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8 a8 r b8 n c8 b d8 q e8 k f8 b g8 n h8 r 8
7 a7 p b7 p c7 p d7 e7 f7 g7 p h7 p 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 p g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 p f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 P f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 N g3 h3 3
2 a2 P b2 P c2 P d2 P e2 f2 P g2 P h2 P 2
1 a1 R b1 N c1 B d1 Q e1 K f1 B g1 h1 R 1
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The Damiano Defense.

The Damiano Defense is a chess opening which starts with the moves:

  1. e4 e5
  2. Nf3 f6

The move f6 is a bad move because it looks like it defends e5, but it actually doesn’t. White can and should play Nxe5!!, sacrificing the knight because if black takes back with fxe5?, White has the killer move Qh5+!. Black only has two options after that; g6 and Ke7; and both moves loses material.

4... g6[]

This move loses the rook after 5. Qxe5+ and black can block the check with the queen, bishop, or knight and then black will lose the rook on h8. Black has lost two pawns and a rook for a knight, which is completely losing.

4... Ke7[]

This move gets the king very vulnerable to attacks. After Qxe5+, Kf7 is forced. Then, white should play Bc4+, developing a piece and attacking the king at the same time. Black only has two legal moves, Kg6 and d5. The move Kg6 is allows Qf5+ and the king is forced to move to h6. Then white can play h4 to prepare d4+. It doesn’t matter what move black plays next, white will play d4+ and g5 is forced. Then white will capture the pawn with hxg5#, checkmating the king with a double check.


The debut is first mentioned in the Göttingen manuscript (dated around 1490) and in the book of the Spanish chess player Lucena "The Repetition of Love and the Art of playing chess", published at the end of the XV century. In both works, the move 3. Nxe5!! was recommended as a continuation, which is still the most popular today. In 1512, the Portuguese Pedro Damiano in his chess textbook conducted a more in-depth analysis of this beginning, while he called the move 2. ...f6 the worst defense of e5.

Despite the fact that P. Damiano criticized this beginning, the debut was subsequently named after him, and the variant with the knight's sacrifice was called "Damiano's Gambit" and is considered one of the first gambits in the history of chess.