Gambit Chess Openings: French Defense Wing Gambit (Cirabisi - Cugini); White having already sacrificed a Knight and Bishop now sacrifices his Rook on h8. This is one sac to many for Black to bear and he resigns. There is no defense to 15...Kxh8 16.Qh5+ Kg8 17.g6 followed by 18.Qh7#. 15...Kf7 is no better failing to 16.Qh5+ g6 17.Qh7+ Ke8 18.Qxg6#.
Gambit chess openings like the Four Knights Defense, the French Defense and the Giuoco Piano hold more exciting gambits. Like the Danish and Dutch, you can inject a sharpness into apparently dull openings with surprising moves.
The Four Knights features the Belgrade Gambit and the Halloween Gambit. The French Defense has six Gambits within it's lines. It is a very dynamic opening. The Winawer Variation in particular is played on a razor edge.
The Giuoco Piano has a reputation of being a fairly quiet opening system. Especially when compared to other 1.e4 systems. Four gambits are found here. These lines show how the Italian Game can turn violent.
The Belgrade Gambit is a variation inside the Four Knights Game. It was analyzed in depth nearly 70 years ago by several chess masters from Belgrade. Up until that time the opening was not considered to hold much potential for White.
After 1.e4 e5 followed by the development of the four Knights, White would play 4.d4 and Black would answer with 4...exd4. The usual continuation from that point prior to the analysis from Belgrade was 5.Nxd4.
The problem was that this opening tended to yield only a minimal advantage for White and Black would not have to face any pressure. The guys in Belgrade discovered an interesting new option for White. Instead of the solid but uninspiring 5.Nxd4, they recommended 5 Nd5!? which opened up a whole new world of exciting possibilities for White.
The Halloween Gambit is another tricky little ruse in the Four Knights Game. Now the other Knight springs forward. You play 4.Nxe5 with an audacious sacrifice.
The trade off soon becomes clear after 4...Nxe5 5.d4, kicking the Knight, 5...Ng6 6.e5 Ng8. White has a big imposing center with the associated space advantage. Black only has one developed piece and this Knight looks displaced on g6.
Experience has shown that Black can get a good game through very precise play but the right path is narrow and any loose moves can get him in deep trouble quickly.
The Milner Barry Gambit is found in the French Defense. Usually in the French White is trying with all his might to maintain his center on d4 and e5. Black concentrates his forces against the base d4 and tries to eliminate the pawn there.
Here in the Milner Barry Gambit you sacrifice d4 voluntarily with 6.Bd3. After 6...cxd4 7.cxd4, Black must prepare the next capture with 7...Bd7. If he takes straight away there is a trap. 7...Nxd4 8.Nxd4 Qxd4 would lead to 9.Bb5+ and the Black Queen is lost.
7...Bd7 prevents the discovered check and play continues with 8.0-0 Nxd4 9.Nxd4 Qxd4 10.Nc3 giving you the position in the diagram. As White you have already sacrificed a pawn.
You have a lead in development. So how should you proceed? Sacrifice another pawn clearly. You don't need that lump on e5 anyway! Continue development without a conscience. Black can then decline the Milner-Barry or accept the challenge leading to very interesting struggles.
The Nimzowitsch Gambit is another gambit chess opening for you to play by letting d4 drop. 4.Qg4, a move that Nimzowitsch liked in various systems, is put to work here. Black will take of course with 4...cxd4 and after 5.Nf3 Nc6, Black's strong point is consolidated.
You have a lead in development and an initiative on the Kingside in return. After further moves Black may start action on the Queenside but this is okay. You should be able to get your attack going on the Kingside much faster than your undeveloped opponent can threaten your Queenside.
The kitchen gets hot quickly as in many of these opposite side castled games. It's just a question of holding your nerve and winning the race to mate. Winning tempi off enemy pieces with your storm trooper pawns is as crucial as ever in these situations.
The Alapin Gambit also resides in the dynamic French Defense. You play 3.Be3 asking Black if he wants to bank your e-pawn with 3...dxe4. If he accepts you will have neutralized his French style plans of an attack on d4.
Now you can give up your center and gain rapid development with the potency of the Bishop pair and the Queen. You must make good use of your dynamic power as it is fleeting. Avoid exchanges and build your attack quickly.
On the other hand if Black declines the gambit (he will usually do this with 3...Nf6) then the game will take on a typically French flavor. You can maintain the tension by keeping your pawn on e4 for the time being at least.
The Maroczy Gambit appears in the French Defense after 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Ne2 and Black can take on e4. In the early years the gambit was often accepted but these days it is popular to decline it.
It's also known as the Alekhine Gambit. He had some big wins in this line over players like Nimzowitsch and Euwe. They accepted the gambit and Alekhine's great powers and abilities in piece play decided things in his favor.
Again Black can simply decline and the game will go down the normal French Defense paths.
The Diemer-Duhm Gambit is a way to transpose the French Defense into a Blackmar-Diemer game. Again it's advantageous to castle Queenside, combining King safety with quick and easy development.
You will attack the Black Kingside with the usual Diemer patterns. If you haven't managed to castle your King will be floating around an open Kingside. This gambit will then be double-edged. You need to be the kind of player who likes walking a tight rope.
As Black you can choose the course of the game on move 5. After 3...e6 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.f3 the game can go several ways. You can run with 5...Bb4, 5...exf3, 5....c6 or 5...c5.
The French Wing Gambit is an attempt to deprive Black of his French Defense ideas. You are attacking the key c5-pawn and forcing a response from Black.
If he accepts with 4...cxb4 you are down a pawn but his French plans are out the window. Your vulnerable point d4 is now under considerably less pressure.
Black can always decline your gambit. He may play 4...b6, 4...c4 or 4...d4. Accepting the gambit will likely lead to an open game. Declining it with ...b6 or ...c4 may see the pawn chains lock and a closed game will ensue.
The Blackburne Shilling Gambit is a nice little trick you can play as Black in the Italian Game. Usually after 3.Bc4 Black will respond with a routine move like 3...Bc5 or 3...Nf6.
If you have Black you will be happy to hear that in this position you can roll the dice. Now you can throw in the surprising move 3...Nd4, apparently self-destructing.
It's true as with many gambits, White can get an advantage with theoretical knowledge and correct play. As usual though, without this knowledge the correct move is not always easy to find.
White should of course continue by exchanging Knights with a good game to come. Taking the pawn however and threatening f7 may prove to juicy to turn down.
It's in this position that Black can spring his plan into action. 4...Qg4 (forking the e5-Knight and g2-pawn) 5.Nf7 (trapping the h-Rook) 5...Qxg2 6.Rf1 Qxe4+ 7.Be2 (saving the Queen but falling for the stunning...) 7...Nf3#.
The Italian Gambit proves that the Italian Game is not necessarily a quiet opening. 4.d4 prior to castling shows that White is ready for a fight. You want to break open the center. Your goal is to force huge concessions from Black just to stay in the game.
Black can respond with 4...Bb6, 4...Nxd4 or 4...exd4. All of these moves have their drawbacks allowing you to gain a decisive advantage.
Black's best response is 4...Bxd4. This prevents you from pushing on with e5 in a Max Lange style offensive bursting through the center. You can still pose dangerous threats as you mount your attacks on the Kingside.
The Jerome Gambit is also available to White in the Italian Game. It's another play on Black's weak f7-pawn. After 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 you have given up your powerful light square Bishop but not for nothing.
You have a lead in development and crucially the Black King is trapped in an open looking center. He will also be a hindrance to the activity, connectivity and harmony of his own pieces.
Now you go forward on the Kingside in the traditional manner; short castle, Queen patrolling the d1-h5 diagonal, Knight waiting to hop into e5 or g5 and so on.
The Rousseau Gambit takes place in the French Defense. There is another trap in the Italian Game which also bears the same name. The position shown is from the French line.
White can play the French Wing Gambit with 4.b4 in order to displace Black's key c5-pawn. The pawn break 3...c5 is intended to rip open White's pawn center and maybe exchange Queens.
The Italian Game features a Rosseau Gambit with wild play resulting. It looks like the Vienna Game reversed after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 f5 but Black will not get a quick Kingside attack as White has the first move. Instead both Kings will dice with death as play continues on a knife edge.
The Grunfeld Gambit is a plan for Black in the Grunfeld Defense to gain a big lead in development in exchange for the important c7-pawn. The Accepted lines occur after 6.cxd5. The Main Starting Position of the Grunfeld Gambit Accepted is reached after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bf4 Bg7 5.e3 O-O 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.Nxd5 Qxd5 8.Bxc7.
When the dust settles we see that Black has lost his c-pawn which is often used to prize open White's big center in the Grunfeld. He does however have his King safely castled and he has more pieces developed. His Queen has a commanding position in the center and cannot easily be harassed.
You only have to look at White's position to see that he will face danger. His King will be stuck in the center for at least 3 more moves. As Black you must concentrate your energies on preventing White from ever castling. At the very least he should be forced into some concession in order to tuck his King away to safety.
The gambits here should make you look at the French Defense and the Giuoco Piano in a whole new light. You have to remember that in spite of the defensive reputations, both of these openings have been around since the 19th Century. That was the time of daring sacrifice and bold combinations.
The material here is a good warm up for the biggest family of gambit chess openings in chess. This family has at it's root, the King of all Gambits, the King's Gambit.