How to set a trap in the king’s gambit accepted opening as white

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

White offers a pawn sacrifice on move two, with the aim of eliminating black’s central pawn. If black tries to hold on to the extra pawn, then white can develop rapidly and aim for a big attack on the enemy king!

The King’s Gambit is one of the oldest-known chess openings, bringing to mind the “Romantic Era” of chess. In these days, players were less concerned with pawn structure, planning, and positional play – chess was played with the sole aim of achieving an all-out attack on the opponent’s monarch!

Let’s consider black’s options against the King’s Gambit and see how the game might progress.

King’s Gambit Accepted: …g5 Line

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 g5

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

This is perhaps black’s most ambitious way to handle the King’s Gambit. Black simply accepts the sacrificed pawn and reinforces it with …g5.

White plays Nf3 on move 3 to prevent black from playing …Qh4+, robbing the white king of its castling rights. Not only does the move …g5 lend support to black’s f4 pawn, but black might consider advancing with …g4 in some cases – kicking the white knight and renewing the threat of …Qh4+ !

The Muzio Gambit

One of the most exciting variations of the King’s Gambit continues 4. Bc4 g4 5. 0-0

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

Instead of moving the knight away and allowing …Qh4, white simply castles and lets black win a piece!

After 5…gxf3 6. Qxf3 we see the point – for the price of a piece, white has a big lead in development. All black pieces remain on their starting squares, and if white wins the f4-pawn back, white will have massive pressure against the f7 pawn.

Black can play 6…Qf6, preparing to exchange queens if white takes the f4 pawn. But white has no interest in this – exchanging queens would likely end his attack, and black would be heavily favored with his extra piece!

Instead 7. e5! Is the main move, sacrificing even more material to open the e-file. After 7…Qxe5 8. d3 Bh6 9. Nc3:

As a beginner, i enjoy seeing this match. I love the KG, and one more time, i see that is really effective. And it appear to us that all white pieces are out. simply : I LOVE IT!!

Thanks guys, I appreciate your comments. Whether you’re offering a compliment or constructive criticism. =]

Well, you are rather rightly assuming that Black with . c6 wants to block your bishop (although its highly unclear why he voluntarily retreated the h4 bishop and spared a move on the less-than-useless h6).Playing . d5 with bad development is easier said than done

So how you react?

Simply by playing 9.e5?? which allows him to block your bishop with your own aid!

Well, you are rather rightly assuming that Black with . c6 wants to block your bishop (although its highly unclear why he voluntarily retreated the h4 bishop and spared a move on the less-than-useless h6).Playing . d5 with bad development is easier said than done

So how you react?

Simply by playing 9.e5?? which allows him to block your bishop with your own aid!

i have to admit it wasn’t the greatest game. but what should I have played instead of e5? i’m just looking to see how i can betterly execute my openings

Well- first I want to make clear that white is not worse after 9.e5??- the game is probably balanced after Black’s 9. d5. So -why the double question mark?

Just because the move is strategically totally inconsistent, simple as that.

What the opening principles say?

– Develop you minor pieces well, and fast. Mission already accomplished.

– Bring your king to safety. Not yet completely implemented.

– Put your heavy artillery to open, or semi-open lines. Not yet.

Now, time for a plan. Anyone can see the semi-open f file, but the f1 square is occupied by white’s king. Solution? Simplest and probably best is 9.Kf2, planning naturally 10.Rf1 and an eventual Kg1.

Just out of curiosity, I fed the position to Houdini. He really likes 10.Kf2 better than 10.e5 or 10.d4 (the latter being a natural, but not terribly consistent move), but the evaluation differences are close to insignificant. This is because engines just calculate tactics, and not concrete plans. The real truth is that 10.Kf2 is much, much superior to 10.e5.

What you have to learn at that level is the generic opening PRINCIPLES and follow them faithfully, and not learning opening moves.

Am I clear enough?

Well- first I want to make clear that white is not worse after 9.e5??- the game is probably balanced after Black’s 9. d5. So -why the double question mark?

Just because the move is strategically totally inconsistent, simple as that.

What the opening principles say?

– Develop you minor pieces well, and fast. Mission already accomplished.

– Bring your king to safety. Not yet completely implemented.

– Put your heavy artillery to open, or semi-open lines. Not yet.

Now, time for a plan. Anyone can see the semi-open f file, but the f1 square is occupied by white’s king. Solution? Simplest and probably best is 9.Kf2, planning naturally 10.Rf1 and an eventual Kg1.

Just out of curiosity, I fed the position to Houdini. He really likes 10.Kf2 better than 10.e5 or 10.d4 (the latter being a natural, but not terribly consistent move), but the evaluation differences are close to insignificant. This is because engines just calculate tactics, and not concrete plans. The real truth is that 10.Kf2 is much, much superior to 10.e5.

What you have to learn at that level is the generic opening PRINCIPLES and follow them faithfully, and not learning opening moves.

Number of games in database: 1000
Years covered: 1827 to 2022
Overall record:
White wins 40.2 %
Black wins 35.6 %
Draws 24.2 %

Warmaster Kron (1651) – NN (1758)

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5
5.Nc3 Qe6+ 6.Be2 Nf6 7.O-O Bd6 8.d4 Nd5
9.Nxd5 Qxd5 10.c4 Qc6 11.Ng5 h6 12.Nxf7 Kxf7
13.Bxf4 Qxf4 14.Rxf4+ Kg8 15.Qf1 Nd7 16.Bf3 Qa6
17.Bd5+ Kh7 18.Qe3+ g6 19.Rf7+ Kg8 20.Rf6+ Kh7
21.Qxg6# 1-0

King’s Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.♘f3 d5

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The opening we are going to study is so sharp that it was the favorite opening in the romantic era (before 1900), giving us some unforgettable games. At that time, players were looking for the attack almost at any cost, and thus playing very aggressive openings: the King’s gambit was at its peak. Then, the game of Chess evolved and players learnt to defend better against this opening and the success of the King’s gambit faded away.

Still, the attacking player can find in the King’s gambit many sharp, attacking lines that can confuse almost any player with Black. That is why the King’s gambit remains an excellent practical choice.

The purpose of this article is to give you an overview of the various lines . As for the other articles on openings, my goal is to give you an overall understanding on the opening rather than a comprehensive knowledge on every line. Just remember that other moves are possible.

To start with this opening, let’s check the main dynamics of the King’s gambit together.

Anyway, in general, Black’s plan is to defend against White’s attack to try to get the advantage at the end of the opening. We have seen the main ideas, now let’s see the main lines. First, we will see what can happen if Black accepts the sacrifice and captures on f4.

Black accepts the King’s Gambit

3… g5: Classical Line

This is historically the most popular line of the King’s gambit when the opening was at its peak. Thus it deserves a specific attention as it contains dozens of interesting (and sometime dubious !) gambits. We are only going to show the two main ones for now, leaving the other ones for more specific articles than this one.

The Kieseritzky Gambit

On top of that, the King’s gambit is an opening where strategic principles do not matter as much as concrete tactical lines, that is why each move should be considered from a tactical point of view first.

The Muzio Gambit

If you found the Kieseritzky Gambit too mild (!), the Muzio Gambit may be more suited to your style. If we are completely honest with ourselves, this line is probably dubious for White. However, it places Black under a considerable amount of pressure, with many chances to go wrong.

In the resulting position, White is pushing hard to attack f7, but the amount of material invested to reach this position favors Black.

This is only the start of the line. Needless to say, having to find the right defending moves on the board is a very difficult task for Black from a practical standpoint.

3… d6: Fischer Defense

This defense, although known before Bobby Fischer, has been advocated by the World Chess Champion. Indeed, he wanted to make the point that the King’s gambit “loses by force”, and thus searched the best move to counter it !

Evaluating the previous position is hard: most articles assess it as “unclear”. Thus White can choose a different type of play, without the move h2-h4, and here as well the game is quite balanced:

Thus, Black cannot really play g7-g5 after Bc4, and the game usually continues like this:

All these lines teach us that the King’s gambit is a tricky opening: wild tactical lines are everywhere and any wrong move on any side of the board can lose the game instantly !

3… Be7: The Cunningham Defense

In this line, Black wants to prevent White from castling.

From there, the game can develop quietly: there is no attack for Black, but White still has to justify the pawn sacrifice !

White does not play 3. Nf3

The main alternative to 3. Nf3 is 3. Bc4, the Bishop’s gambit. The main idea is that, like in the Cunningham’s defense, White is not afraid to move the King to f1, as it is a good and safe square for the King.

Thus Black has other ways to play against this system.

And finally, Black has another, more direct option, also involving the move d7-d5.

I wanted to show you this idea of an early d7-d5 combined with Ng8-f6 next: first because this is a way for Black to give back the pawn in exchange of a good activity and development.

Second, because this idea is also found in another main line of the King’s Gambit we are going to study now: the Falkbeer Countergambit.

Black does not accept the gambit

2… d5: The Falkbeer Countergambit: Fighting The King’s Gambit With Fire

Instead of accepting the pawn offered by White, Black declines it and offers another pawn instead: this bold choice is the start of the Falkbeer Countergambit !

The move 2… d5 also asks the question of Black’s e5-pawn. Can White capture it ?

For this reason, White’s third move is almost forced: White has to capture on d5, and not e5 !

2… Bc5: the Classical Defense

This line is the last one we will present in this article. It is not a critical line and usually White gets a comfortable position out of the opening. That is why it is not as popular as accepting the gambit.

One important piece of advice: do not play 2… Bc5 hoping for the blunder 3. fxe5?? . Indeed, anyone playing the King’s Gambit with White is normally aware of this trap. Do play it if you feel comfortable with the resulting position, but keep in mind that White has an easier game.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion On The King’s Gambit

We have seen many lines of the King’s Gambit, that used to be the most popular opening in Chess, thanks to its sharp lines. All in all, many possibilities for both sides to force a line in which you are comfortable, but also, many tactical threats to be aware of. Certainly a unique opening !

To finish with, a small quiz about another option for White on the third move, that should be easy for you if you have read this article carefully.

White should not play d2-d4. Here is why.

This is the King’s gambit: many possibilities to attack, but also a lot of traps and a sharp tactical game. This is one of the few openings where we can say that any little mistake can cost the game ! A very good choice of opening for those who are not afraid of complexity.

If you like the King’s gambit, you might be interested as well by similar sharp openings: the Vienna gambit, the Blackmar-Diemer gambit, the Smith-Morra gambit or the Wing gambit. With Black, the Budapest gambit and the two Knights defense may interest you. The truth is, there are many sharp lines playable and I only mentioned a subset of them.

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If you want some inspiration for your next online or offline blitz games this video course is for you. Simon Williams shows his favorite opening traps in 60 minutes. These gambits aren’t sound and there are ways for your opponents to get an advantage. Still the gambits are growing in popularity especially in online blitz. Prepare yourself for 60 minutes of entertaining attacks and sacrifices.

Languages: English
System: Windows 7 or higher, Mac OS X (only download)
Published: Dec 2020
Delivery: Download
Level: Advanced , Tournament player , Professional

Sample video

  1. Introduction
  2. Traps
  3. Stafford Gambit – 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 Nc6 4.Nxc6 dxc6
  4. Jerome Gambit – 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Nxe5 Nxe5
  5. Nakhmanson Gambit – 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.Nc3
  6. Englund Gambit – 1.d4 e5 2.dxe5 Bc5/Nc6
  7. Panteldalkis Countergambit – 1.e4 e5 2.f4 f5
  8. Fajarowicz Gambit – 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ne4

Windows 7 or higher
Minimum: Dual Core, 2 GB RAM, DirectX11, graphics card with 256 MB RAM, (DVD-ROM drive), Windows Media Player 9, ChessBase 14/Fritz 16 or included Reader and internet access for program activation. Recommended: PC Intel i5 (Quadcore), 4 GB RAM, Windows 10, DirectX11, graphics card with 512 MB RAM or more, 100% DirectX10-compatible sound card, Windows Media Player 11, (DVD-ROM drive) and internet access for program activation.

MacOSX
only available as download! Minimum: MacOS "Yosemite" 10.10

I recently played a blitz game against this tricky opening and it caused me to review the tricks and refutation of this opening that I’ll share with you today.

Table of Contents

What’s the Stafford Gambit?

The Stafford Gambit is a chess opening that’s a variation of the Petrov’s Defense and occurs after the moves 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 Nc6 4. Nxc6 dxc6.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

The Stafford Gambit was rarely played for most of its existence. Recently, the popular YouTube channel of IM Eric Rosen gave the Stafford Gambit a surge of popularity.

What are the key ideas of the Stafford Gambit?

Black sacrifices a pawn and gives up all center pawns. In return, black hopes to get initiative and an attack on the kingside.

Black will often play Bc5, followed up by Ng4 to put pressure on the f2 pawn. Later, the move Qh4 with even more pressure on the f2 and h2 pawns is a common idea.

White will try to consolidate. Often played ideas for white are c3, followed by d4, to cut the bishop on c5 off from the diagonal.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

White will often delay castling in order to defend against blacks immediate attacking ideas first.

What are the traps of the Stafford Gambit?

IM Eric Rosen compiled a nice study on Lichess that nicely showcases the numerous traps that white can walk into:

With that high amount of traps, it’s easy to fall into one if you are unprepared and under time pressure as the white player.

How can white refute the Stafford Gambit?

It should come to no surprise that the Stafford Gambit isn’t a rock-solid opening — white can refute it and get away with an advantage.

UPDATE: After facing the Stafford Gambit many times over the last years, I reevaluated my decision of what to play against the Stafford.

The lines by Naroditsky I show below are still completely valid, however I found that many players are prepared against them and do have some plans in the occuring positions.

I now play an easier, less theory-heavy way to refute the Gambit: 5. e5.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

After 5. …Ng4 (not the best move, but you’ll face it most often), you follow up with 6. d4 and you have a very easy position to play. You own the center and black can’t rely on his usual counterplay since the black bishop can’t enter the diagonal a7-g1.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

GM Daniel Naroditsky made an instructional video on this topic that some of the lines I am going to show you are based on.

The first move that you have to play in order to refute the Stafford is 5. d3, to protect the e4 pawn. After 5. … Bc5, you should play 6. Be2 to defend against Ng4.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

Now the most testing move for black is 6. … h5.

A side variation is 6. … Ng4, with the idea of playing Qh4 to fork the bishop on g4 and the f2 pawn.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

But after 7. Bxg4 Qh4 8. g3 Qxg4 9. Qxg4 Bxg4 white is a comfortable pawn up.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

It may appear that black has compensation because of the bishop pair and a development advantage, but the strong center pawns actually mean that black has nothing for the pawn.

Let’s get back to the main move 6. … h5. The idea is clear — black wants to play Ng4.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

Here, white has to play the key move 7. c3!

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

This strong move stops all of black’s ideas. Ng4 is no longer dangerous because of d4. Black has to be prophylactic here and play 7. … Bb6.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

This stops d4 because the pawn on e4 hangs otherwise. Now 8. Nd2 protects the e4 pawn and prepares d4.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

A possible continuation could be 8. … Ng4 9. d4 c5 10. h3.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

This position is pretty bad for black, he’s a pawn down and white dominates positionally because he controls the center. Black will still try to play for tricks and I suggest that you analyze these lines for yourself as well.

Is the Stafford Gambit a good chess opening?

The Stafford Gambit certainly isn’t an objectively good opening.

However, it’s a tricky opening, and especially in a blitz game, it can give you some fun wins. It’s not an opening that you should consider playing in classical games though.

If you enjoyed this article on the Stafford Gambit, you will also like my introduction to the Budapest Gambit and the Scotch Gambit.

To improve your Gambit play in general, “Key Concepts of Gambit Play” by Quality Chess is a valuable resource. It’ll help you to win more games when playing risky openings.

King’s Gambit Accepted – Here’s a surprise chess opening strategy where white gambits his kingside pawn to open up the game & gain center control. There are various chess opening tricks, strategies, gambits, moves, tactics and ideas that you can use to win more games. In this video, I will show you some common opening variations & tactical ideas for both white & black pieces in the King’s Gambit Accepted line. I will also share with you some important concepts & strategies to follow in your games. It’s a really aggressive opening & a good one to try on the chessboard, especially in Blitz or Bullet games. Bobby Fischer, Morphy & Andersen played this opening quite successfully in the romantic era of chess. You will also learn how to counter this opening as black when someone tries this opening against you – Fischer’s Defense. These are some amazing variations to fool your opponent & checkmate him in the first few moves. These openings will help you in winning chess games against your friends & other players who are not prepared for this opening. I also have an interesting Chess Puzzle for you at the end of this video. Let’s see if you can solve that. I will cover King’s Gambit Declined variation in another video.

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If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments below. I will be happy to answer & help you out.

If you like this video, don’t forget to Like, Comment & Share. If you want to learn some cool chess tips & tricks and become a better chess player, then Subscribe to my Channel “Chess Talk” by Jeetendra Advani.

The King’s Gambit is one of the most important openings a player should know. The reason is that this opening exposes many weaknesses on both sides and players are obligated to play aggressively if they want to win. So, if a person plays too safely then, from all aggressive chess openings, King’s Gambit is the ideal one to practice.

King’s Gambit is a powerful and very old opening, played in the 19th century. From that era until the 80s this opening was extremely popular and top players like Bronstein, Fischer, Spassky used this aggressive chess opening.

Basic Principles of the King’s Gambit

White sacrifices in his second move the ‘f’ file pawn, in order to achieve a fast opening and to clear the “f” file his Rook. Today, at champions level, we do not see the King’s Gambit often, since the science of defense has shown ways for Black to lead the game to a draw, even if he lets his additional pawn to be captured, in order to restore harmony in his pieces, when being in a critical position. However, as I wrote, it is important for practicing. This opening can be split into two different Variations, King’s Gambit Accepted and King’s Gambit Declined. Let’s study those two Variations.

King’s Gambit Accepted

King’s Gambit Declined

Several chess players question the tactic to offer as a ‘gift’ the ‘f’ file pawn. The reasons for that are the following.

  1. White can kick out Black’s ‘e’ pawn from the center of the board.
  2. He can advance at d4 square, creating empty space for the other pieces.
  3. White can perform a quick kingside castling. The ‘f’ file is empty and the Rook at f1 square can add pressure on the vulnerable for Black f7 square.

Illustrative games in King’s Gambit

King’s Gambit is a unique opening and it is required a lot of practice to be mastered. I have selected a few games played by World Champions that are beautiful and instructive. Also, I have written some comments to help you understand what is going on in the game.

Immortal Game of Chess

King’s Gambit Accepted, Modern Defense (Abbazia Defense)

King’s Gambit Accepted, Bishop’s Gambit, Bogolyubov Variation

King’s Gambit Accepted, Muzio Gambit

King’s Gambit Declined, One of the Most Aggressive Chess Openings

Recommended Books and Courses

Mastering an opening can give you an advantage against your opponent. So, I have made a research about books that will offer solutions to almost all the major problems that you will encounter while using some variation of the King’s Gambit. These books are cheap, well-written and they include many examples.

If you don’t like reading, there are video courses that will give you condensed knowledge and not unnecessary information. If you are struggling to win in chess, it’s a great way to rapidly improve your skills and learn your mistakes from the courses’ exercises. You can check out the following courses.

Final Thoughts

In order to master this opening requires a lot of practice. However, this is one of the most unstructured and aggressive chess openings that will give you valuable lessons. Also, I think the Queen’s Gambit is an opening that you should check and I have written two articles about the Accepted one and the Declined one. Also, you can find in this website articles about chess strategies and openings like the French Defense, Caro-Kann, Ruy Lopez and the King’s Gambit. On this website, you can find reviews about chess sets that you can check them out.

If you found value in this article, please don’t hesitate to comment on what you liked and share it with people that will find it interesting. Enjoy playing chess.

The Stafford Gambit is a deadly opening for black if white does not know how to defend.

Study the Stafford

I would like to highlight two studies with which you can start learning the opening. One for black on the attacking side and one for the white side trying to defend.

The Stafford Gambit is for the black side. It contains many tactics that you must know to break through whites defense.

Refuting the Stafford Gambit is for the white side trying to defend. This study includes all the lines you need to know by heart not to run into the tactics of black.

Video Content

There is awesome video content about the Stafford Gambit available on youtube.

Eric Rosen is most likely responsible for the surge in Stafford Gambit players with his video The Trappiest Opening in Chess?.

If you want to learn how to defend yourself against the opening as white, I recommend the video by Daniel Naroditsky: Snuffing the Stafford Gambit. In the video Daniel explains how to best defend, covering many lines and variations that you encounter as white.

Studies about the Stafford Gambit

Learn the Stafford Gambit using public studies.

The Stafford Gambit

This study contains a lot of the traps in the Stafford Gambit. These traps are from the video from Eric Rosen (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nH_fiqlLp2U) about the Gambit titled "The Trappiest Opening in Chess? | Win Quickly with the Stafford Gambit". As the title suggests, the Stafford Gambit is filled with deadly traps. A fun opening for the risk takers.

Stafford Gambit

Stafford Gambit study imported from: https://lichess.org/study/NCozh3PC

Refuting the Stafford Gambit

The aim of this study is to refute the Stafford Gambit. Learn these lines if you have problems against the new popular gambit. This study contains the lines by Daniel Naroditsky from his video Snuffing the Stafford Gambit. Checkout the video if you want to learn more about the lines and why the moves are played: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLzLAJcRn-Q

Eric Rosen Stafford Gambit
Stafford Gambit Traps

10 different traps in the Stafford Gambit

Stafford Gambit – Full Study

Every line you can think of from the Stafford Gambit, including declined variations.