The King’s Gambit

The King’s Gambit isn’t seen much these days at any level of chess though playing it can help develop certain skill sets such as a feel for the attack. The only World Champion to play it much was Boris Spassky and meanwhile lesser known King’s Gambiteers such as English GMs Mark Hebden and Joe Gallagher have given it up. So it currently has no champion.

There is a fun story about how Gallagher started playing this opening. I understand that he won some money from Mark Hebden at poker but then took King’s Gambit lessons in lieu of cash. This resulted in Gallagher becoming a fearsome exponent of this opening and he later wrote an excellent book about it.

Anyway, here’s Boris Spassky using this opening against very serious opposition, the then World Champion Anatoly Karpov. And White had very good chances before letting Black off the hook and then finally winning in the time scramble.


Author: NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in St. Helens in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days Nigel teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 15 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Nigel has written a number of chess books that are available at Amazon: