If we play a chess opening gambit there’s no going back. The permanent loss of a pawn is serious and the deficit has to be made up in other ways – speedy development, open attacking lines, weakness in the enemy camp. The advantages of playing chess gambits are many, and the King’s Gambit, the Evans Gambit, the Benko Gambit or any number of chess opening pawn sacrifices are good ways to play chess. It’s fun to crunch somebody in nineteen moves!
A pair of chess opening gambits are responsible for many such quick wins, two mirror-image pawn sacrifices that are easy to learn and promise fast attacking development. Take a look at these diagrams:
The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit, 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3
The Smith-Morra Gambit, 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3
It’s easy to see that we have the same type of chess position, the same structure – only in reverse! It should also be clear that both chess gambits can be learned together, since they rely on general principles rather that forced variations and share the same positional features. These two chess opening gambits are pure pawn sacrifices, with no hope of ever getting back our fallen foot soldier. Experience has shown, however, that White gets long term pressure based on rapid development and open central lines for the Rooks; in both “cousin” gambits this initiative can last into the endgame.
These related chess opening gambits, the Blackmar-Diemer and the Smith-Morra, are quite popular at the club level but not so much on the professional chess circuit. That works to our advantage, as much less “theory” exists about either gambit and so it’s easier to become a specialists in these two chess opening systems. Some Blackmar-Diemer chess software is available here and here , while Smith-Morra chess software can be found here and here. We might as well save study time and master two closely connected chess opening gambits at once!