Urusov Gambit Notes

By Michael Goeller

I have annotated ten recent games with the Urusov Gambit, using them as an opportunity to re-examine some of my earlier conclusions about the opening. I think the games and analysis show that the Urusov is alive and well, so long as you do your homework (which most of these players did not....)

Game One

Luc Bergez (2340) - Glenn Flear (2465) [C55]

XXIX Open/Donostia San Sebastian ESP (8) 2006


French IM and European Poker star Luc Bergez has adopted the Urusov Gambit on a number of occasions as an easy way of reaching the Modern Variation of the Two Knights Defense, as in the present game.

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nf3 Nc6

Black's most common fourth move, especially at the master level, where players prefer the well-charted territory of the Two Knights.

 

5. e5!

Likely White's best move.

 

5... Ng4!?










This is a challenging and provocative move! White must now choose between playing a gambit or an endgame.

a) The more standard 5... d5 meets with 6. Bb5 Ne4 7. Nxd4 Bd7 (7... Bc5!?) 8. Bxc6 bxc6 9. O-O Bc5 (9... Be7 10. f3 Nc5 11. f4 f6?! 12. f5! O-O 13. e6 Be8 14. Qg4 Ne4 15. Nc3! c5 16. Nxe4 cxd4? 17. Bh6! g6 18. fxg6 Bxg6 19. Bxf8 dxe4 20. Bxe7 Qxe7 21. h4 Qc5 22. b4 Qe5 23. Rae1 1-0 Papp,T-Banusz,T/Balatonlelle HUN 2006) 10. Be3 Qh4!? 11. c3 Rb8 12. f3 Ng5 13. Nd2 Rxb2 14. N2b3! Bxd4? (14... Ne6!?) 15. cxd4 Bh3 16. Bd2 Bf5 17. Qc1 Rxd2 18. Qxd2 O-O 19. Rac1 Rb8 20. Rxc6 Ne6 21. Ra6 g5 22. g3 1-0 Bergez,L-Saunders,R/Feugen AUT 2006.

 

b) Also played is 5... Ne4 6. Qe2 (6. Bd5 Nc5 7. c3 dxc3 8. Nxc3) (6. O-O d5 7. Bb5 transposes to 5...d5 above) 6... Nc5 (6... Bb4+ 7. Kf1!) 7. O-O Be7 8. Rd1 Ne6 9. Bxe6 fxe6! (9... dxe6 10. Be3 O-O 11. Nxd4 Qd5 12. f4) 10. Nxd4 Nxd4 11. Rxd4 O-O 12. Nc3 d5 13. exd6 Bxd6 14. Be3 e5 15. Rd2= Gurevich - Jonkman, Germany 2002.

6. O-O

I think the gambit line with 6.O-O would be most to the taste of Urusov players, though the ending that follows 6. Qe2 Qe7 7. Bf4 d6 (7... f6!? 8. exf6 gxf6 9. Nbd2 d6 10. Nb3 Nce5) 8. exd6 cxd6 9. Nbd2 Bf5 10. Nb3 d3 11. cxd3 Qxe2+ 12. Kxe2 Nge5= is also viable.

 

6... d6

6... Ngxe5? 7. Nxe5 Nxe5 8. Re1

 

7. exd6 Qxd6

7... Bxd6! 8. Re1+ Kf8 9. Bb5!? (9. c3 Qf6 (9... dxc3 10. Nxc3 Nxh2 11. Ng5) 10. Nbd2; 9. Na3 Qf6 10. Bg5 Bxh2+ 11. Nxh2 Qxg5 12. Nf3; and 9. Bg5!? Bxh2+?! 10. Nxh2 Qxg5 11. Nf3 are also of interest) 9... Bc5 10. Bg5 looks interesting for White but a better try for Black than the text move.

 

8. Re1+

8. h3!? Nge5 9. Nxe5 Nxe5 10. Bf4 Be7 11. Re1 f6 12. Na3! Harding

 

8... Be7 9. Bg5 Be6?!

9... O-O 10. Bxe7 Nxe7 11. Qxd4 Qxd4 12. Nxd4 Zelcic - Jovanic, Pula 2004.

 

10. Bxe7 Kxe7?

10... Qxe7 11. Bxe6 fxe6 12. Nxd4

 

11. Nbd2

11. Na3 is an alternative idea.

 

11... Raf8










12. Ne4 Qb4 13. Bxe6 fxe6 14. Nxd4 Qxd4 15. Qxg4 Rf5 16. c3 Qe5 17. Qh4+ Ke8 18. Ng3 Rf4 19. Qh3 Qd5 20. Rad1 Qxa2 21. Rxe6+ Kf7 22. Rd7+ 1-0


Game Two

Luc Bergez - Ismael Karim [C55]

Paris-ch/Paris (6) 2006


1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nf3 Bc5 5. e5!










5. O-O d6 looks too easy for Black.

(I'd prefer 5...d6 over the standard 5... Nc6 6. e5 transposing to the Max Lange Attack, which I've analyzed also: 6... d5 (6... Ng4!? 7. Bf4 d6 8. exd6 Bxd6 9. Re1+ Kf8 10. Bxd6+ Qxd6 11. c3! dxc3 (11... Qc5 12. Nxd4! Qxc4 (12... Bd7 13. Be6!) 13. Nxc6 Bf5 14. Nd4) 12. Nxc3 Qxd1 (12... Qc5?! 13. Ne4! Qxc4? 14. Nd6!!) 13. Raxd1 Bf5 14. Nd5 Rc8 15. h3) 7. exf6 dxc4 8. fxg7! Rg8 9. Bg5 yields the "Modern Horowitz Variation," also analyzed by Lev Gutman in Kaissiber 22 as advantageous for White.)

6. Nxd4 (6. c3 d3!?= Spielmann-Alekhine, Stockholm 1912) 6... h6 7. Nc3 O-O= Bolland-Mackenzie, Weston 1924.

 

5... d5

Alternatives are no good here:

a) 5... Ng4?! 6. h3! (6. Bxf7+?! Kxf7 7. Ng5+ Kg8! when the game Hopf--Schintgen, Bratislaw 1993 eventually ended in a draw after 8. Qxg4 Nc6 9. Qf4 (9. Qf3!?) 9... Qe7 10. O-O Nxe5 11. Re1 d6 12. Qe4? h6 13. f4 hxg5 14. fxe5 dxe5 though Black was clearly better.) 6... Nh6 7. Bg5! Be7 8. Bxh6 gxh6 9. Qxd4 and White's lead in development and Black's kingside pawns pretty much decide the outcome, e.g.: 9... Rg8 10. Qf4 Rg7 11. Nc3 Bg5 12. Qe4 Kf8 13. h4 Be7 14. O-O-O

 

b) 5... Ne4?! 6. Qe2 (6. Bd5!? f5) 6... d5 7. exd6 O-O!? This leads to interesting complications -- White has to watch the pin on the e-file. 8. dxc7 Qxc7 9. Qxe4! Bb4+ 10. Nbd2 (10. c3) 10... Qxc4 11. c3 f5! 12. Nxc4! fxe4 13. Nxd4 Bc5 14. Be3 and White was up a pawn with the better position in Jones--DeCoverly, London 1973.

 

c) 5... Ng8?! 6. Ng5! (6. Nxd4?! Qh4! 7. Qf3! Qxd4 8. Qxf7+ Kd8 9. Qxg7 Qxc4 10. Qxh8; 6. O-O! is also fine 6... Nc6 7. Ng5 Nh6 8. Ne4; but not 6. c3 d5) 6... Nh6 7. Ne4 Bb4+ 8. c3 dxc3 9. bxc3 Be7 10. Bxh6 gxh6 11. Qh5

6. Bb5+?!

You would think that Bergez had reviewed almost no theory on this line to play such a move! Or maybe he just has his own ideas...

Theory should go (in my view at least):

6. exf6 dxc4 7. Qe2+ Be6 8. fxg7 Rg8 9. Bg5! Bb4+!

(a) 9... Be7 10. Bxe7 Kxe7 (10... Qxe7 11. Nxd4) 11. Qe4! Nc6 12. Qxh7)

 

(b) 9... Qd6!? 10. O-O! Rxg7 11. Rd1! Nd7 (11... Qb6 12. Nbd2) 12. Nc3!)

 

(c) 9... Qd5 10. Nc3 dxc3? (10... Bb4 11. O-O-O!? (11. O-O Bxc3 12. bxc3 Rxg7 13. h4 Nc6 14. Rad1) 11... Bxc3 12. bxc3 Nc6 (12... Qa5 13. Rxd4! Nc6 14. Re4 Rxg7 15. Rxe6+ fxe6 16. Qxe6+ Kf8 17. Re1!) 13. h4! Qa5 14. Nxd4 Qa3+ (14... Nxd4 15. Rxd4 Qxc3 16. Qe5!) 15. Kb1 Qxc3 16. Nxe6 Qb4+ 17. Kc1 Qa3+ 18. Kd2! Qa5+ 19. Ke3! Qe5+ 20. Kf3 Qxe2+ 21. Kxe2 fxe6 22. Bf6 is an interesting line that I worked out through intensive analysis back in 1980 without computer assistance. Today, Fritz can find the entire line in a few minutes. This position repays some close attention and training. Not 10... Qf5? 11. g4! Qxg4 12. Nd5!) 11. Rd1 cxb2 12. O-O b1=Q? (12... Qd7! 13. Rxd7 Nxd7 14. Rb1 Rxg7 15. Rxb2 is harder than it looks for White, and I'd recommend you play some training games against your computer to learn how to win it) 13. Rxd5! Bxf2+ 14. Qxf2 Qxf1+ 15. Kxf1 Bxd5 16. Qc5 Nc6 17. Qxd5 Rxg7 18. Ne5 Nd8 19. Qd7+ Kf8 20. Be7+ Kg8 21. Qe8# Goeller - Hall, Union County 1980)

10. c3 dxc3! 11. Nxc3 (11. O-O!? Be7 12. Bh6) 11... Qd3 12. Qxd3 cxd3 13. O-O-O Bxc3 14. bxc3 Rxg7 15. Rxd3 Nc6 16. Rd2 1-0 (34) Zavanelli-Nielsen, Reg Gillman Memorial Correspondence 1999.

 

6... Bd7!?










Perhaps slightly better is 6... Nfd7 7. O-O (7. Bg5!? Bb4+!?) 7... c6?! (7... O-O! 8. Nxd4 Nxe5) 8. Bd3 Nf8?! 9. b4!? (9. Nbd2 Ne6 10. Nb3 Bb6) 9... Bxb4 10. Nxd4 Bc5 11. Nb3 Be7 12. f4 c5 13. Bb5+ Nc6 14. Nc3 a6 15. Bxc6+ bxc6 16. Ba3 c4 17. Bxe7 Qxe7 18. Nd4 Ne6 19. Nf5 Qa7+ 20. Kh1 O-O 21. Nd6 f6 22. f5 Nc5 23. Qd4 Nd7 24. Qxa7 Rxa7 25. e6 Ne5 26. Rab1 a5 27. Rb8 Bxe6 28. Rxf8+ Kxf8 29. fxe6 Re7 30. Rb1 Rxe6 31. Rb8+ Ke7 32. Nf5+ Kf7 33. Rb7+ Kg6 34. Nxg7 Rd6 35. h3 f5 36. Ne2 d4 37. Nf4+ Kg5 38. Nge6+ Kf6 39. Rxh7 d3 40. cxd3 cxd3 41. Rh6+ Kf7 42. Rh7+ Kf6 43. Ng7 Kg5 44. g3 Rd7 45. Kg2 1-0 Degraeve,J-Dolezal,R/Germany 2006.

 

7. Bxd7+?

After this lemon, I lose all faith that IM Bergez might know what he's doing! Best is 7. exf6! Bxb5 8. fxg7 Rg8 (8... Qe7+ 9. Kd2 Rg8 10. Re1) 9. Nxd4 Qf6 10. Be3 and White's position is fully playable, e.g.: 10... Bc4!? (10... Ba6 11. Nc3 c6 12. Qg4) 11. Nd2 Qxg7 12. Nxc4 Qxg2 13. Rf1 dxc4 14. Nb5! Qc6 15. Bxc5 Qxc5 16. Qe2+ Kf8 17. O-O-O Na6 18. Rd7

 

7... Nfxd7 8. O-O O-O 9. b4!?

An interesting try for some play, but White has no compensation for his missing pawn.

9. c3 dxc3 10. Qxd5 (10. Nxc3 c6) 10... cxb2 11. Bxb2 Nc6 12. e6 fxe6 13. Qxe6+ Kh8 14. Nbd2 Qe7

 

9... Bxb4

9... Bb6!?

 

10. Qxd4 Nc6 11. Qg4 Re8 12. Bb2 Bf8 13. Qg3 d4!? 14. Nxd4 Ndxe5 15. Nxc6 Nxc6 16. Na3 Qd6 17. Qf3 Ne5 18. Qxb7 Rab8 19. Bxe5 Qxe5 20. Qa6 Qc5 21. Nb1 Qxc2 22. Na3 Qc5 23. Nb1 Bd6?!

23... Rb2!

 

24. Nd2 Qa3?! 25. Qxa3 Bxa3 26. Nc4 Bc5

Now Bergez, who has a simply lost ending, demonstrates why he is an IM by battling for the draw.

 

27. Rfe1 Rxe1+ 28. Rxe1 f6 29. Kf1 Kf7 30. Rc1 Ke6 31. Ke2 Bd4 32. Rc2 Kd5 33. Ne3+ Bxe3 34. Kxe3 c5 35. Kd3 Rb4 36. Re2 Ra4 37. Kc3 Rc4+ 38. Kd3 Rc1 39. Re7 c4+ 40. Kd2 Rf1 41. Ke2 Rb1 42. Rxa7 Kd4 43. Rd7+ Kc3 44. Rxg7 Rb2+ 45. Ke3 h5 46. h4 Rb4 47. g4 Kb2 48. Rc7 c3 49. Kd3 Rb8 50. gxh5 Rd8+ 51. Ke4 Rh8 52. Kd3 Rd8+ 53. Ke4= 1/2-1/2


Game Three

E. Osuna Vega (2209) - Zouhair Naciri [C24]

Gibraltar Masters/Catalan Bay ENG (5) 2004


1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4 exd4

It is worth knowing the following trick, which is seen in various contexts:

a) 3... Bb4+? 4. c3 Bd6 5. dxe5 Bxe5 6. f4 Nxe4 7. Qh5 Bxc3+ 8. Nxc3 Nd6 9. Bd3 Qe7+ 10. Qe2 Nc6 11. Nd5 Qxe2+ 12. Nxe2 Kd8 13. Bd2 b6 14. Bc3 Ne7 15. Bxg7 1-0 Papp,T-Kollman,L/Balatonlelle HUN 2006

b) 3... Bd6? 4. dxe5 Bxe5 5. f4 Nxe4 6. Qh5

 

4. Nf3 d5 5. exd5 Bb4+

5... Nxd5?! 6. O-O! Nc6 (6... c5? 7. Ng5!) (6... Be7 7. Qxd4) 7. Ng5! transposes to the Lolli Gambit 7... Be7 (7... f6 8. Nc3!! dxc3 9. Bxd5 fxg5 10. Re1+ Be7 11. Bxg5 Buecker) 8. Nxf7 Kxf7 9. Qf3+! (9. Qh5+!?) 9... Ke6 10. Nc3 dxc3 11. Re1+ Ne5 12. Bf4 Bf6 13. Bxe5 Bxe5 14. Rxe5+ Kxe5 15. Re1+ Kd4 16. Bxd5 was played in Winckelman--Feist, Correspondence 1986, which was nearly identical to a Morphy game from 1858.

 

6. c3

a) White can avoid trouble by 6. Bd2 Bxd2+ (6... Qe7+ 7. Qe2 Qxe2+ 8. Kxe2) (6... Nxd5 7. O-O! O-O 8. Nxd4 Bxd2 9. Qxd2) 7. Qxd2 O-O 8. Nxd4 Nxd5 9. O-O=

 

b) Believe it or not, I actually think 6. Kf1 deserves more attention.

6... Qe7+!










Attributed to Panov, though Marshall played this in Paris 1900 against Pillsbury.

 

7. Be2 dxc3 8. bxc3 Bc5

8... Bd6!? should not be as effective, since it robs the Black Queen of a good square at d6 9. O-O c6 10. dxc6?! (10. c4!=) 10... Nxc6 11. Re1 O-O 12. Qc2 Bg4 13. Nbd2 Rfe8 14. Bb2 Ne5 15. Bb5 Nfd7 16. Nd4 Qh4 17. Ne4 Bc7 18. f3 Be6 19. Rad1 Rad8 20. Bc1 h6 21. g3 (21. f4!?) 21... Qh5 22. f4 Nf3+ 23. Nxf3 Qxf3 (23... Qxb5!) 24. Be2 Bb6+ 25. Rd4 Bxd4+ 26. cxd4 Bb3 27. Bxf3 Bxc2 28. Kf2 Nb6 29. Ba3 Bxe4 30. Bxe4 Rxd4 31. Bh7+ Kxh7 32. Rxe8 Rd2+ 33. Re2 Rxe2+ 34. Kxe2 Kg6 (34... Nc4) 35. Kd3 f5 36. Kd4 Kf6 37. Bd6 Nd7 38. Bb4 g5 39. Kd5 Nb6+ 40. Kd6 Nc4+ 41. Kd7 gxf4 42. gxf4 Kg6 43. h3 Ne3 44. Kc8 Nd5 45. Bd2 b6 46. Kd7 Nf6+ 47. Ke6 Ne4 48. Be1 Nc5+ 49. Kd5 Nd3 50. Bd2 Nf2 51. h4 Kh5 52. Ke5 Kg4 53. Kd4 h5 54. a4 Ne4 55. Be3 Kxh4 56. Kd5 Kg3 57. Ke5 h4 58. Kxf5 h3 59. Kxe4 h2 0-1 Bismuth,L-Le Diouron,A/Guingamp 2007

 

9. O-O O-O

9... c6!? 10. c4

 

10. c4

10. Bg5 Re8! 11. Bd3 Qd6 12. c4=

 

10... Re8 11. Bd3

Pillsbury's move, which seemed to cause him trouble. But it works out well here. Perhaps instead

11. Nc3!? Bg4! (11... Bb4?! 12. Qb3!)

 

11... Bg4 12. Bb2 Nbd7?!

12... Ne4! 13. Nbd2? (13. Nc3!= Bxf3 14. Qxf3 Nd2 15. Qh3) (13. Bxe4?! Qxe4 14. Nbd2 Qg6) 13... Nxf2 14. Rxf2 Bxf2+ 15. Kxf2 Qe3+ 16. Kg3 Qxd3 17. Kxg4 Re2! Pillsbury - Marshall, Paris 1900.

 

13. Nbd2

13. Nc3? Ne5!

 

13... Rad8

A natural move, but there may be better.

13... Qd6! 14. Qc2 h6 15. h3 Bh5 16. Nd4 (16. g4?? Qg3+) (16. Rae1)

 

14. Qc2 Qd6?!

14... h6 15. h3 Bxf3 16. Nxf3

 

15. Ng5! Be2

15... h6 16. Nge4 (16. Bh7+!? Kf8 17. Nge4) 16... Nxe4 17. Nxe4 Qf8 18. h3!

 

16. Bxh7+ Kf8 17. Nde4 Nxe4 18. Nxe4 Qh6 19. Nxc5! Nxc5 20. Rfe1 Bg4 21. Ba3 b6 22. Bd3

Black has no compensation for his pawn deficit and only draws through sheer effort of will and relatively poor technique by his opponent.

 

22... Qg5 23. f3 Bxf3 24. Qf2 Bh5 25. Bxc5+ bxc5 26. Qxc5+ Kg8 27. Qf2

27. Qxc7!

 

27... a5 28. Qf5

28. Rxe8+

 

28... Qh6 29. Qf2 Qg5 30. h3 Rb8 31. Rxe8+ Rxe8 32. Re1 Rxe1+ 33. Qxe1 Kf8 34. Kh1 Qf4 35. Qb1 g5 36. Qf1 Qg3 37. Bf5 Ke7 38. Bc8 Bg6 39. Bf5 Bh5 40. c5 Qe3 41. Qg1 Qc3 42. Be4 g4 43. d6+ cxd6 44. cxd6+ Kxd6 45. Qd1+ Ke7 46. hxg4 Bg6 47. Bxg6 fxg6 48. Qe2+ Kd6 49. Qa6+ Ke5 50. Qxg6 1/2-1/2


Game Four

Chris S. Jones - Carl Davies [C43]

GBR-ch op/Swansea (11) 2006


1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nf3 Bb4+ 5. c3 dxc3 6. bxc3

6. O-O!? cxb2 7. Bxb2 O-O is very unclear, but it is difficult to believe fully in White's compensation for the two pawns.

 

6... Bc5

6... d5!? 7. cxb4 (7. Qa4+!? Nbd7 8. Qxb4 a5) (7. exd5?! Be7!) 7... dxc4 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. Bg5

 

7. e5










7... d5

a) 7... Qe7? 8. O-O Ng4 9. h3 (Better first to play 9. Bg5! Qf8 10. h3 etc.) 9... Nh6 (Black might try 9... Nxf2 10. Rxf2 Bxf2+ 11. Kxf2 Qc5+ 12. Qd4 Qxd4+ 13. cxd4) 10. Bg5! Qf8 11. Re1!? Nc6 (11... Nf5 12. Qd3) 12. Nbd2 b5?! 13. Ne4 Nd8 (13... bxc4 14. Nd6+!!) 14. Bxh6 1-0 Volovikov,A-Derevianchenko,I/Bila Tserkva 2006

b) 7... Ng4?! 8. Bxf7+! Kxf7 9. Ng5+ Ke8 (9... Kg8?? 10. Qb3+!) 10. Qxg4

c) 7... Ne4? 8. Qd5!

 

8. exf6 dxc4 9. Qxd8+

9. Qe2+!? Be6 10. fxg7 Rg8 11. Ng5 Qd5 12. Nxe6 fxe6 13. Bh6 Nc6 14. O-O O-O-O 15. Nd2

 

9... Kxd8 10. fxg7 Rg8 11. Bh6 Be7

11... a5!? 12. Nbd2 Ra6!? 13. Bg5+ f6 (13... Be7!?) 14. Bh6 Re6+=

 

12. Nbd2 Bf6 13. Ne4

13. O-O-O! Bxg7 14. Nxc4+ Ke8 15. Rhe1+ Be6 16. Bxg7 Rxg7 17. Ne3

 

13... Bxg7 14. Bg5+ Ke8 15. O-O-O Nc6 16. Rhe1 Be6?!

16... Kf8

17. Bf4 Rd8 18. Bxc7 Rxd1+ 19. Rxd1 Bh6+ 20. Kb2 Rxg2?










20... Kf8 21. Bd6+ Kg7 22. Nd4

21. Bg3! Bg4?? 22. Nf6+ Kf8 23. Nxg4 Bf4 24. Nh4 1-0


Game Five

Rob Konijn - Tim Roosink [C24]

Haarlem Nova open (3) 2004


1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. dxe5 Qh4 5. Qf3










White has an interesting and untested alternative if he'd rather play for a middlegame attack: 5. Be3 Nxf2!? 6. Bxf7+ Kxf7 7. Qf3+ Ke8 8. Bxf2 Qb4+ 9. Nc3 Qxb2 10. Rb1 Qxc2 11. Nge2 Nc6 12. O-O!

 

5... Ng5

5... Nd6?! 6. exd6 Qxc4 7. dxc7

 

6. Qf4

Larsen's suggestion, which seems adequate for a clear edge.

 

6... Qxf4 7. Bxf4 Be7

7... Ne6 8. Bg3 Nc6 9. Nf3 Bc5 10. Nc3 Ned4 11. Nd5 Nxf3+ 12. gxf3 Bb6 13. O-O-O O-O 14. Rhg1 Kh8 15. f4 Na5 16. Nxb6 axb6 17. Bd5 f6 18. exf6 Rxf6 19. Rde1 Rf8 20. f5 d6 21. Re7 c6 22. Bxd6 Bxf5 23. Rgxg7 cxd5 24. Be5 Rfe8 25. Rxh7+ Kg8 26. Reg7+ Kf8 27. Rh8# 1-0 Bering,A-Christensen,J/Copenhagen 2002

 

8. Nc3 Ne6 9. Bg3 O-O 10. O-O-O c6 11. f4

11. Ne4

11... b5










12. Bxe6!? dxe6 13. Ne4 Nd7 14. Nf3 c5 15. Nd6 Bxd6 16. Rxd6 Nb6 17. Bf2 Nc4 18. Rd3 Bb7 19. b3 Na5 20. Bxc5 Rfc8 21. Rhd1 Be4 22. R3d2 Bd5 23. Bb4 Nb7 24. Nd4 a5 25. Be7 a4 26. Nxb5 axb3 27. axb3 Na5 28. Kb2 Rcb8 29. Na3 Rb7 30. Bd6 Bxb3 31. Bb4 Nc6 32. cxb3 Rxb4 33. Rd6 Rc8 34. Rxc6 1-0


Game Six

Anton Volovikov - Valentin Pulyaev [C24]

UKR-ch U18 sf/Dnipropetrovsk (5) 2005


1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. dxe5 c6










I cannot count the number of ICC games I've played over the years against 4... d5? 5. Bxd5 Nc5?? 6. Bxf7+.

 

I also get a lot of 4... Bc5 5. Qd5!? (5. Bxf7+! is easiest 5... Kxf7 (5... Kf8 6. Qf3) 6. Qd5+ Kf8 7. Qxe4) 5... Qh4 (5... Bxf2+ 6. Kf1 O-O 7. Qxe4 Bb6 8. Nf3) 6. g3 Bxf2+ 7. Kf1! Bxg3 8. Nc3! Nxc3 9. Qxf7+ Kd8 10. hxg3

 

5. Qe2 Nc5

5... Ng5!? 6. f4 (6. Nf3 Ne6 (6... Nxf3+ 7. Qxf3 Qa5+ 8. Kd1!) 7. O-O d5 8. exd6 Bxd6 9. Ng5) 6... Ne6 7. f5?! White's pawns get overextended.(7. Nf3 d5 8. exd6 Bxd6 9. f5!? Qa5+ 10. Qd2 Qxd2+ 11. Nbxd2 Nc5 12. f6!?) 7... Nd4 (7... d5?! 8. exd6 Qa5+ 9. Nc3 Qxf5 10. Ne4) 8. Qe4 Bc5 (8... Nxf5!? 9. Nf3!) 9. Be3? (9. Ne2 Nxe2 10. Bxe2 O-O 11. b4 d5) 9... Nxc2+!? (9... Qb6!) 10. Qxc2 Bxe3 11. Bxf7+! Kxf7?! (11... Kf8 12. Bb3) 12. Qb3+ d5 13. Qxe3? (13. e6+! Kg8 14. Qxe3) 13... Bxf5?! (13... Qh4+!) 14. Nf3 Rf8 (14... Qb6 15. e6+) 15. e6+ Bxe6? (15... Kg8! 16. e7 Qa5+ 17. Nc3 Re8 18. O-O) 16. Ng5+ Kg6 17. Nxe6 Re8 18. O-O Qb6 19. Qxb6 axb6 20. Nc7 Nd7 21. Nxa8 Rxa8 22. Nd2 Ne5 23. Nf3 Nd3 24. b3 Nb4 25. Ne5+ Kg5 26. g3 c5 27. h4+ Kh6 28. g4 Rxa2 29. Rxa2 Nxa2 30. Rf7 Nc1 31. Kg2 d4 32. g5+ Kh5 33. Rxg7 Kxh4 34. Kf3 d3 35. Ke3 Nxb3 36. Kf4 Nd4 37. Rxh7# Black checkmated 1-0 BALTAS-plotkin/Internet Chess Club 2007

 

6. f4?!

a) 6. a3 d5 7. exd6+ Ne6 8. Nf3 Bxd6 9. Ng5 Qe7 10. Nxe6 Bxe6 11. Bxe6 fxe6 Fedorov - Mamedyarov, Moscow 2004.

 

b) 6. Nf3!? b5 7. Bb3 Nxb3 (7... a5 8. c4!) 8. axb3 Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. Rd1

6... Qe7?!

6... b5! 7. Bb3 a5 8. c3 Nxb3 9. axb3 Be7.

 

7. Be3 Ne4 8. Bd3

8. Nd2

 

8... d5 9. Bxe4 dxe4 10. Nc3 Bf5 11. O-O-O Nd7 12. g4 Be6 13. f5 Bd5 14. Nxd5 cxd5 15. Rxd5 Nxe5 16. Nh3 Rc8 17. Qb5+ Nc6 18. Re1 Qb4?










18... a6

19. Bd2! Qxb5 20. Rxe4+! Be7 21. Rxb5 b6 22. Bg5 f6 23. Bd2 Kf7 24. Nf4 g6 25. Ne6 Ne5 26. Bc3 gxf5 27. gxf5 Rhg8 28. Rd5 Rg2 29. Rh4 Kg8 30. Rh3 Rf2 31. Rg3+ Kh8 32. Rxe5 Bd6 33. Rc5 Rf8 34. Rc8 Rxc2+ 35. Kb1 Rc1+ 36. Kxc1 Rxc8 37. Rd3 Bxh2 38. Rd8+ Rxd8 39. Bxf6+ Kg8 40. Nxd8 h5 41. Bh4 1-0


Game Seven

Albert Volovikov - Viktor Borisenko [C24]

UKR-ch U18 sf/Dnipropetrovsk (2) 2005


1. e4 e5 2. Bc4

In the game that follows, Black adopts a system with Qe7, which is unusual and seems to go against principles. But it is surprisingly difficult to demonstrate a White advantage against this sort of set-up. A good example of Black's resources was seen in a World Championship Qualifying match between two super-GMs:

2. Nf3 Qe7!? 3. Nc3 c6 4. d4 d6 5. Bc4 Bg4 The position could also arise, obviously, by way of the Bishop's Opening. 6. dxe5 (6. Be3 Nd7) 6... dxe5 7. h3 Bh5 8. g4 Bg6 9. Bg5 f6 10. Be3 Nd7 11. Nh4 O-O-O! 12. Qe2 Nb6 13. Bb3 Qc7 14. Bd2 Bc5 15. O-O-O Ne7 16. Nf5 Nxf5 17. exf5 Bf7 18. Ne4 Bxb3 19. axb3 Be7= 20. Ba5 Rd5 21. Bxb6 axb6 22. Rd3 Rxd3 23. Qxd3 Rd8 24. Qe2 b5 25. Rd1 Rd4 26. c3 Rd5 27. b4 Qb6 28. Kb1 Kb8 29. h4 Qd8 30. Kc2 Kc7 31. h5 Qa8 32. Kb1 Qg8 33. f3 Qd8 34. Rd2 Qd7 35. Kc2 h6 36. Rd1 Kb8 37. Ra1 b6 38. Qe1 c5 39. bxc5 bxc5 40. Qe2 c4 41. Rd1 Kc7 42. Rxd5 Qxd5 43. Qe3 Kb7 44. Nd2 Kb8 1/2-1/2 Adams,M-Radjabov,T/Tripoli LBA 2004.

 

2... Nf6 3. d4 Qe7 4. Nf3










4... d5!?

A very unusual tactic, trying to exploit the position of the White King opposite the Black Queen.

a) 4... exd4 5. O-O Nc6 (5... d6 6. Nxd4 Nc6 7. Nc3 Ne5 8. Be2! Bd7 9. Bg5) 6. e5 Ng4 (6... Nxe5? 7. Nxe5 Qxe5 8. Re1 Ne4 9. f4! (9. Bd3? d5 10. f3 f5 11. fxe4 fxe4! (Harding considers only 11... dxe4?! 12. Nd2 Be6 and gives this as unclear, but 13. Nxe4 fxe4 14. Bxe4) 12. Rf1 (12. g3 Be7 13. Bf4 Qf5=) (12. Nd2?! Bd6! 13. Nf3 Qh5 14. Bxe4 O-O!) 12... e3 13. Qe1 (13. c3 Bc5=) 13... c5!?) (9. f3?! Harding's recommendation 9... d5 10. Nd2 Harding gives this "!" 10... Bd6! (Harding thinks best play is 10... f5?! 11. Bxd5? Qxd5 12. fxe4 fxe4 13. Nxe4 Be7) 11. g3! ( Harding gives 11. Nxe4? Qxh2+ 12. Kf2? ( 12. Kf1) 12... dxe4 13. Rxe4+ Be6) 11... O-O) 9... Qe7 (9... Qf5 10. g4!) 10. Nd2 f5 11. Nxe4 (11. Bd5? Kd8 12. Nxe4 fxe4 13. Qxd4 c6 14. Bxe4 d5=) 11... fxe4 12. Qxd4 Qc5 13. Rxe4+ Kd8 14. Be3 Qxd4 15. Bxd4 b6 16. Rae1 Bc5 17. Bxc5 bxc5 18. Bf7 c6 19. Re8+ Rxe8 20. Rxe8+ Kc7 21. Rg8 g6 22. Rg7 Rb8 23. b3 Rb4 24. Bc4) 7. c3! (7. Re1!?) 7... Ngxe5! (7... Qc5 8. Bxf7+ Kxf7 9. Ng5+ Ke8 10. Qxg4 dxc3 11. Nxc3 Nxe5 12. Qg3) (7... dxc3 8. Nxc3 Ngxe5 (8... Ncxe5 9. Nd5 Qc5 10. Nxe5 Nxe5 11. Be3 Qc6 (11... Qd6 12. Bf4 f6 13. Re1) 12. Bb5) 9. Nd5 Qd6 10. Nxe5 Nxe5 11. Bf4 f6 12. Re1 Kd8 13. Rxe5) 8. Nxe5 Nxe5 9. cxd4 Nxc4 10. Re1 d5 11. Bg5 f6 12. Rxe7+ Bxe7 13. Bf4 c6 14. Nd2 (14. Qe2 Kf7 15. b3 Nd6 16. Nc3 Nf5 17. Re1 Bb4) 14... Nxd2 15. Qxd2 O-O Goeller and Burkett

 

b) 4... d6! 5. dxe5 dxe5 6. Ng5! Be6 7. Nxe6 fxe6 8. Qe2 Nc6 9. c3

 

c) 4... Nxe4 5. dxe5 Nc5 (5... Qb4+ 6. Nbd2 Nxd2 7. Nxd2) 6. Nc3 Ne6 7. Nd5 Qc5 8. Qd3

5. dxe5!?

Perhaps 5. exd5 exd4+ (5... e4 6. Ne5) 6. Kf1!? (6. Be2)

 

5... Qb4+

5... dxc4 6. exf6 Qxe4+ (6... Qxf6 7. Bg5 Qd6 8. Nc3) 7. Be3 gxf6 8. Nc3 Bb4 9. Qd2 (9. Qd8+ Kxd8 10. O-O-O+ Qd3 11. cxd3 Bxc3 12. dxc4+ Nd7 13. bxc3) 9... Qg6 10. O-O-O

 

6. c3?!

6. Nc3! Qxc4 7. exf6 dxe4 8. Qd4 Qxd4 9. Nxd4

 

6... Qxc4 7. exf6?

This seems to get White in trouble. Best was

7. Nbd2! Qd3 8. exf6 dxe4 9. Qa4+ Bd7 10. Qxe4+ Qxe4+ 11. Nxe4 Bc6 12. O-O!

 

7... Qxe4+ 8. Be3 gxf6 9. O-O Be6 10. Re1 Rg8 11. Nbd2 Qg4 12. g3 Bd6 13. Qb3 Nc6!?

13... b6!?

 

14. Qxb7 Kd7 15. b4?

15. Nd4 Nxd4 16. cxd4 f5 17. f4 Rab8

 

15... a6 16. b5 Na5! 17. Qxa6 Rxa6 18. bxa6 f5 19. Bc5 f4 20. Bxd6 Kxd6 21. Rab1 Ra8 0-1


Game Eight

R. Schuermans (2265) - B. De Jonghe (2261) [C24]

TCh-BEL 2005-6/Belgium BEL (7) 2006


1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Qxd4 Nf6 6. Nc3!

6. Bg5?! Nc6 (6... Qe7+!?) 7. Qh4 d5!

 

6... Nc6 7. Qh4 Be7

7... Bb4!?

 

8. Bg5 d5 9. O-O-O Be6 10. Rhe1?!

10. Nxd5! Nxd5 11. Bxd5 Bxd5 12. c4 Bxg5+ 13. Nxg5 h6 14. Rhe1+ Kf8 15. Rxd5 Qf6 16. Re3!

 

10... Qd6?










Black must play 10... O-O! 11. Bd3 (11. Kb1!? h6!) 11... h6 and now even attempts at perpetual fail: 12. Rxe6 (Keres)(12. Bxh6? Ne4! 13. Qf4 Bd6 14. Qe3 f5! 15. Bg5 Qd7 Degli-Eredi--Kotzem, German Correspondence 1998) 12... fxe6 13. Bxh6 gxh6 14. Qg3+ Kh8 15. Qg6 , though Black can play on with 15... Rf7! 16. Qxf7 Qg8

 

11. Bxd5

11. Nxd5! looks much stronger

 

11... Qc5 12. Bxe6 fxe6 13. Bxf6 Bxf6 14. Rxe6+ Ne7

14... Kf7 15. Rxf6+! gxf6 16. Rd7+ Ke8 (16... Ne7 17. Nd5) 17. Ne4!

 

15. Qa4+

15. Rxf6! gxf6 16. Ne4

 

15... Kf8 16. Ne4 Qf5 17. Qd7 Re8 18. Kb1 Qg6 19. Nxf6 gxf6 20. Rde1 Qf7 21. Nh4 f5 22. Qd4 Rg8 23. Rf6 Rg4 24. Rxf7+ Kxf7 25. Qe5 Rxh4 26. Qe6+ Kg7 27. Re3 Rd4 28. Qe5+ 1-0


Game Nine

Víctor López (1700) - Nick Burrows (1400) [C24]

FICGS RAPID/FICGS (1) 2007


1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Qxd4 Nf6 6. Bg5 Be7 7. Nc3 c6 8. O-O-O d5 9. Qh4!?










It is debatable whether more accurate may be the traditional 9. Rhe1 Be6 (9... O-O 10. Qh4 etc.) 10. Qh4 Nbd7 11. Bd3 Nc5 12. Nd4

 

9... Nbd7 10. Bd3?

But this is a mistake. The superior 10. Rhe1! dxc4?! 11. Bxf6 gxf6 12. Ne4 led to a celebrated victory for White in Avrukh--Skripchenko, Linares 2001.

 

10... Nc5 11. Rhe1 Ne6!

and White could not find compensation...

 

12. Ne2?!

12. Nd4!? Nxg5! 13. Qxg5 O-O 14. Nf5 Bxf5 15. Bxf5 g6!

 

12... Nxg5 13. Qxg5 O-O 14. Qd2 Re8 15. Ng3 a5 16. a4 Bg4 17. h3 Bxf3 18. gxf3 Bf8 19. c4 Rxe1 20. Qxe1 Qc8 21. Qe5 Qxh3 22. Rh1 Qe6 23. Qxf6 gxf6 24. Bxh7+ Kg7 25. Nf5+ Kh8 26. Bg6+ Bh6+ 27. Rxh6+ Kg8 28. Bh7+ Kf8 29. Rh1 Qe5 30. Rg1 Ke8 31. Rg8+ Kd7 32. Rxa8 Qe1+ 33. Kc2 Qxf2+ 0-1


Game Ten

John D Thornton (2039) - Iolo C Jones (2246) [C24]

SWPL 04-05 (4.12) 2005


1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Qxd4 Nf6 6. Nc3! c6 7. Bg5 d5 8. O-O-O Be6!?










Black avoids playing ...Be7 in order to save time.

 

9. Qh4?!

Time counts for everything in the Urusov, and White needs every tempo. Black's delay in developing the dark-squared Bishop is intended to gain a tempo later, when the Bishop might be able to develop in one move to b4 (after Nbd7, Qa5, O-O-O, and returning the pawn at e6). Therefore White needs either to compel Be7 or to use Black's failure to play it as an opportunity to break through in the center. Best was probably 9. Rhe1! Nbd7?!

(9... Be7 10. Qh4 should transpose to known lines, though Black might try 10... h6!? which I do not think is considered anywhere in my analysis (not 10... O-O 11. Bd3 h6 12. Bxh6 Ne4 13. Qh5 which is well documented ) -- when probably best is 11. Bd3 (11. Nd4!? O-O!) 11... Nbd7 12. Nd4 Nc5 13. Bf5 O-O 14. Bxh6)

10. Nxd5!!

(10. Bd3?! Qa5 11. Bf5 O-O-O 12. Bxe6 fxe6 13. Rxe6 Bb4! is exactly what Black wants)

10... cxd5 11. Bxd5 Nc5!

(11... Qe7 12. Qc4 Nb6 13. Bc6+! bxc6 14. Qxc6+ Nbd7 15. Qxa8+)

(11... Bc5 12. Qc4 b5 13. Qb3 O-O 14. Bxe6 fxe6 15. Ne5)

(11... Be7 12. Bxe6 fxe6 13. Rxe6 Kf8?! 14. Ne5!)

(11... h6? 12. Bxe6 fxe6 13. Bxf6 gxf6 14. Rxe6+)

12. Bxe6!

(12. Qc4!? Qb6 13. Bxf6 gxf6 14. b4 Rd8 (14... Bh6+ 15. Nd2 O-O-O 16. Bxe6+ fxe6 17. bxc5 Qa5 18. f4) 15. bxc5 Bxc5)

12... fxe6

(12... Qxd4 13. Bf5+ (13. Bd5+ Qe4 14. Bxf6 Qxe1 15. Rxe1+) 13... Qe4 14. Bxe4 (14. Bxf6 Qxe1 15. Rxe1+ Ne6 16. Bd4) 14... Nfxe4 15. b4 f5 16. Rd5 (16. g4!? Na4 17. gxf5 Nac3 18. Rd4 Bd6 19. Nd2 O-O 20. Nxe4 Bxb4 21. Re3 Nxe4 22. Rdxe4 Bc5 23. Rf3 Rf7) 16... g6 (16... Na4?! 17. Rxf5 Nac3 18. Re5+) 17. bxc5 Bg7 18. Nd2 O-O 19. Nxe4 fxe4 20. Rxe4!? (20. Be3) 20... Rxf2 21. Re7 Rb8! (21... h6?! 22. Bh4 Rxg2 23. Bg3 b6 24. c6!) 22. g3! (22. Bh4!? Rxg2 23. Bg3 Bf8 24. Rc7 h5 25. Bd6!?) 22... Bf8 23. Red7 Rxh2 24. Be7! and the advanced c-pawn becomes a real threat)

13. Rxe6+ Nxe6 14. Qa4+ Qd7 15. Rxd7 Nc5! 16. Qb5 Ncxd7 (16... Nfxd7?! 17. b4 h6 18. Bf4) 17. Qxb7 Rb8 18. Qxa7 Bc5 19. Qc7 and I'd prefer to be White with those three connected passed pawns.

 

9... Nbd7 10. Bd3 Qa5 11. Nd4 O-O-O 12. Rhe1 h6?!

a) 12... Bg4!? 13. f3 Bh5 14. Bf5 (14. Qg3 Bg6 15. Nb3 Qc7 16. Bf4 Qb6 17. Be3=) 14... Bg6 15. Bxf6 gxf6 16. Qxf6 Rg8 17. Bxd7+ Rxd7 18. Re8+ Rd8 19. Nxc6 Bh6+ 20. Kb1 bxc6 21. Rxg8 Rxg8 22. Qxc6+ Qc7 23. Qa8+=

 

b) 12... Re8! 13. f4!? (13. Bxf6 Nxf6 14. Nxe6 fxe6 15. Rxe6 Rxe6 16. Bf5 Kb8 17. Bxe6 Bb4 18. Qg3+ Qc7) 13... h6 (13... Nc5!?=) 14. Bxf6 (14. f5?! hxg5! 15. Qxh8 Ba3 (15... Qxc3? 16. fxe6!) ) 14... Nxf6 15. Nxe6 fxe6 16. Bg6 Rd8 (16... Re7 17. Qh3) 17. Rxe6 Bb4

13. Bxf6

Safer is 13. Nxe6!? fxe6 (13... hxg5!? 14. Qxh8 fxe6 15. Qh3) 14. Bxf6 (14. Rxe6? hxg5 15. Qxh8 Qxc3! (15... Ba3? 16. Qh3 Qxc3 17. bxa3 Qxa3+ 18. Kb1=) ) 14... Nxf6 15. Rxe6 Bb4 16. Ne2=

 

13... Nxf6 14. Nxe6 fxe6 15. Rxe6 Bb4

15... d4 16. Qf4! dxc3 17. Rxf6 cxb2+ 18. Kb1 Rxd3 19. Rxf8+ Rxf8 20. Qxf8+ Qd8 21. Qf5+ Rd7 22. Kxb2=

 

16. Nb1!?

a) 16. Bf5 Nd7! (16... Kb8 17. Qg3+=) 17. Re3 g5 (17... Bc5!?) 18. Qg4 Rhf8

b) 16. Ne2=

 

16... Rde8

16... Rhe8

 

17. a3?!

17. Qh3=

 

17... Rxe6 18. axb4 Qc7 19. Bf5 Qe5

19... Rhe8 20. Re1 Qf7 21. Rxe6 Rxe6 22. Qh3 Kd7 23. Nc3 Ke7 24. Bxe6 Qxe6 25. Qg3

 

20. Bxe6+ Qxe6 21. Qd4

(The position is roughly equal, though Black has a nagging pull.)

21... b6

21... Kb8 22. b5=

21... a6! 22. f3 (22. Qa7!? Re8 23. Nc3 Qg4) 22... Qe2 23. Rg1 Re8 24. Nc3 Qe5 25. Qxe5 Rxe5

22. Nc3 Re8 23. h3 Qe5 24. Qxe5 Rxe5 25. b5 c5 26. f4 Rf5 27. g4 Rxf4 28. Nxd5 Nxd5 29. Rxd5 Rf3 30. Rh5

30. Rd6 Rxh3 31. Rg6 Rg3 32. Rxg7 h5 33. g5 h4 34. g6 Rg2 35. Rxa7 Rxg6 36. Rh7 Rg4=

 

30... Kd7 31. Kd2 Ke6 32. Ke2 Rf4 33. c3 Re4+ 34. Kd3 Re1 35. Rf5 Rh1 36. Rf3 Rh2 37. b3 Rh1 38. c4?!

38. Kc4!= and Black cannot make progress without risking a White initiative on the Queenside with Rook to the 7th followed by Rxa7 and Rb7xb6

 

38... g6 39. Ke3 Ke5 40. Kf2 Rh2+ 41. Kg3 Re2 42. Rf7

42. Rd3 Ke4

 

42... Re3+ 43. Kg2 Rxb3 44. Rxa7

Draw agreed. I guess White holds the draw by winning pawns on the kingside, e.g.:

44... Kd4 45. Ra6 Kxc4 46. Rxb6 h5 47. Rxg6 hxg4 48. Rxg4+ Kxb5 49. Rg8=

 

1/2-1/2

[Michael Goeller]

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Related Links

Michael Goeller, The Urusov Gambit System

_______. Urusoff / Urusov Gambit Bibliography

_______. Urusov Gambit Novelty

_______. Notes on the Two Knights with d4

_______. Anti-Antoshin

Harding, Tim. "Once more unto the Urusov, dear friends, once more..."