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LCB, Issue #107 --, Add the Danish Gambit to Your Arsenal
May 01, 2024

Add the Danish Gambit to Your Arsenal

Lapoc Chess Board, Issue #107 -- GOTM #77

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The Danish Gambit or Nordic Gambit sees you gambit not one pawn but two. This gives you a huge opening initiative and you must capitalize. Your two Bishops are already in prime position on key diagonals bearing down on the Black Kingside.

Different lines see you castle on the short side or long. Nc3 on the way to Nd5 is a common theme as the pressure on f6 builds. Black often experiences difficulty in prepping castling Kingside. This is due to pressure on g7 but Black can sometimes deal with this with ...Bb4+ winning a tempo.

Qb3 is another thematic move. This threatens f7 directly and prepares the long castle. If you have Black the best way to neutralize the growing threats is to give back a pawn with 5...d5. This allows development with the recovery of one of those tempi. Don't worry, there are ways to counteract the Danish.

A great Danish Gambit was played in Monte Carlo in 1903 between two renowned tactical masters. Jacques Mieses had White and Frank Marshall had Black.

Add the Danish Gambit to Your Arsenal

Mieses, Jacques - Marshall, Frank James [C21]

GotM #77, Monte Carlo, 1903
[Connaughton, Ken]


King's Pawn Game


Open Game


Center Gambit


Center Game


Danish Gambit




Full Danish


Accepted, kudos to Black, it's going to be a fight.


Game position after 5.Bxb2

The full Danish Gambit, if Black has the courage to take it on, gives White a big lead in development with two ferocious Bishops bearing down on the Black Kingside. Black must try to hold on and preserve his two pawn advantage into the later stages of the game. White of course must make the most of his early initiative and destroy Black's resistance in the opening and early middlegame.

5...d6 6.Ne2 Nc6 7.0-0 Be6

Challenging one of the Bishops directly.

8.Bd5 Nf6 9.Qb3 Qc8

Both players building up on e6.

10.Nf4 Nd8

Game position after 10...Nd8

The side with the space advantage often comes out on top in these situations. The Black pieces are being forced into poor positions as they defend the target while White's gang naturally find good squares as they surround the prey.


Not afraid to give up one or both of his proud Bishops if the price is right. Here the Black Kingside is shattered and it's hard to see how the King will escape the center to the Queenside any time soon.

11...gxf6 12.Nh5

It seems as if Black will soon relinquish his right to castle.

12...c6 13.Re1!

Game position after 13.Re1!

Offering the Bishop but Black would need courage to take.


Even with the other Bishop entering the file, the pin is still really dangerous. 14.Qf3 Rg8 Again Black refuses the sacrifice, preferring to leave the e-file closed.


Game position after 15.Nxf6+

This forces the liquidation of Black's dark-square Bishop.

15...Bxf6 16.Qxf6 cxd5

Finally Black takes the Bishop.

17.exd5 Rg6 18.Qh8+ Kd7 19.Nc3!!

Game position after 19.Nc3!!

In keeping with the theme of the whole game. White isn't interested in taking the piece back. He remains true to the long term goal of opening the e-file to chase down the central King.

(19.dxe6+ Nxe6=)


Black is crumbling under the psychological pressure. He takes the pawn, happy to give back the piece and simplify.


Good intermezzo.


And now White can recapture with tempo.


(21.Re7+ Kb8+- is also winning but is less clear-cut.)

21...Kb8 22.Rac1

Compare White's pieces to Black's pieces. Night and day in terms of activity.

22...Nc6 23.Rxc6!

Game position after 23.Rxc6!

The final blow, this time to smash the King's refuge on the Queenside.


Black is forced to open the b-file.


The hunt comes to a conclusion and a beautiful #.


Mieses, Jacques - Marshall, Frank James [C21]

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