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The Chess Gambit - Use it or lose it

The Chess Gambit - Use it or lose it

Dec 6, 2016, 4:56 AM 3

In 1561 Ruy Lopez de Segura, arguably the greatest player before the computer age, began experimenting with a suicidal novelty. With a feather in hand, soaked in ink only as bold as his courage he wrote "dare il gambetto". He was referring to what is now known in English as the "Gambit". Players would now consider "sacrificing" pawns in order to gain a positional advantage. The materialistic game of chess was to be changed forever.

The old school of chess however was not convinced. Chess masterminds of the day discarded Ruy Lopez's new idea, threw their pawns in the air and declared that the new "Sacrificial chess" will bring about it's own demise. For years the materialistic school prevailed. Being material up was seen as an advantage, and being material down was seen as a disadvantage. However, the 1600's would bring about change. The messiah of the gambit was born. Gioachino Greco, also arguably the greatest player before the computer age was born in 1600. Gioachino Greco went on to introduce the world to the Latvian Gambit, and the chess world was changed forever. 

Today, gambits are very common. Forums are filled with people discussing the quality of each gambit. One thing has not changed though. The materialistic philosophy of chess is ever present. So just ask yourself this when considering a gambit: "should I use it or lose it"? 


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