Italian Gambit

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Italian Gambit
a b c d e f g h
a8 black rook
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
d7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
c6 black knight
c5 black bishop
e5 black pawn
c4 white bishop
d4 white pawn
e4 white pawn
f3 white knight
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white king
h1 white rook
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d4
Parent Giuoco Piano

The Italian Gambit is a chess opening that begins with the moves:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bc4 Bc5
4. d4

It is often played as an alternative to the quiet and closed lines of the Giuoco Piano or Giuoco Pianissimo openings. Black can:

  • take with the pawn (4...exd4, a transposition to the Scotch Gambit, usually leading to the Max Lange Attack);
  • take with the knight (4...Nxd4), which is considered weak since it allows the strong 5.Nxe5, attacking f7 with the bishop and knight; or
  • take with the bishop (4...Bxd4), which is considered best.


After 4... Bxd4 5. Nxd4 Nxd4, George Koltanowski favoured 6.0-0, which transposes to the related gambit line 4.0-0 Nf6 5.d4 following 6...Nf6, when 7.f4 and 7.Bg5 are the main possibilities for White. However, 6...d6!? is an independent alternative for Black.

White can also deviate with 6.Be3, which was dubbed the Miami Variation by Jude Acers and George Laven, and which probably suffices for dynamic equality.

The other alternative 6.f4?! is considered dubious due to 6...d5.

See also[edit]


Opening theory in chess has related information at