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

Continued from Gambits.

White is more developed than Black at this point of play — for instance, White could castle on the next move, or continue development, which for this example, is the Evans Gambit. Whites moves queen’s knight Pawn to b4. Black has several options; to decline the gambit which means immediate withdrawal of the Bishop at c5, a capture executed by the black Knight at c6 which would totally isolate the black Pawn at e5, or the obvious gambit acceptance taken by the black Bishop at c5 resulting in the black Bishop being positioned at b4 after the Pawn capture. No matter what option Black selects, White’s queen’s Bishop can move to b2 and attack across the entire diagonal of the board. Again, if you set this up on a real board, you will see the beauty of this gambit.

Queen’s Gambit

Queen’s Gambit is elegant, too. White moves queens’ Pawn to d4 with Black responding with a Pawn move to d5. White’s next move is the gambit offering: Pawn to c4. The play opportunities are essentially identical to the Evan’s Gambit, simply switched from right to left. One clear distinction in the gambits is the direct nature of early Queen’s involvement. The Queen’s Gambit brings the most powerful pieces on the board into immediate play — the Queens. The concept of early Queen involvement brings us to the next strategy.

Often we play against someone who has a strong tendency to play his Queen early. Usually the tendency comes from a lack of skill in utilizing the other major pieces or the lack of understanding basic Pawn development. A strong Queen player often does not play Knights at all which can be exploited with excellent results late in the match. Examine the Queen’s gambit accepted and how that affects black Queen position and play options. After the Queen’s gambit is accepted, White has a Pawn at d4 and Black has a Pawn at c4. White’s next move is king’s Pawn to e4. This move exposes Black’s Queen to attack Because there is no Pawn in front of her and she is blocked. The only option to protect the black Queen is to move black queen’s Bishop to d7 which provides protection, but completely blocks the Queen. Another defensive option is to move black queen’s Knight to d7. The latter move provides protection, but blocks the black Queen and her Bishop. These defensive moves delay a black castling, and offer an opportunity to for white to develop strength at center board. Try the Queen’s Gambit against an active early game Queen player and the results will be rewarding.

Leave a Comment