Sound Gambits for White


In an attempt to improve my opening repetoire as white to something other than Scotch Defense/Gambit (yes, I've managed to play this 90% of my games as white).  I like the opening positions, as it forces me to work on my tactics, and I usually fare well.

Any gambits that you play/are afraid of, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

Just because you prefer to play tactical chess does not mean that you always have to use gambits. I like to play the Ruy Lopez with the white pieces which can lead to interesting play, it starts with 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5

Yeah, I'm familiar with the Ruy Lopez.  I'm just not comfortable playing it, because it a rather popular opening and I am at a disadvantage for only knowing the basic, basic main lines.  Luckily, I can choose to never play it.  (I'll study it one day)

I don't necessarily prefer tactical chess, it's just something I need to work on.  I agree with you that I don't need to play a gambit in order to have tactical positions, but I'm always looking to expand and find another opening which I play successfully.


King's gambit is really nice, and can lead to the Muzio gambit or even the double Muzio gambit!


Muzio gambit: 



Gorin gambit is pretty great too.



I'm not sure if you are trying to prove the soundness of an opening with a game like this where black does mistake after mistake and plays exactly the right moves for your combination to work?? It's merely a very hypothetical trap. I'm not saying the opening is not sound, however.


What would happen if black, instead of trying to protect f7, play d6 to open up the king.  Personally i'd play 6. .... Nf6 for black. I might be wrong but that would give black a better position and he develops his pieces!!


My oppinion anyway Cool


After 6. bc4 wouldn't nf6 be better than be7? That would seem to be an obvious blunder. Now the Muzio Gambit looks slightly more sensible...


Yeah, I disregarded the gorin gambit after the awful knight move to the h file.

Perhaps gambits are not for me, who knows?


you can take a pick at many gambits here:

 I believe that there are not many real sound gambits, computers are killing most gambits thought to be sound back in the days, gambits i believe in are:

 the Scotch Gambit

the Urosov

the Evans Gambit

the Smith Morra Gambit

the Bolga/benko gambit

King's gambit (no so sure about this one)

Queen's gambit

Budapest Gambit (no so sure about this one)

Latvian counter gambit (no Latvian gambit)

Albin Gambit

I also like 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d5, i think is very interesting

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 very interesting

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 very interesting

1.e4 c5 2.b4 (no so sure about this one)

 maybe there are a couple more that i would be willing to try and i did not mention here 


You know, everyone goes on and on about whether or not particular gambits are "sound". What exactly does that mean?  An opening (gambit or otherwise) is only unsound if your opponent can prove it is. How many of us intermediate level (or lower) players face opponents who have the refutations of our openings memorized, even if it is a theoretically unsound opening?  


For instance, at a USCF tounament last month, I scored my only win against a player rated around 1450 with the main line of the Englund Gambit - 1. d4 e5 2. dxe5 Nc6 3. Nf3 Qe7. For those who don't know, the theoretical refutation to that line is 4. Qd5. That's right - a single move prevents black from getting back the gambit pawn AND cramps black's position enough that he can't get any compensation for giving it up.


I've since switched to the Soller Gambit - a slightly sounder (but still unsound) line of the Englund Gambit, because I don't want to play something with such a simple refutation to learn and remember. The line I play now probably doesn't give enough compensation for the pawn to be sound at the master level, but at least there's not one obvious move that kills it instantly. So at my level (playing in the U1600 sections of USCF tournaments), that makes it playable.


As for the original question, I like Sprite's method. Stick to open games while you're learning, to force yourself to get better at tactics and attacking, but avoid the more mainstream openings where many of your opponents will know the openings better than you. That's why I've gone to a gambit opening repertoire lately myself.


For white, I'm trying the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit right now (1. d4 d5 2. e4 dxe4 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. f3 exf3 5. Nxf3). I used to play the Vienna Gambit (1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 followed by 3. f4), but too many people respond to 1. e4 with the Sicilian or other moves besides e5. I used the Smith-Morra Gambit against the Sicilian, which was the most common response. But that's why I prefer the BDG - people are more likely to respond to d4 with d5 than they are to respond to e4 with e5. So you're much more likely to get the gambit you want, and that means less different openings that you have to be prepared for as white.



I have always played gambits and have had some success with them. For me the playing of a gambit is about gaining a tempo and free piece play. However, the main impact of playing a gambit is to take your opponent out of his/her comfort zone and to force him/her to think from very early on in the game. All this obviously works better in the flesh (no text being available), against weaker opposition and at speed chess. Gambits, in general, may be unsound.. but anything that puts my opponent on the back foot from the start must be worth a pawn. You would not believe how much fear is invoked by, say, the King's Gambit... far from finding an over the board refutation, many players play sub-standard moves and lose quickly out of fear! Until the day comes that players have a memory chips lodged in their brains, I for one will continue playing them.