Monday, June 09, 2008

Urusov Gambit -- Patzer Variation or Refutation?

The Patzer Variation, 4...Bb4+

One of the most difficult lines to prove a White advantage against in the Urusov Gambit is the surprisingly good 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nf3 Bb4+. I have posted two recent games that show the typical struggle in that line, which often develops into a rather tactical endgame, with both Kings in the center and potential targets all over the board. Urusov expert Max Burkett (who sent me the second game) likes to call this "the Patzer Variation," after the phrase "patzer sees a check, patzer plays a check." But it may actually come closest to being a "refutation" of the Urusov, in that it probably allows Black to equalize with precise play. Fortunately, the move continues to be favored only by patzers, so Urusov aficionados will not usually have to face the most precise defense.

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