Matulovic - Sokolov (Italy, 1953); White wins with the decoy and clearance sacrifice that is 29.Rc8+. Black resigns as it's checkmate next move. This game is a Smith-Morra Gambit.
Here we have eleven more opening gambits, moving from the Bishop's Opening to the Sicilian. That the Sicilian Defense contains that many gambits is not just a testament of it's size and importance.
It also shows that this opening lends itself to tactical play with precise calculation being the order of the day. The Sicilian is personified by it's natural imbalances. These imbalances can be in terms of material, pawn structure or other positional trade offs.
The Sicilian is such a vast complex that it's various branches, while sharing many common features, also contain unique features. The gambits discussed here show how some of these features can be exploited.
In the Zollner Gambit you have two powerful pawns on e4 and f4 so what do you do? Sacrifice of course and open up that center. After all your pieces are centralized to a far greater extent than Black's pieces. You ought to be able to take command.
So after 10...dxe5 11.fxe5 Nxe5 you immediately continue with a tactical shot. 12.Nf5 attacks Black's fianchettoed Bishop and the loose pawn on e7. A discovered attack also opens up on the Black Queen. This attack comes from the e3-Bishop now conveniently defended by the f5-Knight.
The most popular move for Black is 12...Qe6. This covers the e7-pawn but allows the exchange of the prized g7-Bishop. His other option, 12...Qxb2 exchanges pawns instead and a sharp game is in store for both players.
The Bronstein Gambit gives Black the e-pawn for time and a central initiative. Black doesn't have to accept your gift. He often plays 7...cxd4 but 7...Nxe4 is the most common move.
How do you gain the advantage if Black accepts the gambit? Start with 8.d5, kicking the Queen's Knight. He will jump in behind his comrade to e5. Next comes 9.Re1 and the e4-Knight must retreat. Black can trade Knights on f3 first but his King's Knight will have to return to f6. Then you will exploit the central King with pins and try to force a structural weakness in Black's pawn chain.
This is where you put your maneuvering skills into play. Play against Black's weak points and see what drops. Practice has shown that Black can be saddled with backward and/or isolated pawns which can be his downfall in the endgame.
Opening Gambits: Wing Gambit Deferred - 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.b4; Black can also play 2...e6 instead of 2...d6
The Wing Gambit Deferred was devised as a solution to problems White encountered with the Wing Gambit. You don't have many pieces developed and your advanced pawns become vulnerable.
You also find yourself succumbing to tactics inflicted by Black's central pieces in the Wing Gambit. You can play 2.Nf3 in the new improved Wing Gambit Deferred. This takes control of the key e5-square. You prevent any funny tricks involving forks on your King and a1-Rook.
It also allows your pawn to advance when e4 gets too hot. Here is a valuable discussion where Tartajubow discusses his personal experience of the two.
The Morra Gambit is in the same vain as the more famous Smith-Morra Gambit discussed below. The difference is two Knights enter the fray and their presence in the center changes things a little bit.
Black usually accepts the gambit by playing 4.dxc3. The most popular ways to decline are 4...Nf6, 4...d5 or 4...d3. Like it's better known successor the Morra is based on getting the pieces out and playing against weak squares.
Sometimes f7, sometimes d6. It's the ultimate prize to plant a piece there and blockade the d7-pawn. If you can do that you will prevent Black from developing properly and may even steal castling rights.
The Portsmouth Gambit aims at pulling the troublesome c5-pawn out of the center. You hope to de-fang the Sicilian in this way. Black has two ways to accept this gambit and has played several moves when declining it.
If Black wants to accept the gambit he can do so by 3...cxd4 or 3...Nxb4. Declined lines can start with moves like 3...b6, 3...e6, 3...d5, 3...d6, 3...e5 or 3...Qc7.
Both Accepted Lines give White a development lead with the center ripe for opening at the right moment. The 3...Nxb4 line in particular has shades of the Evans Gambit about it.
The Sicilian Gambit appears in the Classical Variation of the Sicilian. The game reaches the Main Starting Position of the 2...e6 Open Sicilian. The Black Bishop comes to b4 threatening to remove the e4-pawn's defender on c3.
You can play moves like 7.f3, 7.Bd3, 7.Bf3 or even 7.Bg5 to hold the pawn. 7.0-0! however is also available allowing the pawn sac after the exchange on c3. After 7...Bxc3 8.bxc3 Nxe4 we now reach the Main Starting Position of the Sicilian Gambit.
Now you have four main options to choose from. 9.Bd3 and 9.Qd3 offer good chances. 9.Bf3 and 9.Nxc6 are somewhat less successful.
The Kasparov Gambit was first taken seriously after an appearance in the World Championship in 1985. Kasparov chose the Sicilian Defense to test Karpov's 1.e4. He had already played 5...d6 to make a Scheveningen formation in the center. So it must have been a surprise to Karpov when three moves later Black played the novelty 8...d5.
Black is losing the pawn and apparently has also wasted a move so what's going on? We should also be aware that White is getting an advanced passed pawn on top of all this.
Kasparov won the game through active pieces allowing him to plant a Knight on d3. White could not shift the horse. He gave his Queen up for three pieces in an attempt to lift the siege.
Kasparov's tactical genius allowed him to retain the initiative right through to the end where he eventually broke White's resistance. Karpov spent the entire game defending and never had a chance to push the pawn forward. The same opening appeared later in the match and Karpov secured a draw by giving the pawn back quickly.
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.
The Andreaschek Gambit gives up a pawn for development, activity and play against Black's backward d-pawn. It is for this reason that Black more often than not declines the gambit. 4...Nc6 is slightly more common than 4...dxc3.
We see in many games where the Andreaschek is accepted that White's pieces shoot out of the blocks and look powerful in the open center. The heavy pieces come to the c and d-files.
There the backward Black d-pawn cuts a forlorn figure as the White pieces force their counterparts into contortions in a desperate bid to prevent it's capture. Declining also comes with it's own problems. Now Black will wind up with an isolated d-pawn.
As White you can answer the Sicilian with the Wing Gambit. This comes with the move 2.b4. The thinking behind this move is simple. You are deflecting Black's key c5-pawn, dragging it away from the center.
If Black accepts the gambit you will be able to play 3.d4 and you will have gained control of the center. This strategy has led to many fine victories.
Black is not defenseless against the 2.b4 thrust. Over time it was discovered that 2...cxb4 3.d4 Nf6 created many problems for White. Now you have to find a way to defend your e4-pawn. Your Queen's Knight can't come to his favorite c3-square as this is controlled by Black's b4-pawn. Eventually White came up with a plan. It was called the Wing Gambit Deferred.
Opening Gambits: Duhm - Martin (Correspondence, 1907); White finishes Black off with 20.Rh3+, the game is a Diemer-Duhm Gambit
Every chess player should consider the value of becoming fluent in the Sicilian Defense with both colors. Obviously it will help you in so far as you will find yourself playing these positions again and again.
But beyond escaping the opening with a playable game, the Sicilian has other riches to bestow upon us. The techniques, combinations and general ring craft that we learn in these opening gambits undoubtedly add to our abilities as players.
So to be able to play the Sicilian is arguably a must. To acquire the weapons that are it's gambits for our arsenal is an added joy. Let's change the pace now and swing over to the other wing. We can start with one of the most celebrated Queenside openings. These are the gambits of the French Defense.