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Not sure if the tag I've selected is appropriate. Feel free to correct.

I've googled gambit and got the definition as depicted below. Then, I folded out the frame to see see the usage graph and it stroke me as odd that the popularity of the term dropped around 1800 and then rearose in mid 1950's.

Why is it so? Has the raise any connection to WW2 or the Cold War? Any thoughts on the fall of popularity two centuries ago?

Or is it perhaps due to the way that the popularity is computed?


enter image description here

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My guess is that the first peak is because there were lots of books about chess written in the early 1800s, and the second peak is when "gambit" became adopted by non-chess-players. –  Peter Shor Jul 4 at 15:19
@PeterShor Care to speculate on the relation to geopolitical events? –  Konrad Viltersten Jul 4 at 22:25

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'm not sure if this is the actual reason, but I think there may be some correlation. Operation Gambit was a smaller part of a very notable WW2 military operation named Operation Neptune - the landing phase of the invasion of Northern France.

I'd assume that perhaps earlier usage of 'gambit' was chess related - and the 1950s revival came about during government and academic post-war analysis of global military operations when the Allied forces declared their victory.

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