Popular Line for White in the Latvian Gambit - 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.Nxe5 Qf6 4.Nc4 fxe4 5.Nc3 Qf7 6.Ne3 c6 7.d3 exd3 8.Bxd3
Here is our final look at KPG gambits. Okay so White does not have to play 3.Bc4, he can play other moves. Black can deviate too. We have considered 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 up to this point. If you have Black,you can play different second moves.
Let's say you don't play 2...Nc6. You can find some more exciting lines with moves like 2...Nf6, 2...f5, 2...d6 or 2...d5. 2...Nf6 can possibly lead to the Cochrane Gambit or the Urusov Gambit.
2...f5 is the famous Latvian Gambit and inside it's lines lies the Lobster Gambit. Moves with the d-pawn allows White to hit back with one of a number of countergambits.
The Cochrane Gambit is an ingenious sacrifice that blows a hole in the Petroff Defense. Black employs this defensive system to create an almost impenetrable fortress from where you will find it difficult to win.
John Cochrane tried this unlikely looking sac in 1848. Top GMs are still known to use it in these modern times. What do you get for your Knight then after Black replies with 4...Kxf7.
First you get two pawns but more importantly you trap the Black King in the center. It is also a center where you will have a fearsome rolling pawn mass against Black's decimated center. You will sweep Black's pieces aside as you smash through the center to reach his King.
The main choices for Black here involve 4...Bb4, 4...Nc6 or 4...Nxe4. The first combines development with tactical ideas against the White King. The second is a patient developing move. The third puts development on hold to take a central pawn.
4...Bb4 plays against White's problems on the a5-e1 diagonal. A Black Knight is poised to leap into e4 at any moment. Familiar motifs are in play. As White you must take care not to leave c3 vulnerable to tactical ideas against the King and Queen's Rook.
4...Nxe4 with a later ...Bc5 in the air makes the pawn on f2 feel uncomfortable. You can rebuff this by castling quickly. The next item on the agenda is to drive away the annoying e4-Knight. This gambit can also be arrived at from Petroff's Defense (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4).
The Latvian Gambit got it's name when it was extensively analyzed by some Latvian players early in the 20th century. It is considered unsound at the highest level because perfect or even solid play gives White a better game than Black.
However there is a flip-side and it's this. The Latvian Gambit is extremely complicated and has lots of possible lines, many of these leading to promising situations for Black.
Many players below master level and indeed some masters are not familiar with the maze of variations that arise from this gambit so it could be a useful weapon in your arsenal and you may be able to score some good victories with Black using it's variations.
The Lobster Gambit is a countergambit you can use as White against the Latvian Gambit. Your normal choices against the Latvian are accepting with 3.exf5 or the alternative capture, 3.Nxe5. The third conventional option is declining with the simple developing move 3.Nc3.
Many would say that Black is crazy to even play the Latvian. They say you can guarantee yourself the upper hand just by sticking to the established opening principles. Simple, straight forward play, nothing fancy will expose Black's reckless conduct.
You could do that or you might remember that sometimes you have to have fun in life. You can return Black's crazy with some crazy of your own. 3.g4 is the Lobster Gambit. If Black accepts it (3...fxg4), your center is relieved and you may gain the initiative. If he takes on e4 instead, you may be the one under pressure.
The Locock Gambit, named after Charles Dealtry Locock also in the Petroff Defense arises after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.Ng5 h6 5.Nxf7. Again the Knight is sacrificed on f7 just as in the Cochrane Gambit and many of the same themes are revisited.
Again White traps the hapless Black King in the center where he and the other Black pieces will struggle to complete development. They are caught in the headlights of a rolling pawn mass and White pieces that effortlessly find beautiful posts from which to attack.
You will starve Black for space and his lack of connectivity and mobility is exacerbated by his King tripping over himself in the center. By the time Black has managed to develop somewhat it is clear who rules the center and who has the better pieces.
The Lopez Countergambit is a dynamic version of Black's Philidor Defense. You are trying to create an aggressive and imposing pawn formation stretching it's tentacles into White's territory. You then organize your pieces behind the pawns, planning your attacks in this way.
White will clearly respond to this game plan. He will target your advanced pawn center. He will try to smash your center and invade with his pieces. He then hopes to put your undeveloped pieces to the sword.
White develops his pieces as you build your center. Watch out for a piece sacrifice to break open the center. The game will hinge on the battle for the Black center.
The Philidor Countergambit is a way to ruffle White's feathers when you're facing a 1.e4 kind of attack. 3...f5 can be a shock to the system and most likely not what White was expecting. Normally he be prepared for something like 3...exd4, 3...Nf6, 3...Nd7, 3...Bg4 or even 3...Nc6.
3...f5 takes some courage to play. After all you're really weakening the light squares around your King who is no closer to castling. The a2-f8 and h5-e8 diagonals are now both open highways to your King.
If you get something passive from White like 4.Bd3, 4.Bg5 or 4.Nd2 then your move has paid off with a good position. However, better more testing moves, like 4.dxe5 or 4.exf5, breaking the tension, or calmer developing moves like 4.Bc4 or 4.Nc3, could put you on the back foot.
The Elephant Gambit is a novel way to treat the well worn opening moves of 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3. If you want a break from major openings like the Ruy Lopez, Italian Game or Scotch Game this could be for you.
You may want to liven things up with a gambit. It could be that you don't trust the Latvian Gambit with 2...f5. The Elephant might be what you're looking for and 2...d5 brings it about.
White can accept the gambit with 3.Nxe5 after which you'll choose between 3...Bd6 or 3...dxe4. White could instead refuse the gambit with 3.exd5 which you can answer either by the 3...Bd6 or 3...e4, kicking the Knight.
That's all of the King's Pawn Game gambits apart from those that come from a single gambit family. Open games on the Kingside give rise to the majority of gambits in chess. These ones also tend to be riskier that the Queenside sacrifices.
On this wing you very often give up a piece, sometimes even two. Then you must play energetically for a quick win. Soon your initiative will be spent and if you haven't won you'll be spent too.
Let's get back to the rest of these KPG gambits to add to your repertoire. These come from one of the biggest openings in chess. This is the King's Gambit.