The Halloween Gambit, also referred to as the Müller-Schulze Gambit or Leipzig Gambit, is an assertive strategy employed in chess at the beginning of a game. In this gambit, White willingly sacrifices a knight in exchange for a solitary pawn. The opening itself branches out from the typically conservative Four Knights Game and is characterized by the following sequence of moves:
1. e4 e5 2. ♘f3 ♞c6 3. ♘c3 ♞f6 4. ♘xe5?!
White aims to establish dominance over the center of the chessboard by advancing their pawns and forcing Black’s knights to retreat. The sacrifice made in the Halloween Gambit is not entirely reliable, and I would advise against employing it when facing opponents of master-level skill. Nevertheless, this opening harbors a hidden trap that can occasionally catch opponents off guard, making it a viable surprise weapon. Check out the following analysis:
As early as 1888, a German chess player and author, Oskar Cordel, recognized the potential of the Halloween Gambit and highlighted its remarkable attacking opportunities in his article.