Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween (Gambit)!

It's Halloween Knight!

The Halloween Gambit,  or Leipzig Gambit, is an aggressive gambit in chess, in which White sacrifices a knight for just one pawn.  There are many different kinds  of gambits, but the usual aim of a gambit is to obtain an advantageous position after giving up material as white.   This gambit is related to the Four Knights Game and may transpose easily if your opponent is not cooperative. It was proven in 1888 to be an unsound opening meaning that you should not use it.

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Nc3 Nf6
4. Nxe5 Nxe5
5.  d4

The goal of the gambit is to seize the center with pawns and drive back Black's knights. After 4...Nxe5, White usually plays 5.d4, in preference to 5.f4, which does not facilitate his development.

I shared this gambit with my class, Integrating Chess and Critical Thinking, and even tried it out on Desmond a couple of times.  None of the students would try it.  In my first game, I was destroyed.  In the second game, my intent was to play the gambit, but Desmond wasn't going to let me and I decided on the Scotch after 2. . .d6.

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