Possibly confirmation bias, but I often find a game I've won involved the loss (intentional or otherwise) of a pawn, which has opened up a file for rook attack, particularly on b/g files. Is there any catch-all term for this sort of gambit other than this title? I wonder if anyone has statistically analysed this type of scenario.

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    ftw? What does that mean? Google suggests "for the win", is that what you mean?
    – Ian Bush
    Nov 20, 2020 at 12:00
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    Typically such gambits of giving the b pawn if deliberate are called wing gambits. Not necessarily to open the files for the rook but in general to open files for your pieces. Though I don't play such wing gambits so I'm not the right person to ask...
    – koedem
    Nov 20, 2020 at 12:00
  • @IanBush Yes just a common net gamer term :)
    – geotheory
    Nov 20, 2020 at 12:20
  • This question is a bit too broad to have a definite answer, as those sacrifices may appear in many different openings and positions. You may want to enjoy this illustrative example by Grandmaster Alexei Shirov
    – David
    Nov 20, 2020 at 13:06
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    If the pawn is sacrificed by advancing it until it is captured then the sacrifice might be part of a pawn storm. Nov 20, 2020 at 16:44

3 Answers 3


It is called a clearance sacrifice:

In a clearance sacrifice, the sacrificing player aims to vacate the square the sacrificed piece stood on, either to open up lines for his own pieces, or to put another, more useful piece on the same square.

  • Thanks @b-swan looks like this is right. If I'm not mistaken p35 of this Swedish magazine (with front cover of a 15 year old Magnus Carlsen) has the reference web.archive.org/web/20120211202053/http://sjakk.no/nsf/…
    – geotheory
    Nov 23, 2020 at 11:32
  • Google translates that reference as "Field evacuation [sic] victims constitute a thematic counterpart to magnetic victims, which was discussed in the previous chess magazine. The point here is to sacrifice a piece to use the field it was on for something more sensible."
    – geotheory
    Nov 23, 2020 at 11:33

To mine knowledge its called "opening lines against king" in many languages this term used - no other specific name that I would have heard of in any language I know.



There is no specific word for a gambit that does that to open files to then win.

It would be the result of a general "gambit" giving up a pawn.

I note that you said lose a pawn unintentionally and then win. That is not a gambit that is two beginners playing like beginners.

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