E) 4....d6

E1) 5.e5 E2) 5.Nxd4 E3) 5.Ng5 E4) 5.O-O!

Position after 4.Nf3 d6

    The move 4....d6 can transpose to the Antoshin Variation of Philidor's Defense and gives Black good chances of equality. This line was generally dismissed by past analysts due to their mistaken assessment of the line beginning 5.Ng5 as advantageous for White. That line is clearly equal, however, so White's best chance for an advantage therefore must lie in 5.O-O! with transposition to Philidor Defense lines where White can only maintain the advantage with active play.

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

E1) 5.e5?! dxe5 6.Nxe5 Be6 7.Bxe6 fxe6 8.O-O Qd5 9.Re1 Bd6 10.Bf4 Nc6 =+ Sanchez--Lezcano, 1993.

E2) 5.Nxd4?! Nxe4 6.O-O (6.Bxf7+ Kxf7 7.Qh5+ g6 [7....Ke7? 8.Qe2 Qe8 9.f3 +=] 8.Qd5+ Kg7 9.Qxe4 Qe7 =+) 6....Be7 (6....d5) 7.Qh5 O-O 8.Re1 Nf6 (8....Nc5) 9.Qe2 Re8 10.Bg5 Nbd7? (10....Bd7 =+) 11.Bxf7+! Kxf7 12.Ne6 1-0 Horowitz--Amateur 1949.

E3) 5.Ng5

E3a) 5....Be6 6.Bxe6 (6.Nxe6 fxe6 7.Bxe6 Qe7 8.Bc8 Qxe4+ 9.Qe2 Qxe2+ 10.Kxe2 Nbd7 11.Bxb7 Rb8 12.Bc6 += Bilguer) 6....fxe6 7.O-O (7.f4!?; 7.Nxe6 Qe7 8.Nd4 Qe4+ 9.Qe2 Qe2 10.Ke2 Kd7! 11.Nc3 Nc6 = Bilguer) 7....Qd7 8.f4 h6 9.Nf3 Nc6 10.Nxd4 Nxe4 11.Qh5+ Kd8 12.Nb3 Nf6 13.Qe2 Be7 14.Nc3 Re8 15.Rd1 b6 16.a4 a5 17.Qf3 and White had sufficient compensation for the pawn in Wolff--Asmah, Copenhagen 1982.

E3b) 5....d5 6.exd5 (6.Bxd5? Nxd5 7.Qxd4? Nb4! -+; 6.Qxd4? h6! -+) 6....h6 (6....Bd6 7.Qxd4 O-O 8.O-O Qe7 9.Nc3 Ng4 10.Nf3 c6 11.Bg5 Qc7 12.g3 += Havlik--Vrany 1998) 7.Nf3 (7.d6? hxg5 8.Qe2+ Kd7 9.Bxf7 cxd6 -+; 7.Qe2+ Qe7 8.Qxe7+ Bxe7 9.Nxf7 Kxf7 10.d6+ Be6 11.Bxe6+ Kxe6 12.dxe7 =) 7....Bb4+ (Compare line H4 below, noting that Black here has played ....h6 with tempo thus denying White the possibility of Bg5 in lines following 8.c3) 8.Bd2 Bxd2+ (8....Qe7+ 8.Qe2 Bxd2+ 9.Nbxd2 +=) 9.Qxd2 =

E4) 5.O-O!
Most sources simply cite the weakly contested game MacDonnell--Steinitz, London 1866 as evidence that this line is equal and should be rejected in favor of E3 above. Based on my assessment of E3b, however, I think that 5.O-O must be White's best chance for an advantage. Black certainly has good defensive resources, but White should retain a slight edge. Lines generally transpose to the Antoshin Variation of Philidor's Defense.

E4a) 5....c5?! 6.Ng5! (6.c3!?) 6....d5 7.exd5 Bd6 (7....Nxd5? 8.Nxf7! ± as in the Lolli Attack, for example: 8....Kxf7 9.Qf3+ Qf6 10.Qxd5+ Be6 11.Qxb7+ Be7 12.Bxe6+ Qxe6 13.Qxa8 +- Perez-Oyhantcabal, Uruguay 1997) 8.Re1+ Kf8 9.c3! h6 10.Nf3 dxc3 11.Nxc3 a6 12.a4 += Bf5 13.Nh4 Bg4 14.f3 Bd7 15.g3 g5 16.Ng2 Kg7 17.Ne4 Nxe4 18.fxe4 Re8 19.Bd2 Bh3 20.Qh5 Qc8 21.Rf1 f6 22.Rxf6 Kxf6 23.Qxh6+ Ke7 24.Bxg5+ Kd7 25.Qxh3+ Kc7 26.Qxc8+ Kxc8 27.Re1 Nd7 28.Bf4 Kc7 29.Bxd6+ Kxd6 30.Nh4 Ne5 31.b3 Rh8 32.Nf5+ Kd7 33.Kg2 Rab8 34.Ra1 Rhe8 35.Ng7 Re7 36.Nf5 Ree8 37.Be2 Rbc8 38.Rc1 Ng6 39.Bh5 Rg8 40.Bg4 Ne5 41.Bh3 Ng4 42.Ne3 1-0 Stange-Van der Vegt, Leiden NED 1997.

E4b) 5....Bg4?! 6.e5! (6.Qxd4 Bxf3 7.gxf3 Nc6 8.Qe3 =; 6.c3!? dxc3 7.Nxc3 Be7 8.e5!? dxe5 9.Qxd8+ Bxd8 10.Nxe5 = Olschok-Mungard, Pinneberg 1992)

E4b2a) 6....Bxf3 7.Qxf3 dxe5 8.Qb3! (Better than 8.Qxb7 Nbd7 9.Qb3 Qe7 10.c3 and Black's game is far from pleasant but the position remains unclear) 8....Bd6 9.Bxf7+ Kf8 10.Qxb7 +=

E4b2b) 6....dxe5 7.Bxf7+ Ke7 8.Bb3!? Nc6 9.Re1 Kd7 10.Bg5 Qe8 11.Ba4 Bd6 12.Bxf6 gxf6 13.Nxe5+ fxe5 14.Qxg4+ Qe6 15.Qg7+ Qe7 16.Qg4+ Qe6 17.Qg7+ Qe7 18.Qxe7+! Kxe7 19.Bxc6 bxc6 20.Nd2 Bb4 21.Rxe5+ Kf6 ± 22.Nf3 Bd6 23.Re4 c5 24.Rae1 Rhf8 25.b3 Rab8 26.Ne5 Rbd8 27.Nd3 Kg7 28.h3 Kf6 29.f4 h5 30.g4 hxg4 31.hxg4 Kg7 32.Kg2 Kf6 33.Re6+ Kg7 34.Kf3 Kf7 35.f5 Rh8 36.Ne5+ Bxe5 37.R1xe5 d3 38.cxd3 Rxd3+ 39.Re3 Rh3+ 40.Kf4 Rd4+ 41.Kg5 Rxe3 42.Rxe3 c4 43.Rc3 1-0 Von Fabeck--Rettstadt, Werther Schloss 1996.

E4c) 5....Be7 (5....Nc6 6.Nxd4! Ne5!? 7.Bb3! Be7 8.Nc3 +=)

E4c1) 6.Bg5?! (Better 6.Re1! or even 6.Qxd4!?) 6....c5!? (This seems justified by White's Bishop move, which will likely lead to the exchange of the dark-squared Bishop at some point) 7.c3 dxc3 (Too risky, even for Steinitz, was 7....Nxe4? 8.Bxe7 Qxe7 9.Re1 f5 10.Nfd2! ±) 8.Nxc3 O-O 9.Qe2 (The Queen is misplaced here and subjects the Knight at f3 to a pin by Bg4. Better, as before, was 9.Re1!) 9....Nc6 10.h3 (Eventually necessary to prevent Bg4, but White is losing time) 10....Be6 11.Bd3?! (11.Rad1 Re8 12.Bxe6! fxe6 13.Qc4 unclear) 11....a6 12.Rad1 Qc7 13.Bxf6 Bxf6 14.Nd5 Qd8 15.Bb1 Bd4 =+ 16.g4?! h5! 17.Nxd4 Nxd4 18.Rxd4? cxd4 19.Qd3 hxg4 20.e5 Qh4! 21.Ne7+ Kh8 22.exd6 gxh3 23.f4 Bc4 24.Qf3 Bxf1 25.Kxf1 h2 -+ 26.Be4 Rad8 27.Nf5 h1=Q+ 28.Qxh1 Qxh1+ 29.Bxh1 d3 30.Bxb7 g6 31.Bxa6 gxf5 32.Bxd3 Rxd6 33.Bc4 Rd2 0-1 MacDonnell--Steinitz, London 1866.

E4c2) 6.Nxd4?! O-O (6....Nxe4! 7.Qh5 O-O 8.Re1 Nf6 =+ transposes to E2 above) 7.Nc3 (7.Re1! transposes to E4b3 below) 7....Nxe4 (7....a6!? 8.a4 Nc6 9.Bf4?! Nb4! 10.Bb3 c5 11.Nf3 Be6 12.Nd2 d5 =+ Angantyson--Antoshin, Reykjavik 1976) 8.Nxe4 d5 9.Bd3 dxe4 10.Bxe4 Bf6 (10....Nd7 = Larsen, 10....Na6!?) 11.c3 Re8 12.Qc2 g6 13.Bf4 Be5?! (13....Nd7 14.Rad1 Qe7 += Holmov) 14.Bxe5 Rxe5 15.f4 Re7 16.f5 += Dvoretsky--Chepukaitis, USSR 1968.

E4c3) 6.Re1!

E4c3a) 6....c5 7.c3 +=

E4c3b) 6....Bg4 7.e5! (7.c3!? dxc3 8.Qb3!?, 8.e5!?, 8.Nxc3; 7.Qxd4 Bxf3 8.gxf3 Nc6 9.Qe3 O-O 10.Nc3 Ne5 11.Bf1 Ng6 12.f4 d5! 13.Nxd5 Nxd5 14.exd5 Bd6 15.Qf3 Qf6 = Paakkonen-Hermlin, Helsinki Open 1998)

E4c3b1) 7....Bxf3 8.Qxf3 dxe5 9.Qxb7 Nbd7 10.c3 c5 11.Nd2 is unclear.

E4c3b2) 7....dxe5 8.Bxf7+ Kf8 9.Bb3!? (9.Bc4 e4?! [9....Nc6 10.h3 Bh5 11.g4 is unclear] 10.Nxd4! Bxd1 11.Ne6+ Ke8 12.Nxd8 Bxc2 13.Ne6 +=) 9....Nc6 10.Nbd2 Bd6 11.h3 Bh5 12.g4 Bf7 13.Bxf7 Kxf7 14.c3 Re8 15.g5 Nd7 16.g6+ hxg6 17.Ne4 Nc5 18.Nfg5+ Ke7 19.cxd4 Nxe4 20.Nxe4 Kf8 21.Qf3+ Kg8 22.Ng5 Rf8 23.Qb3+ Kh8 24.Qg3 Kg8 25.Qb3+ Kh8 26.Re4 ± Rf4 27.Bxf4 exf4 28.Nf7+ Kh7 29.Nxd8 Rxd8 30.Qf7 Rf8 31.Qd5 Rd8 32.Qb3 Rf8 33.Rae1 g5 34.Re8 Rf6 35.Qg8+ Kg6 36.R8e6 Nxd4 37.Rxf6+ Kxf6 38.Qd5 Be7 39.Qxd4+ Kf7 40.Qd7 Kg6 41.Qxe7 1-0 Reinke-Fecke, Germany 1996.

E4c3c) 6....O-O 7.Nxd4

E4c3a) 7....Nbd7 8.Nc3 (White can also simply play 8.Nf5 Ne5 9.Nxe7+ Qxe7 10.Bf1 += gaining the longterm advantage of the two Bishops.) 8....Ne5 9.Bb3 Re8 10.Bf4 c6 11.Qd2 +=

E4c3b) 7....Bd7 8.Nc3 Nc6 9.Nxc6 Bxc6 10.Bf4 (Perhaps better 10.Nd5! since 10....Nxd5 11.exd5 Bd7 12.Qh5! g6 13.Qf3 += looks good for White. Also possible is first 10.a4 with the idea of b4 and Nd5.) 10....Re8 11.Rb1!? (The idea of building a queenside initiative here with a4 and b4-b5 is good, but this move seems too slow.) 11....a6 12.a4 Qd7 13.Bb3 b5 14.axb5 axb5 = 15.h3 Bd8 16.f3 Nh5 17.Bh2 Bh4 18.Re2 b4 19.Nd5 Bb5 20.Rd2 Qc6 21.Rd4 Qc5 22.Kh1 Ng3+ 23.Bxg3 Bxg3 24.Qd2 Bd7 25.Rc4 Qa5 26.Rxc7 Be6 27.Rb7 Qc5 28.Qxb4 Qxb4 29.Rxb4 Rab8 30.Ne7+ Kf8 31.Rxb8 Rxb8 32.Nc6 Rc8 33.Na7 Ra8 34.Bxe6 fxe6 35.Nb5 Rd8 36.c4 Rc8 37.b3 Ke7 38.Ra1 Be5 39.Ra7+ Kf6 40.Kg1 h5 41.Ra6 Rd8 42.Kf2 h4 43.Ke3 Kg5 44.Nc7 Kf6 45.f4 Bc3 46.e5+ dxe5 47.Nd5+ Kf5 48.Nxc3 exf4+ 49.Ke2 Rb8 50.Nb5 g5 51.Nd4+ Ke4 52.Nxe6 Rg8 53.c5 g4 54.Ra4+ 1-0 Taskovits--Sandor, Hungary 1993.

E4c3c) 7....c6 8.Nc3

E4c3c1) 8....a5 9.a4 (9.Bf4 Na6 10.h3 Nc5 11.a4 Qb6 12.b3 Re8 13.Qf3 Ncd7 14.Nf5 Ne5 15.Bxe5 dxe5 16.Nxe7+ Rxe7 17.Rad1 += Hracek--Piket, Moscow Olympiad 1994) 9....Na6 10.Qf3 Ng4 11.Bxa6 Rxa6 12.Nf5 Bxf5 13.Qxf5 Qc8 14.Qxc8 Rxc8 15.h3 Ne5 16.b3 Bf6 17.Bb2 Rd8 18.Rad1 h5 19.Re3 h4 20.Ba3 += Nijboer--Cifuentes, Eindhoven 1993.

E4c3c2) 8....b5 9.Bf1 b4!? (9....a6 10.Bf4 Re8 11.h3 Bf8 12.Qf3 Qc7 13.Rad1 Nbd7 14.g4 b4 15.Na4 Ne5 16.Qg3 Ng6 17.Bg2 Nxf4 18.Qxf4 Ra7 19.b3 c5 20.Nf5 Re5 21.Nb2 d5 22.Nd3 Rxe4 23.Bxe4 Nxe4 24.Qxc7 Rxc7 25.Nf4 Bxf5 26.gxf5 += Marin-Ionescu--Olarasu, Bucharest 1994) 10.Nb1!? c5 11.Nf5 Bxf5 12.exf5 Nc6 13.g4 d5 14.Bg2 Bd6 15.c4 Nd4 16.Be3 Re8 17.Nd2 Qc7 18.g5 Ne4 19.Nxe4 Bxh2+ 20.Kh1 dxe4 21.Bxd4 cxd4 22.Qxd4 Bd6 23.Bxe4 Rad8 24.Bd5 Bc5 25.Qg4 g6 26.fxg6 hxg6 27.Kg2 Kg7 28.f4 += Beran--Ramik, Czechoslovakia 1990.

E4c3c3) 8....Re8 9.Bg5!? (9.a4 a5 10.Bf4 Bf8 11.Qd2 Nbd7 12.Rad1 Ne5 13.Bb3 Ng6 14.h3 Nxf4 15.Qxf4 Qe7 16.Nf5 Bxf5 17.Qxf5 g6 18.Qf4 Rad8 = Sepp--Bosboom, Leeuwarden 1993) 9....a5 (9....b5? 10.Bxf6! Bxf6 11.Ndxb5! cxb5 12.Bd5 b4 13.Ne2 ± Lars Bo Hansen) 10.a4 h6 11.Bf4 Bf8 12.Qd2 Nbd7 13.Rad1 (13.h3! Ne5 14.Bf1 += Hansen) 13....Ne5 14.Bb3 Nh5 15.Be3 Ng4 16.Nde2 Qh4 17.h3 Nxe3 18.Qxe3 Nf6 19.Qf4 Qg5 20.Qxg5 hxg5 21.Nd4 g4 22.hxg4 Bxg4 23.f3 Bd7 24.g4 g6 25.Kg2 Rad8 = Campora--Vasquez, Sao Paulo 1993.

E4c3d) 7....a6!

E4c3d1) 8.a4 c5! (8....Nc6 9.Nc3 Nb4 10.Nd5! Nbxd5 11.exd5 Ng4 12.h3 Ne5 13.Bf1 Bf6 14.Be3 Bd7 15.a5 Re8 16.Qd2 Ng6 17.c4 += Loew--Urban, Bundesliga Germany 1994 or 9.Nxc6! bxc6 10.Nc3 Nd7 11.Bd2 Bf6 12.f4 Bb7 13.Kh1 g6 14.Rb1 Bg7 15.Qf3 c5 16.Nd5 c6 17.Ne3 a5 18.Bd3 Nb6 19.b3 d5 20.e5 Qc7 21.Ng4 Nd7 22.f5 Nxe5 23.Qg3 f6 24.fxg6 Qd8 25.Nh6+ Kh8 26.Qh4 Bxh6 27.Rxe5 fxe5 28.g7+ Kxg7 29.Qxh6+ 1-0 Borman--Neville, Correspondence 1995) 9.Nb3?! (The Knight is awkwardly placed here and does not help fight for the center. Better plans are to build a kingside and center initiative with either 9.Nf5 Bxf5 10.exf5 d5 11.Bf1 Nc6 12.g4 c4 13.Bg2 Re8 14.Nd2 h6 15.h4 Bc5 16.Rxe8+ Nxe8 17.g5! = with an interesting contest in the center and on the kingside while Black's queenside play is held in check, or 9.Nf3 Be6 10.Bxe6 [10.Qe2!?] 10...fxe6 11.e5 dxe5 12.Nxe5 Qxd1 13.Rxd1 Rd8 14.Rxd8+ Bxd8 15.Na3 += with good chances in the ending) 9....Be6 10.Qe2 Nc6 11.Nc3 (11.Bxe6 =+ Kosten) 11....Nb4 12.Nd5 Bxd5 13.exd5 Re8 14.Rd1 Bf8 15.Be3 Re5 16.Qd2 Nfxd5 17.Bf4 Nxf4 18.Qxf4 Qe7 =+ Mestel--Georgadze, Hastings 1979.

E4c3d2) 8.Nc3 b5 9.Bf1 (9.Bd5!?) 9....c5! (9....Bb7 10.Nf5 Re8 11.Qf3 Nbd7 12.Bg5 Ne5 13.Qg3 Ng6 14.f4 h6 15.Nxe7+ Qxe7 16.Nd5 Bxd5 17.exd5 Ne4 18.Bxe7 Nxg3 19.hxg3 Nxe7 20.c4 bxc4 21.Bxc4 Kf8 22.Rac1 Reb8 1/2-1/2 Mrva--Novak, MarLazne 1989) 10.Nde2! (Perhaps 10.Nb3!? Be6 11.a4 b4 12.Nd5 =, but not 10.Nf5?! Bxf5 11.exf5 d5! 12.a4?! b4! [Black's successful queenside expansion makes all the difference here] 13.Ne2 Nc6 14.Nf4 Nd4 15.g4 b3! 16.cxb3 Rb8 17.Ra3?! Bd6 18.g5 Ne4 19.Nxd5 Nxg5 20.Bg2 h6 21.f6 Re8 22.Rxe8+ Qxe8 23.h4 Qe2! =+ Seret--Kosten, France 1992) 10....Bb7 11.Nf4 Nbd7 12.a4 += bxa4 13.Rxa4 Nb6 14.Ra3 Re8 15.Nfd5?! (This advance allows too many exchanges and thus blunts White's initiative. Better to allow Black to play ....d5 and bypass it with e5! For example: 15.Qf3! Qd7 16.Qg3 Bf8 17.f3 d5 18.e5! Qe7 19.Rb3!? [19.Bd2 Nfd7 20.e6!?] 19....Nfd7 20.Na4 Nxa4 21.Rxb7 c4 22.e6 fxe6 23.Nxd5 Qc5+ 24.Ne3 Nab6 25.Bxc4 Nxc4 26.Rxd7 +=) 15....Nfxd5 16.Nxd5 Nxd5 17.exd5 Bf6 18.Bc4 Qd7 19.Rae3 Rxe3 20.Rxe3 Re8 21.Rxe8+ Qxe8 22.Qe2 Qxe2 23.Bxe2 Bxd5 24.Bxa6 Kf8 = 25.Bd3 h5 26.c4 Bc6 27.b3 Bc3 28.f3 Ke7 29.Be4 Bxe4 30.fxe4 f5 31.Kf2 Kf6 32.Kf3 g5 33.exf5 Kxf5 34.h3 g4+ 35.hxg4+ hxg4+ 36.Ke3 Be5 37.Kd3 Bf4 38.Ba3 Be5 1/2-1/2 Solak--Gelashvili, Chania Crete 1999.

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