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Taking Out The Trash - Part 6 - The Latvian Gambit

A little bit of a warning here:  The previous 5 TOTT blogs presented fairly simple opening plans to combat 'bad' gambits.  This blog is slightly different.  Here, I am going to attempt to present a concrete (and very sharp) refutation to the entire gambit.  The lines are much more complicated than you may be used to.  

As usual, I must mention that I have not comprehensively covered all of black's options.  I have covered black's two main tries (8... Nc6, and 8... Nf6).  Therefore, the lines given here should be studied carefully if one plans on using them to score a theoretical win against the Latvian gambit.

And now, at the risk of enraging the tricksters I strive to refute once again, I present my dear reader with a wholly convincing refutation of 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f5? - the Latvian Gambit.



  • 6 months ago



  • 10 months ago


    Sorry!  Difficult to understand "y not exf5 and Qh5+ or g4" without move numbers.

  • 10 months ago


    As usual, very good analysis. Maybe some people some find it helpful if you just quickly pointed out in the notes that 8...Qxc2?? loses to 9.Bd3, but it's not a major issue.

  • 10 months ago


    y not exf5 and Qh5+ or g4

  • 10 months ago

    NM ih8sens

    That's a really good point lol. I feel like black is more likely to mess up before that point than white is anyways though... Extremely messy position, unfortunately.

  • 10 months ago


    In the main line of the ...Nf6 variation, I could totally see myself not winning that position Smile. On the chess.com computer workout, a few years ago, it gave me a somewhat similar (though a few more pieces off the board; I think a pair of rooks were traded) position where I had to win with the bishop and knight vs the computer who had the rook. The two pieces are most certainly better than the rook in these types of positions, but actually winning with them is another matter in my opinion. In my experience I would get a nice setup, but it was tricky to both move forward and prevent the rook from getting counterplay at the same time -- for instance I might try to move my king up and attack/push pawns, but that would often leave the 2nd rank open to penetration, where some pawns may be in need of a defense. In fact I don't think I ever actually succeeded in this exercise.

    That was sort of a while ago, though. But I generally felt that the technique to win it was probably high expert to master level. I'm sure you could do it, but I think for a lot of non masters, even if they succeed in memorizing all of this and get it on the board, they may still find a lot of work to do.

    This of course has nothing to do with the quality of your analysis, though. I think it's great analysis. I don't really play this line with either color but I was always curious if black's position was really "that bad" at around move 8, and it appears it is :)

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