Magnus Carlsen's drive to the top began with a King's gambit game against the Chinese GM Wang Yue. But it was quite different from what the old romantic masters had in mind. Let's go back and see some analysis by the Italian master Gioacchino Greco (1600-1634). To some chess historians, Greco was the first chess professional. Others thought of him as the first chess hustler. Whatever you call him, Greco was a very talented player who made a living by teaching chess to wealthy patrons, including a few kings. In 1619 he wrote a manuscript on openings, consisting of games, probably fictitious, full of combinational fantasy and clarity. Here is Greco's take on the King's gambit.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.Bxf7+?! Speedy assaults on the black King, with sacrifices like this one, flourished in Greco's time. Often not completely correct, they succeeded because they did not meet strong defense.
5...Kxf7 6.Ne5+ Ke6?! [(Greedy. Modern theory prefers to refute White's adventurous play with 6...Ke8 7.Qxg4 Nf6 but that is not much fun.]
7.Qxg4+ Kxe5 8.Qf5+ Kd6 9.d4 Bg7 10.Bxf4+ Ke7 11.Bg5+ Bf6 12.e5 Bxg5 13.Qxg5+ Ke8 14.Qh5+ Ke7 15.0-0 Black is clearly in trouble. His emperor has no clothes.
15...Qe8 16.Qg5+ [White can shorten the outcome with 16.Qh4+ Ke6 17.d5+ Kxe5 (17...Kxd5 18.Nc3+ Ke6 (18...Kc5 19.b4+ Kb6 20.Qd4+ Ka6 21.Qc4+ Kb6 22.Na4# ) 19.Rf6+ Ke7 20.Nd5+ Kd8 21.Rf8+ Ne7 22.Qxe7# ) 18.Nc3 Kd6 19.Qb4+ c5 20.Nb5+ Kxd5 21.Rad1+ Kc6 (21...Ke5 22.Qe1# ) 22.Rd6# ]
16...Ke6 17.Rf6+ Nxf6 [17...Ke7 18.Rf4+ Ke6 19.d5+! Kxd5 20.Nc3+ Kc5 21.Rc4+! Kxc4 22.Qh4+ Kc5 23.b4+ Kb6 24.Qf2+ Ka6 25.Qf1+ Kb6 26.Qb5# ]
18.Qxf6+ Kd5 19.Nc3+ Kxd4 [19...Kc4 prolongs the game by a move 20.Qf1+ Kxd4 21.Qf4+ etc.]
20.Qf4+ [20.Rd1+ speed's up the end 20...Kc5 (20...Kc4 21.Qf1+ Kb4 22.Qb5# ) 21.Rd5+ Kb4 22.Qh4# ]
20...Kc5 21.b4+ Kc6 22.Qc4+ Kb6 23.Na4# 1-0