Skip to main content


is chess in the Olympics

  There is currently no chess in the Olympiad. The Chess Olympiad is a chess competition officially organized by FIDE since 1927 and takes place in even-numbered years. Before World War II the event was occasionally held every year. There was also an unofficial Chess Olympiad series that ended in 1976. Although chess is covered in the sports sections of many newspapers around the world, it is not one of the recognized sports in the Olympic Games. However, FIDE is now a member of the International Olympic Committee and follows its rules. This means that chess could one day become an Olympic event, although most knowledgeable observers say this is unlikely. The World Chess Championship is a competition held annually by the international chess organization FIDE to determine the World Champion of chess. Both men and women are eligible to participate in this championship. The World Champion does not have to be the player with the highest Elo rating: the 2006-2007 World Champion, Vladimir Kr

6 Opening Gambits You Might Find Interesting

Although chess is a combination of strategy and tactics and that strategy supersedes tactics in various points of the game, I still am a fan of flashy moves and exhilarating sacrifices because my motivation is to see the beauty of chess through these tactics done with careful calculation and instinct. Of course, one way to get that done is also by having a superior position over your opponent so I believe that to put your tactical knowledge to good use, a sound strategic plan must also be executed.

Before, this is the reason why, in most cases, I would do opening gambits however, I have found that gambits are not usually the best way to go especially in higher levels of chess because the specific nuances and minor flaws in the position of the gambiteer would normally cause greater distress in the long run especially with perfect play from the opponent. Oftentimes, I have noticed that too much of a gambit would only make one materially disadvantaged and even worse in position, nonetheless, gambits are interesting ways to spice up a game especially if it is a blitz or bullet match.

A 'gambit' is a form of sacrifice where a pawn or sometimes a piece is expended to initiate a slight advantage whether in the form of superior development or opening up lines and diagonals to activate the pieces or sometimes even to uncover an attack against the enemy king but these are usually called sacrifices and gambits are usually found in the openings.

Essentially, one sacrifices a pawn or even a piece - which usually happens in middlegames - to generate counterplay against an overwhelming presence or attack by the enemy or maybe to relieve some pressure on his position, he may want to simply get rid of some pieces preferably by exchanging them but sometimes they need to be sacrificed in order for his king to breathe much easier. In my case, I use gambits to have an exciting play and an open position which I am comfortable with although in much longer time controls, it is much better to choose a steadier opening than a gambit because then, you would have the chance to gain an advantage if you are White or to neutralize White's opening advantage if you are Black. Still I have made a list of the gambits I find interesting, some of which I have already used. This list excludes the two main popular gambits - the King's Gambit and Queen's Gambit.

1. Smith-Morra Gambit
The Smith-Morra Gambit is a line in the Sicilian Defense where White sacrifices his d-pawn and follows up by offering another pawn, his c-pawn, to have a smoother flow of development and induce his opponent to be slightly delayed in development. Also, with the c-pawn gone, White gives access for his queen to the d1-a4 diagonal and might be easier for him to place the queen on c2 or b3 if need be, moreover the c-file is now a semi-open file and White may want to put his rook there. When played correctly and energetically, just like the way IM Marc Esserman does it, the Smith-Morra can actually be a force to be reckoned with.

Here is a sample game where I used the Smith-Morra Gambit:

2. Danish Gambit
The Danish Gambit, in my opinion, is the most daring opening gambit I have played so far since it not only sacrifices one pawn but two pawns to be able to develop two minor pieces immediately. However, there are downsides to the Danish Gambit especially since White's position is super exposed and if he allows black to consolidate, the endgame would not be as fun but with precise play, I can say that it is going to be a fun and exciting game to play especially with those bishops slicing across the board and the rooks would soon be having fun as well. It is a line in the King's Pawn Game where White would immediately sacrifice his d-pawn and c-pawn to release both his bishops.

3. Blackmar-Diemer Gambit
The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit has been my alternative option for facing the Scandinavian Defense (1 e4 d5) because I feel that Black is quite comfortable in the Scandinavian having the opportunity to apply pressure on the semi-open d-file where he would usually form a battery with his queen and rook by castling queenside. However, there are also drawbacks to the Blackmar-Diemer since Black does not always have to accept the gambit and instead, he can simply continue on with his development. This is what I have noticed with the BD that Black can actually consolidate his position by declining the gambit however, there are certain ways White can press on with his initiative but unless you are able to coordinate your pieces well, Black would be having a good time and White would be the side making a lot of concessions.

Anyway, in the Scandinavian, Black is generally solid and faces little to no weaknesses which forces White to maneuver his pieces to grab some initiative. The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit is also one option that I am considering using against the Queen's Pawn Game (1 d4 d5). Although most chess players would consider this as an unsound sacrifice, I am still considering to improve on it somehow. In my experience using the BD, I would usually try to put pressure on Black's e- and f-pawns even after castling although this does not always pan out well for me as Black would usually foil my plans with his knights.

Here is a sample game where I used the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit to great effect:

4. Wing Gambit; Evans Gambit
The Wing Gambit is a line in the Sicilian Defense where White immediately attacks Black's c-pawn with one of his flank pawns so that he is able to deflect Black's control over the center and allows White to maintain both his center pawns. In this case, White is able to have a good center at the expense of a pawn which is usually a good positional trade off.

While the Evans Gambit is also one form of a Wing Gambit but it is a line in the Italian Opening where White sacrifices one of his flank pawns to gain a good center as well. When I first encountered the Sicilian Wing Gambit, I was overwhelmed and quickly lost but as time passed by I was able to find solutions to hold my position and have a fairly good game.

5. Staunton Gambit
The Staunton Gambit looks somewhat like the Smith-Morra Gambit if you flip it horizontally. It is a line in the Dutch Defense where White immediately strikes at Black's f-pawn and try to add pressure on the open f-file to attack Black's king. The Staunton Gambit line goes something like 1 d4 f5 2 e4 but I will be showing a game where it only transposed into this line.

6. Albin Countergambit
The last of the opening gambits that I have listed here is the Albin Countergambit which is actually a line in the Queen's Gambit Declined where black sacrifices his e-pawn to generate a good counterplay in the center and also allows for the possibility of the Lasker Trap to be launched. But generally, if you are more inclined to be a tactician then you can try playing the Albin Countergambit.


Popular Posts