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HomeChessColorado Gambit: Opening Guide for White & Black

Colorado Gambit: Opening Guide for White & Black

Quick overview:

  • The Colorado Gambit is a subvariation of the Nimzowitsch Defense, arising after the move order 1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 f5. It is a rare opening that mostly has value as a surprise weapon.
  • If White plays accurately, they will have a superior position. However, any stumbling by White can give Black some interesting chances.
  • White usually accepts the gambit, and valuation greatly prefers White when the gambit is accepted.
  • The opening mostly has value in quick time controls, as Black has trouble finding compensation. Black may have a hard time playing the opening as there is a lot of opportunity to tranpose to other openings.

The Colorado Gambit is a chess opening resulting after the moves 1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 f5.

Also known as the Lean Variation, this offbeat and aggressive line is a subvariation of the already rare Nimzowitsch Defense, in which Black plays the very uncommon 1…Nc6.

This Nimzowitsch already has a lot of potential as a surprise weapon, and the Colorado Gambit adds another layer to that. It is best used as a surprise weapon against opponents unaware of the lines.

The gambit has both safe and aggressive lines, but let’s be honest, if you’re playing f5 on move two, you’re probably best off keeping the game aggressive.

If you decide to play the Colorado Gambit, be aware that you won’t always be able to play it, as both the Colorado Gambit and its parent opening, the Nimzowitsch Defense, can transpose to many other openings.

Valuation is not great for Black after 2…f5. Engines give White a +1.5 advantage, so this is probably best avoided at classical time controls or in serious matches.