USA's Top Daily Chess News Blog, Informative, Fun, and Positive

hosted by Chess Queen™ & 12th Women's World Chess Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk


Sunday, October 31, 2010

What's the Halloween Chess Gambit?

Chess news and chess trivia blog (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2010

Hello Everyone,

It's that scary time of the year again. So, what's Halloween Chess Gambit?

The Halloween Gambit, also known as the Müller-Schulze Gambit or Leipzig Gambit, is an aggressive gambit in chess, in which White sacrifices a knight for just one pawn. It is a branch of the normally staid Four Knights Game.

You've really have to have courage to play this one and scare the living daylights out of your opponent. Whoever gave a Knight for a pawn?

The theoretician Oskar Cordel reported in 1888 that Leipzig club players used it to dangerous effect but he did not believe it was sound. Their name for it, Gambit Müller und Schulze, was not after any players by those names; rather, it is a jocular German equivalent of "Smith and Jones" or "Tom, Dick and Harry".

The opening is characterized by the moves
1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Nc3 Nf6
4. Nxe5

Run the flashplayer to see below.

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. You've got to have the nerve to play this.

Here's a spectacular game that White wins in an email thematic tournament. You can run the moves in the pgnplayer or watch in flash below.

PGN: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 Bb4 8.Qf3 f6 9.O-O Bxc3 10.bxc3 d5 11.exd6 cxd6 12.Ba3 N8e7 13.Rfe1 Qc7 14.Bb3 Kd8 15.c4 Bd7 16.Rad1 Qc6 17.Qc3 a5 18.d5 Qc7 19.c5 b5 20.Qd2 b4 21.cxd6 Qxd6 22.Bb2 a4 23.Bc4 Ke8 24.a3 Ne5 25.Ba2 b3 26.cxb3 axb3 27.Bxb3 Kf7 28.f4 N5g6 29.Re6 Qxf4 30.Qe2 Qb8 31.Ba2 Qa7+ 32.Kh1 Kf8 33.d6 Ng8 34.Qc4 Nh6 35.Bxf6! gxf6 36.Rxf6+ Ke8 (36...Kg7 37.Qc3) 37.Rxg6 hxg6 38.Qc3 Rh7 39.Qf6 Ba4 40.Qxg6+ Nf7 41.Rf1 Bc2 42.Qxc2 1-0

If you dare play this in a tournament, let us know. Meanwhile, here is also a cute Halloween Chess Video. Enjoy.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also see her personal blog at



Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home