Urusov Gambit 2008 Update

By Michael Goeller

Every year or so I try to scour the globe to bring you the latest cool games with the Urusov. But while the line is popular at club and Open tournament level, it is a rare visitor to tournaments where games are likely to be collected for databases. Even then, most games that open 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4 continue 3...exd4 4.Nf3 Nc6 transposing to the Two Knights Defense and falling outside of our purview. So I have to go sperlunking around the internet or through the ICC database to turn up anything worthwhile. The following are ten games from the past year or so that seemed worth noting. Others I have incorporated in the notes. For a more complete consideration of the Urusov, see the links at the end of this article.

Game 1

Vladimir Jakimov (2434) - Andrew Ivanov (2320) [C44]

TCh-UKR/Alushta UKR (9) 2008

Born in 1986, the Ukrainian FM Vladimir Jakimov appears to have recently taken up the Urusov Gambit as a way of reaching the well-charted waters of the Two Knights with d4 (see games below).


1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4?!

a) 3... Nc6 4. Nf3 (White probably does best to transpose to the Two Knights Defense, and Jakimov has had great success in that line. Other moves do not work out as well, though 4.d5 or even 4.dxe5 Nxe5 5.Bb3 are playable.) 4... exd4 5. e5 d5 6. Bb5 Ne4 7. Nxd4 Bd7 8. Bxc6 bxc6 9. O-O Bc5 10. Be3 (10. f3 Ng5 11. Be3 Qe7 12. f4 Ne4 13. Nd2 Nxd2 14. Qxd2 O-O 15. Nb3 Bb6 16. a4!? Rab8?! 17. a5 Bxe3+ 18. Qxe3 Bf5 19. Qxa7 Bxc2 20. Nd4 Ra8 (20... Rxb2 21. Nxc6 Qd7 22. Qd4!) 21. Nxc6! Qd7 22. Qc5 Be4 23. a6 f6 24. a7 Qg4 25. Rf2 fxe5 26. Nxe5 Qc8 27. b4 h6 28. h3 Qb7 29. Ra3 Kh7 30. Nc6 Qc8 31. Rg3 Qf5 32. Ne5 Rfc8 33. Nc6 Re8 34. Nd4 Qf6 35. f5 Qe5 36. Kh2 h5 37. h4 Rf8 38. Ne6 Rf7 39. Ng5+ Kg8 40. Qc6 Rxa7 41. Qg6 Rd7 42. Qh7+ Kf8 43. Qh8+ Ke7 44. f6+ gxf6 45. Qg7+ Ke8 46. Qg8+ Ke7 47. Qf7+ Kd8 48. Qf8+ 1-0 Jakimov,V-Zheleznov,V/Alushta UKR 2007) 10... Bb6 11. f3 Ng5 12. f4 Ne4 13. Nd2 c5 14. Ne2 Nxd2 15. Qxd2 d4 16. Bf2 Bc6 17. c4 a5 18. f5 Qe7 19. f6! Qe6 (19... gxf6 20. Bh4) 20. fxg7 Rg8 21. Bg3 Qxc4 22. b3 Qe6?! 23. Rf6! Qd7 24. e6!? (24. Qh6!) 24... fxe6 25. Rf8+ Rxf8 26. gxf8=Q+ Kxf8 27. Qh6+ Kg8 28. Be5 Rf8 (28... Qf7! 29. Nf4) 29. Ng3?! (29. Qg5+!) 29... c4 30. Qg5+ Kf7 31. Nh5 d3+ (31... Qe7 32. Nf6!) 32. Kh1 Be4 33. Nf6 Qc6 34. Nxe4 Qxe4 35. Qf6+ 1-0 Jakimov,V-Shilin,D/Alushta UKR 2008. Two great attacking games from the Ukrainian Urusov player!

 

b) 3... exd4 4. Nf3 Nc6 also transposes to the Two Knights Defense.

 

4. dxe5 Qh4!?

This move was used successfully in a USSR championship game in 1978, but it has since been close to refuted. Perhaps 4... c6 5. Qe2 Nc5 is Black's best try.

 

5. Qf3

5. Be3! is analyzed at my Urusov website and recently at my blog.

 

5... f6?!

5... Ng5 6. Qf4 Qxf4 7. Bxf4 Larsen

 

6. Bd5! Nc5

6... Ng5 7. Qf5!?

 

7. Bf4! fxe5 8. Bxe5 Qe7










9. Qh5+! Kd8

9... g6 10. Qe2

 

10. Nc3 Nc6 11. Bxc6 bxc6 12. O-O-O d6 13. Bxd6!

Black resigned as White is winning easily after 13...cxd6 14.Qxc5. How often do you win against a master in under 15 moves? It happens fairly often with the Urusov.

1-0

Game 2

CerealKiller (2003) - tweety (2076) [C24]

ICC 3 0/Internet Chess Club 2008

Finding games on ICC with the Urusov Gambit means wading through lots of C24 games that begin instead 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3. It would be nice to see the ECO standard expanded so that sidelines have their own specific codes. Even when you find some games, though, they are not necessarily any good. After all, even strong players are willing to settle for sub-optimal moves at blitz speeds. The following is one of the better Urusov games I found in my research.


1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4 d5 4. dxe5!

The simplest method. I think 4. exd5 should also be adequate for advantage, but Black gets lots of play after either 4... exd4 or 4... e4!? etc.

 

4... dxc4 5. Qxd8+ Kxd8 6. exf6 gxf6

Black's two sets of doubled pawns and potentially misplaced King should be sufficient to give White the edge. Black does have the two Bishops, but White's pieces find better squares and his Knights help put Black's pawns under restraint.

 

7. Bf4










More normal is 7. Nc3 , but I rather prefer the text myself since it seeks to deny Black's King a secure c7 square.

 

7... Bd6!?

Black counters White's plan, but surrenders the Bishop pair. No better is 7... c6 8. Nd2 Be6 9. O-O-O Kc8 (9... c3 10. Nb1+!) 10. c3?! (10. Ne2) 10... Na6 11. Ne2 Nc5 12. Bg3 Nd3+ 13. Kc2 Be7 14. Nf4 Nxf4 15. Bxf4 Rd8 (15... f5!?) 16. Rhe1 Bd6 17. Bxd6 Rxd6 18. Re3 Kd7 19. f4 f5 20. e5 Rd5 21. Rh3 Rh8 22. Re1 Ke7 23. Nxc4 Black forfeits on time 1-0 in goeller-Strangelove/Internet Chess Club 2008.

 

8. Ne2! Re8 9. f3 Nc6 10. Nd2 Ne5 11. O-O-O Be6 12. Nd4 Ke7










13. Rhe1?!

White should grab a pawn by 13. Nxe6 fxe6 14. Bxe5 Bxe5 15. Nxc4 with good winning chances.

 

13... c3!

Nothing really comes of 13... Nd3+!? 14. cxd3 Bxf4 15. Nxe6 fxe6 16. dxc4 Rad8 17. g3

 

14. bxc3 Bxa2 15. Nf5+ Kf8 16. Bh6+ Kg8 17. Nb3?

17. Nxd6! cxd6 18. Nf1! is necessary, when the Knight will do good work on e3 restraining Black's weak pawns.

 

17... Bxb3?

Black misses his "second chance" with 17... Ba3+! 18. Kd2 Bb2 followed by pushing the outside passed pawn with a5-a4 etc. and White will have to go for a mating attack to avoid losing.

 

18. cxb3 Rad8 19. Re3?!

White keeps trying to use his forces to attack the Black King (hoping for f4 and Rg3+ etc), but simplestwas 19. Nxd6! Rxd6 20. Rxd6 cxd6 21. Rd1

 

19... Ba3+ 20. Kc2 Rxd1 21. Kxd1 Bc5 22. Re2 Rd8+ 23. Kc2 a5 24. f4 Ng6 25. h4 Ne7 26. g4 b5 27. e5 fxe5 28. Rxe5 Nxf5 29. Rxf5 Be7 30. Rxb5 Bxh4 31. Rxa5 Bf6 32. b4 Bg7? 33. Rg5

Black resigns

1-0

Game 3

brakeman (2241) - Kevlar (2411) [C43]

ICC 5 0/Internet Chess Club 2007


1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nf3 d6 5. Nxd4!?

5. O-O! Be7 6. Re1 O-O 7. Nxd4 resembles the Antoshin Variation of the Philidor which is discussed at my website and which I have written about under the title "Anti-Antoshin."

 

5... g6

Transposing to the Larsen Variation of the Philidor seems a bit dangerous, especially with White's Bishop so well placed at c4.

Black appears to gain equality by 5... Nxe4! 6. Bxf7+ (6. O-O d5) 6... Kxf7 7. Qh5+ g6 (7... Ke7?! 8. O-O!) 8. Qd5+ Kg7 9. Qxe4 Qe7=

 

6. Nc3 Bg7 7. h4! Nbd7? 8. h5! Nxh5

 

 

9. Rxh5 gxh5 10. Bxf7+! Kxf7 11. Qxh5+ Kg8 12. Qd5+ Kf8 13. Ne6+ Ke7 14. Nxd8 Kxd8 15. Qf7 Bxc3+ 16. bxc3 c6 17. Bg5+ Kc7 18. O-O-O a5 19. Be7 Kb6 20. Rxd6 Nc5 21. Bd8+ Ka7 22. Rxc6 Be6 23. Bb6+ Ka6 24. Rxe6

Black resigns

1-0

Game 4

Sergey Galant (2191) - William N. Bragg (1859) [C24]

62nd OCF Jerry Spann Memorial Open/Stillwater, OK (1) 2007

Another way to find games is to do online research using specific moves (e.g.: "1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4") as search strings. The following game from an Open tournament in Oklahoma turned up on just such a Googling expedition.


1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nf3 d5 5. exd5 Bb4+ 6. c3 Qe7+!

Black must protect the Bishop at b4 before capturing at c3, else Qa4+ snags a piece. The Queen check also creates a dilemma for White regarding how to cover the King.

 

7. Be2 dxc3 8. bxc3 Bd6

8... Bc5 is the better move, keeping d6 open for the Black Queen.

 

9. O-O O-O 10. Bg5

This pin is the standard way for White to try to get something out of the opening.

a) 10. Re1!? Qd8 (10... c6!? 11. Bd3 Qc7!) 11. c4 Bg4 12. Bg5 Nbd7 13. Nc3 Re8 14. Nd4!? Bxe2 15. Rxe2 Bxh2+? (A miscalculation, in which Black underestimates the power of the White King!) 16. Kxh2 Ng4+ 17. Kg3! Qxg5 18. Rxe8+ Rxe8 19. Qxg4 Qxg4+ 20. Kxg4 Ne5+ 21. Kg3 Nxc4 22. Ncb5 a6 23. Nxc7 Rc8 24. Rc1 Rxc7 25. d6 Rd7 26. Rxc4 g6 27. Rc8+ Kg7 28. Ne6+ Kf6 29. Nc5 1-0 Pitschka,K-Teufl,S/Austria 2007

b) 10. c4 (with the idea of playing Nc3) 10... Re8 11. Nc3 Bb4 12. Qb3! Bxc3 13. Qxc3 Qxe2?? 14. Re1

 

10... Nbd7 11. Re1 Bc5

Admitting his error.

 

12. Bd3 Qd6 13. c4 Ng4

13... c6 14. Nc3 Bb4 15. Ne4 Nxe4 16. Rxe4 Nf6 17. Rh4 h6 18. Bf4

 

14. Bh4 Ndf6 15. Nc3 Bd7 16. h3 Nh6










17. Bxf6! Qxf6 18. Ne4 Qb6?!

18... Qe7 19. Neg5

 

19. Rb1 Qa5 20. Nxc5 Qxc5 21. Rxb7 f6 22. Re2 Bf5 23. Nh4 Bxd3 24. Qxd3 Nf7 25. Ng6?

Play on both sides goes downhill, suggesting mutual time pressure.

White is clearly winning after 25. Nf5

 

25... hxg6 26. Qxg6 Kh8??

26... Qxc4 27. Re4 Qc2

 

27. Re4 Ng5 28. Rh4+

And perhaps here Black lost on time, since he is still not lost after 28...Kg8.

1-0

Game 5

BALTAS (2643) - Zeratul (2632) [C24]

ICC 3 0/Internet Chess Club 2006


The following three games come from the strongest player I found who plays the Urusov on ICC, who is IM Virginijus Grabliauskas of Lithuania, who plays under the name BALTAS. His method of playing the opening is quite interesting and produces rather similar pawn positions, which he plays very well. While his specific opening choices may not be theoretically best, they are still interesting and have much to teach about how to handle these types of positions, which are common in the Urusov.

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nf3 d5

4... Bb4+ 5. c3 dxc3 6. Nxc3!? d5 7. exd5 O-O would be another way for the game position to arise.

 

5. exd5 Bb4+ 6. c3 dxc3?










6... Qe7+ 7. Qe2!? dxc3 8. bxc3 Qxe2+ 9. Kxe2!? Bd6 10. h3 O-O 11. Rd1 Nbd7 12. Kf1 Nb6 13. Bb3 Bf5 14. c4 Ne4 15. Nd4 Bd7 (15... Bg6) 16. Nd2 Rfe8 17. Nxe4 Rxe4 18. Be3 Bc5?! 19. Nc2! Bxe3 20. Nxe3 f5? 21. c5! Na4 22. d6+ Kf8 23. dxc7 Nxc5 24. Rac1 Bb5+ 25. Kg1 b6 26. Rd8+ Re8 27. Rcd1 Bc6 28. Rxa8 Rxa8 29. Rd8+ Black resigns 1-0 BALTAS-allanbeard/Internet Chess Club 2008.

 

7. Nxc3?

White should win immediately with 7. Qa4+!

 

7... O-O

a) 7... Qe7+ 8. Be3 Ng4 9. Qe2 Nxe3 10. Qxe3 Qxe3+ 11. fxe3 O-O 12. O-O Bc5 (12... Re8 13. Ng5!) 13. Rae1! Re8 14. Kh1 h6 (14... Rxe3?? 15. Rxe3 Bxe3 16. Re1) (14... Bxe3?? 15. Nd1) (14... a6? 15. Ng5) 15. e4

b) 7... c6!? 8. Qe2+ Qe7 (8... Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. Rd1) 9. Qxe7+ Bxe7 10. O-O O-O 11. Bf4 cxd5 12. Nxd5 Nxd5 13. Bxd5

 

8. O-O Bg4










9. h3?!

Better is the immediate 9. Qb3! Bxc3 (9... a5 10. Ne5!) 10. bxc3 Bxf3 11. gxf3 Nbd7 12. Rd1 (12. Qxb7!? Ne5 13. Be2 Rb8 14. Qxa7 Qxd5) 12... Nb6 13. Bd3 Re8 14. c4 with ideas like Kh1, Rg1, and Bb2 perhaps, and White's two Bishops appear to be a long term advantage.

 

9... Bh5 10. Qb3

10. Bg5 Nbd7 11. Re1 Nb6 12. Bb3 Bxc3 13. bxc3 Qd6 14. c4 Rfe8 15. Rc1?! (15. Qd4!) 15... Rxe1+! 16. Qxe1 Bxf3 17. gxf3 Nbd7! 18. Qd2 Re8 19. Bf4 Ne5 20. c5? Nxf3+ 21. Kg2 Nxd2 22. cxd6 Nxb3 23. axb3 cxd6 24. Bxd6 Nxd5 25. Rc6 bxc6 White resigns 0-1 BALTAS-hawksmoor/Internet Chess Club 2006.

 

10... Bxc3

a) 10... Bxf3?! 11. Qxb4 Bxd5 12. Nxd5 Nxd5 13. Qxb7 Nb6 14. Be3

b) 10... a5! 11. Ne5 Nbd7

 

11. Qxc3

11. g4!?

 

11... Nbd7

11... Nxd5!?

 

12. Bg5 Bxf3 13. Qxf3 Ne5 14. Qb3 Nxc4 15. Qxc4 Qxd5 16. Qf4 Ne4

White has no compensation for the pawn, but the course of the game shows how quickly the situation can reverse in these tactically wide open positions.

 

17. Be7 Rfe8 18. Rad1 Qe6 19. Ba3 Qe5?

19... c6

 

20. Qxe5 Rxe5 21. Rd7! Rc8 22. Rc1 h5 23. Rcxc7 Rxc7 24. Rxc7 Rb5 25. f3 Nf6 26. Kf2 Nd5 27. Rc8+ Kh7 28. Rf8

28. h4

 

28... f6 29. g4 hxg4 30. hxg4 Nb6 31. Re8 Nc4 32. Bf8 Rxb2+ 33. Kg3 Rxa2 34. Re7 Ne5?

34... b5!

 

35. Rxg7+ Kh8 36. Rxb7 a5? 37. Bg7+ Kg8 38. Bxf6 Nc4 39. g5 Ra3 40. g6

Black resigns since mate cannot be stopped.

1-0

Game 6

Nick Larter - Robert Maguire [C55]

BCF-chT4 0708 (4NCL)/Sunningdale (2) 2007


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

5. O-O d6!? (5... Nc6 Max Lange Attack) 6. Nxd4!? is perfectly playable but not as strong as 5.e5.

 

5... Ne4?!

5... d5 6. exf6 dxc4 7. Qe2+ Be6 8. fxg7 Rg8 9. Bg5 Qd5 10. Nc3! is the main line, which is analyzed at my website.

 

6. Bd5!?

Better is 6. Qe2! d5 (6... Bb4+ 7. Kf1!) 7. exd6 O-O 8. dxc7 (8. Qxe4 Re8 9. Ne5 Qf6) 8... Qxc7 9. Qxe4 Bb4+ 10. c3 Qxc4 11. Nbd2 Qb5 12. Nxd4 and White is almost winning.

 

6... Bb4+

6... f5!?

 

7. c3

7. Kf1!?

 

7... dxc3 8. O-O cxb2 9. Bxb2 Nc5 10. Qd4 Nba6 11. Qg4 Qe7?! 12. Qxg7 Qf8?










13. Bxf7+! Qxf7 14. Qxh8+ Ke7 15. Ng5 Qf5 16. Qg7+ Ke8 17. Nxh7 c6 18. Nf6+ Kd8 19. Qf8+ Kc7 20. Ne8+ 1-0


Game 7

goeller - Tango44 (2291) [C24]

ICC 3 0 u/Internet Chess Club 2008

This is one of my own games with the Urusov played at 3 minutes against a strong blitz player.


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

A classic blunder in this position is 5... Nd6? 6. O-O Nc6 7. Re1+ Ne7 8. Bb3 b5 9. Ng5 h6 10. Qxd6 hxg5 11. Qd5 d6 12. Qxa8 c5 13. Bd5 f6 14. Nc3 a6 15. Ne4 Kd7 16. Bd2 Qc7 17. Rad1 Nxd5 18. Qxd5 Bb7 19. Nxc5+ 1-0 Volovikov,A-Serik,M/Donetsk 2008.

 

6. Nc3 Be7 7. Bg5 O-O 8. O-O-O d5

 

 

9. Bxd5!?

9. Nxd5 Nxd5 10. Bxe7 Qxe7 11. Rhe1 Be6 (11... Nc6 12. Rxe7 Nxd4 13. Bxd5) 12. Bxd5 Belle Computer - Herbst, USA 1984 gave White only a slight edge, which the computer eventually blew.

 

9... Nxd5?

a) 9... c6? 10. Bxf7+! Kxf7? (10... Rxf7 11. Qxd8+) (10... Kh8 11. Qh4 Qa5 12. Bg6 h6 13. Bxh6 gxh6 14. Qxh6+ Kg8 15. Ng5) 11. Qc4+ Nd5 (11... Be6 12. Ne5+) 12. Nxd5 Bxg5+ 13. Nf4+

b) 9... Nc6?! 10. Qh4 Nxd5 11. Nxd5 Bxg5+ 12. Nxg5 h6 13. Nf3 and Black cannot hold the c-pawn.

c) 9... Nbd7! 10. Rhe1!? (10. Bb3) 10... Nxd5 11. Qxd5 Bxg5+ (11... c6? 12. Bxe7) 12. Qxg5 Qxg5+ 13. Nxg5 h6 14. Nf3 c6 15. Re7 Nf6 16. Ne5 Re8 17. Rxe8+ Nxe8 18. Ne4 (18. Rd8 Kf8 19. Ne4 Ke7) 18... Bf5 19. Nc5

 

10. Bxe7 Qxe7 11. Nxd5!

11. Rhe1 Be6 12. Nxd5 Qd8 13. Nf4

 

11... Qd6 12. Rhe1

12. Qh4! Kh8 13. Ne7 Qh6+ 14. Qxh6 gxh6 15. Nxc8 Rxc8 16. Rhe1

 

12... c6??

12... Be6 13. Nf4 Qxd4 14. Rxd4 Bg4 15. Ne5

 

13. Ne7+

Black resigns

1-0

Game 8

QueenMaxima (2619) - TheMonk (2331) [C24]

ICC 5 1/Internet Chess Club 2007


The Urusov is an excellent opening for computers to adopt, mainly because it leads to open positions with plenty of complex tactical play where the computer's brute force calculation can shine. One of the first World Champion chess computers, Belle (designed by Unix creator Ken Thompson of Bell Labs), adopted it on my recommendation with great success. Now that most lines are well analyzed, it makes an even better "prepared line" for the computer. QueenMaxima demonstrates how easily a computer can rip people's heads off with it.

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 O-O?!

Black should delay castling in this line as long as possible to avoid giving White an easy target on the kingside. The standard approach is 9... Be6 10. Rhe1 Nbd7 11. Bd3 and Black's King can still keep White guessing about which side of the board he'll call home.

 

10. Rhe1!

White can already scare Black to death with 10. Bd3!? h6 11. Bxh6 Ne4 (11... gxh6 12. Qxh6 Bd6 13. g4! Re8 14. g5) 12. Qf4 (12. Qh5!?) 12... Bd6 13. Qe3 Bc5 14. Nd4 though the position remains far from clear.

 

10... h6

 

 

11. Bxd5! Nbd7

a) 11... cxd5 12. Nxd5! (12. Rxe7?! hxg5 13. Nxg5 Bf5!) 12... Nxd5 13. Bxe7

b) 11... hxg5 12. Bxf7+!

 

12. Bc4 hxg5

It was Carl Schlechter who first played this line. One of his games continued 12... b5 13. Bd3! (13. Bxh6!? bxc4 (13... gxh6 14. Qxh6 bxc4 15. Rd4) 14. Bxg7 Kxg7 15. Qg5+ Kh8 16. Rd4 Rg8 17. Rh4+ Nh7 18. Qxe7 Qxe7 19. Rxe7 Ndf8) 13... hxg5 (13... b4 14. Bxf6 Bxf6 15. Qxb4) (13... Bb7 14. Bxh6) 14. Nxg5 Re8? (14... g6 15. Qh6! Nc5 (15... Qe8 16. Re4!) 16. Nce4 Ncxe4 17. Rxe4) 15. Bh7+ Kf8 16. Bf5 (16. Bg6!! Nh5 17. Rxe7 Qxe7 18. Qxh5) 16... Kg8 17. Nxf7! Kxf7 18. Be6+ Kg6 19. f4 Nh5 20. Qg4+ (20. Bf5+!! Kxf5 21. g4+ Kg6 22. Qxh5+ Kf6 23. Qf5#) 20... Kh6 21. Bf7 (21. Bf5 also wins) 21... Nxf4 22. Re6+ Kh7 23. Ne4?! (23. Qxf4! Bg5 24. Bg6+ Kh6 25. Bxe8+ Kh7 26. Bg6+ Kh6 27. Be4+) 23... Ne5 24. Qxf4 (24. Qf5+!) 24... Bxe6 25. Rxd8 Nxf7 26. Rxa8 Rxa8 27. Qc7 Re8 28. Qxc6 Nd6 29. Nxd6 Bg5+ 30. Kb1 Bd7 31. Qc3 Re3 32. Qd2 Re5 33. Qd3+ Bf5 34. Qg3 Rd5 35. Qf3 Be6 36. Nxb5 Re5 37. Qg3 Bf4 38. Qf2 Bg5 39. Nd4 Be3 40. Qh4+ Kg6 41. Nxe6 Rxe6 42. a4 Kf5 43. Qh5+ g5 44. h4 Re4 45. Qf7+ Ke5 46. h5 Rh4 47. Qg7+ Kf5 48. h6 Bd4 49. g4+ 1-0 Schlechter,C-Neustadt & Tietz/Carlsbad 1901.

 

13. Nxg5 b5

13... Bc5 14. Nce4 Qa5 15. Nxf7 Rxf7 16. Ng5

 

14. Nce4! Qa5 15. Re3! bxc4 16. Rh3 Nh5 17. Qxh5 Bxg5+ 18. Nxg5

Black resigns

1-0

Game 9

Dolf Meijer (2203) - Eric Van 't Hof (2208) [C24]

Leiden LCT op 1st/Leiden (6) 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. Rhe1 Be6

It is still premature to castle: 9... O-O?! 10. Bd3 Be6 11. Qh4 h6 12. Bxh6 Ng4 (12... Ne4 13. Qh5 g6 (13... Nxf2 14. Bh7+ Kxh7 15. Bg5+ Kg8 16. Bxe7 Qxe7 17. Ng5) 14. Qe5 Bf6 15. Qf4 Nxc3 16. bxc3 Re8 (16... Bxc3? 17. Rxe6 fxe6 18. Qg4 Rf6 19. Bxg6) 17. Nd4) (12... gxh6 13. Qxh6 Bd6 (13... Nbd7 14. Ng5) (13... Qd6 14. Re5) 14. Ng5 Bf4+ 15. Kb1 Bxg5 16. Qxg5+ Kh8 17. Qh6+ Kg8 18. Re5) 13. Bg5 f6 14. Qh7+ Kf7 15. Bg6# Black checkmated 1-0 syaherr-ottomar/Internet Chess Club 2008.

 

10. Qh4 Nbd7 11. Bd3 Nf8 12. Nd4 Qd7

12... Qd6 13. Bf5!? (13. f4 O-O-O) 13... O-O-O 14. Ne4 Qc7 15. Nxf6 Bxf6 16. Bxf6 gxf6 17. Qxf6

 

13. f4! Bg4? 14. Bxf6 gxf6 15. Qxf6 Rg8










16. Nxd5!

16. Nxc6!! bxc6 17. Rxe7+ Qxe7 18. Qxc6+ is even stronger.

 

16... cxd5 17. Bb5 Kd8 18. Qxf7 Qd6 19. Re5 Rg5 20. Rde1 Ng6 21. Rxe7 Nxe7 22. fxg5 Rc8 23. Qf8+ Kc7 24. Qxe7+ Qxe7 25. Rxe7+ Kb6 26. Be2 1-0


Game 10

Max Burkett (USA 2157) - Arthur Kovacs (Hungary 2216) [C24]

CP-2006-Q-00002/LSS 2008

Max Burkett has been playing the Urusov Gambit since before I was born and published the first and most important database on the opening in the Pitt collection. He continues to play the gambit in correspondence games, including the following one which he sent me recently upon its conclusion. I have relied on his notes below (though he goes much further with every line).


1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Qxd4 Nf6 6. Nc3 Nc6 7. Qh4 Be7 8. Bg5 d6 9. O-O-O Be6 10. Rhe1!

After this move, White has full compensation for the pawn and chances for more.

a) The old book move 10. Bd3?! is refuted by 10... Ng4! (I have been given credit for this improvement, but it apparently has been known for quite some time, as this game shows) 11. Bxe7 Qxe7 12. Qg3 Qf6 13. Rhe1 Nge5?! (13... O-O-O!) 14. Be4?! (14. Nxe5! Nxe5 15. Bb5+ Nc6 16. Nd5 Qh6+ 17. Kb1 O-O-O 18. Bxc6 bxc6 19. Nb4) 14... Nxf3 15. Bxf3 O-O 16. Ne4 Qh6+ 17. Qg5 Qxg5+ 18. Nxg5 Bd7 19. Be4 h6 20. Nf3 Rfe8 21. Re3 Re6 22. a3 Rae8 23. Rde1 Nd8 24. Nd4 R6e7 25. Bh7+ Kf8 26. Rxe7 Rxe7 27. Rxe7 Kxe7 28. Be4 g6 29. Kd2 c6 30. c4 Ne6 31. Nf3 Ng5 32. Nxg5 hxg5 33. h3 Kf6 34. b4 Ke5 35. Ke3 Be6 36. Bd3 d5 37. cxd5 Bxd5 38. g3 b6 39. f3 c5 0-1 Durgo,J-Kliszek,J/Hungary 1994

b) Meanwhile, White can probably recover his pawn with 10. Bxe6 fxe6 11. Rhe1 Qd7 12. Qc4 O-O-O! 13. Qxe6 Qxe6 14. Rxe6 Rhe8=

10... Bxc4 11. Qxc4 O-O 12. h4!?










This is Max Burkett's novelty and it is very interesting. White has a number of good alternatives, as I discuss at my website. Worth looking at closely is 12. Re3 a5? (12... Nd7 13. h4!) (12... Qd7! 13. Bxf6 Bxf6 14. Nd5) 13. Qe2! h6 14. Bh4 Re8 15. Re1! g5 16. Nxg5! hxg5 17. Bxg5 which I have analyzed.

 

12... a5

a) 12... Re8 13. Bxf6 Bxf6 14. Rxe8+ Qxe8 15. Nd5 Qd8 16. Re1 (16. g3!?) 16... h6 17. Re3 a6 (17... Ne5!?) 18. c3 Rb8 19. g3! a5 20. Qe2 b5 21. Nd2 (21. Nh2 Ne5) 21... Na7 22. f4 b4 23. Ne4 Be7 24. Qg4 Nc6 25. Nef6+ Kh8 26. Nd7! Ra8 27. Qf5 Kg8 28. h5 bxc3 29. bxc3! Rc8 30. g4! Bh4 31. g5! Bxg5 32. fxg5 1-0 (40) Burkett--Spiridonov, IECG WC-2003-F 2004.

b) 12... h6? 13. Rxe7!! is one of the main ideas behind 12.h4.

 

13. a3!?

13. h5!? is worth a close look.

 

13... Re8

13... Ra6 14. g3 (14. Kb1) (14. Bxf6 Bxf6 15. Nd5 Ne5 16. Nxe5 dxe5 17. g3 Rc6 18. Qb5 Qa8 19. Nxf6+ Rxf6 20. Rxe5 Rxf2) 14... Re8 (14... h6 15. Bxf6 Bxf6 16. Nd5 a4 17. Nd2 Ne5 18. Qb4 Ra7 19. Ne4 Be7 20. f4 Nc6 21. Qc3 Kh8 22. f5 Re8 23. f6 Bf8 24. g4) 15. Bxf6 Bxf6 16. Rxe8+ Qxe8 17. Nd5 Qd7 (17... Ne5 18. Nxe5 Qxe5 19. Qb3) 18. Nh2 Qf5 19. Qb5 Qc8 20. Re1 Ra8 21. Nxf6+ gxf6 22. Qh5 f5 23. Nf3 Qf8 24. Re3 f4 25. Qg5+ Qg7 26. Qxf4

 

14. g3!?

The point of White's subtle pawn moves is to completely restrict Black's Bishop by putting all of his pawns on dark squares, then to put pressure on the Bishop with Nd5 etc. White's pressure turns out to be enough to recover his pawn eventually, but the present game suggests that he may not be able to get more than that.

 

14... Qd7

a) 14... h6 15. Bxf6 Bxf6 16. Nd5 Rxe1 17. Rxe1 Be5 (17... Be7 18. Nd4) 18. c3! a4 19. Nd2 g6 20. h5

b) 14... Ra6 15. Bxf6 Bxf6 16. Rxe8+ Qxe8 17. Nd5

 

15. Bxf6 Bxf6 16. Nd5

 

 

16... Rxe1

a) 16... h6 17. Nxf6+ gxf6 18. Qb5 Qg4 19. Nh2 Qh3 (19... Qd7 20. Qh5) 20. Rxe8+ Rxe8 21. Qxb7 Ne5 22. Nf1 Ng4 23. Qf3 Kg7 24. Nd2 (24. Kb1!?) (24. b3!?) 24... Nh2 25. Qc6 Re7 26. Nb3 Qf5 27. f4 Ng4 28. Nd4

b) 16... Bd8 17. Qg4

c) 16... Ne5 17. Qxc7 Qf5 18. Nxe5 dxe5

 

17. Rxe1 Ne5

17... Be5 18. Qb5 Rb8 (18... Kh8 19. c3 b6 20. Nd2 f5 21. Ne7 Qxe7 22. Qxc6 Qd8 23. f4 Bf6 24. Nc4) 19. c3 Qe6 (19... Qh3 20. Ng5 Qg2 21. Qd3 g6 22. f4 Bg7 23. Nxc7) 20. Qd3!? (20. Nxc7 Qf5 21. Re3) 20... Rc8 21. Nd2 Qd7 (21... Qg6 22. Qb5 Rb8 23. Re3) 22. f4 Bf6 23. Ne4

 

18. Nxe5 dxe5 19. Rd1 Qc6

19... Qf5?! 20. Qxc7 Rc8 (20... Qxf2 21. Qxb7 Re8 22. Qc6 Rb8 23. b3) 21. Ne3 Rxc7 22. Nxf5 g6 23. Ne3 Rc6 24. Rd7 b6 25. Nd5 e4 26. b4

 

20. Qxc6 bxc6 21. Nxc7

White recovers the pawn but the position becomes drawish. But too risky is 21. Nxf6+ gxf6 22. Rd7

 

21... Rc8 22. Na6 h5 23. Nc5 Be7 24. Nb7

24. Ne4!?

 

24... a4 25. Nd6 Ra8 26. f3 g6 27. Nc4 f6 28. Kd2 Kf7 29. Nb6 Ra6 30. Nc4 Ra8 31. Nb6 Ra6 32. Nc4 Ra8

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[MAX]

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