I recently started to learn chess, but I play mid to advanced Chinese chess. So to get the most out of transferable skills, I would like to avoid positional/pawn play, but prefer aggressive openings to bring non-pawns into contact very early.

I tried a bit with King's Gambit and Smith-Morra for playing white. What are the aggressive (gambit?) defense lines for black against 1.e4 and 1.d4? Are there early gambits that are easy to reach but hard to decline, even if in theory white's better?


3 Answers 3


Two gambits that your opponents would likely play into a fair amount, and are defined by move two, are the Latvian Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5, like a reversed King's Gambit) and the Albin Counter-gambit (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5). Between the two, the Albin is considered more sound, and even sees top-level games from the likes of Morozevich and Nakamura. The Latvian is generally seen as much shakier. In any case, these two bring the fight to White without delay, and might be the sort of flavor you're looking for.

[White "Latvian"]
[Black "Gambit"]
[fen ""]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5


[White "Albin"]
[Black "Counter-Gambit"]
[fen ""]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5
  • 4
    To the downvoter, I'll happily address problems with this answer if you let me know what they are.
    – ETD
    Commented Mar 14, 2015 at 0:32

I have a very good gambit for you, with black against 1. d4. it's called Benko gambit:

[White "Benko"]
[Black "Gambit"]
[fen ""]

1. d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5

It later gives you some ultra strong attack from the queen side, if white takes cxb5 your next move is a6 and then the opening branches out :)


The Traxler counterattack is one of the most aggresive openings for both sides:

[FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 Bc5

Also the Stafford gambit is popular nowadays:

[FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 Nc6

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