B) 2....Nc6 3.f4!?

B1) 3....exf4 B2) 3....Nf6 B3) 3....Bc5 B4) Other

Position after 2....Nc6 3.f4

A) 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 . . .
B) 2....Nc6 
C) 2....f5
D) 2....d6 
E) 2....Bc5 
Links & Acknowledgments
Bishop's Opening PGN File

Black's Knight move allows White multiple options for transposing to other lines. Only the gambit line 3.f4 is covered below because it is most in keeping with the gambit spirit of the Urusov. Other options:

  • 3.Nf3, when play might proceed along the lines of the Two Knights Defense (3....Nf6), the Evans Gambit (3....Bc5 4.b4), or the Hungarian Defense (3....d6). For those interested in these lines, I recommend Tim Harding's book The Evans Gambit and a Line Against the Two Knights Defense.
  • 3.d3 leads to positional lines in the Bishop's Opening, where White can play f4 after more preparation. For those interested in this move or 3.Nc3, I recommend John Emms's book Attacking with 1.e4.
  • 3.Nc3 transposes to the Vienna (for coverage of 3.Nc3 Bc5 see line E).

After 2....Nc6 3.f4!?
The main lines following this move can also arise from the King's Gambit and are quite complex. Black's best is probably to accept the gambit with 3....exf4, when White's main compensation is control of the center. If Black declines the gambit, White gets a space advantage with no risk. The main lines after 3...exf4 are quite complex and there are chances for both sides. White's main strategy is to use his control of the center to make sure there is no safe haven for Black's King anywhere on the board.

B1) 3....exf4 4.Nf3 (4.Nc3? Qh4+ 5.Kf1 Bc5 -+; 4.d4?! Nf6! 5.e5 d5! 6.Be2 Ne4 7.Bxf4 f6 =+)  4....g5 (4....Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.d4 Nh5?! 7.O-O g6 8.Nd5 Bh6 9.Ne1 Be6 10.Be2 Ng7 11.Nxf4 Bxf4 12.Bxf4 Bd7 13.Bh6 +- Metger--Tchigorin, Berlin 1897; 4....d6 5.d4! Bg4 6.Bxf4 Bxf3 7.gxf3 Nf6 8.Nc3 Qe7 9.Qd2 a6 10.O-O-O O-O-O 11.Bg5 h6 12.Nd5 Qd7 13.Nxf6 Qh3 14.Bf1 Qxf3 15.Bg2 Qxd1+ 16.Qxd1 hxg5 17.Qg4+ Kb8 18.Nd7+ Ka8 19.Nxf8 Rdxf8 20.e5 Rh4 21.Qxg5 Rxd4 22.Qxg7 Rd8 23.e6 fxe6 24.Bxc6 1-0 Gratz--Duffy, US Open 1994) 5.O-O (5.h4?! g4 6.Ng5 Ne5! 7.Bb3 h6 8.d4 hxg5 9.dxe5 Bg7! =+ Mieses--Tchigorin, Vienna 1903) 5....Bg7 (5....g4 6.Ne1 [White can also transpose to the Pierce Gambit with 6.d4!? gxf3 7.Nc3, for which see Kibitzer 96 and Kibitzer 97 by Tim Harding] 6....Bc5+ 7. Kh1 Na5 8. Bxf7+ Kxf7 9. Rxf4+ Ke8 10. Qxg4 Qe7 11. Qh5+ Kd8 12. d4 Bb6 13. Rf7 Nf6 14. Rxf6 Qxe4 15. Rf8+ Ke7 16. Qe8+ 1-0 Morch-Hansen, Copenhagen 1954) 6.d4 d6 7.c3 h6

B1a) 8.g3 B1b) 8.h4 B1c) 8.Qa4!


B1a) 8.g3?! Bh3! = Spielmann--Gruenfeld, Carlsbad 1923

B1b) 8.h4!? (transposing to the Greco-Philidor Gambit) 8....Qe7 (8....Nf6!? 9.hxg5 Nxe4 10.Bxf4 d5! [10....hxg5? 11.Bxf7+] 11.gxh6 Bxh6 12.Bxh6 Rxh6 13.Nd2!? f5! unclear; 8....g4?! 9.Ne1! f3 10.gxf3 Qxh4 11.f4! g3 12.Nf3 +=) 9.a4 (White begins an attack on the Queenside to cover all flanks. Also possible is 9.b4!?) 9....Bd7 10.a5

B1b1) 10....a6 11.Qd3 Nd8 12.b3 Ne6 13.e5 dxe5 14.Ba3 Qd8 15.Re1 g4 16.Nxe5 Qxh4 17.Nd2 Bxe5 18.Rxe5 O-O-O 19.Ne4 g3 20.Bxa6 Qh2+ 21.Kf1 Qh1+ 22.Ke2 Qxa1 23.Bxb7+ Kxb7 24.Rxe6 Ra8 25.Nc5+ Kb8 26.Nxd7+ Kc8 27.Nb6+ Kb8 28.Qb5 Qa2+ 29.Kd1 Nf6 30.Nxa8+ Kc8 31.Qa6+ Kb8 32.Rb6+ 1-0 Yoos--Duong, Brantford CAN 1999.

B1b2) 10....O-O-O 11.b4

B1b2a) 11....Nb8 12.b5 Nf6 13.e5 ÷ with a double-edged position in Berglund-Mueller, 1988 (after Anderssen--Riemann, Breslau 1875).

B1b2b) 11....g4 12.b5 gxf3 13.bxc6 Bxc6 14.d5 fxg2 15.Rxf4 Bd7 16.Qb3 (or 16.Qf1 in Mueller-Stuyfzand 1988) 16....Be5 17.Na3 Bxf4 18.Bxf4 Qxh4 19.Bh2 Qxe4 20.Nc2 Bf5 21.Rb1 b6 22.axb6 axb6 23.Qb5 Kb8 24.Ra1 Bc8 25.Bd3 Qe8 26.Qb3 Ne7 27.Qa2 Bb7 28.Qa7+ Kc8 29.Ba6 1-0 Gibney--Lawson, Canada 1995.

B1c) 8.Qa4! Bd7 (8....Kf8? 9.Na3 f6 10.Bd2 Bg4 11.g3 fxg3 12.hxg3 Bh5 13.Rae1 Be8 14.Qc2 Bf7 15.Bxf7 Kxf7 16.Qb3+ Kg6 17.Qc2 Nge7 18.e5+ f5 19.g4 h5 20.gxf5+ Nxf5 21.Nh4+ Kh7 22.Qxf5+ Kg8 23.Qf7+ Kh7 24.Qg6+ Kg8 25.Rf7 Rh7 26.Nf5 Qe8 27.Rxg7+ Kf8 28.Rg8+ 1-0 MacDonnell-NN, England 1823) 9.Qb3

B1c1) 9....Na5 10.Bxf7+ Kf8 11.Qa3! (11.Qb4? c5!) 11....Kxf7 12. Qxa5 ± Ke8 13.b3 Ne7 14.e5 d5 15.Ba3 c6 16.Qb4 b6 17.Qd6 Bf5 18.Qxd8+ Rxd8 19.h4 Bg4 20.hxg5 Bxf3 21.gxh6 Rxh6 22.Rxf3 Ng6 23.Nd2 Kd7 24.g3 Rdh8 25.Raf1 Rh1+ 26.Kf2 R8h2+ 27.Ke1 Bxe5 28.dxe5 Nxe5 29.gxf4 Nxf3+ 30.Nxf3 Rxf1+ 31.Kxf1 Rxa2 32.Bf8 c5 33.f5 Rc2 34.Ne5+ Ke8 35.Bg7 1-0 Dunn-Dion, IECC 1997.

B1c2) 9....Nge7?! 11.Qxb7 Ng6 12.Qa6 g4 13.Ne1 Qh4 14.Bb5 Nge7 15.Bxf4 ± Rb8 16.Bg3 Qh5 17.Bxc6 Nxc6 18.d5 Ne5 19.Qxa7 Ke7 20.Qxc7 Rxb2 21.Rf5 Qg6 22.Bxe5 Bxe5 23.Rxe5+ dxe5 24.Qxe5+ Be6 25.Nd3 Rbb8 26.d6+ Kd7 27.Qa5 Ke8 28.Qc7 1-0 Leone--Roebuck, Correspondence 1991.

B1c3) 9....Qf6 10.Qxb7 += Rc8 11.Qa6 Rb8 12.b4 g4 13.b5 Rb6 14.Qa3 gxf3 15.bxc6 Rxc6 16.Bd5 Rxc3 17.Nxc3 Qxd4+ 18.Kh1 fxg2+ 19.Kxg2 Qd3 20.Rxf4 Bh3+ 21.Kh1 Bxc3 22.Bb2 Qd2 23.Rg1 Bxb2 24.Qxh3 Qxf4 25.Qc8+ Ke7 26.Qxc7+ Ke8 27.Qb8+ Ke7 28.Qc7+ Ke8 29.Bc6+ Kf8 30.Qd8+ 1-0 DeVilder-Maas, Haarlem 1995.

B1c4) 9....Qe7 10.Qxb7 Rb8 11.Qa6 Nf6 12.d5 Ne5 (12....Nd8 13.Qxa7 Rb7 14.Qd4 O-O 15.Nbd2 g4 16.Ne1 Nh5 17.Qd3 f5 18.Nc2 Nf7 19.exf5 Ne5 20.Qe2 Bxf5 21.Nd4 Bd7 22.a4 Qh4 23.Ba6 Rbb8 24.Qe1 Qxe1 25.Rxe1 Ra8 26.Bb5 Bxb5 27.Nxb5 Nd3 28.Rd1 Rf7 29.Nb3 Nxc1 30.Rdxc1 g3 31.N3d4 Nf6 32.c4 Ne4 33.a5 Be5 34.h3 Nf2 35.Ra3 f3 36.b4 fxg2 37.Kxg2 1-0 Leone-Beckman, Correspondence 1991) 13.Nxe5 Qxe5 14.Qxa7 ± O-O 15.Nd2 c5 16.dxc6 Bxc6 17.Bxf7+ Kh8 18.Bg6 Bxe4 19.Nxe4 Nxe4 20.Re1 d5 21.Qd7 f3 22.gxf3 Rxf3 23.Bxe4 dxe4 24.Qg4 Qc5+ 25.Kh1 Rbf8 26.Qg1 Qb5 27.a4 Qb7 28.Be3 Qxb2 29.Bd4 e3 30.Rab1 Qc2 31.Bxe3 Bxc3 32.Bd4+ 1-0 Leone-Van Aalzum, Correspondence 1988.

B2) 3....Nf6 4.Nf3 (White has alternatives here in 4.Nc3 Nxe4! 5.Nf3, as discussed somewhat by Tim McGrew in his articles Blindsided and Shall We Dance? at ChessCafe, or the safe 4.d3!? Be7 5.Nc3 d6 6.Nf3 O-O 7.O-O Bg4 8.Qe1 Qd7 9.f5 Bxf3 10.Rxf3 Nd4 11.Rh3 Nxc2 12.Qh4 Nxa1 13.Bg5 c6 14.Bxf6 h6 15.Rg3 Bxf6 16.Qxf6 g5 17.Qg6+ 1-0 Mohr--Rozakis, Ikaria 1993)

B2a) 4....Nxe4!? 5.Bd5! (5.fxe5?! d5 = or 5....Bc5! =+; 5.Qe2 d5 6.Bb5 Bg4! 7.d3 Nf6!? 8.fxe5 Nd7 9.Bxc6 bxc6 10.O-O Be7 11.d4 O-O =/=+ Wahls) 5....Nf6 6.Bxc6 dxc6?! (better 6....e4! 7.Bxe4 Nxe4 8.O-O Bc5+ 9.d4 Be7 10.Re1 d5 11.c4 c6 12.Nc3 Nxc3 13.bxc3 O-O 14.Qe2 Bd6 15.cxd5 cxd5 16.Qb5 =) 7.fxe5 Ng4 8.d4 Be7 9.O-O Be6 10.c3 h5 11.h3 Nh6 12.Nbd2 g5 13.Ne4 Rg8 14.h4 g4 15.Nfg5 Nf5 16.Nh7 Bxh4 17.Nhf6+ Bxf6 18.Nxf6+ Ke7 19.Qd3 Nh4 20.c4 Qf8 21.Bg5 1-0 Strijbos--Deyirmendjian, Avoine 1995.

B2b) 4....exf4! 5.e5! (5.Nc3 Na5! 6.Be2 d5! 7.e5 Ne4 8.O-O g5 9.d4 h5! =/=+) 5....d5 (5....Ng4!? 6.Qe2 Be7 7.O-O d6! 8.Bb5 O-O 9.Bxc6 bxc6 =) 6.Bb5 Ne4 7.d3 Nc5 8.Bxf4 Ne6 9.Bg3 Be7 10.O-O O-O 11.d4 Ng5 12.Nxg5 Bxg5 13.c3 Be6 +=/= 1/2-1/2 Kadziolka--Rutkowski, Polanica Zdroj Poland 2001.

B3) 3....Bc5 4.Nf3 d6 5.c3 (5.d3 Bg4 6.c3 Bb6 7.h3 Bxf3 8.Qxf3 += Lovass--Kincses, Epitok 1982) 5....Nf6 (5....f5 6.d4; 5....Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 Qe7 8.f5!? O-O-O 9.d3 Nf6 10.Bg5 += Steinitz--Noa, Vienna 1882)

B3a) 6.d4?! exd4 7.cxd4 Bb4+ (7....Bb6 8.O-O O-O 9.Nc3 Bg4 10.Be3 Re8 11.Qd3 Nb4 12.Qd2 Nxe4! 13.Nxe4 Rxe4 14.Ng5 Re3 -+ Winawer--From, Paris 1867) 8.Bd2 Bxd2+ 9.Nbxd2 O-O 10.d5 Ne7 11.O-O c6 12.dxc6 bxc6 13.Bb3 Ba6 =+ Kauschmann--Grzesik 1982.

B3b) 6.fxe5!? dxe5 7.d3 O-O (7....Bg4 8.h3 Bxf3 9.Qxf3 += Wolf--Lewi, Vienna 1904) 8.Qe2 a5 9.a4 Be6 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.Be3 Qe7 12.Bc5 Qc5 13.Na3 Rad8 14.Ng5 Rde8 15.Nc4 Nd8 16.Nf3 Nc6 17.Qe3 Qxe3+ 18.Nxe3 Nd7 19.Ke2 += Ciocaltea--Radulescu, Bucharest 1964.

B3c) 6.d3 O-O

B3c1) 7.Bb3 Qe7 8.f5 d5 9.Qe2 dxe4 10.dxe4 Bd7 11.Bg5 a6 12.Nbd2 b5 13.Nf1 Na5 14.Ng3 Nxb3 15.axb3 Kh8 16.Nh5 Bc6 17.b4 Bb6 18.Bxf6 gxf6 19.Qd2 Bxe4 20.Qh6 Rg8 21.Nxf6 Bxf5 22.Nxg8 Rxg8 23.Rxa6 ± e4 24.Nh4 Bg4 25.h3 Bc8 26.Rxb6 cxb6 27.Rf1 Be6 28.Rf4 Bc4 29.Nf5 Qg5 30.Qxg5 Rxg5 31.Ne3 Bd3 32.Rxf7 Rg8 33.Ng4 Rd8 34.Nf6 e3 35.Rd7 Rxd7 36.Nxd7 Be4 37.g3 Bf5 38.Nxb6 Be6 39.h4 Kg7 40.Ke2 Kf6 41.Na8 Ke5 42.Nc7 1-0 Steinitz--Blackburne, London 1870.

B3c2) 7.b4! Bb6 8.a4 a6 9.fxe5 dxe5 10.Bg5 Qd6 11.Na3 Ne7 12.Bb3 Be6 13.Bxf6 gxf6 (13....Bxb3 14.Bxe7 Bxd1 15.Bxd6 Bxf3 16.Bxf8 Bxg2 17.Bxg7 Bxh1 18.Bxe5 +- Tarrasch) 14.Nc4 Bxc4 15.dxc4! Qxd1+ 16.Rxd1 Rad8 17.c5 Rxd1+ 18.Kxd1 Rd8+ 19.Ke2 Ba7 20.a5 c6 21.Rf1 Ng6 22.g3 Bb8 23.Nd2 Kg7 24.Nc4 Ne7 25.Ne3 Bc7 26.Rd1 Rd1 27.Bd1 Kf8 (27....Kg6 28.Nc4 Nc8 29.Ke3 h5 30.h3 Kg5 31.h4+ Kg6 32.g4 hg4 33.Bg4 Ne7 34.Nd6 +- Tarrasch) 28.Kd3 Ke8 29.Bg4 Kd8 30.Nf5 Ng8 31.Kc4 Bb8 32.Bh3 Bc7 33.Kd3 Bb8 34.Ke3 Bc7 35.Kf3 Bb8 36.Kg4 Bc7 37.Kh5 Ke8 38.Nd6+ Bxd6 39.cxd6 Kd8 40.Bf5 1-0 Blackburne--Schlechter, Leipzig 1894.

B4) 3....Na5!? 4.Be2! (The Hamppe-Meitner inspired 4.Bxf7+? doesn't work well after 4....Kxf7 5.Qh5+ g6 6.Qxe5 Qh4+ 7.g3 Qe7 =+ or 7.Kf1 Qh5 8.Qxh8 Bg7 -+)

B4a) 4...exf4 5.Nf3 (5.d4!? Nf6! 6.e5 Nd5 7.Nf3 d6 8.0–0 =) 5...d5 6.exd5 Qxd5 (6...Nf6 7.0–0 +=) 7.0–0 Nc4 8.b3 Nd6 9.d4 Qf5 (9...Bf5 10.c4 Qe6 11.Bxf4 0–0–0 12.Nc3 Nf6 13.Ng5 ±) 10.Ne5 g5 11.Bg4 Qf6 12.Bxc8 Rxc8 13.Nc3 Ne7 14.Re1 h5 15.Ba3 g4 16.Nd5 ±

B4b) 4....d5 5.exd5 exf4 6.Nf3 Nf6 7.0–0 Nxd5 (7...Qxd5 8.d4 +=) 8.c4 Nb6 9.d4 Be7 10.Bxf4 0–0 11.b3 +=

B5) 3....f5?! 4.exf5! Nf6 5.fxe5 Nxe5 6.Be2 +=

B6) 3....Qh4+ 4.g3 Qe7 5.Nc3!? (5.d3 exf4 6.Bxf4 Na5 =; 5.f5!? Qc5 6.d3 Na5 7.Nd2 Nxc4 8.Nxc4 d5 9.Be3! d4 10.Bd2 =) 5....exf4 6.d4 fxg3 7.hxg3 Nf6 8.Bg5! += with excellent compensation for the pawn.


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Last modified: March 15, 2002
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