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silverq 59 ( +1 | -1 )
Gambits That Didn't Quite Make it Nowadays, you will do anything to get the initiative, even if it involves sacrificing material or pawn structure. Yes, these gambits may be unsound, easily refuted, and hard to play, but yet, they have a profound curiosity inherent to them. Let's look at a few of these "strange gambits" and, maybe, you might just want to catch your opponent offguard and use one of these (they go down in respectability).

Lvov (Tennison) Gambit - 1. Nf3 d5 2. e4?! dxe4 3. Ng4 e5 4. Nxe4

Latvian Gambit - 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f5?! 3. exf5 e4 4. Ne5 Nf6 5. Be2 d6

Icelandic Gambit - 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. c4! e6

Lisitsin Gambit - 1. Nf3 f5 2. e4 fxe4 3. Ng5 Nf6 4. d3 e6

Mellon Gambit - 1. e4 e5 2. Qh5? Nc6 3. Bc4 g6 4. Qf3

Troon Gambit - 1. e4 g5?! 2. d4 h6?

Junk Gambit - 1. e4 e5 2. Qg4?? Nf6

getoutofhere 34 ( +1 | -1 )
last 3? I'm not quite sure that the last 3 openings here are
considered gambits, since they don't immediately
sacrifice material. I would like to know peoples
thoughts on the Latvian gambit. I have never tried
it but I see it was used by hell-on-wheels in the
gameknot-CCLA match. Any players here have
success with it??
jbmac 7 ( +1 | -1 )
There are many more gambits than the ones above.
dozer 10 ( +1 | -1 )
If black plays Latvian I prefer to play 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f5 3. Bc4
continuing development and increasing pressure to f7 square and avoiding tricky play.
finduriel 35 ( +1 | -1 )
what do you think of 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d5 3.exd5 e5 ...
I'm playing a nice game with this opening right now (also debatable as to the "when-to-resign question): board #398684 Is it a variation of the Latvian Gambit? It looks likeit.

peppe_l 102 ( +1 | -1 )
Some poor sarcasm :-) - Thoughts of someone playing unsound gambit -

(after move 3)

"Dont decline will be equal and mate threats, no messy positions..."

(after move 4)

"Yesss Obbengheim-Uffelgoggah Gambit it is! I get to play my favourite line now!"

(after move 5)

"Now theres a trap...will he fall into it? No, he saw it"

(after move 6)

"Ok now theres another trap...Darn! He saw that too!"

(after move 9)

"Cmoon...take my Bishop so I can use a trap I saw in a book...Aaaa, dammit has this guy studied this opening or something!?"

(after move 10)

"Yeah and of course he sees that one too, now I have another boring inferior middlegame to defend"

Heheh ok that wasnt a good one...but gotta say I have never understood why some people like to play for home-prepared opening traps. Whats the fun in it? The exitement of will opponent blunder or end up to better position by playing correct moves?

Not to critisize anyone of course, there is no rule that one must play good openings! :-)
More: Chess
brunetti 71 ( +1 | -1 )
I would question some marks:

Latvian: many masters play it at correspondence chess, and ?! is not fully agreeable.

Icelandic: e6 is !? at blitz level, but c6 is stronger.

Mellon: Qh5 is not an error; dubious move at most.

Troon: it's not a gambit, and its name is Reversed Grob, Macho Grob, Borg, or Basman. I may accept ?! to ...g5, but not the ? to ...h6. IM Basman played it that way, accomplishing fine results.

Junk: why ?? to Qg4?

Last 3, as getoutofhere said, are not gambits.

Finduriel's line is the Queen's Pawn Countergambit, even played by Keres at correspondence level. Gligoric once lost to it in a simul. I prefer 3.Nxe5.

More: Chess
refutor 41 ( +1 | -1 )
cochrane gambit? does anyone think the cochrane gambit is good? (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe4 d6 4.Nxf7?!) i'm trying to add more gambits to sharpen up my repetoire... i'm sure this is more difficult to play for white than for black, but topalov got a good position v. kramnik with it in linares 1999...and vitolinsh played it with mixed success...any opinions?

(btw, i like the lisistin gambit as well but it's hard to play it if you open 1.e4) :)
triangulator 11 ( +1 | -1 )
here is an intersting gambit.. this is a finished game against an expert it is his way of refuting the GK he said it was the lativan line:387232=game_number
keiserpaul 123 ( +1 | -1 )
finduriel You are playing the Elephant Gambit, but you made a mistake on move 5 :
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d5 3.exd5 e4 4.Qe2 Nf6 5.d3 Qxd5 ?! In most lines of the Elephant taking the d5 pawn with the Queen is not a good move due to the exposed position of the Queen. Better is playing the gambit with 5. .. Bb4+ which can be followed by 6.c3 0-0 7.dxe4 Bc5 8.Bg5 Re8 9.Nbd2 c6 10.c4 h6; Black has compensation by the better development while White has problems to develop his kings bishop.
This was an older line. The modern treatment of the Elephant is by playing Bd6 on the third move : 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d5 3.exd5 Bd6. Refering to FM-master Jonathan Rogers : White can hold on to his d5 pawn if he wishes. In return Black develops quicker and more usefully viz .. Nf6/f5, 0-0, e4 and has the basis for both a speedy kingside attack and a leisurely advance of his 4 v 3 pawn majority. Meanwhile White's 5.c3 majority on the queenside tends to remain immobile, unable to advance without losing the extra pawn on d5. This makes the Elephant quite an unique gambit : Black does not necessarily aim for a quick kill, because he can build up his attacking position at leisure.
Still two remarks : 1. the elephant has nothing to do with the latvian and 2. thoughts while playing gambits are very more profound than just looking for some easy traps like some kibitzers are proclaiming.
triangulator 10 ( +1 | -1 )
opps ok well go to my completed games and see me vs. keiserpaul. sorry i cant figure out how to make a direct link
keiserpaul 45 ( +1 | -1 )
triangulator What about that game ? We played a Kings-Latvian gambit. 1.e4 e5 2.f4 Nc6 3.Nf3 f5 that you won in a convinced way. But I just heard about that opening and wanted to try it out; that has nothing to do with the openings mentioned above. The Elephant, the Latvian, the Icelandic gambit, the Tennison, the Lisitsin and the Macho Grob are well-known openings with a lot of theory and ideas and a lot of games to study in different databases. ( The Mellon and Junk gambit on the contrary are not to my taste.)
peppe_l 26 ( +1 | -1 )
Heheh "2. thoughts while playing gambits are very more profound than just looking for some easy traps like some kibitzers are proclaiming."

Touche? :-)

It seems you are taking your job as a devotee of unorthodox openings quite seriously...

triangulator 5 ( +1 | -1 )
oh ok i had never even heard of that gambit
finduriel 92 ( +1 | -1 )
keiserpaul thanks for your knowledgeable hints. After 5.d3 I didn't quite know what to do anymore (the opening was mere improvisation, I simply thought, "Why not?"). Now that I know the lines I can play it according to the books, thanks again.
Consider, however, that the fact that the opening involves that white's king and queen are on the same rank (file?) constitutes plenty of potential for a trap, especially when one plays against opponents who don't know the opening and/or are likely to forget that their queen can be pinned by a rook. It might well be that the reason for playing a risky gambit is more profound than hoping that the opponent falls for traps but at the level I play, I have to settle for the traps. The more complicated concepts of positional chess are still out of my mind's reach.


nimzoredivivus 39 ( +1 | -1 )
Latvian Gambit I disagree with the ?! assessment of the Latvian. I
have played the Latvian quite a bit and have never
lost with it and most of the games were on the
internet. As pointed out by brunetti, the Latvian is
popular in correspondence circles and played by
strong players. It seems to me the Latvian is not
very popular because it is risky and not easy to keep
the draw in hand -- which many masters like to do.
peppe_l 31 ( +1 | -1 )
But Its never easy to keep "draw at hand" if one plays black :)

Perhaps the reason is if opponent plays the best moves Black will always be clearly worse? Im sure in amateur level Latvian gives good practical chances, but in master level its different...especially in GM level.

peppe_l 155 ( +1 | -1 )
Finduriel "It might well be that the reason for playing a risky gambit is more profound than hoping that the opponent falls for traps but at the level I play, I have to settle for the traps. The more complicated concepts of positional chess are still out of my mind's reach."

Why such pessimism? Good gambits give good compensation like development advantage, initiative, open files, etc. And of course gambit doesnt always mean giving a pawn or two for attacking chances against opponent king, for example Benko gives great pawn structure and strong positional pressure on queenside...despite of being pawn down its black who mostly has better chances in endgame! Im sure these concepts (and positional chess) arent out of your reach! Perhaps going for gambits that have more profound goals or for positional play doesnt give much wins instantly, but in the long run it will pay off.

BTW Im sure everyone (except Keiserpaul it seems) realizes that in my post I was only referring to gambits that fit to the description I gave : dubious gambits that people play mainly for traps or "messy positions" (that are inferior if opponent finds best moves) where they can hope for an opponent to screw up. In other words - not gambits that have more profound goals (Benko for example), but crap like Mellon or Junk. Of course there are many others that are better than these but still inferior, but...

victord 16 ( +1 | -1 )
nimzoredivivus 47 ( +1 | -1 )
peppe_l What you said is true. We on an amateur level can
get away with much more than the IMs and GMs.
Yet Nimzowitsch played the Latvian against
Spielmann in a major tournament with 1st prize at
stake. Made one slip and lost, but until that point
had Spielmann on the ropes. So if GMs are willing to
throw away 1st prize in tournaments for the sake of
the battle so to speak, we might see more risky
openings. Instead we see fellows like Basman and
Skembris being adventuresome.
peppe_l 28 ( +1 | -1 )
Still In the times of Nimzowitsch general knowledge about chess and openings in particular wasnt on same level its now.

Also, it seems I belong to a small minority among hobby players who consider slow positional battles more interesting than tactical melees...
kahju 54 ( +1 | -1 )
yep yep much agreed, most that aforementioned j'nk is just what is left for online to play to totally disrespect opponent and throw his mental state out, for serious play chess is preferred to ronkhing.

peppe is still on after match heat of karpovs win over dreev today, come to north and u will see 90% of tourny players here prefer slow maneuvering.

Did nimzo have any logical reason for this try? perhaps knowing how dangerous Spielmann is with initiative wanted to get that himself at all costs?
peppe_l 23 ( +1 | -1 )
Yes Sometimes a bottle of champagne to celebrate the glorious triumphs of Almighty Karpov makes me exaggarate a bit...I hope I wasnt too rude.

North - a place where 90% of players value the ancient art of hinkh...Im packing my stuff as we speak...
paulvalle 81 ( +1 | -1 )
War “The better army should want to fight on hilly terrain, rather than the plains or in the mountains”, quote from Carl von Clausewitz’ treatise “ON WAR”, 1832.

This is largely quoted book, even in Business/Management subjects I’ve studied.
Graham Burgess, propose that this quote still holds true in chess: "A little imbalance, such as that generated by a sensible gambit, will allow the more skilful player to prevail, where as a position which is very quiet and level (“the plains”), will tend to be more drawish (the weaker players inaccuracies may not be sufficient to cost the game), while a wild position (“the mountains”) tend to lead to more random results (decided by both sides lucky and unlucky guesses)."
peppe_l 5 ( +1 | -1 )
Paulvalle Good post.

The keyword is of course "sensible" :-)
triangulator 0 ( +1 | -1 )
how about this g4 e5 f3
triangulator 0 ( +1 | -1 )
how about this g4 e5 f3