Latvian Gambit

Jan 7, 2014, 4:58 AM |

As 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 are some of the most common opening moves in chess, the Latvian Gambit with 2. ..f5?! has the advantage that you can have plenty of opportunities to use this opening, once you add it to your arsenal. And yet it’s not played very often, so a second advantage is that you can take your opponent out of his comfort zone, as early as move 2. The opening has the appearance of a King's Gambit with colors reversed. It is an aggressive but dubious choice for Black which often leads to wild and tricky positions. Author Paul van der Sterren, in his book Fundamental Chess Openings, wrote "What is required to play the Latvian Gambit with any degree of success is a sharp eye for tactics and a mental attitude of total contempt for whatever theory has to say about it". 

I decided to try this opening against a higher rated opponent, who chose to accept the gambit with 3.exf5. Although 3.Nxe5 is far more common (and interesting, in my opinion), 3.exf5 is called C40: Latvian Gambit: Accepted.