Englund Gambit Full Guide

Englund Gambit Full Guide

The Englund Gambit, beginning with the unexpected moves 1.d4 e5, is a fascinating chess opening that promises a daring and adventurous game.

Englund Gambit

This chess opening is definitely NOT for the heart-fainted, and its more suitable for blitz games rather than classical games.

Named after the Swedish chess player Fritz Carl Anton Englund, this opening seeks to disrupt traditional play, offering a fresh and aggressive approach to the game.

Fritz Carl Anton Englund

In sacrificing a pawn, Black aims for faster development, seizing the initiative early on, and creating dynamic play that can unsettle the opponent.

While its bold nature captivates many enthusiasts, the gambit comes with inherent risks and complexities.

Rarely seen at the highest levels of competitive play, the Englund Gambit continues to intrigue and challenge players across the world.

In this article, we will delve into the main characteristics, pros and cons, and the exciting world of tactical opportunities this opening provides, making it an attractive choice for those looking to explore new dimensions in chess strategy.

Whether you're a novice or a seasoned player, the Englund Gambit offers a thrilling departure from conventional wisdom, one that invites creativity and rewards those who dare to take the plunge.

Join us as we explore the rich landscape of this audacious opening, uncovering its secrets, and understanding what makes it a compelling choice for the modern chess player.

Main Ideas in the Englund Gambit

The Englund Gambit represents a battlefield where both Black and White must navigate with precision and creativity.

Below are the main ideas that characterize this provocative opening:

Main Ideas For Black:

  • Pawn Sacrifice: By offering the e5 pawn, Black aims to divert White's central pawn and seize rapid development and control over key squares.
  • Aggressive Play: Black must maintain an aggressive stance, coordinating pieces quickly to create threats and maintain the initiative.
  • Flexible Approach: The Englund Gambit allows Black various paths, including sharp tactical lines or more strategic and solid continuations. Adapting to White's response is crucial.

Main Ideas For White:

  • Accepting the Gambit: Whites best response by far is to accept the pawn sacrifice with 2.dxe5. After this, the range of possibilities is large.
    Englund Gambit, Accepting the Gambit
  • Central Control: If White accepts the gambit, central control becomes pivotal. White must be cautious in defending and leveraging the extra pawn without falling behind in development.
  • Counterplay: Understanding Black's aggressive intentions, White should seek opportunities to counterattack and exploit any overextension by Black.

Main Ideas for Both Sides:

  • Tactical Awareness: The Englund Gambit is rife with tactical possibilities, and keen awareness of threats and opportunities is vital.
  • Development: Both sides should prioritize rapid development, connecting the rooks and bringing the knights and bishops to optimal squares.
  • King Safety: Finding the right moment to castle or keeping the king safe is a subtle but essential aspect of navigating this opening.

The Englund Gambit is not merely a sequence of moves; it's a complex narrative that unfolds on the chessboard.

The strategies and tactics intertwine, challenging both players to think creatively and play with precision.

Whether you're employing this gambit as Black to create unexpected complications or facing it as White, understanding these main ideas equips you to engage with confidence and skill.

The Englund Gambit invites players to embrace complexity, cultivate adaptability, and revel in the rich tapestry of chess strategy that this opening unveils.

It's a journey of daring and discovery, a thrilling venture into the art of chess.

Englund Gambit Main Line

The main line of the Englund Gambit typically begins with the following sequence of moves:
1.d4 e5
2.dxe5 Nc6
3.Nf3 Qe7

In this line, Black sacrifices a pawn early with 1...e5 to open up lines and accelerate piece development.

After White captures the pawn with 2.dxe5, Black continues with 3...Nc6, attacking the e5 pawn and preparing to further develop pieces.

3.Nf3 is a common response by White, focusing on development and supporting the e5 pawn.

After this, Black should play 3Qe7 to put pressure on e5.

Englund Gambit Main Line

The positions arising from this line can become sharp and tactical, often leading to rich and complex play.

Various continuations are possible from here, and the resulting middlegame can offer exciting opportunities for both sides.

The Englund Gambit main line is known for its aggressive nature and can lead to an unbalanced game, making it a fascinating choice for players looking for non-traditional and dynamic play.

The main line of the Englund Gambit continues with the following moves:
4.Bf4 d6
5.Bg5 f6
6.exf6 Nxf6

BlackburneHartlaub Gambit

The Blackburne-Hartlaub Gambit begins with the moves 1. d4 e5 2. dxe5 d6 3. exd6 Bxd6. This gambit is named after the English chess master Joseph Henry Blackburne and the German player Richard Hartlaub.

In this variation, Black sacrifices a pawn in order to rapidly develop the light-squared bishop and open up lines for quick attacking chances. The idea is to create immediate pressure on White's position and potentially catch them off guard in the opening stages of the game.

After 3...Bxd6, White has several options, with 4. Nf3 being one of the most common responses. Black often follows up with moves like 4...Nf6, aiming to develop pieces quickly and maintain the initiative.

This gambit can lead to sharp, tactical positions where both sides must play precisely. It's considered a double-edged sword - while it offers Black attacking chances, it also comes with significant risks, as White can potentially capitalize on Black's weakened pawn structure.

The Blackburne-Hartlaub Gambit is generally seen more often in rapid and blitz games than in classical tournament play, where more solid openings are typically preferred. It's a choice that appeals to players who enjoy aggressive, tactical play from the very start of the game.

The 4Qb4+ Line

In the Englund Gambit, the 4Qb4+ line is probably one of the sharpest of the whole opening.

Englund Gambit, The 4Qb4+ Line

By playing 4Qb4+, Black decides to go all in and

  • Attacks the Bishop on f4
  • Attacks the pawn on b2
  • Gives an annoying check.

The 4Qb4+ Line

This line is the beginning of a nasty trap, but only if White plays the wrong moves.

There are several correct ways of playing the 4Qb4+ line, for instance:
5.Bd2 Qe7
6.Bg5 f6
7.exf6 Nxf6

Black can also choose to take the pawn on b2:
5.Bd2 Qxb2
6.Nc3 Bb4
7.Rb1 Qa3
8.Nd5 Ba5
9.Rb5 Bxd2+

This sequence is objectively worse for Black, although can cause serious problems for White in case the player is not ready to face a double-edged opening like the Englund Gambit.

Soller Gambit

The Soller Gambit begins with the moves 1.d4 e5 2.dxe5 f6. This variation is named after the German chess player Karl Soller, who analyzed and promoted this line in the early 20th century.

In this gambit, Black immediately strikes at White's central pawn with 2...f6, aiming to recapture the e5-pawn and open the f-file for the rook.

This aggressive approach seeks to create immediate tactical complications and put pressure on White's position.

After 2...f6, White has several options:

  • 3.exf6 is the most common response, after which Black usually plays 3...Nxf6. This leads to an open position where Black has given up a pawn for rapid development and attacking chances.
  • White can also try 3.e4, maintaining the extra pawn but allowing Black to develop quickly with 3...fxe5.
  • Another option is 3.Qh5+, which can lead to complex positions after 3...g6 4.exf6 Qxf6.

The Englund Gambit TRAP!

Believe us, you dont want to fall into this trap if you are White.

The Englund Gambit Trap happens when White tries to block the check on the 4Qb4+ line with 5.Qd2.

The sequence is:
5.Qd2 Qxb2
6.Qc3 Bb4

In this case, White has made a huge mistake.

Another way of all this going bad for White is after the following sequence:
5.Bd2 Qxb2
6.Bc3 Bb4
7.Qd2 Bxc3

And here White loses because after 8.Qxc3 comes Qc1#

Englund Gambit after 8.Qxc3 comes Qc1

And after 8.Nxc3 Black just plays 8Qxa1+

Englund Gambit after 8.Nxc3 Black just plays 8Qxa1+


Some of the sidelines of the Englund Gambit are:
1.d4 e5
2.dxe5 Nc6
3.Nf3 d6
4.Bg5 Qd7
5.exd6 Bxd6
6.Nc3 h6
7.Bh4 Nge7

1.Bf4 Nxf3+
2.gxf3 Qb4
3.Qd2 d6
4.e4 Be6

Illustrative Games in the Englund Gambit


The Englund Gambit stands as a testament to the adventurous spirit of chess, a provocative opening that challenges conventional norms and beckons players into a world of tactical complexity and creative exploration.

Though not as commonly employed at the highest levels, it continues to captivate club players and enthusiasts who are drawn to its unique blend of risk and reward.

By embracing the core principles, understanding the main ideas, and delving into the intricacies of this audacious gambit, players can unlock a vibrant and thrilling aspect of chess strategy.

While the Englund Gambit may not be suitable for the faint-hearted, it rewards those who dare with a rich and fulfilling chess experience.

In a game that is as much about individuality and expression as it is about skill and calculation, the Englund Gambit stands as a celebration of creativity and a fascinating departure from the well-trodden paths of traditional openings.

Whether you choose to employ it as a surprise weapon or simply wish to understand its nuances, the Englund Gambit offers a window into the endless possibilities that make chess a timeless and ever-evolving art form.

Explore it, enjoy it, and let the adventure of the Englund Gambit inspire your journey on the sixty-four squares.

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Sicilian Defense: Full Guide, Main Lines, and Secondary Options

Ultimate Guide to Winning with the Italian Game

London System Complete Guide

The Caro-Kann Defense

The English Opening

A40 Sub-variants:


Games on Database: 1279
Last Played: Oct 2022
Overall score:
49% 17.8% 33.2%

Played frequently by:

Diana Davidovic 4 games
Peter Urban 3 games
Alexander Alekhine 3 games
Eduard Fiedler 14 games
Rainer Siegel 12 games
Jesus Menendez Villar 12 games

Possible continuations:

2. dxe5  993
51.4 % 18.1 % 30.5 %
2. d5  94
45.7 % 16 % 38.3 %
2. e4  49
46.9 % 44.9 %
2. e3  49
36.7 % 20.4 % 42.9 %
2. c3  32
34.4 % 25 % 40.6 %
2. Nf3  25
44 % 52 %
2. c4  23
34.8 % 21.7 % 43.5 %
2. g3  5
20 % 20 % 60 %
2. Nc3  4
25 % 25 % 50 %
2. Qd2  3
100 %