Robert Ris’ Fast and Furious: A modern gambit against 1.c4

by Robert Ris
9/1/2022 – This week Robert Ris will have a look at a modern and bold gambit that the young Indian Grandmaster Praggnanandhaa tried twice - and with success - when playing with Black against Levon Aronian at the FTX Crypto Cup. | "Fast and Furious" is available on-demand with a ChessBase Premium Account. You can register a Premium account here.

Calculation Training Booster Calculation Training Booster

In this video course, twenty-nine examples with multiple questions are presented in the interactive format, which is ideal for a range of playing strengths. Step by step you will be taken through the complex positions.


When he had to play with Black against Levon Aronian at the FTX Crypto Cup, Pragg tried a popular gambit line in the English Opening, which was recently seen at the Olympiad in the crucial match between Uzbekistan and India 2.

After 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 the ambitious pawn push 3...e4!? has recently become more popular. In order to win the pawn on e4, White has to spend quite a number of moves with its knight, enabling Black to take the lead in development.

This is what happened in Pragg's game against Aronian. After sacrificing a second pawn, Pragg then centralized his forces and maximized the pressure on White. Aronian didn't get a chance to get his king out of the centre and with a spectacular knight and rook sacrifice Pragg launched a powerful attack against the white king.

Exercise: But here Pragg forgot to finish off the game. Can you do it for him?


Feel free to move the pieces on the live diagram!

This week’s show

Watch previous shows

Recent shows

Many more Fast and Furious episodes are available in ChessBase Videos


Robert is an International Master who mostly spends his time training and coaching talented youngsters. On the PlayChess server The Fast and the Furious is a popular show where he explains sharp opening lines for a wider audience. He is also a well-known ChessBase author who produced numerous DVDs and regularly contributes to ChessBase Magazine as well. Since 2015 he is the organizer of the Dutch Rapid Championships in his home town Amstelveen. He has started a YouTube channel with chess analysis as well.