Monday, January 18, 2010

The Reti Gambit, Surpise Weapon Against The French

Thomas Johansson

This gambit is played by white to completely throw off your opponent, who is booked up on the French defense.

I personally would use this gambit, because I don't like playing white against the French defense. It seems everytime, I played white against the French , I always walk away with a draw or worst yet, a loss.

I have not used this weapon yet in tournement play only because I have only been recently exposed to this unique gambit within the past few days by overhearing a discussion on this gambit in the skittles room at the 42nd Liberty Bell Open in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,on January 16,2010, and also because I'm am collecting a mulitude of games on this opening from Chessbase to get both viewpoints from White's and Black's perspective.

This game below in Chess Flash format shows White's treatment of the Reti Opening and the usual move order by White.


Below are excerpts from Chessville reviews "The Fascinating Reti Gambit" by Thomas Johansson

Chances are that if you take up the Réti Gambit, many of your opponents (if you are below master level) will be totally unfamiliar with it, much to your advantage. A while back Tim McGrew, in his “Gambit Cartel” column for Chess Café, wrote an article on the opening entitled Terra Incognita, that is, “unknown territory.” He tried an “experiment” – without studying or even playing over any complete games, he tried 1.e4 e6 2.b3 to “see whether just by disorienting my opponents I could achieve interesting and playable positions.” He was quite happy with his results. Imagine how well he would have done had he known the details of the opening…

The Fascinating Réti Gambit is published by Lulu, a print-on-demand publisher, which means that the author did all of the manuscript preparation, layout, editing, etc. himself. That is a lot of long, hard and tedious work. (Anyone who doubts this has never done it.) Yet the layout and use of white space, diagrams, fonts, bolding, and the occasional underlining make the book very readable – and I recall finding only one typo, which is rather amazing. The Index, as noted, is very helpful, and the list of Sources (i.e. Bibliography – yay!), inclusive.

Here is the first part of a Six Part You Tube video on the Reti Gambit, along with links to the other parts of the same chess video produced by Taljechin.


Reti Gambit Part Two

Reti Gambit Part Three

Reit Gambit Part Four

Reti Gambit Part Five

Reti Gambit Part Six


  1. I would love to play a game vs you as black. I have crashed many players who have tried reti against my french system. Not sure if has any guide on this topic but let me know where u play and we can have a game.

  2. To: MMATeacher

    Currently, I don't play that much, I am a part time chess teacher and my student "Atomic Patzer" plays at the Hamilton Chess Club at Hamilton, New Jersey USA.

    "Atomic Patzer" presently takes care of my light work , so if you would like to play him online, I can set up SKYPE connection when you are available Eastern Standard Time.