The Alterman Gambit Guide – Black Gambits 1 by Boris Alterman

The Alterman Gambit Guide: Black Gambits 1 is an instructional manual for improving chess players. Sharpen your tactics and learn to play dynamic attacking chess while studying the most entertaining gambits. Lines covered include: Benko Gambit, Blumenfeld Gambit, Vaganian Gambit and more.

The second and concluding volume, covering 1.e4 e5, should be out early in 2012.


First Ever Simul :

“WHITE GAMBITS” Review by John Donaldson :


 Author: Boris Alterman

Quality Chess (2010) 448 pages $25.95

 Reviewed by John Donaldson :

This book, which should enjoy a wide audience, is an instructional manual for improving players that’s not a high-level theoretical work, but rather aims to teach the fundamentals – tactics, the importance of development, how to attack and king safety – by playing gambit openings.

Lines covered include the Evans Gambit, Panov-Botvinnik Attack in the Caro-Kann, the Smith-Morra Gambit against the Sicilian, the Philidor, Danish Gambit, Urusov Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Qxd4), Morphy Attack (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4), Cochrane Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nxf7), Max Lange Attack and Milner-Barry Gambit.

Alterman, who has based his book in part on some of his popular lectures at the Internet Chess Club, feels that most games between amateurs (those rated below 2000) are not decided by some great strategy but because one or both players do not follow basic opening principles.

To quote Alterman, “The players: Do not fight for the center, keep playing with the same piece, move the queen too early in the opening, leave the king in the center, try to win material instead of developing, and so on.” This book attempts to remedy this situation by offering 112 heavily annotated (primarily prose) games, theoretical overviews and practical exercises (with solutions) to reinforce the material.

THE ALTERMAN GAMBIT GUIDE: WHITE GAMBITS is definitely aimed at an amateur audience but some of the material will be of interest to stronger players, including the topical Panov-Botvinnik line 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 dxc4 and the Milner-Barry variation arising after 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.Bd3 cxd4 7.cxd4 Bd7 8.0-0 Nxd4 9.Nxd4 Qxd4 10.Nc3 Qxe5 11.Re1 where Alterman believes 11…Qd6! to be a clear equalizer – that White has nothing better than 12.Nb5 Qb6! 13.Be3 Qa5 14.Bd2 Qb6 15.Be3 repeating.

Young players, older ones stuck in the amateur ranks and coaches will all find THE ALTERMAN GAMBIT GUIDE: WHITE GAMBITS to be quite helpful and at $25.95 for a 440 page, beautifully produced paperback very good value.

 An excerpt from this book can be found at :

Strongly Recommended

Click to buy

Copyright © 2010 John Donaldson

The Alterman Gambit Guide – White Gambits

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The Alterman Gambit Guide: White Gambits
By Boris Alterman

The Alterman Gambit Guide: White Gambits is an instructional manual for improving players. Sharpen your tactics and learn to play dynamic attacking chess while studying the most entertaining gambits. Lines covered include: Evans Gambit, Panov Attack, Morra Gambit, Philidor, Danish Gambit, Urusov Gambit, Morphy Attack, Cochrane Gambit, Max Lange Attack and Milner-Barry Gambit.

Best instructional and repertoire book for beginner and intermediate players .

ISBN:978-1-906552-53-4 – 440 pages

Sample pages : PDF excerpt 
 – visit Alterman Gambit Guide  on facebook
Video lectures :  “ICC Gambit Guide” :   

Gambit Guide Poll

Danish Gambit game

Hello Boris,

Thanks for your series. It has helped my game very much. Years ago my friend, NM John Lenchner suggested that I study gambits to learn tactics. I studied the King’s Gambit and won many games (see my web page). But it seems the King’s Gambit has been undone by the Falkbeer Countergambit– Fischer’s Defense is only OK, I think).

In any case, I’m an old horse at 44 but still love the game. The gambit series has certainly helped my game. It is fun to play tactically and smartly, regardless of the opening.

In response to your request for example games, here is one from ICC “five-minute” blitz against an old rival “Bliv”. It is a Danish Gambit. And it worked out very well for white. The most difficult move for me to find was 10 Nc3. Otherwise, I simply centralized on the open lines, and black was pretty much forced to resign in less than twenty moves. What more could a chess player ask for?

Here it is: 

Busterfriendly (1900) vs. Bliv (1797) October 15, 2008, ICC Five-Minute

1. e4 e5 2. d4 ed 3. c3 dc 4. Bc4 cb 5.Bb2

5…Nf6 6. e5

I’m not sure this is book, but who cares? I thought: Open lines. Have fun.

6… d5? 7.  ef dc 8. Qd8+ Kd8 9. fg Bb4 + 10. Nc3

In the past, blocking the bishop might have stopped me from making this move; but I learned this OK from your series. The latent potential of the knight cannot be underestimated.

10…Rg8 11. 0-0-0+ (ouch) Ke8 12. Nf3 Bc3 13. Bc3 Be6 14. Rhe1

Centralization; open lines. woohoo! The beauty…

14… c5 15. Ng5 Ke7 16. Nh7  Resigns.

Many thanks.

Nickola Pazderic

The Max Lange Attack – Part 1

1. e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 



The four central squares are the most important squares to control on the chess board because the quickest route from one sector of the board to another is through the center.

 Commonly you want your pieces to have access to the central squares while preventing your opponent from using them.  


This is the only good way to meet white’s aggression.  Dubious is 4…Ne4?

As leads to a position where white’s pawns are especially good at preventing black pieces from occupying the central squares.  

White keeps serious positional pressure, for example losing immediately is

6…Bc5? (Better is 6…Nc5).

White’s access to the most important center squares and attack over the weak f7 square decides the game.

7. Qd5! A typical idea – white is aiming at e4 and f7 all together, so after   7…Bf2+ 8. Ke2 white wins at once.  


Last time we were analyzing the outcome of 5. Ng5 d5, nevertheless later analysis showed that after 5…Ne5 black could achieve a fairly good game.

5… Bc5!?

This move is characterize the starting point of the Max Lange Attack.

Black defends the center pawn d4 and gets ready to contradict white’s aggressive pawn assault with his own powerful counter attack.     

Being one of the stormiest opening systems for more then 50 years in the 19th Century, The Max Lange Attack is a rare guest in the recent practice.  

The reason could be a very practical one: After 5…Bc5 we get into unbalanced positions which you have to know extremely well, otherwise one inaccurate move could cost you the game.

This elaborate opening system has been analyzed by many well known strong chess players of the 19th Century such as Staunton, Chigorin, Tarrasch, Rubinstein and others. 

6. e5 d5!


This is the key of the variation. Black allows white to destroy his Kingside pawns, but is getting a tremendous center pawn pair which should be a great compensation for the ruined King’s Safety.  

7. ef dc  

Now after  

8. Re1+

Black has two options : 8…Kf8 and 8…Be6