20 ( +1 | -1 ) Danish!!!The Danish Gambit is my favorite as it leads to some hairy positions, especially when black accepts for a move or two, the declines before the opening is complete. It's not an opening for the feint of heart! ...george
84 ( +1 | -1 ) GambitsI agree with daverundle: the Scotch and Goring gambits are closely related, and both (I gather) retain a lot of vitality. They are easy to get into if Black plays mutual e-pawn openings. There are several ways they can go, though. You could end up with a Max Lange Attack (reeeeally complicated), which can also be reached via the Two Knights' Defence. If you want a Black gambit, the main line of the Two Knights' is really a gambit, and leads to a fun game for Black. If you're really adventurous, try the Wilkes-Barre line: (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 Bc5!?) My one caveat is that you might end up facing a Ruy Lopez, which indicates another shot in yr locker. Try the Schliemann! What if White plays 1d4? Check out the Benko - pretty easy to learn and to play for Black. More of a positional gambit, it's still a lot of fun! I've played all these in OTB play with reasonable success...Cheers Ion
78 ( +1 | -1 ) The Queen's Gambit is not a true gambit in the sense of the word, as black cannot advantageously hold onto the pawn in the accepted lines.
The Danish is rather easy to defend against as black by returning a pawn (or two), though for the materialistically unwary it's as good as any.
The gambits that will probably pay the most dividends from prolonged study are the King's Gambit and the Evan's Gambit, because the positions which spring from these two are similar to others in the open games. (Bishop's Gambit, Vienna Gambit, Goring Gambit, Boden-Kieseritzky Gambit, and so forth).
Beware latching onto the Blackmarr-Deimer Gambit fad; it will engender bad habits. Instead, with Q-pawn games, study the stellar and forceful Staunton Gambit vs. the Dutch.
32 ( +1 | -1 ) There are severel varations in the QGA in which White really gambits a pawn, and those are really interesting but my favorite gambit line is the Rb1 line in the exchange Grunfeld, in which White gives his a2 pawn for centre control. I'm not aware of anyone parenting this gambit line, so please correct me if I'm wrong.
33 ( +1 | -1 ) Hmmnnnn...As White the King's Gambit (Muzio especially) is a time-tested option! The Danish is not for the feint of heart, & requires careful play vs an experienced player, but an agressive stock option. As Black, the Albin Countergambit has served me well vs 1. d4. Vs 1. e4 the Scandinavian (1...d5) leads to scrappy play. You may wish to try the Hennig-Schara (1. d4 d5, 2. c4 e6, 3. Nc3 c5, 4. cxd5 cxd4).
93 ( +1 | -1 ) Also, the Marshall Gambit for the black side of the Ruy Lopez is a good try for a lot of counterattacking activity, however, one has to reach the critical position first. Some pet faves of mine: In the Scandinavian, the Icelandic Gambit (1. e4 d5 2. ed Nf6 3. c4 e6!?) is my favorite K-pawn black gambit. The Porteguese Gambit (1.d4 d6 2. Nf3 Bg4 3. c4 e5 4. de Nc6!?) is my favorite Q-pawn black gambit. Also, the little known Blackburne known gambit in the stolid Philidor Defence: (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Bg4 4.dxe5 Nd7!? 5.exd6 Bxd6) is worth a look.
I like the Albin myself (and Morozovitch is my favorite modern player, a handsome and dashing gent), but will admit that it's probably not sound, though I think it leads to more fruitful positions than the Budapest.
But rather than studying gambits per se, for the variations out there are legion and chess and opponent repertoires are unpredictable, one is better off studying a swashbuckling player's game anthology, like Rudolf Spielmann's "Art of Sacrifice," and the modern classic "Life and Game of Mikhail Tal."
75 ( +1 | -1 ) GambitsI forgot to mention the Budapest Defence - not really a gambit, but it looks like one! I agree that the Marshall (a long-time favorite of mine) is too hard to get to against an uncooperative opponent (who, apart from anything else, has the a4 'AntiMarshall' at his /her disposal. Let me add this, though, to velvetvelour's observations. Paul Keres once advised developing players to play unsound gambits as a means to stimulating and exercising the imagination (by which I infer one's chess 'vision'). Playing over 'swashbuckler' games can be a revelation. I remember reading Peter Clarke's 1961 book on Tal's games and was hooked. I've been a Tal fan ever since...The greatest of the Romantics. But don't overlook Alekhine, Spassky, Fischer or Kasparov either. They could swashbuckle with the best!
59 ( +1 | -1 ) Paul Keres has a point certainly (and I have an old Reinfeld book of his games), but inevitably one has to employ "real" openings that can't be blunted with simple refutations, or at least lines to equality, on black's part. This is especially applicable in CC, like on gameknot. I used to love the Wing Gambit (much like Keres) vs. the Sicilian but it is not a good opening, objectively.
However, I think classic stuff like the King's Gambit, et al, is still perfectly playable and sound, ditto with the Benko, which gives black ample comp in the main lines.
62 ( +1 | -1 ) Most any gambit has a certain element of surprise that makes its study very much worthwhile. I think the best way to go about this is to take the type of opening that you find yourself least knowledgeable about, and research an opening for that particular field.
For example, my personal situation was one where I was comfortable with many openings but weak with Indian Openings. After being told about the Kurjatko Gambit, I have taken a lot of time to study as much as I can about it. Now I find myself very pleased when an Indian Opening appears on the board.
64 ( +1 | -1 ) Most players who play nowadays study the game and openings and gambits and all that jazz. So most of these gambits are not real surprises. And there is so much theory on them that they are most often not good for anything but fast blitz games where pawns are not so important and the development and activity will pay off. Having said that there is a gambit that I play for for initiative is the Blackmar-Deimer Gambit d4 d5 e4 dxe Nc3 Nf6 f3 exf Nxf3 expect the pin and the exchange of material as you are a pawn down your opponent will do well to trade off as much as possible.
I find i get good development and lots of compensation in the middlegame.
3 ( +1 | -1 ) Kurjatko Gambit...How does that go ? Cheers, Ion