King's Gambit


I am trying to learn more about openings and am slightly poor at this.  I have been studying more about King's Gambit and consider myself adept when playing this when white but what is the best way to defend the King's Gambit?  To help me solve this problem I have decided to hit the books and look at this opening in more detail.  If anyone would like to contribute, please post.

The King's Gambit is a chess opening that begins:

1. e4 e5
2. f4

White offers a pawn to divert the Black e-pawn and build a stronger center with d2-d4. Theory has shown that in order for Black to maintain the one pawn advantage, moves must be made that seriously weaken the position of the Black pieces. King's Gambit is one of the oldest documented openings as it was examined by the 17th century Italian chess player Giulio Polerio.

King's Gambit Declined (Common Setup)

Sharp Countergambit

Fisher Defense

2...d6, when after 3.Nf3, best is 3...exf4 transposing to the Fischer Defense (though 2...d6 invites white to play 3.d4 instead); and 2...Nf6 3.fxe5 Nxe4 4.Nf3 Ng5! 5.d4 Nxf3+ 6.Qxf3 Qh4+ 7.Qf2 Qxf2+ 8.Kxf2 with a small endgame advantage, as in a game between Bobby Fischer and Robert Wade. The greedy 2...Qf6 (known as the Norwalde Variation), intending 3...Qxf4, is known but considered very dubious. Also dubious is the Keene Defense: 2... Qh4+ 3. g3.

Black can go further and play 2...d5 (intending 3.exd5 e4!?, cramping White's position), the aggressive Falkbeer Countergambit, where Black disdains the pawn and instead makes an all-out attempt to take advantage of white's kingside weakness. A more modern interpretation of the Falkbeer is 2...d5 3 exd5 c6!?, as advocated by Aron Nimzowitsch. The Falkbeer is generally considered to slightly favor White, however, and only if white plays 3. fxe5? would it be a mistake. However, on this line, black can now play 3...Qh4+, followed by 4. Ke2 Qxe4+ 5. Kf2 Bc5+, securing a heavy positional advantage. 

King's Gambit Accepted

Image:chess zhor 26.png
Image:chess zver 26.png a8 rd b8 nd c8 bd d8 qd e8 kd f8 bd g8 nd h8 rd Image:chess zver 26.png
a7 pd b7 pd c7 pd d7 pd e7 f7 pd g7 pd h7 pd
a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6
a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5
a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 pl f4 pd g4 h4
a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 nl g3 h3
a2 pl b2 pl c2 pl d2 pl e2 f2 g2 pl h2 pl
a1 rl b1 nl c1 bl d1 ql e1 kl f1 bl g1 h1 rl
Image:chess zhor 26.png
The King's Knight Gambit

As stated above, Black best accepts with 2... exf4. White then has two main continuations: 3.Nf3, the King's Knight Gambit is the most common as it develops the knight and blocks 3... Qh4+, and 3.Bc4, the Bishop's Gambit, where White's development will rapidly increase after 3... Qh4+!? 4. Kf1 followed by 5. Nf3, driving the queen away and gaining a tempo, however, most modern players will not bring out the queen. However, there are many other 3rd moves, such as:

  • 3. b3?!- the Orsini Gambit
  • 3. Nc3- the Mason Gambit, the Keres Gambit, the Parnu Gambit, or the Requena Gambit
  • 3. d4- the Willemson Gambit or Steinitz Gambit
  • 3. Bb5- the Shurig Gambit
  • 3. Be2- the Lesser Bishop's Gambit or Tartakower Gambit
  • 3. Qe2- Basman's Gambit
  • 3. Qf3- the Breyer Gambit, Hungarian Gambit, or Carrera Gambit
  • 3. Qg4- the Dodo Gambit
  • 3. Qh5?!- the Carrera Gambit
  • 3. g3?!- the Gaga Gambit
  • 3. Ne2- the Paris Gambit
  • 3. h4- the Stamma Gambit or Leonardo Gambit
  • 3. Nh3- the Eisenberg Gambit
  • 3. Kf2?!- the Tumbleweed Gambit, Drunken King, or King's Own Gambit. This allows 3... Qh4+ 4. g3 fxg3 5. Kg2. It seems that White has given up 2 pawns for nothing, but Black must proceed cautiously, or White can use the many open lines with surprising effectiveness.

Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings

The Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings has ten codes for the King's Gambit, C30 through C39.

  • C30: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 (King's Gambit)
  • C31: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 (Falkbeer Countergambit)
  • C32: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 e4 4.d3 Nf6 (Morphy, Charousek, etc.)
  • C33: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 (King's Gambit Accepted)
  • C34: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 (King's knight's gambit)
  • C35: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 Be7 (Cunningham Defense)
  • C36: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 d5 (Abbazia Defense)
  • C37: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Nc3 /4.Bc4 g4 5.O-O (Muzio gambit)
  • C38: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 Bg7 (Philidor, Hanstein, etc.)
  • C39: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.h4 (Allgaier, Kieseritzky, etc.)

Anyhow, how would you do with the King's Gambit when playing black?  Would you take the pawn or defend even more?  Please show your moves and make it personal.  Besides, thank you wikipedia.

Center Counter

I have won many games against better players then myself using this abstract opening.

I would not allow him the opportunity to play the kings gambit.


I never play e5.  So I don't need to worry about it!

But what if your opponent played the King's Gambit and you were black KillaBeez?
The best way to defend from King's Gambit is to play Sicilian...