G) 4....Bc5

G1) 5.O-O G2) 5.e5!

Position after 4.Nf3 Bc5

  A natural developing move, 4....Bc5 appears to invite transposition to the Max Lange Attack after 5.O-O Nc6. But White can begin an immediate and forcing attack via 5.e5! leading to a clear advantage. There are a number of long forcing lines here, and readers are invited to carry the analysis to a final proof with the aid of a computer.

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

G1) 5.O-O

G1a) 5....Nxe4? 6.Re1 d5 (6....f5 7.Bg5 Be7 8.Qxd4 Bxg5 9.Qxg7 Qf6 10.Qxg5 +- Zwisler--Andersen, Correspondence 1992) 7.Bxd5 Qxd5 8.Nc3 Qh5 (8....Qf5 9.Rxe4+ Be6 10.Re5 transposes) 9.Rxe4+ Be6 10.Re5 Qg6 11.Nd5 Bd6 12.Nf4 Qf6 13.Nh5 Qd8 14.Bg5 Qc8 15.Nxg7+ Kd7 16.Nxd4!? Nc6 17.Nxc6 bxc6 18.Nxe6 fxe6 19.Rxe6! Qg8 20.Re7+ +- Caro--Suchting, Berlin 1897.

G1b) 5....d6

G1b1) 6.c3 d3! (6....dxc3?! 7.Nxc3 O-O 8.Bg5 Be6 9.Bxe6! [9.Qb3?! Bxc4 10.Qxc4 h6 11.Bh4 Nbd7 =+ Schlechter--Marshall, Cambridge Springs 1904] 9....fxe6 10.Qb3 Qc8 11.e5 Ng4 += Hartlaub--Leonhardt, Hamburg 1906 or 11....dxe5 += Coldewey-Schiller, Schleswig Holstein 1995; 6....Bg4!? 7.cxd4 Bb6 = Tartakower-Berger, Vienna 1907) 7.Qxd3 Nc6 (7....O-O 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 Nbd7 10.Nbd2 Qe7 11.Kh1 a5 12.Rae1 Re8 13.Bb3 a4 14.Bc2 g6 15.Nd4 Ne5 16.Qe2 g5 17.f4 gxh4 18.fxe5 Bxd4 19.cxd4 dxe5 20.dxe5 Ng4 21.Rf4 Nxe5 22.Ref1 Be6 23.Qe1 Red8 24.Nf3 Ng6 25.Nxh4 Nxf4 26.Rxf4 Rd4 27.Nf3 Rb4 28.Qg3+ Kf8 29.Qg6 Ke8 30.Qxh6 Ra5 31.Ne5 Rxb2 32.Ng6 Rxc2 33.Qh8+ Kd7 34.Qd4+ Qd6 35.Nf8+ Ke8 36.Qa1 Rd2 37.Qg1 Qxf4 38.Nxe6 fxe6 0-1 Fulton-Al Bakhari 1986) 8.b4?! (8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 Bg4 10.Nbd2 Ne5 = Alekhine) 8....Bb6 9.b5 Na5 10.e5 dxe5 11.Qxd8+ Kxd8 12.Bxf7 e4 13.Ne5 Bc5 14.Nd2 Rf8 =+ Spielmann--Alekhine, Stockholm 1912.

G1b2) 6.b4!? Bxb4 (6....Bb6! 7.Nxd4 O-O! [7....Qe7 8.Bb2! O-O 9.Nc3 Re8 10.Nd5 +=] 8.Nc3 [8.Re1?! Ng4! =+; 8.f3?! d5! 9.exd5 Nc6! =+] 8....Bxd4!? [Winning a pawn. 8....Bg4 9.f3 Nc6 10.Be3 =] 9.Qxd4 Nc6 10.Qd2 [or 10.Qd1 Nxb4 11.Rb1 Nc6 12.Bg5] 10....Nxb4 11.Bb2 Nc6 12.Rae1 Re8 13.f4 and White has compensation for the pawn) 7.c3! Bxc3 (7....dxc3 8.Qb3 d5 9.exd5 Bd6 10.Re1+ Kf8 11.Nxc3 ± Estrin) 8.Nxc3 dxc3 9.e5 Ne4 (9....dxe5 10.Qxd8+ Kxd8 11.Nxe5 Re8 12.Nxf7+ Kd7 13.Rd1+ Kc6 14.Be3 +=; 9....d5 10.exf6 dxc4 11.Qa4+ c6 12.fxg7 Rg8 13.Bg5 ±; 9....Ng4 10.Bg5 Qd7 11.e6!? [Estrin's suggestion. Safer may be 11.exd6 O-O 12.Be7! += winning the exchange since 12....Re8? 13.Bxf7+! Kxf7? 14.Qd5+ Qe6 15.Ng5+ wins the Queen instead] 11....fxe6 12.Nd4 d5 13.Qxg4 O-O! [13....dxc4? 14.Nxe6! Qxe6 15.Rfe1 ±] 14.Bb3 c5 15.Ne2 and it is not clear that White's piece is better than the four pawns in this complex middlegame.) 10.Re1?! (10.Qd5! Estrin 10....Be6 11.Qxb7! Bxc4 12.exd6! c6! 13.Re1 +=) 10....d5! 11.Bxd5 Nd2 12.e6! (If White did not have this brilliant line leading to perpetual check, he would be in trouble.) 12....Qxd5 13.exf7+ Kxf7 14.Bxd2 cxd2 15.Re5 Qd8 (15....Qd3 16.Re3) 16.Qb3+ Kf8 (16....Kf6 17.Qc3) 17.Ng5 Qf6 18.Qb4+ Qd6 19.Qf4+ Qf6 20.Qb4+ 1/2-1/2 Kolodzeychik--Profeta, Lublin 1961.

G1b3) 6.Nxd4 h6 (6....O-O 7.Nc3 Re8 8.Bg5! += Vazquez-Pinazo, Santa Coloma 2002, but better 7....Nbd7! 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 Ne5 10.Bb3 Ng6 =) 7.Nc3 O-O 8.Nf5?! (8.Nb3 Bb6 9.a4 a5 10.Qf3 =) 8....Bxf5 9.exf5 c6 10.Kh1 d5 11.Bd3 Nbd7 12.Bf4 Re8 13.Bg3 Ne5 = Bolland-Mackenzie, Weston 1924.

G1c) 5....Nc6 transposes to the Max Lange Variation of the Two Knights Defense (not covered here). You can download a file on the Max Lange in PGN Format from Max Burkett's site.


G2) 5.e5!
Since 5.O-O allows Black equalizing options (including transposition to the Max Lange Attack with 5....Nc6), White may do better to force matters with an immediate 5.e5! The resulting positions resemble the Max Lange Attack in some ways, but here White will have the option of castling long to bring a Rook to the center with gain of time. Black is practically forced to pursue the main line with 5.e5 d5 6.exf6 dxc4 7.Qe2+ Be6 8.fxg7 Rg8 9.Bg5, after which White can use his control of the dark squares to create attacking chances against Black's King in the center. Since some of the lines are quite forcing, this is a prime area to analyze using a computer.

G2a) 5....Ng4 6.h3 (6.Bxf7+!? Kxf7 7.Ng5+ Kg8 8.Qxg4 Nc6 9.Qf4 Qe7 10.O-O Nxe5 11.Re1 d6 = Hopf--Schintgen, Bratislaw 1993) 6....Nh6 7.Bg5 Be7 8.Bxh6 gxh6 9.Qxd4 +=

G2b) 5....Ng8 6.Nxd4 (6.c3!) 6....Ne7 7.O-O O-O 8.Bf4 (8.Be3) 8....Nbc6 9.c3 += Cors--Pietrzak, Darm 1995.

G2c) 5....Ne4 6.Qe2! (6.Bd5!? f5 7.O-O += or 7.Nxd4!?) 6....d5 (6....Bb4+ 7.Kf1 Nxf2 8.Qxf2 +-) 7.exd6 O-O 8.dxc7 Qxc7 9.Qxe4 Bb4+ 10.Nbd2 Qxc4 11.c3 f5 12.Nxc4 fxe4 13.Nxd4 Bc5 14.Be3 +- Na6 15.O-O Bg4 16.Rfe1 Rac8 17.Nd2 Rfe8 18.N4b3 Bf5 19.h3 b6 20.Bxc5 bxc5 21.Nc4 Rc6 22.Rad1 Bg6 23.Rd7 Rc7 24.Rxc7 Nxc7 25.Nxc5 Nd5 26.Nb3 Nf4 27.Nc1 a5 28.Nxa5 Ra8 29.Nc6 1-0 Jones--DeCoverly, London 1973.

G2d) 5....d5 6.exf6 dxc4 7.Qe2+ Be6 8.fxg7 Rg8 9.Bg5! (9.Ng5 d3 10.Nxe6 dxe2 11.Nxd8 Kxd8 12.Bg5+ Kc8 13.Bf6 Nd7 14.Bc3 b5 15.a3 f6 16.Kxe2 Rxg7 17.g3 Kb7 = Magar--Fischer, Correspondence 1993)

G2d1) 9....Qd6!? 10.O-O! (10.Nbd2 d3! 11.Qe4 Rxg7 is less clear, but not 10.Nc3? dxc3! 11.Rd1 cxb2 12.O-O b1=Q 13.Rxd6 Qxf1+ 14.Kxf1 cxd6 -+) 10....Nd7 (10....Rxg7 11.Rd1 followed by 12.Nc3 or simply 11.Nc3) 11.Rd1 Qb6 12.Na3 +=

G2d2) 9....Qd5 10.Nc3! (10.Nbd2? d3! =+)

G2d2a) 10....dxc3? 11.Rd1 cxb2 (11....Bxf7+ 12.Kf1!) 12.O-O Bxf2+ 13.Qxf2 b1=Q 14.Rxd5 Qxf1+ 15.Kxf1 Bxd5 16.Qc5 Nc6 17.Qxd5 Rxg7 18.Ne5! Nd8 19.Qd7+ Kf8 20.Be7+ Kg8 21.Qe8#  1-0 Goeller--Hall, Union County Ch. 1980 .

G2d2b) 10....Qf5 11.g4! (11.O-O-O?! Nd7 12.Ne4 Rxg7 13.h3 Bb6 14.Qd2 Qxe4 =+ Christie--Feige, Isla Margarita 1998) 11....Qg6 (11....Qxg4 12.Nd5! +-) 12.Nd5! Qxg7 (12....d3 13.Qe5 Bb4+ 14.c3 Rxg7 15.cxb4 Nc6 16.Qe3 1-0 Ahlback--Darmogray, Correspondence 1978) 13.O-O-O Kd7 14.Nf6+ Kc8 15.Nxg8 Qxg8 16.Bf6 d3 17.cxd3 Nd7 18.Bd4 cxd3 19.Qxd3 Bd6 +- 20.a3 a5 21.h3 b6 22.Rhe1 Kb8 23.Ne5 Bxe5 24.Bxe5 Ka7 25.f4 Nc5 26.Qc3 a4 27.Bf6 Ba2 28.Re7 Rc8 29.f5 h5 30.g5 Qh7 31.Qe5 Kb7 32.Qf4 Qg8 33.Qf3+ Kb8 34.Qxh5 1-0 Ahlback--Tijhonen, Correspondence 1979.

G2d2c) 10....Bb4 11.O-O-O!? (Safer is 11.O-O Bxc3 12.bxc3 Nc6! 13.Rad1 Rxg7 14.h4 h6!? 15.Bxh6 Rg4 16.Bg5 Re4 17.Qd2 Bg4 with interesting complications) 11....Bxc3 12.bxc3 Nc6 13.h4! (13.Bf6 Qf5 14.Bxd4 O-O-O 15.Rhe1 Qa5 16.Kb1 Nxd4 17.Rxd4 = Euwe/Hooper; Colin Leach suggests 13....Nb4 14.cxb4 c3 but after 15.Bxd4 Qxa2 16.Bxc3 I don't see Black's attack) 13...Qa5 (13....Nb4? 14.cxb4 c3 15.Rxd4 Qxa2 16.Kd1 Qa1+ 17.Bc1 +-) 14.Nxd4 Qa3+ (14....Qxc3? 15.Nb5 Qa5 16.Rd5!; 14....Qe5? 15.Nxe6! Qxe6 16.Rhe1; 14....Nxd4 15.Rxd4 Qxc3 16.Qe5!) 15.Kb1 Qxc3 16.Nxe6 Qb4+ 17.Kc1 Qa3+ 18.Kd2 Qa5+ (18....Qb4+? 19.Ke3 Qc3+ 20.Kf4 fxe6 21.Qh5#) 19.Ke3 Qe5+ 20.Kf3 Qxe2+ (20....fxe6 21.Rhe1 +=) 21.Kxe2 fxe6 22.Bf6 += White's annoying pawn at g7 should provide a tactical advantage in the ending. See Analysis.

G3) 9....Be7 10.Bxe7 Kxe7 (10....Qxe7 11.Nxd4 += Fine) 11.Qe4 (11.Na3!? Qd5 = Euwe; 11.Nh4 Kd7! =+ Fine) 11....Nc6 (11....Rxg7 12.Nxd4 Rg6 13.Nc3 Nd7 14.O-O-O Kf8 Gresser--Belova, Moscow 1950, and now not 15.f4?! Bg4! but simply 15.Nxe6+ +=) 12.Qh7 Qd5 (12....d3!?) 13.Nbd2 Bf5 (13....c3!? 14.bxc3 dxc3 15.Ne4; 13....d3!?) 14.Qh4+ f6!? (14....Kd7 15.O-O-O) 15.O-O-O! c3!? 16.bxc3 Qxa2 17.Ne4 dxc3 (17....Qa1+ 18.Kd2 dc3+ 19.Ke3 Qa5 20.Qf6+ Ke8 21.Kf4! Ne7 22.Rhe1 +- but perhaps 17....Be4!?) 18.Qxf6+ Ke8 19.Qxc3! Bxe4 20.Rhe1 Rxg7 21.Rxe4+ Kf8 22.Ng5! Kg8 23.h4 += Analysis Game.

G4) 9....Bb4+! (An astounding novelty. This line has been analyzed for many years and examined by the likes of Reuben Fine and Max Euwe, but to my knowledge no one had ever noticed this annoying little check until Nielsen played it against Zavanelli! This just shows you that there is always room for innovation in chess!) 10.c3 dxc3

G4a) 11.Nxc3 Qd3 12.Qxd3 cxd3 13.O-O-O Bxc3 14.bxc3 Rxg7 15.Rxd3 Nc6 16.Rd2 f6 17.Bxf6 Rxg2 18.Bh4 Rg6 19.Ng5 Bg8 20.Rhd1 Kf8 21.Rd7 Rg7 22.R1d3 Re7 23.Rxe7 Nxe7 24.Rd7 h6 25.Nh7+ Bxh7 26.Rxe7 Bg8 27.Rxc7 Bxa2 28.Rxb7 += a5 29.Kb2 Bd5 30.Rb6 Kg7 31.Bf6+ Kh7 32.Bd4 Bc4 33.Ka3 Be2 34.f4 1-0 Zavanelli-Nielsen, Reg Gillman Memorial Correspondence 1999.

G4b) 11.O-O!?

G4b1) 11....Qd3 12.Rd1 Nc6 13.Rxd3 cxd3 14.Qxd3 cxb2 15.Bf6 bxa1=Q 16.Bxa1 Rd8 17.Qe2 Kd7 18.Ng5 +=

G4b2) 11....Be7 12. Bxe7 (12.Bh6!? cxb2 13.Qxb2 Bf6 14.Nc3 Nd7 15.Rfe1 Bxc3 16.Qxc3 Qf6 17.Qxf6 Nxf6 18.Rab1 =) 12... Qxe7 13.Nxc3 Rxg7 14.Qe4 c6 15.Rfe1 Nd7 16.Nd4 Nc5 17.Qf3 Nd3 18.Nf5 Qf8 19.Nxg7+ =/+= Black's strongly placed Knight compensates for White's exchange advantage, but I like White's prospects in the long run.


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