There are some opening lines where grabbing material is very dangerous – another question of mine serves as a good example.

However, are there some trick lines where the only reasonable choice is to grab extra material leading to a game playable for the player offering material? At first some gambits come to mind where one has to take a pawn first, but rather often gives it back quite soon.

I hope there exist a lot of examples, and maybe this question will see a lot of great answers then. To specify the question, I am searching for opening ideas where:

  • In a position which is roughly equal, one side (player A) sacrifices a lot of material – more than a pawn, the more the better.
  • The other side (player B) has to take that material in order not to get a worse position.
  • After B grabs that material, A gets a playable position. (That does not mean sacrificing material had to be the best move available.)
  • Ideally these lines occur rather often in actual games. Such a trick on move 24 in an opening no one plays is of course less interesting.

1 Answer 1


When I answered your other question and mentioned that a semi-bluff sacrifice works better if the best counter is to take the material, I actually had a specific opening line in mind.

I have never played the line with black myself, but I recommended it to a friend, who won some very nice games against stronger opposition.

The line I'm talking about is a sacrificial variation of the Löwenthal-Sicilian. You sac a pawn on your ninth move and continue with a rook sacrifice. The line I give below is just a sample line. There's quite a little tactical labyrinth for white to navigate. There is no direct refutation, only a better endgame for white in some line that I cannot remember. There are a lot of ways for white to go wrong, even if he doesn't take the rook for example, it can be quite tricky to get the knight out again.

rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 a6 6. Nd6+ Bxd6 
7. Qxd6 Qf6 8. Qd1 Qg6 9. Nc3 d5 10. Nxd5 Qxe4+ 11.Be3 Nd4 12.Nc7 Ke7
13. Nxa8 Nxc2 14. Kd2 Nxe3 15. fxe3 Nf6 16. Qb3 Rd8 17. Ke1 Ng4

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