 f6 16.Nf3 Bc5 17.e5 b5 18.Bxb5 cxb5 19.Nxb5 Ne6 20.exf6 gxf6 21.Qh4 Kf7 22.Qh5+ Kg8 23.Qg4+ Kf7 24.Qh5+ Kg7 25.Nfd4 Bxd4 26.Nxd4 Rf8 27.Rd3 Bb7 28.Nxe6+ dxe6 29.Rh3 Be4 30.Qg4+ Bg6 31.Qxe6 Qb6 32.Qd5 Rad8 33.Rd1 Rfe8 34.c4 Rxd6 35.Qf3 Rd3 36.Qg4 Re4 0-1

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Nunn,J (2580) - Hübner,R (2640) [C52]
Johannesburg (2), 1981

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Bc5 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.Qb3 Qf6 7.0-0 Bb6 8.d4 d6 9.dxe5 Nxe5 10.Nxe5 dxe5 11.a4 a6 12.Kh1 Ne7 13.f4 Be6 14.a5 Bc5 15.Qxb7 0-0 16.fxe5 Qg6 17.Nd2 Bxc4 18.Nxc4 Qe6 19.Qb3 Rab8 20.Qa4 Nc6 21.Bf4 Rb5 22.Rad1 Ba7 23.h3 h6 24.Rd5 Rxd5 25.exd5 Qxd5 26.Ne3 Bxe3 27.Bxe3 Nxe5 28.Bf4 Rd8 29.Bxe5 Qxe5 30.Qc4 Rd5 31.Qxa6 Rxa5 32.Qc4 Rd5 33.Qb3 g6 34.Qc4 Kg7 35.Qb3 Qe4 36.Qa2 Qd3 37.Rf3 Qe4 38.Rf1 h5 39.Qb3 Qd3 40.Kg1 Rd7 41.Qb4 Qe3+ 42.Kh1 Rd5 43.Qb3 Qd3 44.Kg1 c5 45.Qb7 Qe3+ 46.Kh1 Qe6 47.Qc7 Rg5 48.Qf4 Rf5 49.Qc1 Re5 50.Qd1 Re2 51.Qd3 Qe4 52.Qg3 Re3 53.Qf2 f5 54.c4 Rxh3+ 55.Kg1 Re3 56.Rd1 Re2 57.Qg3 Qe5 58.Qh4 Kh6 0-1


Nunn,J (2515) - Larsen,B (2590) [C51]
London P&D (2), 1980

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Be7 6.d4 Na5 7.Nxe5 Nxc4 8.Nxc4 d5 9.exd5 Qxd5 10.Ne3 Qd7 11.0-0 Nf6 12.c4 0-0 13.Nc3 c6 14.d5 cxd5 15.Ncxd5 Nxd5 16.Nxd5 Bd8 17.Rb1 Qc6 18.Qd4 Be6 19.Rb3 Rc8 20.Ba3 Re8 21.Rg3 f6 22.Nxf6+ Bxf6 23.Qxf6 Qc7 24.Qd4 Rcd8 25.Qc3 Bxc4 26.h4 Rd7 27.Rc1 b5 28.Bb2 Ree7 29.a4 a6 30.axb5 axb5 31.Ra1 Qd8 32.h5 h6 33.Ra6 Rf7 34.Rd6 Qe7 35.Rxd7 Qxd7 36.Kh2 Qd6 37.Qc2 Qc7 38.Qg6 b4 39.Qe4 Re7 40.Qd4 Rd7 41.Qg4 b3 42.f4 Re7 43.f5 Be2 44.Qd4 Rd7 45.Qe3 Bxh5 46.Qxb3+ Kh7 47.Qe3 Re7 ½-½



Nunn,J (2440) - Lukacs,P (2460) [C51]
Budapest TUN (11), 1978

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Be7 6.d4 Na5 7.Nxe5 Nxc4 8.Nxc4 d5 9.exd5 Qxd5 10.Ne3 Qd8 11.0-0 Nf6 12.c4 0-0 13.Bb2 c6 14.Nc3 b5 15.cxb5 cxb5 16.Qf3 Rb8 17.d5 Bc5 18.Rad1 Qd6 19.h3 Re8 20.Rfe1 Bd7 21.Nf5 Bxf5 22.Qxf5 Rxe1+ 23.Rxe1 Bd4 24.Rd1 Bc5 25.Ne4 Nxe4 26.Qxe4 Qg6 27.Qf4 Rd8 28.Rc1 Bb6 29.Qb4 h5 30.Bd4 Bxd4 31.Qxd4 a6 32.Rd1 Rd6 33.Rd3 Qf6 34.Qxf6 gxf6 35.f4 Kf8 36.Kf2 Ke7 37.Ke3 Kd7 38.Kd4 Rb6 39.Kc5 Rb8 40.Ra3 Rc8+ 41.Kd4 Rc4+ 42.Ke3 Kd6 43.Rxa6+ Kxd5 44.Rxf6 Rc3+ 45.Kf2 Ke4 46.Rxf7 Ra3 47.Rh7 Kxf4 48.Rxh5 Rxa2+ 49.Kg1 Rb2 50.Kh2 b4 51.Rb5 b3 52.h4 Kg4 53.Rb4+ Kf5 54.Kg3 Rb1 55.Rb5+ Kf6 56.Kg4 b2 57.h5 Rc1 58.Rb6+ Kg7 59.Rxb2 Rc4+ 60.Kg5 1-0



Timman,J (2590) - Tatai,S (2480) [C51]
Amsterdam IBM (4), 1977

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Be7 6.d4 Na5 7.Nxe5 Nxc4 8.Nxc4 d5 9.exd5 Qxd5 10.Ne3 Qa5 11.0-0 Nf6 12.c4 0-0 13.d5 b5 14.Nd2 bxc4 15.Ndxc4 Qa6 16.Bb2 Re8 17.Rc1 Rb8 18.Be5 Rb7 19.Re1 Bd7 20.d6 cxd6 21.Bxf6 gxf6 22.Nd5 Be6 23.Rc3 Kh8 24.Nxe7 Rexe7 25.Qd4 Kg7 26.Rg3+ Kf8 27.Qxf6 Ke8 28.Ne5 1-0



Shirov,A (2695) - Timman,J (2590) [C51]
Biel SKA (7), 1995

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Be7 6.d4 Na5 7.Be2 exd4 8.Qxd4 d6 9.Qxg7 Bf6 10.Qg3 Qe7 11.0-0 Bd7 12.Nd4 0-0-0 13.Nd2 Nc6 14.Qe3 h5 15.Rb1 Nh6 16.Qd3 b6 17.a4 Kb8 18.a5 Nxa5 19.Qa6 Ka8 20.e5 Qxe5 21.Bf3+ d5 22.Nc4 Bc8 23.Qxa5 Qxd4 24.Qa2 Qxc3 25.Be3 Bb7 26.Bxb6 cxb6 27.Nxb6+ Kb8 28.Nxd5 1-0

Kasparov,G (2805) - Anand,V (2715) [C51]
Riga Tal (4), 1995

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Be7 6.d4 Na5 7.Be2 exd4 8.Qxd4 Nf6 9.e5 Nc6 10.Qh4 Nd5 11.Qg3 g6 12.0-0 Nb6 13.c4 d6 14.Rd1 Nd7 15.Bh6 Ncxe5 16.Nxe5 Nxe5 17.Nc3 f6 18.c5 Nf7 19.cxd6 cxd6 20.Qe3 Nxh6 21.Qxh6 Bf8 22.Qe3+ Kf7 23.Nd5 Be6 24.Nf4 Qe7 25.Re1 1-0

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Guerrero,J - Svidler,P (2465) [C51]
Oviedo rapid (1), 1992

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Be7 6.d4 Na5 7.Nxe5 Nxc4 8.Nxc4 d6 9.0-0 Nf6 10.Re1 0-0 11.Nbd2 d5 12.exd5 Nxd5 13.Qc2 Be6 14.Ne3 c5 15.Nxd5 Qxd5 16.Re5 Qd7 17.Nf3 Rac8 18.Qd2 Rfd8 19.Ba3 Bd6 20.Re2 cxd4 21.Bxd6 dxc3 22.Qc2 Bf5 23.Qd1 h6 24.h3 c2 25.Qc1 Qxd6 26.Rd2 Qf6 27.a3 Qxa1 28.Rxd8+ Rxd8 0-1

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However, Black does not have to accept the gambit. He can decline it with 4...Bb6 as the following games show:

Kasparov,G (2805) - Piket,J (2670) [C51]
Amsterdam Euwe-mem (2), 1995

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bb6 5.a4 a5 6.b5 Nd4 7.Nxd4 Bxd4 8.c3 Bb6 9.d4 exd4 10.0-0 Ne7 11.Bg5 h6 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.cxd4 Qd6 14.Nc3 Bxd4 15.Nd5 Bxa1 16.Qxa1 0-0 17.e5 Qc5 18.Rc1 c6 19.Ba2 Qa3 20.Nb6 d5 21.Nxa8 Kh8 22.Nb6 Be6 23.h3 Rd8 24.bxc6 bxc6 25.Rc3 Qb4 26.Rxc6 Rb8 27.Nxd5 Qxa4 28.Rc1 Qa3 29.Bc4 1-0

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Nunn,J (2440) - Hecht,H (2480) [C51]
Buenos Aires ol (13), 1978

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bb6 5.a4 a5 6.b5 Nd4 7.Nxd4 Bxd4 8.c3 Bb6 9.d4 Qe7 10.0-0 d6 11.f4 Be6 12.Na3 exd4 13.cxd4 0-0-0 14.Be2 Nf6 15.Bf3 d5 16.e5 Ne4 17.Nc2 h5 18.Ba3 Qd7 19.Ne3 Kb8 20.Rc1 h4 21.Qd3 f5 22.exf6 ½-½

 

Miranovic,R - Leko,P [C51]
HUN 63/274, 1995

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bb6 5.a4 a6 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.Nd5 Nxd5 8.exd5 Nd4 9.a5 Ba7 10.0-0 Nxf3+ 11.Qxf3 d6 12.d3 0-0 13.Be3 Bxe3 14.Qxe3 f5 15.f4 exf4 16.Qxf4 Bd7 17.d4 Qf6 18.h4 Qf7 19.Rae1 Rae8 20.Bb3 Re7 21.Rxe7 Qxe7 22.Bc4 Re8 23.Bd3 g6 24.Kh2 Kg7 25.Rf3 Qf6 26.c4 h6 27.Rg3 Kf7 28.Kg1 Rg8 29.Rh3 g5 30.hxg5 hxg5 31.Qf2 Rg7 32.c5 g4 33.Re3 g3 34.Rxg3 Rxg3 35.Qxg3 Qxd4+ 36.Kh2 Qxd5 37.cxd6 cxd6 38.Be2 Qe5 39.Qxe5 dxe5 40.Kg3 Bb5 41.Bd1 Kf6 42.Kf2 f4 43.g3 Bc6 44.gxf4 exf4 45.Be2 Ke5 46.Ke1 Kd4 47.Kd2 f3 0-1

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More Games

50 Evans Gambit accepted games

50 Evans Gambit declined games

Further Reading

Play the Evans Gambit by Tim Harding and Bernard Cafferty

The Great Evans Gambit Debate by Michael Rohde

 

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A Brief Survey of the Openings

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