The Tricky 3...Nxe4 4.dxe5 Line

By Michael Goeller

In the initial position of the Urusov Gambit, after 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4, Black appears to be given a choice of pawns to take. But when Black captures the e-pawn rather than the d-pawn, White simply takes Black's pawn at e5, maintaining material equality but gaining a clear positional edge. The Knight is vulnerable at e4 and White's pawn at e5 gives White more control of the center squares. White also has immediate threats, including 5.Qd5 (forking f7 and the Knight at e4) or 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Qd5+ (winning a pawn and misplacing Black's King). Black does have the move, though, and he has a number of choices -- including several methods of attempting a counter-attack, none of which is especially effective against precise play. But White has to play precisely to refute this line, which is full of tricky tactical ideas.

The seven games below and my annotations cover all of the main alternatives for both players and are intended to offer the most complete analysis available. Black's best line, beginning with 4...c6 (preventing the Qd5 tactics and threatening ...d5) is reserved for the last game. Some of the notes -- especially for the first game -- are written for developing players completely new to the line, since this is one of the first variations you should explore in discovering the Urusov. I have also included some games related to the 3...Nxe4 line due to the various transpositional possibilities presented by an early ...c6 for Black (e.g.: 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 c6!? 3.d4 Nf6!? 4.dxe5 or 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4 c6!? etc.)

Game One

Frank James Marshall - Bruno Forsberg [C24]

Dimock Theme Tournament/Marshall Chess Club, New York 1924


1. e4

In his book for beginning players, titled "Chess in an Hour," Frank James Marshall writes of this opening move: "White's first problem is to remove some obstruction so that as many pieces as possible will be free to move. By advancing the King's Pawn two squares White opens the way for his King's Bishop and his Queen to move."

 

1... e5

Marshall continues: "As Black must also free his pieces as soon as possible he too moves his King's Pawn two squares. This also stops White's pawn from advancing" to e5, after for example 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 or 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5, when White immediately has a slight advantage in space.

 

2. Bc4

Though this move violates the famous opening axiom "Knights before Bishops," it is not without justification. White develops a kingside piece in order to quickly castle (which will be possible after the Knight moves as well) and increases his control of the center. The Bishop also immediately targets the weakest point in Black's position: the Pawn at f7, which is guarded only by the King. This can make for some rapid tactical wins if Black is not careful, based on the Fool's Mate motif.

 

2... Nf6

Classic opening commentators called this "The Berlin Defense." The move 2.... Nf6 was required of all participants in the Dimock Theme Tournament, of course, but it is also objectively best. Since White's Bishop does not create an immediate threat, Black takes the opportunity to attack in the center himself. The Knight contests White's control of the d5 square and supports a later pawn push with d5 to either seize the center or blunt the Bishop's attack on f7. It also protects the King by preventing White from playing the pesky Qh5 move (see note above) while helping to speed kingside castling. No other move is as useful for the defense.

a) 2... Be7 3. Qh5 g6 4. Qxe5

 

b) 2... Ne7 3. Qh5 Ng6 4. Nf3 f6 5. Nh4 Edwards--Kuhla, Correspondence 1986.

3. d4

Traditionally called the "Ponziani Gambit," this move was refined into an opening system by 19th Century players, following the lead of Prince Sergei Urusov.

 

3... c6

Move three for Black was the first moment that the participants in the Dimock Theme Tournament of 1924, played at the famous Marshall Chess Club, were allowed choice in the opening. Forsberg takes the opportunity to continue the contest over the d5 square. This move is likely not the best, as Marshall demonstrates in the game.

 

The most common move in the tournament was 3... exd4 when most players chose Urusov's 4. Nf3 (Ponziani had recommended 4. e5?! when Black can play 4... d5) 4... Nxe4 (about half chose instead 4... Nc6 transposing to the Two Knights Defense) 5. Qxd4 Nf6 6. Nc3 ( Urusov had recommended 6. O-O?! when Black can play 6... d5=)

 

4. dxe5

Better than 4. Nc3 Bb4! (4... Nxe4!? 5. Nxe4 d5) 5. dxe5 Nxe4 6. Qd4 d5! 7. exd6 O-O= or Cochrane's favorite in his 1842 match with Staunton 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. dxe5 d5=.

 

4... Qa5+










4... Nxe4 5. Qe2 Nc5 transposes to the 3...Nxe4 line and is considered in the last game below.

 

5. Nc3!?

White has two good alternatives, the second of which may be superior:

a) In his match with Staunton, Cochrane played 5. c3!? Qxe5 6. Bd3 Bc5! (6... d5 7. Nf3 Qe7 8. e5) (6... Nxe4? 7. Qe2!) 7. Nf3 Qe7 8. O-O O-O?! (8... d6=) 9. e5 Ng4 10. Bxh7+!? Kxh7 11. Ng5+ Kg8 12. Qxg4 Qxe5? (12... d5!) 13. Qh5? (13. Qh3! Re8 14. Qh7+ Kf8 15. b4!) 13... Qf5 14. g4 Qg6 15. Qxg6 fxg6 16. Be3 Bxe3 17. fxe3 Rxf1+ 18. Kxf1 1-0 Cochrane,J-Staunton,H/London 1842 (48).

 

b) 5. Nd2! Nxe4 (5... Qxe5 6. Ngf3 Qc5 7. O-O) 6. Qe2 Nxd2 7. Bxd2 is definitely White's safest way to advantage.

5... Nxe4

Black's Queen is chased around after 5... Qxe5 6. Nf3 Qc5 7. Qe2 b5 8. Bd3 d6 9. Be3.

 

6. Bxf7+!

Black's loose Knight at e4 allows for a pretty combination. And though the temporary Bishop sacrifice is not without danger for White, it sure is fun to play! John Emms suggests instead the safe 6. Qf3 d5 7. exd6 Nxd6 8. Bb3 after which White's pieces are better placed and he has a safe if slight edge. Marshall, however, was never afraid of risk if it gave him either a clear advantage or the initiative.

 

6... Kxf7 7. Qf3+ Nf6

After 7... Kg8 8. Qxe4 White is up a pawn and enjoys a big advantage due to his superior control of the center and Black's displaced King.

 

8. exf6

White has won back his sacrificed piece and is temporarily up a pawn. He also enjoys at least a slight initiative due to the fact that Black's King will not be able to castle.

 

8... Qe5+

If 8... gxf6 Black will be saddled with weak pawns and a weakened King position for the rest of the game and White gets the advantage with the simple developing moves: 9. Bf4 d5 10. O-O-O Qb4 11. Nge2

 

9. Ne4!

Marshall refuses to allow Black the safe capture of the f-pawn with his Queen. Of course, this move is not without risk since it violates the well-known axiom that you should never willingly walk into a pin. Marshall has calculated the consequences carefully.

 

9... Bb4+

9... d5 10. fxg7+ Kxg7 11. Qg3+ Qxg3 12. Nxg3 and White emerges from the complications with a pawn to the good.

and if 9... gxf6 Marshall would have very likely played 10. Bf4!? (10. Ne2 is the safer choice) when, if Black accepts the poisoned pawn, there could follow 10... Qxb2 11. Qh5+ Kg8 12. Nf3!! Qxa1+ ( Black can spoil things and actually equalize with 12... d5! 13. Ne5! Qb4+!! (13... fxe5? 14. Nf6+ Kg7 15. Bxe5!) 14. Kf1 Qe7! 15. Nd6! fxe5 16. Nxc8 Qf7 17. Qxe5 Nd7 18. Qg5+ Qg7 19. Qxg7+ Kxg7 20. Nd6 Bxd6 21. Bxd6=) 13. Kd2 Qb2 (13... Qxh1? 14. Nxf6+ Kg7 15. Ne8+ Kg8 16. Ng5 Bb4+ 17. c3 Qe1+ 18. Kxe1 Bxc3+ 19. Kf1 d5 20. Qf7#) 14. Rb1!! Qxb1 15. Nxf6+ Kg7 16. Ne8+ Kg8 17. Qg4+ Kf7 18. Ng5+ Kxe8 19. Qe2+ Be7 20. Qh5+ Kd8 21. Nf7+ Ke8 22. Nxh8+ Kd8 23. Nf7+ Ke8 24. Nd6+ Kd8 25. Qe8+ Kc7 26. Nc4+ d6 27. Qxe7+ Bd7 28. Bxd6+ Kc8 29. Qf8+ Be8 30. Qxe8#

 

10. Kf1!

The King must escape the deadly e-file and free the Knight from the pin. Not as good is 10. c3 Re8 11. fxg7+ Kxg7 12. cxb4 Qxe4+ 13. Qxe4 Rxe4+ 14. Be3 Rxb4 and Black has chances of equalizing.

 

10... Re8

Black continues with his plan. The pawn at f6 is still taboo, since 10... gxf6 loses to 11. Bg5! Be7 (11... Qxb2 12. Qh5+ Kf8 13. Bxf6) (11... Re8 12. Qh5+ Kf8 13. Qh6+ Kf7 14. Qxh7+) (11... d5 12. Bxf6 dxe4 13. Bxe5+ exf3 14. Bxh8 fxg2+ 15. Kxg2) 12. Qh5+! (12. Re1) 12... Kg8 13. Nf3 Qxe4 14. Qe8+ Kg7 15. Bxf6+!!

 

11. fxg7+ Kxg7

Black should have tried 11... Kg8!? 12. Bd2! (12. Nf6+ Qxf6!) 12... Qxe4 13. Qb3+ d5 14. Bxb4 though White is up material and will soon assume the initiative with Bc3 and Re1.

 

12. Qg4+ Kh8










Forsberg must have been happy with his position at this moment, thinking he had the stronger attack. The White Knight, after all, is pinned and Black can attack the Queen with ....d5! Marshall's response shows who really has the advantage.

No better was 12... Kf8? 13. Bh6+ Ke7 14. Nf6!

 

13. Bg5!

This must have come as a shock to Black.

 

13... Be7

Forced, as Black must prevent 14.Bf6+, which either wins his Queen or mates his King. Now Marshall seizes the initiative and he uses it to develop his pieces and attack the cornered Black King.

 

14. Nf3 Qb5+ 15. Kg1 d5?!

Black can at least try to confuse matters with 15... Qxb2! 16. Re1 Bxg5 (16... d5 17. Qh5 Bd7 18. Bf4!) (16... Rg8 17. Qh4!) 17. Qh5! Re7 18. Nexg5!

 

16. Qh5! Bd7

Black is completely lost, and there is really nothing better. If 16... Rf8 then 17. Bxe7 Qxb2 18. Re1 dxe4 19. Bxf8

 

17. Nf6

Forsberg resigned here since mate is threatened at h7 and can only be delayed, not avoided:

17... Bxf6 18. Bxf6+ Kg8 19. Ng5 Re7 20. Bxe7 Qf1+ 21. Rxf1 h6 22. Qg6+ Kh8 23. Bf6#

1-0

[Michael Goeller]


Game Two

Kirby - Simpson [C24]

game/30/Mission City KS USA 1993


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

White threatens either 5.Qd5 or 5. Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Qd5+ with a huge edge. So Black must retreat the knight, cover the d5 square (with 4...c6 for example), or defend the Knight. Or play something foolish!

 

4... Nxf2?

Black thinks he is winning material but he loses a piece. Such tactical mis-steps are typical of amateur games in this tricky line, especially at faster time controls.

 

5. Qd5!

a) also winning is 5. Qf3 Qe7 6. Qxf2 Qxe5+ 7. Ne2

b) but not 5. Kxf2? Qh4+ 6. Kf1 Qxc4+

 

5... Qh4

White has to be careful after the superior try 5... Qe7! 6. Kxf2 Nc6 7. Na3! (7. Nf3? Nb4!) 7... Nxe5 8. Bf4 Ng4+ 9. Kf1 with a big edge for White once he grabs the e-file with Re1.

 

6. Qxf7+

6. Nf3!? Nd3+ 7. Kd2

 

6... Kd8 7. Nf3

 










7... Qe4+

7... Nd3+ 8. Kd1! Nxe5 (8... Nf2+ 9. Ke2 Qe4+ 10. Kxf2 Bc5+ 11. Kg3) 9. Bg5+! Qxg5 10. Nxg5 Nxf7 11. Nxf7+

 

8. Kxf2 Bc5+ 9. Kf1 Nc6 10. Nc3

10. Bd3 Qg4 11. Bg5+ Qxg5 12. Nxg5 Rf8 13. Qxf8+ Bxf8 is even easier for White.

 

10... Qxc2 11. Bg5+ Ne7










Or 11... Be7? when 12. Nd4! is even stronger than in the game.

 

12. Nd4!

Blocking the mate at f2 while maintaining a forcing attack.

 

12... Qxb2?

12... Qg6 13. Ne6+! dxe6 14. Rd1+ Bd7 15. Qxg6 hxg6 16. Bxe6 and White wins a piece.

 

13. Rd1 d5 14. exd6 Bxd6 15. Bxe7+ Bxe7 16. Ne6#

1-0


Game Three

Harholm - Boeye [C24]

Arhus DEN 1990


1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. dxe5 Bc5?










This "attack" may be one of the most common moves I see in this position on ICC, second only to 4...d5? 5.Bxd5 winning.

 

5. Qd5?!

The thematic move, which probably wins in the end, but it is unnecessarily complicated and results in difficult positions for White. The much simpler course is 5. Bxf7+! Kxf7 (if 5... Kf8!? then 6. Qf3 Staunton or the complex but even stronger 6. Bd5!? win) 6. Qd5+ Kf8 7. Qxe4 with an extra pawn and safer King.

 

5... Qh4!

5... Bxf2+ 6. Kf1 O-O 7. Qxe4 Bb6 8. Nf3 d6 9. Ng5!? (9. Bd3! g6 10. Bg5) 9... g6 10. Qh4 h5 11. Qf4 dxe5? (11... Be6! 12. exd6 Bxc4+ 13. Qxc4 Qxd6 14. Nc3) 12. Bxf7+ Kg7 13. Qxe5+ Kh6?? (13... Qf6+ 14. Qxf6+ Kxf6 15. Bb3) 14. Ne6+ Kh7 15. Qg7# Goeller - Anon, KCC Blitz 2006.

 

6. g3!

Or 6. Qxf7+ Kd8 7. g3 Bxf2+ 8. Kf1 Bxg3 (8... Qe7 9. Qxe7+ Kxe7 10. Nf3 Bb6 11. Kg2) 9. Bd5 Bxe5 10. Bxe4 Bd4 11. Nc3!

 

6... Bxf2+ 7. Ke2?

7. Kf1 Bxg3 8. Qxf7+ Kd8 9. Bd5 Bxe5 10. Bxe4 Bd4 (10... Qxe4 11. Bg5+) 11. Nc3! and White is winning but it is quite complicated.

 

7... Qg4+! 8. Nf3










8... Qg6?

8... Nc6! threatening Nd4+ leads to immense complications after 9. Rd1 O-O 10. h3 Qxh3 (10... Qg6 11. Bd3) 11. Qxe4 Bxg3! 12. Rg1 d5! 13. Bxd5 Bg4

 

9. Bd3! Nxg3+ 10. hxg3 Qxg3 11. Ng5! d6 12. Qxf7+ Kd8 13. e6 Nc6 14. Qxf2 Qg4+ 15. Kf1 Bxe6 16. Nxe6+ Qxe6 17. Nc3 h6 18. Qh4+ Ke8 19. Qh5+ Kd8 20. Bd2 Rf8+ 21. Kg1 g6 22. Qh3 Qf6 23. Rf1 Qd4+ 24. Be3 Rxf1+ 25. Bxf1 Qf6 26. Qxh6 Ne5 27. Qh8+ Ke7 28. Rh7+ 1-0


Game Four

goeller - KingJan [C24]

ICC 2 2 u/Internet Chess Club 2008


1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. dxe5 Nc5










4... d5? is surprisingly common in blitz, even from very strong players, when White wins by 5. Bxd5 Bf5

Everything loses:

a) 5... Nc5?? 6. Bxf7+ Ke7 7. Bg5+ is most typical.

b) 5... Ng5 6. Nf3

c) 5... Bc5 6. Bxe4 Bxf2+ 7. Ke2 Qxd1+ 8. Kxd1

d) 5... f5 6. Qd3

6. Nc3!?

White has too many ways to win:

a) 6. Bxf7+ Kxf7 7. Qxd8 Bb4+ 8. Qd2 Nxd2 9. Bxd2

b) 6. Bxb7 Qxd1+ 7. Kxd1 Nxf2+ 8. Ke2 Nxh1 9. Bxa8

6... Bb4 (6... Nxc3 7. Bxf7+) 7. Bxb7 Qxd1+ 8. Kxd1 Nxf2+ 9. Ke2 Nxh1 10. Bxa8

 

5. Be3!

I like this thematic move, which renews the tactical threats in the position (6.Bxc5 Bxc5 7.Bxf7+) and preserves the option of Pf4 which is useful for supporting the e5 pawn and attacking with f4-f5 later. But White's alternatives are perfectly good too:

a) 5. Nc3 d6 6. Nf3 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. exd6 Bxd6 9. Bg5! Qd7 10. Re1 Nc6 11. Nb5 h6 12. Be3 (12. Nxd6! cxd6 (12... hxg5? 13. Nxf7!) 13. Bf4) 12... a6 13. Nxd6 cxd6 14. Bf4 Rd8 15. Qd2 d5 16. Bf1 Ne4 17. Qd3 Qf5 18. Be3 Be6 19. Nd4 Qg6 20. Rad1 Rac8 21. c3 Ne5 22. Qe2 Nc4 23. Bc1 Bg4? (23... Bf5 24. f3) 24. f3 Re8 25. Qc2 Bf5 26. fxe4 Bxe4 27. Qf2 f5 28. Ne2 Qf7 29. Nf4 g5 30. Nxd5 Bxd5 31. Rxe8+ Rxe8 32. Qd4 Black forfeits on time 1-0 ProfessorX-soneca/Internet Chess Club 2007.

 

b) 5. Nf3 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Bf4 Nc6 8. Nc3 Na5 9. Be2 Ne6 10. Bg3 f5 11. exf6 Bxf6 12. Qd2 b6 13. Rad1 Kh8 14. Rfe1 Ng5 15. Nd5 Nxf3+? 16. Bxf3 Bg5 17. Qc3 c6 18. Bc7! 1-0 Rohl,J-Albadri,A/Calvia ESP 2004.

5... Ne6 6. f4 Bc5

6... d6! 7. Nf3 dxe5 8. Qxd8+ Nxd8 9. Nxe5 Nd7 10. Nxd7 Bxd7 11. Nc3 Bb4 12. O-O-O Bxc3 13. bxc3 Bg4 14. Rde1

 

7. Bxc5 Nxc5 8. Nf3 O-O 9. O-O Ne6?

9... d6! 10. exd6 cxd6 11. Nc3 Be6 12. Nd5

 

10. f5! Ng5

10... Nc5 11. f6! (11. b4!?)

 

11. f6! Nxf3+?! 12. Qxf3 g6 13. Qf4 d5?

13... Kh8 14. Nc3! (14. Qh6 Rg8 15. Bxf7) 14... Nc6 15. Qh6 Rg8 16. Ne4 Qf8?! 17. Ng5!!

 

14. Qh6

Black resigns

1-0

Game Five

goeller - anon [C24]

ICC 2 2 u/Internet Chess Club 2007


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

 

 

5. Be3!

A move I first recommended in 1985 but only had a chance to test recently.

a) 5. Qe2? Estrin 5... Nxf2! 6. g3 Qe4 7. Nc3!? Bb4!

 

b) 5. Qf3 Larsen's recommendation and the book move, which gains White a lasting edge after 5... Ng5

Tactical tries backfire on Black:

a) 5... Nxf2? 6. Qxf7+ Kd8 7. Nf3 Nd3+ 8. Kd1!

 

b) 5... Nd6?! 6. Bd3 (6. exd6!?) 6... Nc4 7. Qe2 Nb6 8. Nf3

6. Qf4!

White's alternatives are less promising:

a) 6. Bxg5 Qxc4 7. Nc3 Bb4 (7... d6! 8. O-O-O Nc6 9. exd6 Bxd6=) 8. Nge2 O-O 9. O-O?! d6?! 10. Be7 Re8 11. Nd5? Bg4! 12. Qg3 Qxd5?! (12... h5!) 13. Qxg4 Qxe5 14. Qxb4 Nc6 15. Qxb7 Nxe7 16. Ng3 Qc5 1/2-1/2 Braun v Tresch, Germany 1991.

 

b) 6. Qe2?! Nc6 7. g3 Qe4 Dorfman--Zilberstein, USSR 1974.

6... Qxf4 7. Bxf4 Ne6

Black also struggled after 7... Be7? 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 Konijn,R-Roosink,T/Haarlem Nova open 2004.

8. Bg3 Larsen correctly assesses this as favorable for White, as was demonstrated in a game: 8... Nc6 (8... Nd4!? 9. Bd3) 9. Nf3 (9. Nc3!) 9... Bc5 10. Nc3 Ned4 11. Nd5! (11. O-O-O) 11... Nxf3+ 12. gxf3 Bb6 13. O-O-O O-O 14. Rhg1!? (14. b4!) 14... Kh8 15. f4 (15. b4! Re8 16. a4!) 15... Na5 16. Nxb6 axb6 17. Bd5 f6 18. exf6 Rxf6 19. Rde1 Rf8 20. f5 d6 21. Re7 c6 22. Bxd6 Bxf5 23. Rgxg7 (23. Be5!) 23... cxd5 24. Be5! Rfe8 25. Rxh7+?! Kg8 26. Reg7+?! Kf8 27. Rh8# 1-0 Bering v Christensen, Copenhagen 2002. White clearly was in charge the entire game, yet his play could have been strengthened in a number of ways.

 

5... Nxf2?!

The natural follow-up, winning material for Black but falling far behind in development. He does not have much better, however:

a) 5... Bc5?! 6. Bxf7+! Kxf7 7. Nf3! Qe7 8. Qd5+

 

b) 5... Nf6 6. Be2! (6. Bxf7+ Kxf7 7. exf6 or 6. Qe2 Ng4 7. Nf3 Qe7 are also fine for White) 6... Ne4 7. Nf3

6. Bxf7+!

Touche! Now Black's King will never castle to safety.

 

6... Kxf7 7. Qf3+ Ke8 8. Bxf2 Qb4+

8... Qg5 9. Ne2 Qxe5 10. Nbc3

 

9. Nc3 Qxb2 10. Rb1 Qa3

10... Qxc2 11. Nge2 Nc6 12. O-O! Nxe5? 13. Qh5+ Ng6 (13... Nf7 14. Nd4!) (13... Qg6 14. Qxe5+ Qe6 15. Qxc7) 14. Nf4 d6 15. Rbe1+

 

11. Nge2 Nc6 12. O-O Be7

12... Nxe5 13. Qh5+ Nf7 14. Nb5

 

13. Rb3!? Qa5 14. Bg3 Rf8










Black's alternatives were not promising:

a) 14... Nxe5? 15. Qh5+ g6 16. Qxe5

 

b) 14... Kd8 15. Nd5 Qc5+ (15... Rf8?? 16. Qxf8+ Bxf8 17. Rxf8#) 16. Kh1 Re8 (16... Rf8?? 17. Qxf8+! Bxf8 18. Bh4+) 17. Qe4

15. Qh5+ g6 16. Rxf8+ Kxf8 17. Qxh7 g5

17... Qc5+ 18. Kh1 Qc4 19. Rb1!

 

18. Nb5

18. Rb1! and the simple threat of Rf1+ is deadly.

 

18... Qxa2

18... Bc5+ 19. Kh1 g4 20. Rb1!

 

19. Rf3+ Ke8 20. Qh8+ Qg8 21. Qxg8+ Bf8 22. Qxf8#

1-0


Game Six

David Adams - Nigel Blades [C24]

Fulprint York Open/Oaklands Sports Centre (5) 2008


1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. dxe5 Qe7 5. Qe2










5... f5

An unattractive move, but the alternatives are not so promising either:

a) 5... Qxe5?! 6. f3 d5 7. Bb3! (7. Bd3 f5 8. fxe4 fxe4) 7... Nc6 8. fxe4 Nd4 9. Qd3 and Black has insufficient compensation for a piece.

 

b) 5... Nc5 6. Nc3 Ne6 7. Be3 Nc6 8. Nf3 (8. f4!? Ned4 9. Bxd4 Nxd4 10. Qd3 Nc6 11. O-O-O) 8... b6 9. O-O-O Bb7 10. Nd5 Qd8 11. Bg5!? Be7

The more critical line, of course, was 11... Nxg5 12. Nxg5! Qxg5+ 13. f4 Qd8 (13... Qh6!? 14. Nxc7+ Kd8 15. Nxa8 Qxf4+ 16. Kb1 Bxa8 17. Rhf1 Qxh2 18. e6!) 14. Nf6+! gxf6 15. exf6+ Ne7 16. Qh5 d5 17. fxe7 Bxe7 (17... Qxe7 18. Rhe1 dxc4 19. Qb5+ c6 20. Rxe7+ Bxe7 21. Qe5 Rg8 22. Qc7) 18. Bxd5 Bxd5 19. Rxd5 Bd6 20. Re1+ Kd7 21. Qf5+ Kc6 22. Qe4 Kd7 23. Rxd6+!! cxd6 24. Qb7+ Qc7 25. Re7+ Kxe7 26. Qxc7+ Ke6 27. g4

12. h4 Nxg5 13. Nxg5 Bxg5+ 14. hxg5 Qxg5+ 15. f4 Qd8 16. Qh5 Rf8 17. Rhe1 Qc8 18. e6! Kd8 19. exf7 1-0 Kelley-Kornhauser/ US corr. 1954.

 

6. Nf3 d6

6... Nc6 7. Nbd2! Nxe5 (7... Nxd2 8. Bxd2) 8. Nxe5 Qxe5 9. f3

 

7. Nc3!?

7. Nbd2

 

7... Nxc3 8. bxc3 h6

Black must prevent Bg5, but now the Bishop finds another diagonal.

 

9. Ba3! Nd7

9... g5 10. O-O-O g4 11. Nd4 Qxe5 12. Qd2 Qf6 13. Rhe1+ Be7 14. Nb5 Kd8 15. Nxc7 Kxc7 16. Rxe7+ Qxe7 17. Bxd6+

 

10. O-O-O! Nxe5

10... Nb6 11. Rhe1 Bd7 12. exd6 Qxe2 13. Rxe2+ Kd8 14. dxc7+ Kxc7 15. Bxf8 Raxf8 16. Re7!

 

11. Rhe1! Qf6

11... Nxc4 12. Qxc4

 

12. Nxe5

and Black resigned as 12...dxe5 13.Qxe5+ leads to mate. White's rapid development and vigorous attacking style showcase the power of the Urusov.

1-0

Game Seven

Alex Fedorov (2601) - Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2646) [C23]

Aeroflot Open/Moscow RUS (7) 2004


1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 c6!? 3. d4 Nf6

3... d5 4. exd5 (4. Bb3!? dxe4 5. Qh5 Qf6 6. dxe5 Qf5 7. Qxf5 Bxf5 8. Ne2 Bryson - Motwani, Stirling 2002.) 4... cxd5 5. Bb5+ Bd7 6. Bxd7+ Nxd7 7. dxe5 Nxe5 8. Ne2.

 

4. dxe5 Nxe4

4... Qa5+ 5. Nc3 (5. Nd2!) 5... Nxe4 6. Bxf7+! Marshall-Forsberg, Dimock Theme Tournament 1924 -- see above.

 

 

5. Qe2 Nc5

This is superior to the alternative Knight retreat:

5... Ng5?! 6. f4 (6. Nf3!? Qa5+ (6... Ne6 7. O-O d5 8. exd6 Bxd6 9. Ng5) (6... Nxf3+ 7. Qxf3 Qa5+ 8. Kd1! d5 9. exd6) 7. Bd2 (7. Nfd2!?) 7... Nxf3+ 8. gxf3 Qb6 9. Bc3) 6... Ne6 (6... d5?! 7. exd6+ Ne6 8. Nd2! Bxd6 9. f5) 7. f5!? (7. Nc3! d5?! 8. exd6 Bxd6 9. f5 Qh4+ 10. Kf1 (10. Kd1) 10... Qf6 11. g4 O-O 12. Ne4 Qe7 13. fxe6) 7... Nd4 (7... d5! 8. exd6 Qa5+ 9. Nc3 Qxf5 10. Ne4) 8. Qe4 (8. Bxf7+! Kxf7 9. Qc4+ d5 (9... Ne6 10. fxe6+ dxe6 11. Nf3) 10. Qxd4 Bxf5!? 11. Qf2 (11. Qf4 g6! 12. Nf3 Kg8 13. Nd4) 11... Ke6 (11... Kg6 12. Nf3) 12. Ne2) 8... Bc5 (8... Nxf5!?) 9. Be3?! (9. Ne2!) 9... Nxc2+ 10. Qxc2 Bxe3 11. Bxf7+ Kxf7?! (11... Kf8!) 12. Qb3+ d5 13. Qxe3 (13. e6+!? Ke8 14. Qxe3 Qh4+ 15. Qg3!?) 13... Bxf5 (13... Qh4+!?) 14. Nf3 (14. Ne2) 14... Rf8 (14... Qb6 15. e6+! Ke8 16. Nd4! Qxb2? 17. Nxf5 Qxa1 18. O-O) 15. e6+ Bxe6? (15... Kg8 16. e7 Qa5+ 17. Nc3 Re8 18. O-O Qb4 19. Rae1) 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. a3!?

To preserve the Bishop, but this seems slow in such an open position.

a) 6. Be3 Be7?!

Black should equalize with the thematic 6... b5! 7. Bb3 (7. Bxc5 Bxc5 8. Bd3 O-O=) 7... a5 8. c4 Nxb3 9. axb3 Bb4+ (9... d6!?) 10. Nc3 O-O=

7. Bxc5 (7. Qg4?! O-O! 8. Bh6 Ne6 9. Bxe6? Qa5+ 10. Kf1 Qxe5) 7... Bxc5 8. Bxf7+ Kxf7 9. Qc4+ d5 10. exd6+ Be6 11. Qxc5 Bd5 12. Ne2! Re8 (12... Bxg2 13. Rg1) 13. Nbc3 Qg5 14. Nxd5 Nd7 (14... Qxd5 15. Qxd5+ cxd5 16. Rd1) 15. Qd4 cxd5 16. Rd1 Nf6 17. Kf1 Re4 18. Qd2 Qe5 19. Nc3 Rb4 20. b3 Ke6!? 21. Re1 Ne4 22. Qe3 Kxd6 23. a3 Rb6 24. Nxe4+ dxe4 25. Qxe4 Qxe4 26. Rxe4 1/2-1/2 Christensen,J-Rasmussen,M/Copenhagen DEN 2007 (63).

 

b) 6. Nf3! Be7

a) 6... d5?! 7. exd6+ Ne6 8. Ng5 Qxd6 (8... Bxd6 9. Nxe6 Bxe6 10. Bxe6 fxe6 11. Qxe6+ Qe7 12. Qxe7+ Kxe7) 9. O-O h6 10. Rd1 Qe7 11. Ne4 Qc7 12. f4

 

b) 6... b5! 7. Bb3 a5 (7... Nxb3 8. axb3 Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. Bf4 or 7... d5 8. exd6+ Be6 9. Ng5) 8. c4! appears to be good for White.

7. O-O O-O

7... b5 8. Bb3 (8. b4!?) 8... a5 9. c4!

8. a3

Stronger may be 8. Bf4 Ne6 (8... b5 9. Bb3 a5 10. c4 Nxb3 11. axb3) 9. Bg3 b5 10. Bd3 (better 10. Bxe6 or 10. Bb3) 10... Na6 (perhaps 10... f5! 11. exf6 Bxf6 12. a4) 11. c4!? b4 12. Rd1 Nac5 13. Bc2 a5 14. Nbd2 Qb6 15. Nb3 Ba6 16. Nbd4 f5? 17. Nxf5 Bd8 18. b3 Ng5 19. Nxg5 1-0 Britt,T-Trogdon,T/Dayton, OH USA 1982.

8... d5 9. exd6 Bxd6 10. Bg5 Qc7 11. Nc3 Bg4 12. h3 Bxf3 13. Qxf3 Nbd7 14. Ba2 Ne5 15. Qh5 h6?! 16. Be3 a5 17. Rae1 Ned7 18. Bxh6! gxh6 19. Qg6+ Kh8 20. Qxh6+ Kg8 21. Qg6+ (21. Ne4!) 21... Kh8 22. Bxf7 Bh2+ 23. Kh1 Qf4 24. Qh5+ Kg7 25. Qg6+ Kh8 26. Re7 Qd6 27. Qh5+ Kg7 28. Qg4+ Kf6 29. Qh4+ Kg7 30. Be8+ Rf7 31. Rxf7+ Kg6 32. Qh7+ Kg5 33. Rf5# 1-0 McCooey,D-Bhat,V/USA 1993.

 

c) 6. a4 Be7 (better 6... d5 7. exd6+ Ne6 8. Nf3 Bxd6 9. O-O O-O 10. Rd1 or 9.Ng5 as in the main game) 7. Nf3 O-O 8. O-O d5 9. exd6 Bxd6 10. Bg5 Qc7 11. Nc3 Bg4 12. h3 Bh5 13. Ne4 Nxe4 14. Qxe4 Nd7 15. Rfe1 Nc5 16. Qe2 1/2-1/2 Freeman,R-Young,C/West Bromwich 2002. Like 6.a3 in the game, 6.a4 just seems too slow.

 

d) 6. Nc3 b5 (6... Be7 7. Qg4!) 7. Bd3 (7. Bb3 a5=) 7... Nxd3+ 8. cxd3 Be7 9. Qg4.

 

e) 6. f4?! b5! 7. Bd3 Be7 8. Be3 Nxd3+ 9. cxd3!? (9. Qxd3 d6) 9... O-O 10. Nc3 d6 11. d4 f6 12. Rd1 Qa5 13. Nf3 Bg4 14. O-O fxe5 15. dxe5 dxe5 16. fxe5 Nd7 17. e6 (17. Bd4 b4 18. Qc4+ Kh8 19. Ne4 Bxf3) 17... Ne5! 18. Bd4 Nxf3+ 19. gxf3 Bh3 20. Rfe1 b4 21. Ne4 Qf5 22. Rd3 Rad8 23. Ng3 Qg6 24. Red1 Rd6 25. Bxa7 Rxe6 26. Re3 Rxe3 27. Bxe3 Qf7 28. Ne4 Qxf3 29. Qxf3 Rxf3 30. Bg5 Bf8 31. Nf2 Bc5 32. Bh4 g5 33. Bg3 h5 34. Rd2 Re3! 0-1 Garcia Jimenez,F-Gonzalez Vidal,Y/Barbera del Valles ESP 2007.

 

6... d5 7. exd6+ Ne6

7... Be6 8. b4!! Lane

 

8. Nf3

8. Nc3 Bxd6 9. Be3 O-O 10. O-O-O Qe7=

 

8... Bxd6 9. Ng5










9... Qe7

9... O-O 10. Bxe6 fxe6 11. Nxe6 Bxe6 12. Qxe6+ Kh8 13. Be3 Re8 14. Qg4

 

10. Nxe6 Bxe6 11. Bxe6 fxe6 12. Nd2 O-O 13. Ne4 Be5 14. Bg5 Qf7 15. O-O-O Nd7 16. Kb1

16. g3

 

16... h6 17. Bh4 Bc7 18. Nd6! Bxd6 19. Rxd6 Rae8 20. Re1 e5 21. Qg4! Qf4 22. Re4

22. Qxf4!? Rxf4 23. Bg3 Rf7 24. f3 Lane

 

22... Qxg4 23. Rxg4 h5 24. Ra4?!

24. Re4 Nf6 25. Rb4 Re7 26. f3

 

24... Nb6! 25. Re4

25. Rxa7?? Nc8

 

25... Rf4! 26. f3 Rxe4 27. fxe4 Kf7 28. b3 Re6 29. Rd2

29. Rd8!? Re8 (29... Rg6 30. Bg3) 30. Rxe8 Kxe8 31. Bf2

 

29... Rg6 30. h3 Ke6 31. c4 Nd7 32. b4 Nf6 33. Re2 Rh6 34. Kc2 Rh8 35. Re3 Rg8 36. Bg5 Rd8 37. Rd3 Rg8 38. Bxf6 gxf6 39. g3 f5 40. exf5+ Kxf5 41. a4 Rg7 42. b5 e4 43. Rd8 Rxg3 44. Rd7 cxb5 45. axb5 b6 46. Rxa7 Ke5 47. Rb7 Rg6 48. Kc3 Re6 49. Rf7 h4 50. Kd2 Kd4 51. Rh7 Kxc4 52. Rxh4 Kxb5 53. Rh8 Kb4 54. h4 e3+ 55. Ke2 b5 56. h5 Kb3 57. Rg8 Re5 58. h6 Rh5 59. Rh8 Rh3 60. h7 b4 61. Kd3 Rh6 62. Kxe3 Re6+ 63. Kf4 Re7 64. Kg5 Rb7= 1/2-1/2

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Games in PGN

Copyright © 2008 by Michael Goeller

Continued re-examination of The Urusov Gambit System.

Posted June 18, 2008