Another e4 e5 gambit. Most 1. e4 e5 gambits are stronger openings than other gambits. The Evan’s Gambit is played with the White pieces. White offers a pawn in exchange for development while controlling and attacking the center. We know from the Chess opening principles that controlling the center of the board is important. This gambit does just that, in exchange for one pawn. A small price to pay for such an advantage in the game.
The Evans Gambit dates all the way back to the 1800’s when Captain W.D. Evans used this strategy. Afterwards, it stuck in the Chess community because of Paul Morphy. He played this gambit frequently with great success. If Black wins the game, it’s typically not from an exciting win. And if White wins, it’s commonly from adrenaline rushing attacking victories.
However, the Evans Gambit lost some attention throughout the decades until 1995 when the GOAT himself, Garry Kasparov played the Evans Gambit in two games and won. Both of these games are included in the examples section below.
Since 1995, naturally when the greatest Chess player in the world plays a gambit twice and wins while looking good doing it, other players started playing it and the interest rose over the following years.
It’s been studies and reviewed exhaustively and in theory, Black need not worry when playing against this and accepting the gambit. However, it does mean that the game will be exciting and fun to play. Unlike many openings that result in dull, dry games. The Evans Gambit is a blast.
The strategy is for Black to capture the gambit, in this case the b4 pawn. Then you play c3 and d4. This causes Black to retreat to protect the Bishop while you’re developing. This is a high-level gambit that you see Grandmasters play and even top Chess engines will play the Evans gambit like when AlphaZero played the Evans gambit against
Here are four examples of top players playing the Evan’s Gambit.
This is one of two games that Garry Kasparov played the Evan’s Gambit in 1995. It’s a very exciting game full of strategic attacks, a fine example of the type of game this gambit will bring.
The second game Kasparov played the Evan’s gambit, winning both of them and igniting a comeback of the Evan’s Gambit to the Chess community.
This time, Garry played against the great Anand Vishy. Anand accepts the gambit of White’s b4 pawn in this game. Garry brings out his Queen early and wreaks havoc on the board the rest of the game until Anand resigns.
This example is from a game back in 1834. Black accepts the gambit and the game lasts for 29 moves just like Garry’s first example above. This game results in a draw.
This example is from 2015 where Gustavo faced Kimia. White takes away Black’s ability to castle soon after the gambit is taken. After 32 moves, White takes the win.
If you’re interested in an in-depth analysis, you can refer to this page.
For a video analysis of this opening, Agadmator goes into detail about how to play it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is wrong with Evans Gambit?
Chess commentators have states that that declining the Evan’s Gambit is actually better for White. It’s arguable though. However, there are Master level Chess players that play the Evan’s Gambit all the time. GothamChess has said that the Evan’s Gambit is a strong opening and should be played.
Can you play Evans Gambit as black?
You could play any Chess opening or any gambit for that matter as White or Black. Should you play it is a different question. Most openings are designed to be played with either the White or Black pieces, rarely both are viable positions. The Evan’s Gambit is meant to be played with the White pieces.
In closing, this Gambit is a solid opening that you should try and practice. Even if you don’t like it and decide not to play it as White, you’ll need to know what to play against it as Black.