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The Swiss Gambit is an chess opening which is an offshoot of Bird's Opening (1.f4) and begins with the moves:

Swiss Gambit
a b c d e f g h
a8 black rook
b8 black knight
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
f8 black bishop
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
d7 black pawn
e7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
f5 black pawn
e4 white pawn
f4 white pawn
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
d2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white king
f1 white bishop
g1 white knight
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.f4 f5 2.e4
Parent Bird's Opening
1. f4 f5
2. e4


Published theoryEdit

The following were the main lines of the Swiss Gambit given by F. A. Lange in 1859:

  • 2...fxe4 3.Qh5+
  • 2...fxe4 3.f5
  • 2...fxe4 3.Bc4
  • 2...fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d3

Polish theoretician Alexander Wagner (1868–1942) published an article entitled A New Gambit. The Swiss Gambit in 1912. The Wagner Gambit begins with the moves: 1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.g4.[1]

Other usesEdit

The term "Swiss Gambit" is also used colloquially to describe a (usually unintentional) strategy for Swiss system tournaments. In a "Swiss Gambit", a player loses or draws against weaker players early in the tournament, in the hope of being paired against weaker opposition in later rounds and finishing in the prize money.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Edward Winter, The Swiss Gambit
  2. ^ Eade, James (2005). Chess For Dummies (2 ed.). John Wiley & Sons (published 19 August 2005). p. 249. ISBN 978-0-4717-7433-4. Retrieved 7 February 2014.