Danish Gambit Accepted [Theory and Games]

Please note that the Danish Gambit Accepted is not for beginners and beginners should avoid it.

The reason why it is not so good for beginners, because you sacrifice two pawns in the opening and in return, you get the development advantage.

In Danish Gambit Accepted, most of the cases beginners do not know, or unable to take the advantage of the development. Therefore beginners should avoid the Danish Gambit.

Who should play Danish Gambit?

If you are below 2000 elo, then you should not play this gambit because it’s not an easy task to get an advantage from sacrificed pawns at lower level. If you are above 2000 elo then you should try this gambit for fast victories.

And one more thing is that,  it’s a very good weapon against beginners and club players.

There are two reasons for it. One is that beginners often grabs pawns in the opening and they don’t understand openings very well. The second reason is that it’s a very sharp gambit and very tactical also.

So if you are above 2000 elo then you know that below 2000 player can be defeated by a tactical shot.

How to play Danish Gambit Accepted?

If you want to play the Danish Gambit Accepted, then you must improve or master your tactical skills. This is general solution for playing all gambits but especially in the Danish Gambit Accepted you need to master the tactical skill.

Because in Danish Gambit you will get fast development and if you are not a tactical player then you will not get benefit of your fast development in the opening.

What is the Danish Gambit Accepted?

The Danish Gambit is the gambit which begins after you play e4-e5 and then you reply with d4. This is very sharp gambit and named after Danish player Martin Severin From. 

There are many strong players in the past who played this gambit. Like Alekhine, Marshal, Blackburne and Misses.

Here is the starting position of Danish Gambit.

Danish Gambit- White offers a pawn

Danish Gambit- White offers a pawn

 

black captures another pawn in danish gambit

Now white will take this pawn with bishop and it will become our dream position in Danish Gambit. Let’s have a look at our dream position.

Dream position's analysis in Danish Gambit
Dream position’s analysis in Danish Gambit

 

As you see, our two dangerous bishop are looking at black’s king. If you get this position in Danish gambit then you must win the game or leave the Danish gambit and play something different.

There are many games played in this position. Here is the chart of the top chess players who played the Danish Gambit in this position.

Top players who played the Danish Gambit

If we talk about our dream position, below you will find top chess players who used this line in danish gambit from white’s side.

  1. Jacques Mieses
  2. Jose Raul Capablanca
  3. Henry Edward Bird
  4. Viktor Bologan

These top chess players used this dream position in their games. Let’s watch these chess games in order to understand this position.

As I mentioned above you must master the tactical skill, if you want to play Danish Gambit.

Chess Games in Danish Gambit

Before watching these chess games, let’s watch the earliest  chess game in danish gambit between top chess players. This game was played in 1892 between Bird and Lasker.

Earliest Chess Game in Danish Gambit

 

Game’s Analysis:

This the perfect example of danish gambit. You saw how Bird defeated his opponent with Danish Gambit. As I mentioned above, if you want to play this gambit or any gambit or sharp opening, then you should improve your tactical skills.

Let’s watch other chess games played in Danish Gambit.

Top Chess Games in Danish Gambit

Now you will watch the games of Danish gambit. These danish gambit games are very good examples for us. In these games we must try to learn the ideas in Danish Gambit rather than remembering moves in the opening.

Let’s watch.

Danish Gambit Game 1:

 

Game’s Analysis:

The one of the main idea for black is to exchange the pieces as quick as he can because at the endgame black will have a extra pawn. Therefore, white totally defused black’s idea and moved his king away at move 6. As you know that it’s general rule that when you have the advantage you should not exchange pieces. Therefore white denied black’s offer and continued his development.

There’s one more interesting move in the game, when white played Nd5, the idea of Nd5 is to stop black’s castling, as you seen in the game black was unable to move his f8 bishop.

 

Danish Gambit Game:2

 

Game’s Analysis:

This gambit also played by the great Capablanca. In the previous game we saw that black played Bb4 check in order to exchange pieces. But now in this game you saw black’s different approach to white’s development.

Black played d6 move and Capablanca started his action on f7. The f7 or f2 is the weakest point in the opening.

So white played Qb3 in order to attack f7.

Black defended with knight and again Capablanca is following opening guide line that you must complete your development if you can not attack immediately.

In the end of the opening white completed the opening tasks and now when both players castles opposite sides that means there is do or die situation, the player who gets his opponent’s king first, will be the winner.

Capablanca defeated his opponent in very simple and easy way. There is no need to explain more about this game.

 

Danish Gambit Game 3:

 

Game’s Analysis:

This is short game and you saw that both side castled quickly but white still has an advantage of the development. White attacked on black’s g pawn with his knight and bishop but black defended incorrectly.

Black’s greedy attempt without development did not work and when black realized that it’s too late and he lost a piece, he resigned.

 

Danish Gambit Game 4:

 

Game’s Analysis:

In our dream position of the danish gambit, black’s new attempt was Nf6. And Nf6 move in this position can not be sound unless there is a tactical shot. As you see white can push this knight by just pushing a simple pawn.

So white pushed e5 in order to stop black’s development. Black should have retreated his knight, instead he played d5 move, counter attack on white’s piece.

As I mentioned above that tactical skills should be improved before playing this gambit and all grand masters are very good at tactics.

White calculated the endgame and took the knight from f6. Black was counter attacking in the danish gambit but I don’t think that it was right time for it.

Black gave a check with Bb4 and white defended with his knight and after that black attacks again with Re8 check. White defends and castles safely and now it’s a black who has to defend his king in whole game.

In the end of the game, you will see that, black was unable to hide his king and his king remained in the center.

The right move against dream position of danish gambit

As you know that in our dream position, black tried all the possible move in the opening but white has a solid and long lasting development advantage. Black tried Bb4+ also tried d6 and Nf6. All these 3 moves has been explained above.

Now again, let’s take a look at our dream position and find the right move for black.

Dream position's analysis in Danish Gambit

The only correct move in this position is the d5 move. Black has to give back his extra pawn in order to survive.

Let’s look at the position.

black's right move in danish gambit
black’s right move in danish gambit

 

Now you know that, if black plays d5 move, that means black has prepared against danish gambit. And now you have to play correctly otherwise you will lose your development advantage.

After black played d5 move. White has to make a decision, the first question will be, how will white response? the correct move for white is Bxd5.

Because if white capture with pawn then black will play Nf6 and all the attacking advantage will vanish for white.

Therefore, white should capture the pawn with bishop.

Tactic in Danish Gambit

And please note that black can not play c6 move in this position because there is a tactical shot via Bxf7 and black will loose his queen.

So the only next logical move for black is to play Nf6 first. Let’s see the position in an image below.

Nf6 in Danish Gambit

After black’s Nf6 white’s best move is Nc3 developing the piece. So we will get this position on the board.

8Nd5 in the Danish Gambit

Let’s discuss this position on the board, white sacrificed two pawn and in return he got two active pieces. Now if you look into black’s position you will notice that black has not developed any piece and black is behind in the development.

Let’s see the mistaken move c6 here in a short game.

C6 Move is bad for black

 

Now you will see that black is forced to take the knight with g pawn and if black takes the knight with g pawn then white will take his queen first and then take f6 pawn with fork on the king and rook, winning the exchange. Let’s see in the board.

Tactical Shot in Action

 

Conclusion of Danish Gambit Accepted

In Danish Gambit you will sacrifice pawns, in order to get the quick development of your pieces. If black takes white’s pawns then black will face bad position.

Before playing this gambit, I strongly recommend that , you must improve your tactical skills.

You can try this gambit in blitz game for fun especially against lower rated players or amateurs for the quick victory. Good luck.

Related links:

How to Exploit advantage in development

Chess Strategies for Beginners [Helping Guide]

How to get an advantage in chess? [Helping Guide]

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