What Is a Gambit? | Chess

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Hi, this is David Sullivan for Chess NYC and I’d like to talk about the center and gambits. In chess, we generally try to bring our two pawns to the center of the board to free our pieces and also, if black pieces come out, we can use that center to move forward and attack black. But black will try to stop us from making our center. If we play, let’s say, E4, black might play E5. And then if we play our other center point out right away, pawn to D4, black can take the pawn, white can take back with the queen, but then black will develop a piece, attacking the queen, making it waste time by moving again. And then black will develop another piece. And then, all of a sudden, black has more big guys out than white. Black has two pieces developed, white only has one piece developed. Pawns are not considered pieces, they’re just pawns. So, white wants to bring the two center pawns out, but black is fighting against it with his first move. He’s saying, “Well, you bring this pawn out, I will take you right away.”

White can use, in this position, what’s known as a gambit. Gambit comes from the Italian word, gambito, which means to trip up. So, white is trying to trip up black. White plays his pawn to F4. He offers black a pawn. Black can take the white pawn and white won’t be able to capture back. What white is trying to do is deflect the pawn so that later, he’ll be able to more easily bring his other center point up and black won’t be able to take it.

Another example of a gambit, and this is an opening that shows up in my own games occasionally, is when I would play white, I would often play D4. Black plays knight F6, I go C4 and black plays C5. I advance my pawn to D5 and then black plays his pawn to B5. This is known as the benko gambit. Black intends to offer me a pawn and then offer me another pawn, so that later in the game, he’ll have two open lines for his rooks that he can use to put pressure on me down here. For your entertainment, I will show you what I use to play against this. When they play B5 and then A6, I would actually play my knight to C3, developing a piece. Black would take a pawn. This pawn is unprotected, but I don’t grab it. I play pawn to E4. I free my bishop, black attacks my knight, I bring my knight to B5. And now, it looks like my pawn on E4 is hanging, that is, it’s unprotected. But if black takes my pawn on E4, I can then attack his knight and if his knight runs away, I have knight to D6, checkmate. Smothered mate. So over here, we have black offering a gambit, white declining the gambit, then white offers black a pawn and if he takes the pawn, he will get checkmated.

These two examples of gambits to give you a little idea of what we’re talking about here, as with any subject in chess, we could talk about this for months, but just remember, gambits are basically, it’s a small sacrifice in order to make some sort of game.


  1. how is that checkmate with the white knight if the pawn is there?

  2. I love how I dont play chess and this appear in my recommendation, and I clicked on it

  3. 2:22 As a black i would move queen to A5. That would immobilize knight and make a midddle clean up easier.

  4. Wait there’s actually strategies to this game

  5. Here in India, we love to make our own rules wrt games. Cricket can be played anywhere with n number of rules changed and chess will never have the chess clock.

  6. I don't know how to play and my 4yo sister too, so i make my own rule that i always win

  7. I have never seen that mate before, that's legit. 😀

  8. Im not good at chess but I do this unconsciously

  9. The term comes from the Italian word "gambetto", which is an archaic form of "sgambetto", meaning "to trip sb".

  10. Who knew speed chess meant playing chess while on speed?

  11. Pawns can actually be useful for defense because they can be used as baits to stall as much time as you can so your big pieces will have more flexibility

  12. Was here because of the Queen's gambit i wanted to learn chess

  13. THIS WAS A VERY USEFUL VIDEO!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 🙂 :0

  14. "Pawns are not considered pieces
    They are just pawns"

    – Villian in the Pawn's movie

  15. I came here from the Netflix original Queens Gambit to see what it meant

  16. A great player considers Pawns carefully. Pawns in the end game can be ruthless

  17. I will make a video of how to play chess with young children.

  18. The only person who makes it look so easy and interesting. I’m impressed 👏🏽

  19. 1:02 that's the danish gambit. After exd4, it continues
    1: c3, dxc3
    2: Bc4, cxb2
    3: Bxb2
    White now has lots of attacking potential from the queen and two bishops.

  20. “If you give me those motes I’ll tell what gambit is sister.” Gambit man

  21. "Pawns are not considered a pieces they are just pawns"

    Pawn – Am I joke to you😐⁉️

  22. That last move with the knight and you said it was a check mate but their pawn would just take that knight.

  23. How the last move can be a checkmate. Pawn, which you don't consider as a piece can easily kick the knight out of the way.
    Can someone please explain me the checkmate move?

  24. thanks, i beat magnus carlsen with this strategy!

  25. One reason I love chess is that since it was made thousands of years ago, it doesn't have any updates or anything like that, so information about the game from years ago will always be correct no matter the time in the future

  26. Why is this dude so aggressive with the pieces 😂💀???

  27. So to simplify, it's when you let your opponent take your piece for free, not realizing he just allowed you to make some more advantageous or even game-winning moves.

  28. how is it a checkmate at 2:45 why cant the black pawn at e7 take the white knight

  29. Me as black: plays the blackburne shilling gambit

  30. "pawns are not pieces they're just pawns" racism

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