Book Review: ‘Counter Gambits’ by T.D. Harding


Counter Gambits by T.D. Harding; Dover © 1979; Price $9.00

What a delight! 220 PACKED pages. Includes 18 page chapter written 2001. Superb format: long-algebraic, bold type for game moves; short-algebraic, light type for analysis. Perfect diagrams.

There are three types of gambits by Black: those which are theoretically sound, those which are risky but worth trying, and those which are inspirations over the board. The fourth type are garbage, such as the Greco Gambit: 1 PK4 PK4; 2 NKB3 PKB4?? Harding doesn’t make the mistake of trying to prove that all gambits are good, or safe. He gives his truthful opinions and gives many games where Black loses. Not all of his analysis is correct, but that’s not important. You must always do your own analysis.

There are 75 complete games in long algebraic and many more complete games in analysis.

1 e4 e5; 2 Nf3 d6; 3 d4 Bg4; 4 PxP Nd7. Harding says that was played in Pollock – Blackburne, Hastings 1895, but does NOT say it was played in van Vliet – Lasker, Amsterdam 1889.

1 e4 e5; 2 Nf3 Nc6; 3 Nc3 Nf6; 4 BB5 Nd4. Harding says this is the “Rubinstein Variation”, and then says it was “the idea of Frank Marshall, who played it against Tarrasch at Monte Carlo 1903.” UNFORGIVABLE MISTAKE! It was played by James Mason at Nuremberg 1883.

Enthusiastically recommended! Please buy this book from me. MINIMUM ORDER $20.00. See Dover list with reviews HERE.

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