Bishops Opening chess contains more gambits. The opening has seen two eras. Firstly the Romantic Era when this opening was an important tactically based opening.
The more modern interpretation shows the opening in a new positional light. It has returned wearing new clothes and a brand new approach.
Most of the gambits belong to the old Bishop's Opening. They were developed during the days of swashbuckling combinational chess played on a knife edge.
White's play is directed at the notorious f7-square. The f-file, e1-h4 diagonal, e5 and g5 squares are pivotal in many of these gambits. Here you combine sacrificial play with energetic Kingside attacks.
The Ponziani Gambit is a stab in the center with 3.d4. Black will accept with 3...exd4. Now as White you have two ideas. You can invest your energies on restoring material balance by recapturing on d4.
This is simple enough but there is another path you can take. This other path is more in spirit with 3.d4. You will allow Black to hold on to his pawn while you build up a lead in development. This is the gambit line.
Play moves like Nf3, 0-0, Bg5, Re1 and so on while your opponent is shoring up his center. Then you will try to exploit his still central King. Force a material or structural concession if he is to castle. Better still, if you can, rob his castling rights. Even if you have to sacrifice further material to do this it's worth it. Then it's time for a King hunt.
The Greco Gambit can arise in the Bishop's Opening via the move order shown or also in the Italian Game where Nf3 is played before Bc4. 7.Bd2 Bxd2 8.Nxd2 holds the e-pawn. This continuation is preferred at higher levels.
The Greco is a very sharp alternative further down the ladder though. Black will swoop in to take the e-pawn, taking advantage of the pinned c3-Knight. Now you castle and Black will take the Knight with either Bishop or Knight.
It seems as though Black has gained material and is shattering the White center. You take with the b-pawn which in turn is taken by the remaining Black piece. Now you unsheathe your dastardly plot with 10.Qb3! attacking the minor piece on c3 and training the Queen and Bishop battery against f7. Suddenly Black is skating on thin ice.
The Petroff Gambit is a brave gambit where you will answer the Black Queen's move to your King file by offering her your King pawn! If Black accepts the gambit with 5...exd4 6.cxd4 Qxe4 7.Be3 you can end up with hanging pawns on the c and d files. But that's not something you can't necessarily deal with.
6.Bb6 is the other move you may see and this leaves you with three main options. You get to choose between the steady 6.0-0, the prophylactic 6.h3 or the aggressive 6.a4.
These games lead to finely balanced struggles with play and counterplay. White is trying to break through in the center and on the Queenside. Black's activity tends to materialize on the Kingside.
The Wing Gambit again employs methods with echoes of the Evans Gambit to drag and push the enemy dark square Bishop out of position. After 3...Bxb4 4.c3 Ba5 5.d5, Black daren't take with 5...dxe5.
You could then counter with 6.Qh5+, threatening mate and the isolated a5-Bishop at the same time. 6...d5 would be forced and after 7.Bxd5 White would have the advantage.
You can try 5...Nc6 instead as Black. In this line however you would be well advised to resolve the problem of your offside Bishop before Black gets in d5 followed by Qa4+ picking up the straggler on a5.
The McDonnell Double Gambit is a sharp idea from the 19th Century. It combines ideas from the Evans Gambit on the Queenside and the King's Gambit on the Kingside. You can quickly build a dangerous attack for the price of two pawns.
The Gambit takes it's name from the original appearance of this gambit during the infamous De Labourdonnais - McDonnell series in 1834. McDonnell dragged the enemy dark square Bishop off his nice c5-post with 3.b4.
Instead of developing with tempo, Evans style, he answered 3...Bxb4 with 4.f4 and a new gambit was born. His French opponent went with 4...d5 and won the game. Other replies like 4...d6, 4...Nc6, 4...Bd6 are possible. Better than accepting most probably as this can bring quick disaster for Black.
The Four Pawns Gambit was a favorite of the razor sharp tactician Alexander McDonnell during the Romantic Era. This opening is similar to the McDonnell Double Gambit with activity on both wings.
After 9.Kh1 the dust has settled and we can see that White has seen his Kingside obliterated. As a result he finds himself stranded out in the open with an enemy Queen and two enemy Rooks still on the board.
Does this mean that Black is better? Well perhaps. The engines would give Black the advantage of almost a pawn. But the trick is to try to survive against White's greater development and activity over the board. The light square Bishop, f3-Knight, Queen and f-Rook are poised to strike at the Black King via the weak f7-point.
The Lopez Gambit with 5.f4 is aimed at undermining Black's center. You entice his strong e5-pawn out of the center to f4 where you will regain the material eventually.
You will have a majority in the center. Add to that an open f-file with all of the traditional plusses of the f4 motif. Black will need accurate play for a long time to neutralize your initiative.
That's why there are no examples of Black accepting the gambit in the field. Your main moves facing this gambit are 5...d6, 5...Bxg1 and 5...0-0. You play any of these moves and you have every chance of getting on top in the game.
The Jerome Gambit is based around a common motif of taking castling rights from the enemy King by capturing on f7. Kingside systems with White tend to based on a c4-Bishop, an f3-Knight poised to jump into e5 or sometimes g5 and an open f-file.
The practice of giving up a piece in order to keep the opposing King in the center is recommended by the greats. You also need to gain a good lead in development and have open lines to get to him quickly. The Jerome ticks all these boxes.
After the King takes the Bishop you will be checking again with Qh5+. Black's e5-pawn and c5-Bishop will soon be in hot water.
The Calabrian Countergambit is one reply to the Bishop's Opening Black can reach for. You may reach for it if you're feeling in a competitive mood. 2...f5 has shades of the Latvian Gambit about it.
As White you have several ways of dealing with it. You can take a calm measured approach with 3.Nc3 or 3.d3. This is very playable as patient developing moves cannot be refuted. You will bide your time trusting that your textbook opening approach will eventually expose Black's weakening second move.
On the other hand you can immediately go to the attack with 3.Bxg8 ending Black's hopes of castling Kingside as he would love to do. When the Bishop is recaptured you will continue the assault with 4.Qh5+. This moves wins the h-pawn and the h-file. Black's resistance, however, is strangely robust.
The Khan Gambit answers the Bishop's Opening with 2...d5. You are immediately resolving the central tension by giving up your d-pawn. What does Black achieve with this move if anything?
White has three main moves to deal with the Khan. He can accept the sacrifice with either Bishop or pawn. Or he could just check with 3.Bb5+.
The last option to decline the gambit is a countergambit of sorts as Black can take on e4 next move. If White accepts the gambit then Black will try to prove he has a slight lead in development as compensation for his d-pawn.
Tal - Neibult (USSR, 1991); White finishes a great game with 24.Bxe6, this game is a Smith-Morra Gambit
The Bishop's Opening has enjoyed a long history of which gambits have played a part. The gambit games have provided some of it's most exciting battles.
These tactical battles show a wide range of tactical methods against the Black King. The opening's versatility as both a sharp tactical weapon or a solid positional platform makes it a great addition to your armory.
Now we turn our attention to a really sharp opening. The home of the Zollner, Smith-Morra and Kasparov Gambits. Check out the Sicilian Gambits.