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Elephant Gambit | The Refutation

Elephant Gambit | The Refutation

Course 14 episodes
(50 min)
Creators GM Avetik Grigoryan

The Elephant Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d5?!) is a very aggressive opening for Black. With the move 2...d5, Black immediately fights for the center and opens up lines for their Queen and light-squared Bishop.

One of Black’s main threats is that after the potential reply of 3.exd5 they have the option to play 3...e4 and attack White’s only developed piece – the f3 Knight.

However, there’s one big downside for Black – they’re going into an open fight from the beginning, while White starts the game a tempo up...


Before creating this course we read all the books, articles, and videos that have been published about the Elephant Gambit. We then combined this with our own engine analysis to discover a strong variation that gives White a decisive advantage.

While the move 3.exd5 is a popular refutation we found that the move 3.Ne5 is more practical, easier to play, and easier to remember. All the following moves are very logical and even if you do forget one you’re still likely to end up with a clear advantage. 

With 3.Ne5 White takes the central e5 pawn and advances the position of the Knight. As you’ll see in the course this leads to huge pressure on the f7 pawn which becomes a major weakness for Black.

Subsequently, the outcome of many of these variations is that White ends up with the Bishop pair and some very easy-to-play positions.

Below are some of the diagrams taken from the course:

Elephant GambitElephant GambitElephant GambitElephant GambitElephant GambitElephant GambitElephant GambitElephant Gambit

Move-by-move, and step-by-step, this course will show you how to refute the Elephant Gambit, the downsides of it that you can exploit, and the gameplan that will lead you to victory!

Additional reading: You may also find it useful to read our introductory article about the Elephant Gambit, which explains the history behind it and the different options that White has.

What you'll learn

  • The ideas and downsides of the Elephant Gambit.
  • A practical refutation of this gambit starting with 3.Ne5! that is also easy to remember.




Students give this course an average of 5 out of 5 stars.

Let's go
Course 14 episodes (50 min)
Creators GM Avetik Grigoryan
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