The Kings Gambit has been around since the Middle Ages. Over time more scrutiny came on it and the opening fell out of favor. Prominent players in the game such as Tarrasch and Fischer derided it as a weak opening. Now it is only played in high level chess occasionally.
When White plays 2.f4 offering the gambit Black has two choices. Either playing 2...exf4 accepting the gambit or any other move declining it. Of course any other move typically means one of a handful of options.
We will look at the King's Gambit Declined and the King's Gambit Accepted separately. First we can look at the ten ECO classified openings dedicated to the King's Gambit. You can reminisce and look back on your own fondest memories of this gambit.
Black has several options if he chooses not to accept the gambit. He can play the Classical Defence: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 Bc5 or the Falkbeer Gambit which goes 1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 e4.
Some people like a line developed by Aaron Nimzowitch which runs 1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3 exd5 c6!? 4.Nc3 exf4 5.Nf3 Bd6 6.d4 Ne7 7.dxc6 Nbxc6.
It is generally believed through studying the lines that after declining the gambit Black is still well in the game but White has a small edge.
Black must fight for a draw although this is doable. White has his small advantage but it is not easy to make a win from it. However it is he who is playing for the win.
More often than not of course Black accepts the gambit because it can give Black a good game. He must be careful though because White can get powerful attacks off the King's Gambit Accepted if he does not deal with it properly.
The reason it is no longer advocated by masters is because if Black plays it well he can get the upper hand in all variations and can expect to score at least a draw.
There are two main branches in the KGA. They are the Kings Knight Gambit (3.Nf3) and the King's Bishop Gambit (3.Bc4). 3.Nf3 is the more common of the two but they are both played often. Play through some notable KG games.
Have you ever played the King's Gambit? Has it brought you into a game with unfamiliar positions? An exciting rollercoaster. Or maybe you've faced it. Did you survive the complications? Talk us through your game move by move. Or if you prefer you can talk about a famous King's Gambit Game. Annotate a lively King's Gambit encounter played by a chess legend. Relive Your Greatest King's Gambit Adventure.
Click below to see King's Gambit Games by other Lapocites...
What did you make of the King's Gambit? An interesting weapon to have in the locker and it leads to exciting lines. But certainly not without risk.
Don't spring it on the wrong opponent and know the lines real well and you might surprise a few people. Also worth remembering is that a good knowledge of this gambit will be useful the next time someone tries it on you. You can be devastating down the Accepted lines with Black.
If you're now a King's Gambit expert let me invite you to turn your attention to the other side of the board. I want to show you the Queen's Gambit.
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