Daniel King's Power Play Show: A bold and provocative king

by Daniel King
9/25/2020 – In this Power Play Show Grandmaster Daniel King looks at a provocative, dangerous and entertaining line of the King's Gambit: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3!? Qh4+ 4.Ke2 which Steinitz, Keres (pictured) and King himself used to play. The march of the king looks crazy but the whole line is surprisingly powerful and dangerous. | Power Play is on air most Fridays at 17:00 UK (18:00 CEST, 11:00 EST) on playchess.com. All the usual puzzles, games and instruction will be on offer. | Photo: Valter Heuer (Archive)

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A wild line of the King's Gambit

Daniel King: "Hikaru Nakamura's notorious Bong Cloud opening against Jeffrey Xiong in the last round of the St Louis blitz and rapid tournament put me in mind of a variation of the King's Gambit that I used to play in my wild youth: 1.e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Qh4+ 4.Ke2."

Nakamura's Bong Cloud


"2.Ke2 after 1.e4 e5 just seems provocative but 1.e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Qh4+ 4.Ke2 is not as stupid as it looks. Paul Keres played it early in his chess career, and I'll be looking at one of his games plus a brilliancy from an English player, the organiser and journalist Tim Wall."

To get into the mood, here's a little warm-up: White to play


And here's a little chess problem: White to play and mate in 2!


Try your own moves!

This week

Previous shows

You'll find older broadcasts in the Power Play category. To watch these you'll need a ChessBase Premium Account.

Daniel King is the prolific author of the Power Play series which numbers 28 volumes to date.  The Tactic Turbo for the King’s Gambit is the subject of his most recent DVD.

Here’s a teaser:

Power Play 28: Tactic Toolbox King's Gambit

Daniel King presents 50 puzzle positions in video format, all arising from the King's Gambit. They feature typical tactics from the opening, so this is a great way of becoming familiar with the tricks and traps that you can set your opponent.


Daniel King is a regular on playchess.com. Commentating on live events such as the World Championship or analysing themes for his monthly Power Play Show. He also produces a DVD series called Power Play for ChessBase in the Fritztrainer format.
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Daniel King Daniel King 9/26/2020 11:16
I agree, I like the name the Keres Gambit as he was the first strong player to take it 'seriously' with the correspondence games that he played in the early 1930s. But in general I think people get a bit hung up on naming opening variations. Call it what you like!
CMPonCB CMPonCB 9/26/2020 12:32
Very nice article/video - thanks.

I don't think you've ventured a formal name for this 3.Nc3 line, but it is has historically been known in the UK as the "Keres Gambit", despite Mason's earlier involvement.

For instance, John Littlewood names it this way in CHESS magazine (Vol 20, 1954, p.10) and Hooper & Whyld similarly reference it in The Oxford Companion To Chess (1984 ed., p.401).