Chess Opening Theory/1. e4/1...e5/2. Nf3/2...f5/3.Nxe5/3...Qf6

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Latvian Gambit
a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8 8
7 a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2 2
1 a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position in Forsyth-Edwards Notation(FEN)

rnb1kbnr/pppp2pp/5q2/4Np2/4P3/8/PPPP1PPP/RNBQKB1R

Moves: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f5 3. Nxe5 Qf6
ECO code: C40
Parent: Latvian Gambit

Latvian Gambit[edit]

3...Qf6[edit]

Black's queen has come lumbering out to poke the e5-knight in the ribs. Should White hold the line, or retreat?

4. d4 is the (old) main line. It temporarily establishes a classical pawn centre (d4+e4) allowing easy development of the remaining White pieces. If Black now wants to shift the knight from e5, she will have to play …d6 shutting in the f8-bishop.

4. Nc4 is the Leonhardt Variation, recommended by Latvian Gambiteer Tony Kosten and now considered a more critical test of the Latvian than d4. White knows she can't prevent …fxe4, so reserves the option of confronting that pawn with a d2-d3 advance when it arrives on e4.

Other knight retreats (to d3 or f3) allow ...fxe4 with an attack on the knight, giving Black time to follow up with …d5 to great advantage.

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References[edit]

  • Nunn's Chess Openings. 1999. John Nunn (Editor), Graham Burgess, John Emms, Joe Gallagher. ISBN 1-8574-4221-0.
  • Batsford Chess Openings 2 (1989, 1994). Garry Kasparov, Raymond Keene. ISBN 0-8050-3409-9.