The Gambit – Sacrificing a Pawn for Control of the Center Chess Board

Gambits are always played from White as an opening strategy. The three most popular gambit openings are the King’s Gambit, the Queens’ Gambit and the Evans Gambit, which is a little more deceptive Because there are more moves prior to the gambit offering. It is important to view the board from both white and black as you practice the various gambits prior to attempting one of them in a match. Thinking about the various positions Black might take helps White think about major piece development after the acceptance or the declination of a gambit. One important thing to keep in mind playing from White is if the offered gambit is declined; push the gambit Pawn forward-attack.

King’s Gambit

White moves king’s Pawn to e4. Black responds by moving black king’s Pawn to e5. The next move from White is the gambit offering; knight’s Pawn to f4. If Black takes the gambit, his Pawn will be positioned at f4, weakening black Pawn play by doubling black Pawns on f and removing the protection of a Pawn on e. The black Pawn at e5 can be captured by White almost any time; for instance, after the gambit is accepted, White moves queen’s Pawn to d4, which sets up the capture by White’s queen’s Bishop. If Black declines the gambit, he must move queen’s Pawn to d6 or king’s bishop’s Pawn to f6 to protect the Pawn at e5. These defensive responses slow down Black’s ability to castle. It may sound a bit complicated, but if you set it up on a board, you will see right away what a powerful play it can be.

Let’s look at the Evans Gambit next, because within it there is a nice alternate strategy for the Queen’s Gambit offering that we’ll explore a bit later.

Evans Gambit

White moves king’s Pawn to e4 and Black responds with his kings’ Pawn to e5. White then moves king’s Knight to f3, and in a defensive response Black moves queen’s Knight to c6. White’s next move the King’s Bishop to c4. The natural defensive response from Black is to move king’s Bishop to c5.

Continued at Gambits.

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