Aggressive Chess Gambits – The Cochrane Gambit
One of the most solid and safe openings for Black is the Petroff Defense. It starts with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 and has a reputation of a drawish opening.
Usually White retreats the knight from e5 to f3, Black captures on e4 and soon equalizes in a calm symmetrical position. But aggressive players don’t enjoy seeing it on the board and sometimes opt for the Cochrane Gambit.
Believe you or not, but the Cochrane Gambit starts with 4.Nxf7 here! It is one of the most insane-looking chess gambits. Well, White sacrifices the whole knight in exchange for two central pawns and chances to attack Black’s exposed king, which doesn’t sound that bad. But on the other hand, none of White’s pieces is developed yet, and Black’s king is surrounded by many defenders. And this makes the fact that Veselin Topalov played the Cochrane Gambit against Vladimir Kramnik in a classical game even more stunning.
Of course, Kramnik was strong enough to defend against the Cochrane, but at the club level, this gambit definitely can bring a lot of fun.