A) 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4 ...

A1) 3....d6
A2) 3....Bd6
A3) 3....c6
A4) 3....d5
A5) 3....Qe7
A6) 3....Nc6

Position after 3.d4

††† White's thrust with 3.d4 forces Black to take some action. We will examine the standard choices of taking one of White's pawns (with 3....Nxe4 or 3....exd4) in the pages that follow. Here we consider mostly inferior Black alternatives, though 3....d5 and 3....Nc6 are both playable.

Index of Lines
A) 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4 ...
B) 3.d4 Nxe4 4.dxe4
C) 3.d4 exd4 4.Nf3 ...
D) 4.Nf3 Bb4+
E) 4.Nf3 d6
F) 4.Nf3 c5
G) 4.Nf3 Bc5
H) 4.Nf3 d5
I) 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Qxd4 ...
J) 5.Qxd4 Nf6 6.Bg5?!
K) 5.Qxd4 Nf6 6.Nc3! ...
L) 6.Nc3 Be7 7.Bg5 Nc6 8.Qh4 d5
M) 6.Nc3 Be7 7.Bg5 Nc6 8.Qh4 d6
N) 6.Nc3 Be7 7.Bg5 c6 8.O-O-O d5
Urusov Gambit & Related Links
Urusov PGN File from Pitt Archives

A1) 3....d6? 4.dxe5 dxe5 (4....Nxe4 5.Bxf7+ or 5.Qd5 Be6 6.Qxb7 +-) 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Qxd8 Bb4+ 7.Qd2 Bxd2+ 8.Nxd2 ±

A2) 3....Bd6? 4.Nf3?! (Better is 4.dxe5! Bxe5 5.f4 Nxe4 6.Qh5! +-) 4....Nc6 5.dxe5 Bxe5 6.Nxe5 Nxe5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.f4 Nc6 9.Nc3 d6 10.O-O += Loya--Wood, Flagstaff 1991.

A3) 3....c6 4.dxe5 Qa5+ (4....Nxe4 5.Qe2 += see B5 below) 5.Nc3 Nxe4 (5....Qxe5 6.Nf3 +=) 6.Bxf7+ Kxf7 7.Qf3+ Nf6 8.exf6 Qe5+ 9.Ne4 Bb4+ 10.Kf1 Re8 11.fxg7+ Kxg7 12.Qg4+ Kh8 13.Bg5! Be7 14.Nf3 Qb5+ 15.Kg1 d5 16.Qh5 Bd7 17.Nf6! 1-0 Marshall--Forseberg, New York 1924 (17....Bxf6 18.Bxf6; 17....Bf5 18.Qe8).

A4) 3....d5!? (Hooper's Gambit)

A4a) 4.dxe5

A4a1) 4....Nxe4?! 5.Bxd5 += Ng5 6.Bxg5 Qxg5 7.Nf3! Qh5 8.Nc3 Be7 9.h3 c6 10.Bb3 O-O 11.Qe2 Na6 12.Ne4 Nc5 13.Nxc5 Bxc5 14.O-O-O ± Tartakower--von Scheve, Barmen 1905.

A4a2) 4....dxc4 5.Qxd8+ Kxd8 6.exf6 gxf6 is difficult to assess, in a way similar to the classic Berlin Defense to the Ruy Lopez where Black has the two Bishops in exchange for pawn weaknesses. The line should favor White, but examples are few and inconclusive:

A4a2a) 7.Bf4 Bb4+ 8.Nc3 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 Bd7 10.O-O-O Re8 11.f3 Kc8 12.Ne2 b6 += 13.Ng3 a5 14.Rd5 b5 15.Rh5 b4 16.Rxh7 Be6 17.h4 Nd7 18.h5 Rb8 19.h6 b3 20.cxb3 cxb3 21.axb3 Nc5 22.Ne2? Nxb3+ 23.Kc2 a4 24.Nc1 a3 25.Na2 Rd8 26.c4 Nd4+ 27.Kc3 Ne2+ 28.Kc2 Rb2# 0-1 Pitschka--Nuer, Berlin 1984.

A4a2b) 7.Nc3 Bd6 8.Nge2 Rg8 9.Ng3 Bg4 10.f3 Be6 11.Be3 c6 12.O-O-O Kc7 13.Nce2 Nd7 14.Rd2 Ne5 15.Rhd1 Bb4 16.Nc3 b6 17.Nh5 Be7 18.h3 Ng6 19.f4 += Schaefer--Schulenburg, Germany 1994.

A4b) 4.exd5! exd4 (4....e4!? 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Bg5 +=) 5.Qxd4 Be7 (5....c6 6.Nc3 b5 7.Bb3 b4 8.Ne4 [8.Nce2] 8....Nxd5 9.Bg5 +=) 6.Nc3 Nc6 7.Bb5?! (7.Qd2! Ne5 8.Bb5+ Bd7 9.Qe2 +=/±) 7....O-O! 8.Qd1 Nb4 9.Bc4 Bf5 10.Bb3 Re8 11.Nge2 c6 12.dxc6 Qxd1+ 13.Kxd1 Rad8+ = 14.Bd2 Nxc6 15.h3 Bc5 16.Rf1 Be4 17.Nf4 g5 18.Nxe4 Nxe4 19.Nd3 Bb4 20.Be3 Nd4 21.Ba4 Re6 22.c3 Nf5 23.Kc2 Nxe3+ 24.fxe3 Bd6 25.Bb3 Re7 26.Rf5 Kg7 27.Raf1 f6 28.R1f3 a6 29.Bd5 Rf8 30.Bxe4 Rxe4 31.Rd5 Re6 32.Nc5 Bxc5 33.Rxc5 Rfe8 34.Rc7+ R8e7 35.Rxe7+ Rxe7 36.Kd3 Kg6 37.e4 Re5 38.g4 h6 39.Rf5 Re6 40.c4 Rb6 41.b3 Re6 42.Kd4 h5 43.Kd5 Rc6 44.c5 hxg4 45.hxg4 a5 46.a3 Ra6 47.e5 fxe5 48.Rxe5 Ra8 49.Re6+ Kf7 50.Rb6 Rd8+ 51.Ke5 Rd7 52.b4 a4 53.b5 Rd3 54.Rxb7+ Kg6 1-0 Regan--Kichinski, 1988.

A5) 3....Qe7 4.Nf3 d6 5.Nc3 c6 6.Bg5 g6 7.Qd2 Bg7 8.O-O-O b5 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.Nxb5! O-O 11.Nc3 += Broome--Barrios, Moscow 1994.

A6) 3....Nc6
Laskerís recommendation practically forces transposition to The Two Knights Defense after 4.Nf3. White's alternatives are not promising.

A6a) 4.Bxf7+? Kxf7 5.dxe5 Nxe5 6.f4 Nc6 7.e5 d5?! (Black refuses to be outdone in the romantic disregard for material) 8.exf6 Qxf6 9.Nf3 Bb4+ 10.c3 Re8+ 11.Kf1 Bd6 =+ 12.Ng5+ Kg6 13.Qd3+ Qf5 14.Qg3 Qg4 15.Qxg4 Bxg4 16.h3 Be2+ 17.Kf2 Bc5+ 18.Kg3 Ne7 19.Kh2 Nf5 20.g4 Ne3 21.Na3 Bd6 22.Kg3 h6 23.Nf3 Re4 24.Kf2 Bf3 25.Kf3 Bf4 26.Bxe3 Rxe3+! -+ 27.Kf2 Rae8 28.Rad1 Re2+ 29.Kf3 Bg5 30.Rd3 Bh4 31.Rf1 0-1 Thomas--Milner-Barry, Hastings 1938.

A6b) 4.d5?! Ne7 (4....Na5!? 5.Bd3 c6 6.c4 b5!?) 5.Nc3 (5.f4!? Leach; 5.d6?! Ng6! =+; 5.Bd3 Ng6 6.Be3 c6 7.c4 Bb4+ =+) 5....Ng6 6.Nge2 (6.Bg5 h6) 6....Bc5 7.O-O d6 8.Bb5+ Bd7 9.Bxd7+ Qxd7 10.Qd3 O-O 11.Bg5 Ne8 12.Ng3 Qg4 13.Be3 Nf4 =+ 14.Qd1 Qg5 15.Qf3 g6 16.Bxc5 dxc5 17.Rfe1 Nd6 18.Nge2 Nh5 19.Ng3 Nf4 20.Nge2 Rae8 21.Nxf4 exf4 22.b3 Re5 23.Re2 Rfe8 24.Rae1 b5 =+ but eventually 1-0 in Bannasch--Boege, Baden Baden 1988.

A6c) 4.c3!? Nxe4 5.Bd5 (Harding) 5....Nf6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.Qe2!? e4 =+

A6d) 4.dxe5 Nxe5

A6d1) 5.Be2 (Harding) 5....d6?! (5....d5! 6.f4 Ng6 7.e5 Ne4 =+) 6.Nc3 Be7 7.f4 Ng6 8.Nf3 c6 9.O-O O-O 10.Kh1 d5 11.e5 Ne8 += Kiss--Sepulveda, Sao Lourenco WYCF-U14g 1995.

A6d2) 5.Bb3 Bc5 (=+ Lasker) 6.Nf3 Nxf3+ 7.Qxf3 O-O 8.O-O d6 9.Bg5 Bd4 10.c3 Be5 11.h3 h6 12.Be3 Kh7 13.Nd2 g5 14.g4 Be6 15.Nc4 Nd7 16.Rad1 Qe7 17.Rfe1 Bg7 18.Bd4 Ne5 =+ Hobson--Isaacs, US Open Baltimore 1948.

A6e) 4.Nf3! transposes to The Two Knights Defense. Part of this site covers the Perreux Variation (4....exd4 5.Ng5). And for those interested in the Max Lange lines (4....exd4 5.O-O), Max Burkett has posted an excellent PGN zip file covering those. More material will eventually follow, including the Modern Variation (4....exd4 5.e5).

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Contact: Michael Goeller,
Last modified: December 15 , 2002
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