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King's Knight Opening (C40)
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3

Number of games in database: 804
Years covered: 1512 to 2019
Overall record:
   White wins 52.5%
   Black wins 34.3%
   Draws 13.2%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
NN  13 games
Juan Sebastian Morgado  9 games
Jutta Hempel  7 games
Emil Joseph Diemer  24 games
Pavel Skatchkov  18 games
Jutta Hempel  15 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Tal vs Lutikov, 1964
Greco vs NN, 1620
Morphy vs J McConnell, 1849
NN vs E J Diemer, 1978
NN vs Bronstein, 1954
A F Ludvigsen vs S Sorensen, 1872
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 page 1 of 33; games 1-25 of 804  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. P Damiano vs NN 1-0131512analyseC40 King's Knight Opening
2. Polerio vs G da Cutri 0-1131590RomeC40 King's Knight Opening
3. NN vs Greco 0-1161590RomeC40 King's Knight Opening
4. Greco vs NN 1-0111590RomeC40 King's Knight Opening
5. NN vs Greco 0-1121620RomeC40 King's Knight Opening
6. NN vs Greco 0-1121620Miscellaneous GameC40 King's Knight Opening
7. Greco vs NN 1-071620Miscellaneous GameC40 King's Knight Opening
8. Greco vs NN 1-0111620Miscellaneous GameC40 King's Knight Opening
9. Greco vs NN 1-081620Miscellaneous GameC40 King's Knight Opening
10. Greco vs NN 1-0111620Miscellaneous GameC40 King's Knight Opening
11. NN vs Greco 0-1101620Miscellaneous GameC40 King's Knight Opening
12. NN vs Greco 0-1211620Miscellaneous GameC40 King's Knight Opening
13. C Lolli vs NN 1-081750CasualC40 King's Knight Opening
14. Hols vs Bucker 0-1101792NRWC40 King's Knight Opening
15. Berlin vs Wroclaw 0-1441831City corrC40 King's Knight Opening
16. F Slous vs W Bone 1-0191835LondonC40 King's Knight Opening
17. Mayet vs W Hanstein 1-0201837BerlinC40 King's Knight Opening
18. Mayet vs W Hanstein 1-0381837MatchC40 King's Knight Opening
19. Mayet vs Von Der Lasa ½-½301839BerlinC40 King's Knight Opening
20. P Bilguer vs Von Der Lasa 0-1331839BerlinC40 King's Knight Opening
21. P Bilguer vs Von Der Lasa 0-1471839UnknownC40 King's Knight Opening
22. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-0431841London m1C40 King's Knight Opening
23. Cochrane vs Staunton  1-0321842London m2C40 King's Knight Opening
24. Cochrane vs Staunton 1-0201842London m2C40 King's Knight Opening
25. Jaenisch vs Alexander Petrov  1-0341844St PetersburgC40 King's Knight Opening
 page 1 of 33; games 1-25 of 804  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 8 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-28-04  ruylopez900: Does anyone know of a better refutation to the Damiano's than 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f6 3.Nxe5 fxe5 4.Qh5+ g6 5.Qxe5+ -PASS- 6.Qxh8 Where white is up a Rook an Pawn for a Knight?
Apr-28-04  iron maiden: Well, 4...Ke7 prevents losing the rook, but Black was in trouble the moment he played 2...f6. The Damiano is not even dubious, I'm afraid.
Apr-28-04  acirce: Isn't 3...Qe7 better?
Apr-28-04  karnak64: I work with some kids on their chess most Saturdays here at the local library, and a few weeks ago a torched one of their dads who played the Damiano. In fact, I followed one of the "Greco v. NN" games right up through d4+, after which the chap resigned.

Anyway, I'm a little surprised that ECO has no separate code for the Latvian gambit. Perhaps it has too few games to warrant it, but there is so much analysis that one must protest.

May-01-04  ruylopez900: <acirce>
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f6 3.Nxe5 Qe7 4.Qh5+

A) 4...Qf7 5.Qxf7+ Kd8 6.Qxf8++

B)4...g6 5.Nxg6 Qxe4+ 6.Be2 hxg6 (not 6...Qxg2 7.Nf4+ winning the Queen) 7.Qxh8

The first line is obviously bad (leads to mate) and the second leaves White up the exchange and a pawn. Two notes to continue line B:

B1) 7...Qxg2 8.Rg1 Qe4 9.Qxg8 is more material for white.

B2)7...Qxc2 8.0-0 Ne7 9.Qxf6 and the material situation has not changed while Black is seriously underdeveloped and White's Queen is causing havoc in Black's camp.

Any corrections to my analysis welcome.

May-02-04  acirce: <ruylopez900> B) 4...g6 5. Nxg6 Qxe4+ 6. Be2 Qxg6 and Black has a decisive material advantage.
May-02-04  ruylopez900: <acirce> True, I missed that, but Black's Queen is pinned and if Blak initiates the trade of Queens White recaptures with tempo, developing his Bishop and giving check. IMO White can develop and then launch another attack, but anyway thanks for pointing out the hole in my analysis.
Jun-01-04  drukenknight: has anyone seen: 3 d4 d6 4 dxe5 dxe5 5 QxQ KxQ which also looks sound.
Jan-26-05  drukenknight: Play the Damiano Italiano! You know I think a lot of these defenses evolved in order to meet certain opening systems. They are good vs some and not good vs others. THe Damiano defense comes down to us w/ ...f6 on second move and so you never know what formation white will set up.

I wonder if these old guys in Italy played it on second move because they knew the white player was always going to play the Giuoco (3 Bc4)?

If you wait for white to commit to the Italian game, then you can play...f6 on the third move in order to avoid having to play Two Knights. Here is a fun example where I sack the exchange in order to trap the Queen.

1. e4 e5
2. Bc4 Nc6
3. Nf3 f6 (I am trying to avoid the Two Knights here)

4. d4 Qe7 (a novelty? none of the games in data base, gets the Q out this early)

5. O-O (note the move order for whites 4th and 5th can be changed a lot and it will throw you off, I usually wait for c3 in order to play my Q but this game is just to illustrate the basic idea)

6. Bxg8 (almost everyone will take the N on g8 here although other moves are possible)

7. Nh4 (this turns out to be awkward but a lot of players will do this to set up the check and again the game is more for illustration)

7... d6
8. Qh5+ g6
9. Qe2 Bd7
10. b4 Nc6
11. Qc4 g5 (I didnt even see QxR!)
12. Qxg8 gxh4
13. dxe5 dxe5
14. c3 Be6
15. Qh8 O-O-O
16. Nd2 Bg7 (...Bh6 is better)
17. Qxh7 Rh8
18. Qg6 Rh6
19. Qxh6 Bxh6

Jan-29-05  InfinityCircuit: <drukennight>I was under the impresion that 4...Qe7 was the ONLY acceptable move in the Damiano.

Anyone tried the Latvian-Counter Gambit (1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 f5?!). It's actually pretty effective, but I have yet to try it in tournament play.

Jan-30-05  drukenknight: infinity: both IBM and myself believe that Qe7 has to be played on the third move in the Main line Damiano, the line that Greco first showed. If your talking this Italian complex, I dunno, I think I might hold the Q back for a move.
Jan-30-05  InfinityCircuit: <drukenknight> Sorry I didn't read your first post correctly and then proceeded to type in a four instead of a three. I must have been really tired yesterday.
Premium Chessgames Member
  penarol: In the Latvian Gambit, after 2...f5 3. NxP Qh4, what is white to play? Thanks
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <penarol> Look at 4. exf5 winning a clear Pawn = 4 ... Bc5 5. Qf3 d6/Qd4 6. Nd3. Notice 4 ... Qe4+ 5. Qe2 Qxf5?! 6. Ng6+ wins, or 5 ... Qxc2?! 6. Na3 & 7. Ng6+ again.
Premium Chessgames Member
  penarol: Thank you, tpstar.
You seem to be right.

Better late than never...

Sep-22-05  Gazman5: I've been experimenting with the Damiano also, having come across it in one of the chesscafe articles: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f6 3.Nxe5 Qe7 line in a number of online blitz blitz games and have to agree that it is an incredibly effective blitz gambit weapon as black in particular. Some players opted for ideas such as 3.d4, Nc3 or Bc4, and i had reasonable results. After the main line, in 9 games: 7 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss. The loss was my first effort, and after white played the above mentioned 4.Nc4 i immediately blundered with 4...d5?, missing 5.Qh5, winning a second pawn. Should have looked here first i guess ;) The draw involved me giving up my Queen for Rook, knight and bishop, one win being similar. 2 wins involved white playing the 4.Qh5+?? blunder, and the rest involved me reaching equality fairly quickly. Rather than being a plain bad opening, its in fact a good and trappy gambit opening if you play blitz, as you castle queenside and can launch a violent kingside attack. Give it a go, its good fun :)
Feb-19-06  Knight13: Elephant Gambit for Opening of the Day. I can't believe how Black loses a pawn like this. What's the compensation?
Mar-08-06  davben: Here is a Latvian counter gambit I played against a higher rated player:

[Event "marillion's 4th mini-tournament for fast players"] [Site ""]
[Date "2006.03.08"]
[Round "-"]
[White "marillion"]
[Black "davben"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "1733"]
[BlackElo "1591"]
[TimeControl "259200+86400"]
[Mode "ICS"]
[Termination "normal"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f5 3. exf5 e4 4. Ng1 Nf6 5. g4 Bc5 6. g5 O-O 7. gxf6 Qxf6 8. Bh3 d5 9. Nc3 Bxf2+ 10. Kxf2 Bxf5 11. Nxd5 Qh4+ 12. Ke2 Bg4+ 13. Bxg4 Qxg4+ 14. Ke1 Qh4+ 15. Ke2 Qf2#

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <davben> Hello! Sweet crush! White must be prepared for these Greco-Latvian lines or else get smushed = 3. Nxe5 is strongest Opening Explorer or else 3. fe e4 4. Qe2 (a la Elephant) is playable. 6. g5?! was a bad idea with all those Pawn moves already; maybe 6. h3!? with a light square blockade. Good job closing it out, except notice 13 ... Qf2#. =)
Apr-21-06  FHBradley: What makes 1. e4 e5 2. ♘f3 ♕e7 'Brazilian' defence? Is it because it is as bold and innovative as the Brazilian football team (used to be)?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I understand the female derriere is much admired in Brazil. Only an a$$ would play this defense. So maybe that's how it got its name.
May-07-06  Alex S.: The Elephant Gambit is easily beaten by

2. exd5 e4
3. Qe2

click for larger view

3. ...Qxd5 is too early, and White gains a tempo by attacking and developing with his Queen's Knight.

The Damiano is suicidal, but depending on the opponent there's a nice counterattack in it. It fully depends on the willingness of White's Queen to capture a free knight on g8 instead of developing the King's Bishop. The counter can be found on the Pedro Damiano page.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ganstaman: According to

4...Qxd5 is a bad move, but 4...Nf6 may be ok. Also, this sequence may be better for black: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 Bd6. I'm not going to say that it's a great opening, but you shouldn't declare it a bad opening simply by analyzing the worst responses from black.

Aug-11-06  TheKid: <Alex S.>

The true Elephant arises after 3...Bd6.

It is a very tricky and fun opening and not easily dismissed, as most gambits aren't.

If you feel that it is refuted easily you'll probably lose against an experienced opponent.

Aug-21-06  ughaibu: Pub chess:
1.e4 e5
2.Nf3 f5
3.Ne5 Nc6
4.Qh5 g6
5.Ng6 Nf6
6.Qh3 g6
7.Qh8 Qe7
8.Nc3 d5
9.Bb5 fe4
10.OO Bf5
11.Re1 OOO
12.d3 Bg7
13.Qh4 Rh8
14.Qf4 Ng4
15.h3 Be5
16.Qd2 Rh3
17.h3 Qh4
18.Re3 Nd4
19.e4 e4
20.Ne4 Be4
21.Re4 Qh3
22.Rd4 Bh2
23.Kh1 Qf3
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