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A gambit (from ancient Italian gambetto, meaning "to trip") is a chess opening in which a player, more often White, sacrifices material, usually a pawn, with the hope of achieving a resulting advantageous position. Some well-known examples are the King's Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.f4), Queen's Gambit (1.d4 d5 2.c4), and Evans Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4). A gambit used by Black may also be called a gambit, e.g. the Latvian Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5), or Englund Gambit (1.d4 e5); but is sometimes called a "countergambit", e.g. the Albin Countergambit (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5), and Greco Countergambit (an old-fashioned name for the Latvian Gambit).
The word "gambit" was originally applied to chess openings in 1561 by Spanish priest Ruy López de Segura, from an Italian expression dare il gambetto (to put a leg forward in order to trip someone). López studied this maneuver, and so the Italian word gained the Spanish form gambito that led to French gambit, which has influenced the English spelling of the word. The broader sense of "opening move meant to gain advantage" was first recorded in English in 1855.