Welcome to the ultimate guide to Chess Gambits. Below is a master list of Gambits that Chess players can study. This is a comprehensive list of gambits that shows a Chess board of the main line as well as an interactive Chess board with the sequence of the Gambit you can go through yourself right on this page.
What is a Chess Gambit?
Before starting the list, let’s go over the basics of Gambits. In Chess, a gambit is an opening designed to throw your opponent off their game. When you gambit a piece, a pawn for example, it makes the opponent stop and wonder why you’re seemingly “giving up” a piece for free. We know it’s not free, but they don’t know for sure if you just made a blunder or are trying some sort of trick. A gambit is indeed, a trick. But like all tricks, sometimes the trick doesn’t work out in our favor.
A Gambit is when you give up a piece, or sacrifice a piece early in the game in order to gain some kind of benefit. Usually the benefit being a rapid gain in development.
In general, it’s difficult to play gambits as Black as opposed to White. But since White has the advantage of going first, if you can pull off a Gambit as Black, it can equalize the position.
Note: We make suggestions on what to play and what not to play in terms of skill level and the overall opening. At the same time, we admit that it’s not our place, or anyones place for that matter to tell you what to playa and what not to play. You should play what you want to play whether it’s to try to win the game or simply have fun playing Chess and try something knew.
With that being said, let’s get started with the list.
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e5
The Albin Counter-Gambit is a variation of the Queen’s Gambit opening played with the Black pieces. As Black, you’re declining the Queen’s Gambit and gambit your own e5 pawn, putting the “Counter-Gambit” in Albin Counter-Gambit.
This gambit isn’t the best one to play for beginners, but it can be played safely without knowing a lot of theory.
For more information, see the full guide on the Albin Counter-Gambit.
The Belgrade Gambit is a variation of the Four Knight Game opening played with the White pieces.
The Belgrade gambit has been played by many Grandmaster players. It’s a great opening overall to play for all types of players, beginner or not. It’s a powerful line to play, try it out.
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5 *
The Benko Gambit is played with the Black pieces. Black’s b5 pawn is the gambit. The general strategy is to sacrifice your Queen-side pawns in order to gain advantage. The odds of White participating in this gambit is rather low, making this opening impractical to play at lower Elo.
For under 1500 rated players, playing this gambit won’t work well. If the gambit is accepted, some of the lines that can develop are complicated and difficult to play. You’re better off playing a different one like the budapest gambit.
Blackburne Schilling Gambit
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nd4 *
The Blackburne Shilling Gambit is a variation of the Italian Game opening played with the Black pieces.
If you’re playing against this at White, of course taking the e5 pawn isn’t the right move. White can ignore the gambit and continue developing by simply castling. After castling, Black won’t be able to proceed with the gambit and will also have a difficult time developing from that point on.
e4 is the gambit in the main line. White accepts the gambit and Black quickly dominates the game with the Queen and in just a couple more moves, Black can win the game.
Trying to play this as Black is dangerous in general, there are many ways White can play that will put you in serious danger. This is why you won’t see this gambit played in Grandmaster games.
For more information, see the full guide on the Blackburne Schilling Gambit.
Blackmar Diemer Gambit
1. d4 d5 2. e4
The Blackmar Diemer Gambit is a variation in the Queen’s Pawn opening played with the White pieces.
This gambit is best played sub 1500. This gambit isn’t as obvious as others typically are, making it look very natural to lower rated players.
Below 1500 rated players, the Blackmar Diemer Gambit is a very powerful gambit to play that most opponents will fall into.
For more information, see the full guide on the Blackmar Diemer Gambit.
1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 c5 4. d5 b5 *
The Blumenfeld Countergambit is a variation of the Indian Game opening played with the Black pieces.
For more information, see the full guide on the Blumenfeld Countergambit.
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 *
The Budapest Gambit is a variation in the Indian Game opening played with the Black pieces.
After the main line, the e5 pawn being the gambit. Black has to move the Knight on Nf6, the best square to move to would be Ng4. Ne4 would be losing by force. Ng4 is the only move that’s playable.
The Danish Gambit is a variation of the Center Game Accepted opening played with the White pieces.
For more information, see the full guide on the Danish Gambit.
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d5 *
The Elephant Gambit is a variation of the King’s Pawn opening played with the Black pieces.
For more information, see the full guide on the Elephant Gambit.
1. d4 e5 *
The Englund Gambit is played with the Black pieces when White plays the Queen’s Pawn opening d4.
This gambit shouldn’t be played in a serious game. Because if White doesn’t take the gambit, then you just lose the game. It’s a trick. If you don’t fall for the trick, you just lose. If you do land the trick, you’ll win.
So play it against a new player, if you want to embarrass your friends, let your stepfather know who the boss is, play the Englund Gambit.
The main line of the Englund Gambit is simply 1. d4 e5.
For more information, see the full guide on the Englund Gambit.
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. B4
The Evans Gambit is a variation of the Giuoco Piano Game played with the White pieces.
For more information, see the full guide on the Evans Gambit.
1. f4 e5 *
The From’s gambit is a variation of the Bird’s Opening played with the Black pieces.
This gambit is a great opening for Black simply because White is playing f4, which is a strange first move in and of itself. So you’re immediately punishing White for a bad opening, further punishing White with a gambit if accepted. Furthermore, since White played such an opening, it’s even more likely that White will fall into this trap, accept the gambit and further burden their chances of winning. All because of one bad first move.
This gambit has the potential for one of the most savage checkmates you’ll ever see as well.
It goes a little something like this.
For more information, see the full guide on the From’s Gambit.
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 Nf6
The Godley Gambit is a variation in the Caro-Kann Defense played with the Black pieces.
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nxe5 *
The Halloween Gambit is played with the White pieces in the Four-Knights opening. The gambit is the Knight on Nf6.
1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. c4 e6 *
The Icelandic Gambit is played with the Black pieces in the Scandinavian Defense.
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 f5 *
The Jaedisch (pronounced yeh-ish) Gambit is played with the Black pieces in the Ruy Lopez opening.
1. e4 e5 2. f4 *
The King’s Gambit is played with the White or the Black pieces in the King’s Pawn opening.
This Gambit isn’t the best opening to play which is why you’ll rarely see this in any serious Chess match. You’re not gaining much, if anything and you still have to play upwards of ten moves to develop your position. There is no immediate advantage to this gambit.
1. e4 d5 2. exd5 c6 *
The Blackburne-Kloosterboer Gambit is played with the Black pieces in the Scandinavian Defense Opening.
The benefit to this gambit is it allows Black to take control of the center after White captures the gambit. However, if White doesn’t accept the gambit and just plays D4, Black is going to have a tough position to play.
This gambit is mostly a one-trick pony that should be avoided in serious games.
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f5 *
The Latvian Gambit is played with the Black pieces in the King’s Pawn opening.
This gambit is difficult to play, so for beginners and even intermediates, this isn’t the gambit to play in a tournament. It requires a lot of theory and knowledge in order for it to be a viable opening.
1. Nf3 f5 2. e4 *
The Lisistyn Gambit is played with the White pieces in the Reti Opening.
The Nakhmanson Gambit is played with the White pieces and is actually a variation of the Scotch Gambit. So this opening is actually two gambits. First you play the main line of the Scotch Gambit, which turns into the Nakhmanson Gambit on Nc3.
1. e4 e6 2. c4 d5 3. cxd5 exd5 4. Qb3 *
The Orthoschnapp Gambit is played with the White pieces in the Steiner Variation of the French Defense opening.
The Stafford Gambit is played with the Black pieces in the Petrov’s Defense opening.
1. d4 f5 2. e4 *
The Staunton Gambit is played with the White pieces in the Dutch Defense opening.
1. d4 e6 2. c4 d5 3. Nc3 c5 4. cxd5 cxd4
The Schara Gambit is a variation of the Tarrasch Defense.
1. Nf3 d5 2. e4 *
The Tennison Gambit is played with the White pieces in the Reti Opening.
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 exd4 4. Bc4 *
The Urusov Gambit is played with the White pieces in the Ponziani variation of the Bishop’s Opening.
1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4 *
played with the White pieces in the Bishop’s Opening.
1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. f4 *
The Vienna Gambit is played with the White pieces in the Vienna Game opening.
1. e4 c5 2. b4 *
The Wing Gambit is played with the White pieces in the Sicilian Defense opening.
Petrov Cochrane Gambit
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nxf7
Named after John Cochrane, the Cochrane Gambit is a variation of the Petrov’s Defense opening played with the White pieces. White Gambits the Knight.
Gambits can be very powerful openings to play that allow for rapid development and controlling the center of the board. Some are better than others of course and some shouldn’t be played at all depending on your rating bracket.
I hope this guide on Chess Gambits helped you. If you like articles like this, you may also be interested in reading other Chess guides like the guide on Checkmate Patterns and the guide on Chess Openings.
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