My favourite gambits.

Feb 15, 2011, 3:31 AM |

After my first blog post, now I'm going to talk about a more common concept: gambits. For the few players who don't know what a gambit is, a gambit means giving a pawn (or more) in the opening to achieve a positional advantadge. 

If you go to the "Book Openings" and write "gambit", you'll see a lot. Some are more popular than others (the Queen's Gambit is by far the more popular, while others like the Albi countergambit are not so known), but my favourites are:

The Wing Gambit in the Sicilian

I don't have time to study all the variations the Sicilian has (I don't even know how many of them are), this is a good gambit to try. It's main idea is to move the c5 pawn out of the center by playing 2.b4:














This move normally is not studied by Sicilian players, who have already a lot of things to remember (Najdorf, Alapin, Dragon, Accelerated Dragon, Hyperaccelerated Dragon, ...) and thus is a nice way to get them out of the comfort zone. Of course, the pawn at b4 is very annoying (your knight cannot move to c3), so I normally follow with 3.a3. A normal position after the first moves might be:


The Smith-Morra and the Danish Gambits

Maybe some of you have seen the Center game (1.e4 e5 2.d4), and after 2... exd4 you might normally play 2.Qxd4. Yes, this position does not look bad, but there are two gambits coming from here that I love to play (specially the Danish). The first of them is the Smith-Morra Gambit, and it comes after 3.c3:














As you see, White sacrifies a pawn to get a better development. The moves 3...dxc3 4.Nxc3 give White a central pawn and a developed knight, while black has done nothing. A more risky version of the Smith-Morra is the Danish Gambit, where after dxc3 you don't recapture, developing your bishop instead with 4.Bc4. If your opponent accepts the Danish Gambit, you'll be two pawns down, but your development will surely be better than your opponents.















As you see, all black pieces lay in their starting position, while white's pair of bishops already control the center and aim at black's kingside. Then, followed by Qb3, your queen and your light-squared bishop form a deadly battery against f7, black's weakest square. 

But, even though the Smith-Morra is usually accepted, the Danish is not. Your opponent will maybe develop his pieces with moves like Nf6 of Bc5. In this case, just play Nxc3 before he defends his pawn and the game will be more or less like it would have been if you had played the Smith-Morra.


The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit and the Ryder Gambit.

If we forget about the Sicilian Defense, the Scandinavian defense (1.e4 d5) is one of the openings I hate the most. After some failed attempts, i decided to transpose into the Blackmar-Diemer gambit(it's like the Center game, but mirrored: 1.d4 d5 2.e4):














This move, apart from being quite hated by the Scandinavian players, puts me in one of my favourite openings. There might be some refutation of the Blackmar-Diemer (almost every opening has been 'refuted' at least once), but I love it. MY favourite continuation normally is the Ryder Gambit, because of the nice trap it holds (if you don't mind, I'm not telling the trap, I won't be able to use it against you!Wink). The Ryder gambit is a very agressive line, where you sacrifice another pawn. The next diagram shows the Ryder Gambit:


The Latvian Gambit

 And, at last but not least, my favourite gambit as black. The Latvian Gambit has been refuted by some and resurrected by others a lot of times. Some might say it just gives away a pawn, while others think it's a fast way to put white into complications. 














From my experience with the Latvian, I can say that white normally does not decline it, and goes for 3.Nxe5 or 3.exf5. A small analysis made basically from my games shows some possible lines of the Latvian:


And that's all for now. I hope you have enjoyed the post. If anyone wants to give a line for one of the gambits, feel free to leave a comment and I'll update the boards.