How to play the Latvian Gambit: The blast from the past

Let’s say it in the beginning – the Latvian Gambit is a controversial opening, and I don’t recommend playing it against a strong opponent in a normal (non-blitz) game, as you will most likely lose. So, why should you learn it? This opening is somehow attractive to players who like to risk and derail the opponent’s train of thoughts because they know that it is not always easy to exploit these situations, and a pedantic chess player sometimes makes a mistake during an attempt to punish us for our mistakes.

Basically, Black’s idea is to generate an unbalanced game with attacking chances, by playing a sort of reversed King’s Gambit, and following the same idea – open the f-file and escalate the pressure on the White’s king-side. Whether this strategy is successful or not mostly depends on the initial move selection, and the opponent’s abilities to avoid the most common traps.

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