Stunning Chess Gambit Traps


Trip up your opponent with a clever gambit
Trip up your opponent with a clever gambit
The word gambit was first used by Ruy Lopez de Segura in the 16th century. The Italian word gambetto which relates to tripping someone took on the Spanish form gambito. If you want to test your opponent from the very first move this may be the route to go.

We're talking chess openings with a difference. Consider a sacrifice in order to gain an advantage of some sort. Usually when accepted your opponent can with precise play nullify any advantage accrued. However you can often profit against an opponent not familiar with the particular line. You can also talk about your favorites.

These tricks allow you to take your unsuspecting opponents off the beaten track and into unknown territory. You will get a lot of joy taking these guys away from their safe familiar lines. Drag them away from the shore and into deep, dark choppy waters. We begin with those gems contained in the Albin-Counter, Alekhine Defense, Amar Opening, Benko Opening and Bird's Opening.


Bust Through the Center with the Albin-Counter




Black Rook on a light squareBlack Knight on a dark squareBlack Bishop on a light squareBlack Queen on a dark squareBlack King on a light squareBlack Bishop on a dark squareBlack Knight on a light squareBlack Rook on a dark square
Black pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light square
Empty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark square
Empty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light square
Empty light squareEmpty dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark square
Empty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light square
White pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark square
White Rook on a dark squareWhite Knight on a light squareWhite Bishop on a dark squareWhite Queen on a light squareWhite King on a dark squareWhite Bishop on a light squareWhite Knight on a dark squareWhite Rook on a light square

Albin-Counter Gambit: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5

As Black you can challenge 2.c4 robustly with the Albin-Counter. 2...e5 turns the question around on White as you ask him to resolve the tension by taking on e5.


If the offer is accepted your d-pawn will annex space with 3...d4. You've formed a wedge in White's center disrupting the connectivity of his forces. He will most likely play 4.Nf3 Nc6 and try to exploit the open h1-a8 diagonal left in the d-pawn's wake. He will also target this pawn's destruction as it exerts an unpleasant influence in his realm.


You have other advantages in addition to the d4-pawn. Both Bishops are free to enter the game immediately. The e5-pawn will also become a target. This pawn is not crucial to White's prospects as it is extra material but you would still like to round him up.


Offer a Pawn in the Alekhine Defense




Black Rook on a light squareBlack Knight on a dark squareEmpty light squareBlack Queen on a dark squareBlack King on a light squareBlack Bishop on a dark squareEmpty light squareBlack Rook on a dark square
Black pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light square
Empty light squareBlack Knight on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark square
Empty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareWhite Knight on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light square
Empty light squareEmpty dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareBlack Bishop on a light squareEmpty dark square
Empty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light square
White pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareWhite Bishop on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark square
White Rook on a dark squareWhite Knight on a light squareWhite Bishop on a dark squareWhite Queen on a light squareWhite King on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareWhite Rook on a light square

Alekhine Gambit: 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.c4 Nb6 4.d4 d6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.Be2 dxe5 7.Nxe5

You can sacrifice the d-pawn with 7.Nxe5. After 7...Bxe2 you can still hold this pawn with 8.Kxe2. This moves carries all of the obvious risks that come with a King wandering around the center with an enemy Queen and Rooks still on.


The Queen usually takes leaving the d-pawn hanging. What do you get for this gift? You should end up with better minor pieces in the Bishop & Knight vs Bishop & Knight endgame. Black's b6-Knight is poorly placed and his dark square Bishop is still waiting to be released. Your pieces can get better squares quicker.


Is this enough to win? Maybe if your technical prowess is top notch. If not you may struggle to justify this slight edge as valid compensation for the pawn.


Dice Like John Tracy in the Alekhine




Black Rook on a light squareBlack Knight on a dark squareBlack Bishop on a light squareBlack Queen on a dark squareBlack King on a light squareBlack Bishop on a dark squareEmpty light squareBlack Rook on a dark square
Black pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light square
Empty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareBlack Knight on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark square
Empty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light square
Empty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark square
Empty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareWhite Knight on a light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light square
White pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark square
White Rook on a dark squareWhite Knight on a light squareWhite Bishop on a dark squareWhite Queen on a light squareWhite King on a dark squareWhite Bishop on a light squareEmpty dark squareWhite Rook on a light square

John Tracy Gambit: 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.e4

You can try 2.e4?! to maybe get a lead in development. The point after your pawn is devoured is you can win tempi off the advanced Knight and take a lead in development.


If you face this with Black don't be shy. Accept the pawn with 2...Nxe4. It's perfectly safe and you can fight off any initiative White generates with good, solid play. Simple no nonsense development, castle your King and you should be good.


You could also turn down the offer if you don't feel like punishing White's dubious second move. 2...d5, 2...d6, 2...e5 and 2...e6 have all been tried with reasonable success but none as good as 2...Nxe4.


Do It the Spielmann Way




Black Rook on a light squareBlack Knight on a dark squareBlack Bishop on a light squareBlack Queen on a dark squareBlack King on a light squareBlack Bishop on a dark squareEmpty light squareBlack Rook on a dark square
Black pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareBlack Knight on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light square
Empty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark square
Empty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light square
Empty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark square
Empty dark squareEmpty light squareWhite Knight on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light square
White pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark square
White Rook on a dark squareEmpty light squareWhite Bishop on a dark squareWhite Queen on a light squareWhite King on a dark squareWhite Bishop on a light squareWhite Knight on a dark squareWhite Rook on a light square

Spielmann Gambit: 1.e4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e5 Nfd7 4.e6

Richard Spielmann was another who contributed to the fireworks in the Alekhine Defense. He threw in a developing move with 2.Nc3 and only after 2...d5 did he push the e-pawn. The surprise comes after the Black Knight retreats to d7. Spielmann's idea is 4.e6?!

The point of the sacrifice is clear. By forking the Knight and f7-pawn, White has forced the immediate 4.fxe6. Black's Kingside has been dealt a fearsome blow with f7 ripped open. White also finds himself with the lovely e5 outpost beckoning his King's Knight. Not a bad deal for a pawn.

The weak e8-h5 diagonal and the e5 outpost will feature heavily as White launches swift attacks in a bid to capitalize on his initiative. If Black is tempted to play ...g6 to prep the fianchetto and lock the White Queen out of h5 he is in for a nasty shock. You have h4! threatening h5 to tear the Kingside asunder waiting in the wings. The Black King would be in hot water in short order.


Come Under Heavy Fire in Paris




Black Rook on a light squareBlack Knight on a dark squareEmpty light squareBlack Queen on a dark squareBlack King on a light squareBlack Bishop on a dark squareBlack Knight on a light squareBlack Rook on a dark square
Black pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light square
Empty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark square
Empty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light square
Empty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark square
Empty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareWhite Bishop on a light square
White pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareWhite pawn on a dark square
White Rook on a dark squareWhite Knight on a light squareWhite Bishop on a dark squareWhite Queen on a light squareEmpty dark squareWhite Rook on a light squareWhite King on a dark squareEmpty light square

Paris Gambit: 1.Nh3 d5 2.g3 e5 3.f4 Bxh3 4.Bxh3 exf4 5.0-0

The Amar Opening has some land mines as well with one of these unearthed in Paris. The Amar starts with the unusual looking 1.Nh3. The purpose of this move is to control the f4 square.

After the moves 1.Nh3? d5 2.g3 e5 3.f4?! Bxh3 4.Bxh3 exf4 5.0-0!? we reach the Starting Position of the Paris. Of course you could have just restored the material balance with 5.gxf4. But you didn't play for this position just to play some quiet rational moves did you?

As White you make the brave (or foolish!) decision to expose your King on the Kingside. All for a bold initiative. In most games the entire Kingside pawn shell disappears. White scored poorly in the database. In four out five games his King could not survive the attacks from Black's Queen, Rook and/or minor pieces.


Take Over the Queenside in the Benko




Black Rook on a light squareBlack Knight on a dark squareBlack Bishop on a light squareBlack Queen on a dark squareBlack King on a light squareBlack Bishop on a dark squareEmpty light squareBlack Rook on a dark square
Black pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light square
Empty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareBlack Knight on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark square
Empty dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light square
Empty light squareEmpty dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark square
Empty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light square
White pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark square
White Rook on a dark squareWhite Knight on a light squareWhite Bishop on a dark squareWhite Queen on a light squareWhite King on a dark squareWhite Bishop on a light squareWhite Knight on a dark squareWhite Rook on a light square

Benko Gambit: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d6 b5

Pal Benko worked on the Volga in the 50s and 60s. The intention before then was to play 3...b4 and then 4...e6 to break down White's center. Benko wanted something completely different out of the opening.


The Benko took his name when he changed the character of it completely. His objectives were not to liquidate the center but to open the a and b-files for Black's Rooks and Queen. Black's dark square Bishop goes on the long diagonal. The light square Bishop goes to a6, impeding White's attempts to castle.


Knights on d7 and f6 and Rooks on a8 and b8 with the Queen joining them on those files. Perfect harmony and a dangerous initiative on the Queenside all for the price of a pawn. This opening has several difficult corridors.


Win the Diagonals in the Dada




Black Rook on a light squareBlack Knight on a dark squareBlack Bishop on a light squareBlack Queen on a dark squareBlack King on a light squareBlack Bishop on a dark squareBlack Knight on a light squareBlack Rook on a dark square
Black pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light square
Empty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark square
Empty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light square
Empty light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark square
Empty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareEmpty light square
White pawn on a light squareEmpty dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareWhite Bishop on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark square
White Rook on a dark squareWhite Knight on a light squareWhite Bishop on a dark squareWhite Queen on a light squareWhite King on a dark squareEmpty light squareWhite Knight on a dark squareWhite Rook on a light square

Dada Gambit: 1.g3 e5 2.Bg2 d5 3.b4

The Dada is a nice, neat little trick based around the old ploy of offering a Knight pawn as bait to an enemy Bishop. This sacrifice, if accepted, is followed up by another on the following move. Here you play the clever 4.c4! which would give your Bishops complete control of the open center.


You also have deadly resources like Qb3 up your sleeve which can exploit b7 which is unprotected in some lines. Black will need to play precisely to avoid falling victim to your traps.


Of course if you are playing with Black you don't have to accept the b4 present. It's also possible to develop a Knight with 3...Nc6 or 3...Nf6.


Blitz the Bird in the From Variation




Black Rook on a light squareBlack Knight on a dark squareBlack Bishop on a light squareBlack Queen on a dark squareBlack King on a light squareBlack Bishop on a dark squareBlack Knight on a light squareBlack Rook on a dark square
Black pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareEmpty dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light square
Empty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark square
Empty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light square
Empty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark square
Empty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light square
White pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareEmpty dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark square
White Rook on a dark squareWhite Knight on a light squareWhite Bishop on a dark squareWhite Queen on a light squareWhite King on a dark squareWhite Bishop on a light squareWhite Knight on a dark squareWhite Rook on a light square

From Gambit: 1.f4 e5

This little idea devised by From is the most aggressive reply to Bird's Opening. It gets crazy after 2.fxe5 d6 where Black wants to open lines for both Bishops at the cost of a pawn.


After 3.exd6 Bxd6, your compensation is clear. White has no development, just a gaping hole on his soft spot f2. For the price of a pawn you have two Bishops in the game and staring down open diagonals towards the Kingside. The Queen is also poised to potentially deliver a check.


In fact Black is threatening a # in 3 through the Queen and dark square Bishop along that weak e1-h4 diagonal. If you have White here you will obviously want to prevent that with 4.Nf3. Black can then continue positionally with 4...Nf6 or dynamically with the dangerous but double-edged 4...g5.


Throw the Sturm at d5




Black Rook on a light squareBlack Knight on a dark squareBlack Bishop on a light squareBlack Queen on a dark squareBlack King on a light squareBlack Bishop on a dark squareBlack Knight on a light squareBlack Rook on a dark square
Black pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light square
Empty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark square
Empty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light square
Empty light squareEmpty dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark square
Empty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light square
White pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareEmpty dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark square
White Rook on a dark squareWhite Knight on a light squareWhite Bishop on a dark squareWhite Queen on a light squareWhite King on a dark squareWhite Bishop on a light squareWhite Knight on a dark squareWhite Rook on a light square

Sturm Gambit: 1.f4 d5 2.c4

Throw the Sturm at Black in the safe knowledge that you can get free and easy development for the pawn. As White you can also be reasonably confident of rounding up the c4-pawn sooner or later.


This is why Black usually declines the Sturm. 2...c6 and 2...e6 are the most common moves. 2...Nf6, 2...e5 and the provocative 2...d4 are also possible.


White often ends up with three pawn chains in this opening. The central trio on d2, e3 and f4 tend to point the White Queen and Bishop pair towards the Black Kingside. As Black you can depend on d-file pressure against d2 for counterplay.


Cook the Bird with a Swiss Flavor




Black Rook on a light squareBlack Knight on a dark squareBlack Bishop on a light squareBlack Queen on a dark squareBlack King on a light squareBlack Bishop on a dark squareBlack Knight on a light squareBlack Rook on a dark square
Black pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light square
Empty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark square
Empty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light square
Empty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark square
Empty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light square
White pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark square
White Rook on a dark squareWhite Knight on a light squareWhite Bishop on a dark squareWhite Queen on a light squareWhite King on a dark squareWhite Bishop on a light squareWhite Knight on a dark squareWhite Rook on a light square

Swiss Gambit: 1.f4 f5 2.e4

The dynamic and volatile Bird's Opening has yet another sacrificial idea for us called the Swiss. If Black tries a symmetrical reply you can choose the violent 2.e4 for the initiative.


2.e4 with a later d3 in mind gives up the pawn for a big lead in development and open lines and diagonals. As Black you will be banking on your unopposed center to give you an advantage later on. But first you must survive the onslaught.


After 2...fxe4, you have a few moves to consider as White. 3.Nc3 or 3.Bc4 are calm developing moves, the first also attacking the intruding pawn. 3.Qh5 or 3.f5 are the aggressive options with 3.f5 probably the better of these two.


Launch Your Kingside Forward Williams Style




Black Rook on a light squareBlack Knight on a dark squareBlack Bishop on a light squareBlack Queen on a dark squareBlack King on a light squareBlack Bishop on a dark squareBlack Knight on a light squareBlack Rook on a dark square
Black pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light square
Empty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark square
Empty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light square
Empty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark square
Empty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light square
White pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark square
White Rook on a dark squareWhite Knight on a light squareWhite Bishop on a dark squareWhite Queen on a light squareWhite King on a dark squareWhite Bishop on a light squareWhite Knight on a dark squareWhite Rook on a light square

Williams Gambit: 1.f4 d5 2.e4

This last line from Bird's Opening takes it's name from it's inventor, William L. Williams. This idea has too many holes in it to be considered at a serious level.


Having said that it can fool an amateur. Williams used it to score some quick victories against unsuspecting opponents. The first thing with this line is to be comfortable with your King playing in a slightly loose position. You won't be castling.


If you can tolerate a weak e1-h4 diagonal you may get some tactical chances if your opponent fluffs his lines. In exchange for opening up your Kingside (while your King is still hanging around there!), you can take over the center and Kingside, gaining attacking chances.


Queen's




Chess Gambit: Queen's Gambit







Queen's

The Queen's Gambit has been around for at least 500 years. There are a plethora of variations attached, that in the main, fall into two distinct categories. They are QG Accepted and QG Declined.


For a long time this particular system was not especially common in top-level chess as the closed openings did not lend themselves to explosive attacking games right from the off.


When Steinitz and later Tarrasch developed the concept of positional play it underwent a renaissance and, due to it's endgame possibilities, became extremely popular. It has receded since it's zenith in the 20s and 30s but is still used by masters from time to time.


Smith Morra




Chess Gambit: Smith Morra Gambit







Smith Morra

The Smith Morra Gambit is named after Frenchman Pierre Morra and American Kenneth Smith, both of whom studied it thoroughly. It is used by White to counter the Sicilian Defense by Black.


People are split on who has the better line, White on the Smith Morra or Black on the Sicilian. One thing for sure is that there is plenty of theory to cover on the Smith Morra as there are plenty of roads this one can take you down.


The Smith Morra is well worth a look if you're a 1.e4 player and you're sick or those smug Sicilian fans! It's probably as successful as 2.Nf3 at club level.


Vienna




Chess Gambit: Vienna Gambit







Vienna

The Vienna Gambit is so named because it was first played in the mid-nineteenth century by a Swiss guy called Carl Hamppe. The thing was though he worked as a government official in Vienna, Austria and used to play a lot of his games there.


This is essentially a delayed King's Gambit with the Queen's Knight developed to c3 on the second move and the f-pawn offered as a sacrifice with 3.f4.


This is a gambit of it's time, aggressive as was the style at that time. The idea behind this is to give White the chance to pressurize Black's soft center down the bishop's file at f7. It is generally believed to lead to equality with best play from both sides.


Reti




Chess Gambit: Reti Gambit







Reti

The Reti Gambit was introduced by Richard Reti in the 1920s. It is designed to counter the French Defense. White plays the King's pawn up to tempt the Black Queen's pawn to capture it, effectively ripping the head off the French Defense.


This one will take you down some novel positions and may disorientate your opponent. Reti himself stunned the mighty Capablanca with his hypermodern inventions. So if his ideas could throw someone like Capa what chance for your friends down the club!


There are several possibilities for the Reti and there is a lot of theory attached. But if you do your homework and get familiar with the main lines, you will have a real gem, especially below master level.


Moving On




Black Rook on a light squareBlack Knight on a dark squareBlack Bishop on a light squareBlack Queen on a dark squareBlack King on a light squareBlack Bishop on a dark squareBlack Knight on a light squareBlack Rook on a dark square
Black pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareEmpty dark squareBlack pawn on a light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareBlack pawn on a light square
Empty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark square
Empty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareBlack pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light square
Empty light squareEmpty dark squareWhite Bishop on a light squareEmpty dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark square
Empty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light squareEmpty dark squareEmpty light square
White pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareEmpty light squareWhite pawn on a dark squareWhite pawn on a light squareWhite pawn on a dark square
White Rook on a dark squareWhite Knight on a light squareWhite Bishop on a dark squareWhite Queen on a light squareWhite King on a dark squareEmpty light squareWhite Knight on a dark squareWhite Rook on a light square

Bishop's Opening - 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4

There is isn't anything better in chess than to play a sacrifice that really works and that paves the way to a well worked victory. And I say that as a committed positional strategist.


We all dream of the out of the ordinary killer combinations. We live for that one game where we get our entire 16 piece army working in concert almost as one living, fire-breathing monster, creating that masterpiece brilliancy.


Have these gambits reminded you of other interesting ideas for sacrificial openings. Feel free to upload your own article or game. These aren't the only gambits out there. Take a look at a whole family of them inside the Bishop's Opening.


> As &Bs