As some of my readers may know, I am a big fan of the Max Lange Attack, an opening which involves sacrificing a pawn for quick development. So, I wondered what other sorts of sharp games Max Lange might have played.
The search in my database led to this thriller from 1851 against Adolf Anderssen. The opening known as the King's Gambit has certainly been refined and revised since 1851, but now is seen less and less frequently during tournament play. This opening, however, usually leads to sharp, tactical games in which Lange shines.
Lange voluntarily gives up the right to castle (a modern no-no) on move four with 4.Kf1, only to follow it with the complete destruction of his kingside pawns! Instead, he uses the coordination of his pieces to serve both as defenders and attackers. He is able to break though the enemy king position and finds the brilliant 21.Bd4!! to finish things off. The conclusion would have been 21...Qxd4 22.Rxg6+ fxg6 23.Qxg6+ Kf8 [if 23...Qg7, then 24.Nf6+! and 25.Qxe8#] 24.Rf1+ and mate to follow.
Certainly an exciting game!