Latvian Gambit Books


Hey all,

I'm looking to get some latvian gambit books and don't know what to get. I don't mind if the book is not all not on the latvian gambit as it is not a major opening but I would like a book that goes into all the most common variations at least and the various traps in the latvian. My repetoire needs some other new openings anyway and openings tht are in the same book as the latvian must be sharp, attacking and generally fun to play :)

Any recommendations will be appreciated!!


Tony Kosten wrote a book called the Latvian Lives you could probably find it on or ebay.


'The Latvian Gambit Lives' is a wonderful book, though ensure that you study it thoroughly before using the ideas in a serious tournament. I used it as a surprise weapon in a junior closed tournament almost two years ago, but the surprise was on me - as I was facing the only guy in the group who happened to have experience against the opening. Furthermore, he played 3.d4 - a minor variation that is potentially very dangerous. I didn't stop to think about the position, but quickly played what I thought was the theoretical line. Unfortunately, I actually played the black setup of a different variation - something I realised pretty quickly once I saw my position was completely lost in the first 10 moves! 

That said, I've used the opening to considerable success in the provincial league, and in the odd game in other tournaments since then. So the moral of the story is:

  • Study the opening lines thoroughly, and practice with the lines on correspondence and/or blitz so that you can fix them in your memory, and can get a little understanding of the position.
  • Don't play too quickly in the opening when playing the latvian unless you've a LOT of experience in that line! 

The only dedicated books I know are by Tony Kosten and Konstantin Grivainis.

But it's still unclear to me why would you need a book about an unsound opening. Search the net for two articles by FM Stefan Buecker, titled "Lower Life in the Latvian Gambit". They are enough to persuade someone about the status of this gambit.


pfren the point is though to get a fun game from it tho and chances are the opponents not gonna know the lines anyway :) ty for all the recommendations everyone aswell and great advice JG_Burgess!! It looks like Latvian Lives is the book to get. Also I will look at those articles as well though pfren anyway. Hopefully it won't discourage me too much not to even try the opening :/


@ pfren - thanks for the name of the series of articles written by Stefan Buecker, I read through them, and it seems that black isn't doing too badly, even in white's best lines. True, it is not the only black defence I employ against 1.e4, but it is not as ridiculous as it first appears. I first faced it, playing white, several years ago in a junior tournament. Knowing nothing else at the time, I played 3.exf5, where my opponent responded with 3...Bc5 (much better is 3...e4), which hopes that white will go for the second pawn with 4.Nxe5, whereafter the reply 4...Bxf2+! is possible - and very complicated. Thankfully, I didn't even notice that I could take the second pawn, and played the safe 4.d4, when the position soon became pleasant for white. True, my opponent was not a GM, but to wipe the guy off the board at the first introduction to 2...f5!? by playing straightforward moves, did not do much for my opinion of the defence. It wasn't until I saw Kosten's book at a local bookstore and began to read it that I realised just how wonderful and rich the opening is. Yes, perhaps white is slightly better in his best lines, but is that not true for many of the standard, 'normal' openings that are played today?


There is also The Latvian Gambit: A Grandmaster View by Lein/Pickard