How to set a trap in the king’s gambit accepted opening as white

This article was co-authored by Sahaj Grover. Sahaj Grover is a Chess Grandmaster, World Champion, and coach, who attained his Grandmaster title at the age of 16. He has been a World Junior Bronze Medalist, World U10 Champion, South African Open 2017 & 2018 Champion, and the Winner of the Arnold Classic 2018 & 2019.

This article has been viewed 103,238 times.

Here is a famous trap you can set up in the King’s Gambit Accepted Opening in Chess while playing as white. This lethal trap may catch the unsuspected player unfamiliar with the King’s Gambit opening.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

e4. Moving the King pawn two spaces forward is the most common move played in professional and amateur chess. It opens up the center as well as the diagonals for White’s Queen and King Bishop.

e5. Moving the King pawn two spaces, for the same reasons above, is the most common move in reply to e4.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

f4. Moving the King Bishop Pawn two spaces forms the King’s Gambit Opening, by offering the pawn for Black’s King Pawn. This is an aggressive move in an attempt to dominate the center by trying to get Black’s King Pawn away from the center.

exf4. Accepting the gambit. This move is perfectly fine to play, although caution is needed to avoid traps.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

Sahaj Grover
Chess Grandmaster Expert Interview. 4 May 2021. The knight move develops an important piece to prepare for kingside attack, and protects the h4 square. A more daring move is Bc4, but after 3. Qh4+ 4. Kf1, White can no longer castle.

d5. Queen Pawn moving two spaces to open up the center is a daring move forming the “Modern Defense” in the King’s Gambit Accepted Variation. Other possible moves here include g5 (protecting the pawn at f4 and keeping the f file closed), Nf6 (developing the King Knight), Nc6 (developing the Queen Knight), d6 (more conservative center pawn play), and Be7 (aiming at the h4 square).

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

Nc3. Developing the Queen Knight, attacking Black’s Queen pawn, and protecting the King pawn. exd5 simply taking the pawn is also plausible here.

dxe4. Taking the King Pawn.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

Nxe4. Taking the pawn back.

Bg4. Pinning White’s King Knight to the Queen.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

Qe2. The Queen’s move sets a trap.

Bxf3? Taking the Knight with the Bishop, Black falls for the lethal trap. The correct move here is Be7.

In this video lesson, GM Igor Smirnov will show you the right way to refute the Stafford Gambit in the Petrov’s Defense, which happens after the opening moves: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 Nc6, and the gambit is accepted with 4.Nxc6 dxc6.

This opening became widely popular in recent years – whether you are playing the gambit as Black or want to refute it as White, you will learn some interesting ideas and deadly tricks in this opening.

Many videos and articles suggest you to play 5.d3, which can be hardly called a refutation as it is a very defensive move. The line that GM Igor Smirnov shows you in this video lesson is 5.e5, which is the right way to refute the Stafford Gambit – the most aggressive move for White.

00:00 What is the Stafford Gambit?
00:33 Black opts for quick development
01:13 The wrong refutation 5.d3
01:32 The right refutation 5.e5
02:03 150K subscribers – thank you!
02:36 Black sets a trap with 5…Ne4
03:59 How should you play as White?
06:23 If Black continues to play aggressively
08:41 Black’s 2 common responses are losing!
10:55 Bonus tip: Stafford Gambit for White?
12:05 If Black plays Bg4, attacking the queen
14:46 If Black plays 5…Ng4
16:30 Cool line for White: Strong central pawns
18:17 Evil laugh: Deadly mating threat!
18:49 Quiz for you: Find the best move!

📗 Free chess courses –
💡 Premium chess courses –

#GMSmirnov #StaffordGambit #ChessTraps

Sounds effects from licensed under CCBYNC 3.0

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If white’s first move is the queen’s pawn, then you can use this trap to capture white’s queen in the Englund’s gambit chess opening.

How to trap whites queen with Englunds gambit.

If white’s first move is queen’s pawn to D4, which is known as the queen’s pawn chess opening, then black can consider trying this queen trap by responding with pawn to E5, which is the Englund’s gambit chess opening. Black risks a pawn to win white’s queen, but versus casual players, then the reward should be worth the risk.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as whitePawn to E5 is the Englund’s gambit chess opening.

White takes pawn on D4 and then bishop to C5. This is the prelude to setting the trap.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as whiteBishop to C5 is the prelude to the trap.

White will often respond with knight to F3 or bishop to F4. If white is aware of this trap, white will move knight to C3 and black should abort, because black has now protected its queen from the trap.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as whiteBlacks pawn to D6 sets the trap.

White takes pawn on D6 and then knight to E7. This move should be premoved or moved quickly, so white can think, that black made a mistake, and then take it and attack white’s queen without further speculation.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as whiteBlacks knight to E7 is the trick and should be done quickly, so white will think, that black made a mistake, and take it.

Bishop takes pawn on F2. White realizes, that only move is king takes on F2 and loose the queen.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as whiteBlack moves bishop to F2 and white can not save its queen at this point.

Black moves queen to D1 and takes white’s queen.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as whiteBlack takes queen.

White has now lost its queen in this trap in the Englund’s gambit chess opening.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as whiteWhite’s queen has been lost due to black’s queen trap in the Englund’s gambit chess opening.

Portable game notation (PGN) for this trap.

PGN for this queen trap in the Englund’s gambit chess opening is 1. d4 e5 2. dxe5 Bc5 3. Bf4 d6 4. exd6 Ne7 5. dxe7 Bxf2+ 6. Kxf2 Qxd1.

Future options.

White is losing at this point, but will have different options, which mainly are attacking the queen and developing pieces. These are some of the possible moves.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as whitePossible moves after queen trap in the Englund’s gambit chess opening.

Examples of trapping whites queen with Englunds gambit.

I played this trap, which you can replay, in game 2021-02-14 Jach (1024) and 2021-06-10 Ya_ho4y_pitsi (975) from Russia on Lichess. I saw this trap on Eric Rosen’s channel on YouTube.

Other chess openings for black.

This page was last updated 2021-09-03.

Published by Micski

Micski lives in Copenhagen, which is the capitol city of Denmark, where he’s a system administrator of information technology and a semi-professional poker player. View all posts by Micski

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

The King’s Gambit is a chess opening that belongs to the field of open games.

The possibilities the opening presents have intrigued the greatest chess minds for years including greats such as Spassky, Tal, and Fischer.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

The King’s Gambit begins with the moves:

  1. e4 e5
  2. f4

The idea behind the King’s Gambit is: White sacrifices a pawn to get counterplay and an advantage in development.

The King’s Gambit can be divided into four major variations, depending on Black’s options.

The first decision that Black has to make is whether to take the pawn on f4 or not.

Taking it leads to the King’s Gambit Accepted, the main line, while not taking it leads to the King’s Gambit declined.

The four major variations are:

[+] King’s Gambit Accepted: Classical Variation

In this variation Black plays g5 to protect the pawn on f4. This opening runs into a lot of issues for Black since White can get his Knight to e5 and force Black’s pawns to over advance.

Therefore the Fischer variation was created (by Bobby Fischer) to control the e5 square before protecting the f4 pawn.

[+] King’s Gambit Accepted: Fischer Defense

In this variation Black first takes away the e5 square from the White Knight.

Then proceeds to protect the f4 pawn with his g pawn. This variation prevents Black from dealing with a lot of headaches when White’s Knight gets on the e5 square.

[+] King’s Gambit Accepted: Bishop’s Variation

White develops the Bishop instead of the Knight. The idea is: White is okay with losing the right to castle since he will be up in development by two pieces over Black.

[+] King’s Gambit Declined (main line)

In the King’s Gambit Declined, Black decides not to accept White’s sacrifice.

He will try to exploit the fact that playing f4 weakens the King, by playing moves like Bc5 (to prevent White from castling) or immediately open up lines for attack by playing d5.

Watch the videos below to watch more detailed explanations of King’s Gambit opening, multiple variations, and extended lines.

After Nf3, black chooses g5. Their intentions are too dislodge the knight from the f3 square, but this causes a lot of weaknesses in their position. Blacks’ king side safety has been corrupted, so the best option for him would be to castle Queen side. White has 4 options: They can play 4.h4, 4.Bc4, 4.d4, or 4.Nc3. 4.h4 has a couple of purposes. challenging the g5 pawn and just in case if the knight is pushed away from f3, the knight can hop into the g5 square. Although, this does trap the knight, white will have some compensation for the lost piece. Considering that black’s king is not safe and has no right to castle. Bc4 is a simple developing move. Not caring about the g5-g4 push. Keep in mind if the pawn is push from g5-g4, white’s knight can be placed 5.e5. This is called King’s Gambit Accepted: Salvio Gambit. I would consider this an aggressive move considering that white is double attacking the f7 square.

The best move for black would be 5. Qh4+. After 6.Kf1, black will defend the f7 square with 6. Nh6. This is called the King’s Gambit Accepted: Salvio, Silberschmidt Defense. You are simply defending the f7 square. White will continue his long term plan with 7.d4, controlling the center (At least that’s how I see it). Black has 2 options. He can play 7. f3 or 7. d6. 7. f3 will lead to a position called King’s Gambit Accepted: Salvio, Silberschmidt Defense, Silberschmidt Gambit. Black wants more. Simply trying to attack the enemy king with his pawns. After which, you can just develop to Nc3 and continue from there or g3 just to stop black’s attack on the king side. After 7. d6, black enters into a position called King’s Gambit Accepted: Salvio, Silberschmidt Defense, Anderssen Counterattack. Black wants to kick the knight away from e5. There are no sacrifices in this position btw. So just retreat the knight 8.d3. Sure, you might suffer from the pawn pushes from black’s kingside pawn’s after 8. f3, but it isn’t anything special. Simply pushing g3 stops all of blacks plans. Now we reach a position where both black and white have a compromised position. Both will try getting every piece into the attack for an advantage.

This is the King’s Gambit Accepted: Salvio, Silberschmidt Defense, Anderssen Counterattack

This is called the King’s Gambit Accepted: Salvio, Silberschmidt Defense, Silberschmidt Gambit. Both of the positions will lead to wild tactics. There are other options after 4.Bc4. Black’s most common move is 4. Bg7. Putting the bishop on the long diagnol. Not going for the more aggressive g4. I will discuss about these options in another post. I’m having a headache .

These positions aren’t so bad for Black but there is no reason to put the Knight on such a bad square just to defend the f7 pawn since White can’t really take the rook in the corner without giving Black a winning attack. 6. Nc6 is the best move and White should probably cut their losses and take on f7 with the Bishop and be slightly worse. Nxf7, taking the bait, on the other hand runs into Bc5, then Qe2 runs into Nd4 while Queen e1 runs into the surprising, g3, followed by Bf2 and after the Queen runs away again. Black plays Nf6, pushes the d-pawn, and cannot really be stopped from putting a put a piece on g4. Depending how White plays sometimes Bg4 is good, but often Ng4 with the idea of Nh2+ which must be captured and then Black’s pawn will queen on h1 is the right plan. Black has more than enough compensation for the exchange (or often even the whole rook) in these lines. 6. Nf6 is also probably better than Nh6, but then White has d4. 6. Nc6 is the most accurate because it clamps down on White’s counterplay.

Here is the last game I played in this line as black (which I posted in Post your best miniatures here) a while back though it’s all theory/prep. It was a 3 minute blitz game.

I don’t think my play here was 100% accurate. I’m not sure Nd4 was right. I wanted to put a piece on g4 like I said, and I was afraid of the Queen check after d5, not sure if I should have been, or if perhaps d6 was a better move. Anyway after Nd4 the Queen moved so it was no longer on g4 at which point I think perhaps I could have played Ng4 right away and not messed with d5 which is normally necessary, but it worked out ok. I’m not posting here because I think my game was perfect, this theory all exists if you want to look for it, just this is one example of the kind of attack Black gets very easily if White goes all in in this line.

I didn’t even realize that it was playable. This line is called King’s Gambit Accepted: Santa Maria Defense. You’re right though. There is no need to defend the pawn on f7. If white does take the pawn, black will play Ke7 and what does white have after winning a pawn? Nothing special. Just a won pawn. Black can win the pawn back and still have a devastating attack on the king side.

In this position, the computer is saying that black can sacrifice a rook and black will still have a better position because of the king side attack.

I’ve been investigating the theory of the King’s gambit, and I found the variation in the accepted 3. Nf3 Be7. I didn’t like the looks of that for White.

I’ve started to play the Bishop’s gambit, but the problem is that Black can also play the 3. Be7 line. Is there any way to deal with it?

2 Answers 2

After 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Be7 4.Nf3 Bh4+ probably 5.g3!? fxg3 6.0-0 does the job.

In typical King’s gambit style, you’re down in material and probably a bit worse with perfect play, but you have great compensation and attacking chances. If Black makes a mistake, they will pay the consequences.

  1. Bc4 has bigger problems than . Be7, namely 3. Nf6 (GM Shaw even goes as far as to call it a soft refutation, i.e. Black is better in all variants). Here is what I like to play in the Nf3 variation after Be7. You might think it looks like White will go down in flames, but actually most Black players overstep heavily very fast and you get very good play.


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The King’s Gambit is an age-old aggressive opening that Romantic chess players revered. Largely employed by top players for more than 300 years, this opening leads to open games that are exciting and, in most cases, decisive.

With the rise of engines and computer analysis, top players have virtually abandoned the King’s Gambit in high-stakes games because of its risky nature. However, tactical players who enjoy sharp games can still employ this opening to play for a fabulous (and usually sacrificial) attack to win the game in style.

Starting Position

The King’s Gambit happens after 1.e4 e5 2.f4 and it’s the fourth most popular move after Black plays 1. e5. White’s idea is to gambit a pawn to build a strong center after diverting Black’s e5-pawn to f4. If Black accepts the pawn sacrifice, White has two main plans: attack the weak f7-square or play d2-d4 and develop their pieces to active squares.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

The starting position for the King’s Gambit.

  • It’s an exhilarating and fun opening
  • White goes for the initiative
  • Black has many different options to choose from
  • White’s king can become exposed
  • It’s a risky opening


After the game enters the King’s Gambit with 2.f4, Black can accept or decline the pawn sacrifice. Below are the four main lines, two of them taking the pawn and the other two ignoring it.

King’s Gambit Accepted: King’s Knight’s Gambit

The most popular way to play is to accept the gambit with 2. exf4. After that, White’s main move is to play 3.Nf3, entering the King’s Knight’s Gambit line. White stops Black from playing Qh4 with check and starts developing the kingside. Usually, White will try to quickly castle and apply pressure on the f7-square using the light-squared bishop, knight, and the open f-file.

King’s Gambit Accepted: Bishop’s Gambit

Another line after Black accepts the pawn is to play 4.Bc4 and enter the Bishop’s Gambit, a variation preferred by GM Bobby Fischer. This move allows Black to play Qh4+, forcing the white king to f1. White will accept that to later play Nf3, gaining a tempo on the black queen. From there, White usually tries to build a strong center and go on the offensive.

King’s Gambit Declined: Falkbeer Countergambit

The Falkbeer Countergambit is the most popular way to decline the King’s Gambit. The game enters this line after 1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5. Black strikes at the center immediately instead of taking White’s wing pawn.

King’s Gambit Declined: Classical Variation

The King’s Gambit Declined: Classical Variation occurs after 1.e4 e5 2.f4 Bc5, with Black developing the dark-squared bishop to a dangerous diagonal. With this line, Black refuses to play the crazy games that would unfold after accepting the gambit. The bishop on c5 does a good job preventing the white king from castling kingside, keeping the it exposed.

How To Play Against The King’s Gambit

One of the disadvantages of the King’s Gambit is that Black has many ways of playing against it. Any player who knows theory can get good positions with Black by “defusing” the gambit whether they decide to accept or decline it.

King’s Gambit Declined: Falkbeer Countergambit

If you want to respond to White’s aggressive opening by escalating the aggression, you can opt for the Falkbeer Countergambit. As stated above, it arises after 1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5. Black’s idea is to open up the center and explore the weakness White created around their king after the f2-f4 push.

King’s Gambit Accepted: Fischer Defense

This variation became famous after Fischer published an article titled “A Bust to the King’s Gambit.” If you want to accept the gambit and White chooses to develop the g1-knight, this is a great way to get a good position. The variation goes 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 d6, and Black will usually play the g7-g5 push to keep the f4-pawn or build pressure on the kignside. With 381 games in our database, White wins 35%, draws 15%, and Black wins 50%.

King’s Gambit Accepted: Cozio Variation

After accepting the gambit, White can develop the light-squared bishop before the knight. For this line, the Cozio Variation scores well. After 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 d6, White can no longer castle. From this position, White wins 28% of the games, draws 21%, and Black wins 52%.

History Of The King’s Gambit

The oldest record of the King’s Gambit comes from a 1560 game between Ruy Lopez de Segura and Giovani Leonardo Da Cutri. The opening never fell out of fashion among European players, and in the early 1600s, the prominent Gioachino Greco adopted the opening and developed a significant theory on it.

In the 1800s, the opening became extremely popular, with many of the best players of their time playing it. Players like Alexander McDonnell, Howard Staunton, Paul Morphy, Adolf Anderssen, and many others had the King’s Gambit as an integral part of their arsenal.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

Adolf Anderssen played the King’s Gambit regularly with great success. Photo: Public Domain.

The King’s Gambit began losing its popularity around the beginning of the 1900s. At that time, players’ knowledge of positional and defensive concepts was significantly higher than in the previous centuries, making it harder for White to gain a significant advantage from the opening.

By the middle of the 20th century, few of the elite players still relied on the King’s Gambit in high-stakes games. In 1961, Fischer wrote the famous article “A Bust to the King’s Gambit,” giving even more traction to the “movement” against the opening.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

Fischer claimed that he had found the refutation for the King’s Gambit. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, CC.

Nowadays, the King’s Gambit is rare in high-level games. However, players like GMs Garry Kasparov, Ian Nepomniachtchi, and Magnus Carlsen have played this aggressive opening in shorter time controls.

Famous Games

The Romantic Era of chess has plenty of examples of games with the King’s Gambit. You can also find examples of this opening in more recent games from strong players like GM David Bronstein and even world champions like GMs Boris Spassky and Fischer. Below you can see two famous games with the King’s Gambit:

Anderssen vs. Lionel Kieseritzky – The Immortal Game

Spassky vs. Bronstein


You now know what the King’s Gambit is, how to play it, its main lines, how to play against it, and more. Head over to our Master Games database to check out master games using this opening to learn more about it!

I have discussed a few famous chess traps previously (Legal Trap, Elephant Trap, Lasker Trap, Mortimer Trap).

Today we will continue this topic with less known, but not-less-powerful traps that you can learn from and even use in your own games.

Want to win your games quickly using some of those powerful chess traps?

Here is the list of all 10 of them!

Opening Chess Traps:

1. Josef Emil Krejcik – Baumgartner, King Pawn Game: Busch-Gass Gambit (C40)

2. Gioachino GrecoItalian – Unknown Player, Italian Game Classical Variation, Center Attack (C53)

3. Amedee Gibaud – Frederic Lazard, Indian Game: Lazard Gambit (A45)

4. M. Warren – J. Selman, Budapest Defense: Fajarowicz Variation (A51)

5. Robert F. Combe – Wolfgang R. Hasenfuss, Benoni Defense: General (A43)

6. Zaitsik – Zichulidze, Reti Opening (A09)

7. Mairelys D. Crespo – Lincoln Lucena, Philidor Defense (C41)

8. Kutjanin – Jakobjuk, Vienna Game (C27)

9. Valt Borsony – Albert Laustsen, Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation (B70)

10. Balode – Sondore, Scandinavian Defense: Ilundain Variation (B01)

Want to master the most powerful opening traps?

IM Mat Kolosowksi recently filmed Opening Traps ‘Encyclopedia’ where he unleashes the power of opening traps for both sides.

How to set a trap in the king's gambit accepted opening as white

You’ll know when and how to use it, as well as how not to become a victim of one!