Chess openings – King’s Gambit

Chess openings – King’s Gambit

Welcome back to In today’s
video, we take a look at the famous King’s Gambit opening which begins
with the moves, pawn to e4, pawn to e5, and pawn to f4. With this aggressive
pawn sacrifice, White is trying to open lines and seize control of the center
as quickly as possible. But if Black has done his homework, he shouldn’t
have too many problems getting an interesting and balanced position against
the King’s Gambit. Let’s take a look. With the opening move, pawn to e4, White is
hoping to seize dominance in the center with the followup move, d2 to d4.
Both the Black’s most popular replies, c5 the Sicilian and e5 the king’s
pawn game, are directed against this plan. After the move, e5, White’s most
classical plan is to play knight to f3 and over the long term, he plans
to resume his aim of bringing the pawn to d4 usually by first playing the
move, c2 to c3. But White has a radically different approach available on
the move with the move, pawn to f4. This is the distinguishing move of the
King’s Gambit. As you can see here, at the moment the f4 pawn is undefended,
so that if Black simply takes on f4 accepting the gambit, Black can
actually remain up a pawn for quite some time, but White reasons that his
long-term ability to achieve a powerful central duo with d2 to d4 will fully
compensate for this loss. Another main point for White here is that
if he manages to regain the pawn on f4 without too many problems, he will achieve
an excellent attacking position since the F file has opened up in
advance and White will have a full central presence. But as they say, a
pawn is a pawn. And in this position, Black is going to spend some time
either holding on to the pawn, or he’ll use the extra time which White devotes
to recapturing the pawn to counter attacking in the center. Another big
downside to White’s strategy in this position is that f2 to f4 has somewhat
weakened the king’s position, and in this case it has made the
king vulnerable to the check on h4. It is this factor which somewhat restricts
White’s options in the King’s Gambit. For example, if he was to play the move, d2
to d4, immediately, a very attractive move on its own right, he would
instantly encounter queen h4 check when he will lose his castling rights
and he’ll have to bring the king to this awkward square on e2 where it
interferes with development and is vulnerable to an immediate attack. Instead,
after pawn takes f4 accepting the gambit, White’s main move is
knight to f3 preventing the check and adding support for a later d2 to
d4 move. Now, Black has a few interesting ideas here. But the oldest and
most traditional mainline is the aggressive pawn to g5 defending the f4 pawn
and creating the threat of pawn to g4 followed by that check which we just
saw on h4. For example, if White was once again to play
the pawn to d4, Black could simply follow up with a strong move, pawn
to g4. So, in this position, White is immediately faced with a serious
task. In fact, two moves have been played quite often here. One idea here
is the move, bishop to c4, in which White intends to play a dramatic piece
sacrifice. After the move, g4, which we said creates serious problems for
White in this position, White’s response is actually simply to castle king
side offering a full piece on f3. This is known as the Muzio Gambit. After
the moves, pawn takes knight on f3 and queen takes f3, we reach an extremely
interesting position in which White has sacrificed an entire piece
for several tempi in development. If you look for a moment, you will realize
that Black has not developed a single piece in this position. So, he not
only needs to figure out how to bring his pieces into the game, but he also
needs, to at the same time, focus on fending of this violent attack. If
you pay close attention, you’ll also notice that White is starting to build
pressure on the f7 point if only he can play the move, queen takes f4.
Since Black has no intention of letting White takes queen f4 without a fight,
Black’s main move here is queen to f6. Black simply demands that queens
be treated in the event of a capture on f4. Now, right away you’re probably
asking what happens if White simply continues to build this attack on f4
with the move, d3, adding the dark squared bishop to the attack on f4. In
this case, I think it’s quite simple for Black to simply play bishop to
h6, continuing to make it difficult for White to recover his pawn without
accepting some exchange of pieces. Remember that exchanges of pieces
are always bad or particularly bad when you’re down in material. This is
definitely not to White’s advantage, this kind of situation. So, believe it or not, White’s main idea is
to continue to sacrifice more material in this position with the move, pawn
to e5! Queen takes pawn e5 and now another sacrifice, bishop takes f7
check, king takes f7 and another sacrifice pawn to d4 with the idea that if
Black takes this pawn on d4, White will play bishop to e3. The whole point
of this position is to reach this amazingly complicated position where
yes, Black is ahead two pawns, but he’s going to come under severe attack
very quickly. Sadly, the details of this position are a topic for another day,
but judging by recent games, the modern opinion is that while Black should
be OK here, White has a surprising amount of compensation for his
material. This is a very double- edged position with big winning chances for
both sides. Backing up to the position after bishop c4,
the Muzio Gambit is a very interesting idea for White. However, fortunately
for Black it’s actually not too difficult to avoid. Modern players
have begun to prefer this simplistic move, bishop to c7, just getting
a little development going in the position. Now after the move, pawn to
d4, Black responds with d6, disallowing that pawn from having maximum
flexibility in this position. Now often, Black over the long term will probably
play h6, shoring up this pawn chain and just holding on to that extra pawn
for as long as he possible can and making it very difficult for White. At the same time, White still has to pay attention
to the fact that this little move, g4, could take place at any time.
In my opinion, this is a much safer way for Black to reach an imbalanced
position which still offers some slight problems for White. So much for
bishop to c4. The other critical move in this position is pawn to
h4. By moving the pawn to the key square on h4, White cleverly ensures after
this standard move, pawn to g4 and knight e5, Black does not have his check
on h4 since the rook now covers the h4 square. Furthermore, the king
side pawns are now rather loose as the g4 pawn is attacked two times and the
f4 pawn has also lost its support. However, once Black makes peace with
the fact that White shouldn’t have too much difficulty recovering the sacrificed
pawn, he’s free to look for ways to pursue a counter attack in the
center. There are still a few factors working in Black’s
favor. Firstly, Black could consider a rapid attack on the currently
unprotected e4 pawn. Also, since White will probably eventually take
on g4, Black can prepare with g8 exploiting the newly opened file. Now, one
critical book line for Black here is the surprising move, pawn to d6. With
d6, Black is making no effort to preserve the extra pawn on the king side,
but is instead looking for piece activity. So after the move, knight
takes g4, Black continues knight f6. The knights quite often exchange on f6,
and we reach an interesting position where Black is no longer ahead a
pawn, but all of his pieces have very good scope in this position. For example,
the G files have opened and look very attractive of the rook, and the
queen side piece have very little difficulty getting deployed, perhaps knight
to c6 and the bishop may make its way out to g4 especially if you get this
rook on g8. Also, the queen is in a secure and active location on f6. White still has problems achieving this move,
d2 to d4, since in this case, Black would get excellent counter-play with
the move, knight to c6. It’s definitely not in White’s interests to advance
this pawn to d5 since this would give the knight a very attractive square
on e5 with attacking chances in this position. Instead, White would have
to play something more natural, like c3 or bishop to b5. But then rook g8
will be an excellent reaction and Black has a very comfortable game going ahead.
So, White normally does not play the move, d4. But he instead plays knight
to c3, and this leads to a highly unclear position with about equal chances
for both sides. Backing up to the position after knight e5,
a more aggressive strategy for Black in this position is to play the move,
knight to f6. This is with the idea of creating counter-play against the
e4 pawn. So after the move, knight takes g4, which is probably not a good
idea in this position, Black can simply play knight takes e4. And not only
does this allow Black to preserve his extra pawn, but it also means
that the knight is very close to this attractive square on g3. Now, for example,
if White simply plays the move, pawn to d3, well this knight has no
trouble reaching the g3 square, knight at g3. And the move queen to e2 is
also not really used since Black simply plays queen a7, and once again White
will have to contend with the possibility of the knight appearing on g3.
In fact, it turns out that the move, knight takes g4, is simply a poor reply
to our move, knight f6. Another tempting reply to knight f6 is d4,
grabbing more central control and building an attack on the f4 pawn. But
here, too, Black is going to get a great game with the move, d6. And not only
does this move push the knight back, but it also gives us a second defender
of the g4 pawn, which means that White simply has to retreat, knight d3.
And now Black continues, knight takes e4, bishop takes f4, bishop g7,
c3, and Black simply castles king side. Now, Black’s pawn structure on
the king side may look a little overextended and this is probably a little
true. But Black has successfully preserved his extra pawn, and White is actually
slightly behind in king side development. Thus this line, too, ends
up quite nicely for Black. In my opinion, and in the theory opinion,
there’s only one really strong move for White in this position, and that
is the move, bishop to c4, beginning an attack on f7. Now, Black has
to know the recipe to reach a decent position and that recipe goes pawn
to d5, blocking the bishop’s diagonal and returning the pawn back to White.
So, then after pawn takes pawn on d5, Black now simply continues with
his development, bishop b6 developing very rapidly. Finally after d4,
Black needs to be sensitive to the fact that White has opened up an attack
on f4 pawn. So Black defends his pawn with a slightly unusual move, knight
to h5. Once again, we’ve reached an unclear position, but once again
I think Black has some reasons to be happy here since his pieces are very
actively placed. His king side pawns are a little vulnerable, but with careful
play there should be winning chances in this position for both
White and for Black. I hope you’ve enjoyed some of these wild and
crazy positions in the King’s Gambit. If you play the King’s Gambit with
White, you’re in for quite a ride. On the one hand, you may have achieved
some of the complicated and sacrificial positions where you might get
a juicy attack with White with sacrifices. However, if you’re not careful,
you may also just simply end up down a pawn or even down a full piece in certain
cases. As always, a little homework will go a long way towards defeating
your opponents. That’s all for today and see you next time.

100 thoughts on “Chess openings – King’s Gambit

  1. Wow, talking about King's gambit for 13 minutes and haven't mentioned some basic variations after Nf3- what about d5, d6 or even the most agressive response from black, which cause white a huge trouble- Cunningham Defense- starting with Be7, putting pressure to h4 square. No, i did not like this lecture.

  2. Falkbeer is my favorite response as black because white cannot achieve the position he set out for. A position full of piece activity and central domination for the cost of the pawn. Instead black liberates fully after exf4 and d5! achieving a fantastic position that white would be frustrated to have. 

  3. Dereque your channel is becoming my favorite youtube chess channel very quickly. I love your teaching tactics, they are so clear and on point. I would like to see a video on the Bird opening/Polar bear, especially how to play against the From's Gambit  (E5) I actually watched this video since one way to play against the From's Gambit is to switch to the King's gambit from the birds opening (F4).

    One last thing, would you be able to add (Algebraic chess notation) I know most people know where G3 is for example, but having the numbers/letters on the screen helps at times to quickly see the square that you are talking about. Thanks in advance and keep up the great work!

  4. hey Dereque …last time i played against this gambit, after g4 pawn attacks the knight.white played knight to g5 and then when i tried to trap knight with pawn to h6 he captured the the pawn on  f7 sacrificing  the  knight and weaking whites king side..after king captures knight he played queen to g4 making up for the lost pawn and after bishop to f4 check black got completely trapped and possibly very tough to defend

  5. Interesting ideas in the critical lines of the King's Gambit Accepted with 3.Nf3! Thanks Dereque, I will try your recommandations.  I'd so much troubles dealing with White attack on the King side and his center to the point that I tried others options :
    1. Develop normally and keeping an eye on d4 with 2…Bc5 before prefering 2…Cc6. Flexible and sound, but White can develop as he wishes, unlike in the line you've shown.
    2. Going for a counter attack with 2…d5. Black sacrifices a pawn to have some counterplay and pushes the pawn on e4 and develops his pièces quickly. This line was my favorite before watching your video.

    What do you think about the Bishop's gambit 3.Fc4 after 2…exf4? I prefer here playing 3…Nf6 and trying to obstruct the diagonale aimed by the bishop on c4, especially the pawn on f7, by preparing the rush ….d7-d5. I prefer this plan instead of playing 3…Qh4+ because of 4.Kf1 and 5.Nf3 attacking the queen is coming.
    Thanks in advance Dereque and keep up the good work!

  6. Kings gambit is scary, yet effective. It takes a while of getting used to though. The variations are very interesting. Thank you very much for sharing knowledge!

  7. My Lord!!! I am terrified to death the play the King's Gambit. I feel as though it exposes the King too much. I don't know a lot of "King's Gambit" players, but those that play it are probably really good at it.

  8. People always say that the goal of the King's Gambit is to get the two pawns to have control of the center, but what do you do when people throw pawns at your pawns at e4 and d4?

  9. And once again, thanks for this video!

  10. only 1192 rated at blitz but gone from 980 in 5 months by using french at black and kings at white when i can nice video thanks ive subscribed

  11. This is a fantastic video! I have just created a non profit to coach chess to inmates in my local community!

    We strive to teach learning to Think Ahead, and this video is one I will show once my contenders have reached this level!


  12. Thank you, this is by far the best video about the king's gambit on youtube, all other videos focus on the attack chances white gets, instead of the defence and counter attack black has.

  13. A huge blunder in kings gambit which no one has thought about. At 5:34 the black queen can capture the white bishop and so the white king is on check. Now the white Queen has to capture the blqck queen or the king will go on the white square. Both the queens will be captured but the white will be at a huge loss. Please reply if I am wrong or suggest some other way.

  14. Man, that gambit you showed with the knight sacrifice looks amazing! I'll definitely give it a try. Thanks again for the awesome video 🙂

  15. This Muzio-gambit (probably I misspelled the name) looks quite interesting, but I don't see too many options for white to press on quickly which black couldn't handle. And the longer the game lasts, the greater black's advantage of being two pieces up will probably get. It would be interesting to see how white continues the game…

  16. So as I see here this video only covered the main (and the worst) line Nf3. The better variation for white is easily Bc4 with almost no counter. If you want more proof research Tim Taylor's Book Fishcers Kings Gambit.

  17. I can't defend against the Queen attack. I've had a bishop attack my gambit protected by the Queen. The horse gets under attack and I lose my defense. it's not a great opening

  18. At 6.15, playing as black, why not push the pawn up to threaten the knight? Then, the original aggressive plan of the queen check can take place!

  19. I subbed. hate it took me so long to find you, but good things to all that wait. I have been playing 20 plus years and have never found any instruction to be so clear and fluid. You have taught a old dog new tricks, well moves really. I look foward to view more of your great content. thanks so much for sharing. I feel like hitting the board with a new perspective. cheers

  20. So basically this is a terrible opening for white? lol I still like it, it leads to crazy games. I think it has more shock value that strategic. I even mess around and try to do it as black sometimes if it's a king pawn opening. I'd rather get the action started. Slow building "normal" games usually lead to me blundering a pawn at some point early middle game and crumbling. This way I get the lost pawn out of the way early.

  21. Thanks this is great!
    Can you please make another video about the continuation of the first variation if queen didn't take the pawn on d4 but instead went to f5?

  22. You haven't done a video in a while can you please make video for London system and how it can be a solid opening or lead the game into sharp games

  23. You are too good of a teacher. Got addicted to you, lol. Not so much now. At a 1500 level the study of endgames have been saving my ass and winning games, even ones I shouldn't. BTW chess is one of the reasons I moved to Seattle. I do the Sunday play at Panera in Everett.

  24. Wow gonna try it when school comes again…i always do Ruy Lopez as my opening lol…. (Black – Scandinavian/Sicillian Defense)

  25. Great video.The sound at the begging of the video was good,but when you go on the chess board it kind of annoying.Still best teacher.

  26. it's a very interesting opening, it may not be solid as the common stuff but you can usually get people off guard because most of players are obsessed with stuff like Ruy Lopez, Sicilian or Indian games and never play a risk one like this.

  27. Congratulations for you great vídeos about openings, your style is very good! By the way, You remember the Panther in Thundercats 🙂

  28. I personally don't spend a lot of time trying to re-capture black's isolated pawn. I'd rather spend the early part of the game taking advantage of open files.

  29. Please make videos on the tactics , planning and strategies which can be applied for the evaluation of the position and create a winning situation. What about King's gambit declined ? This was a great video. Thanks.

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