Elephant Gambit | The Refutation

Dear ChessMood Family, dear friends, welcome to the course "Elephant Gambit".

About This Course

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, advancing 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.

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 click here and read our introductory article about the Elephant Gambit, which explains the history behind it and the different options that White has.


About Coach

GM Avetik Grigoryan
Name GM Avetik Grigoryan
Title GrandMaster
Rating 2568

In 2010 Avetik won Armenian National Championship and joined their national team.

After 2 years he stopped playing chess professionally and started coaching career.
Now he is the coach and the second of more than 10 GMs, co-author of video courses "Right Mood Openings", and the author of the book "Right Mood - Right Move"  which will be published soon. 

In 2018 he founded ChessMood.  

What do you think about this course?


Valdemar Rasmussen
6 months ago
A very well written guide on how to poach elephant tusks.
Mateo Jackson
6 months ago
Chris Garrett
6 months ago
Artyom Manukyan
5 months ago
Christoph Serrer
5 months ago
Simply great.
Елена Вербова
4 months ago