Why is the Gibbins-Wiedehagen Gambit (1.d4 Nf6 2.g4) also known as the Maltese Falcon Attack (or Gambit)? Is there any specific reason for that?

2 Answers 2


Humphrey Bogart was known to play this opening on a regular basis. Here is one of the recorded games with him playing the opening. One of Bogart's most famous movies is The Maltese Falcon, thus the Maltese Falcon Gambit or Attack.

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    This does not answer the question. Why is it specifically called "The Maltese Falcon"? Why the name? Why not, "The Iron Falcon"? Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 15:17
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    Errrrr, I better make a comment now that I accidentally upvoted your comment and can't work out how to undo that ... In what way does this not answer the question? Humphrey Bogart played it. Humphrey Bogart starred in the Maltese Falcon. Hence the Maltese Falcon Gambit. Seems pretty clear to me.
    – Ian Bush
    Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 16:33

Well, it's known as a gambit because Bc8 eyes on g4.

A common mistake is 1.d4 Nf6 2.g4? Nxg4? 3.e4 with initiative.

The Maltese Falcon is a prime example of a story that, while important in its day, is lost on the current generation.

Named after Claude Bloodgood, the opening was played as the Bogart Poisoned Spike in the 30's.

Clearly it's lost on the current generation: 2.g4? Doesn't do anything to control the center. What will White do after 2...h6! 3.Bg2 c6, when Black will play solid and exploit White's weakness ten moves later?

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    Sure 2...Nxg4 is a mistake? And I know It's a gambit because the g4 pawn is en prise, not because the Bishop is on c8. Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 21:03

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