The move-orders with 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.Nf3, 3.Bc4, and the Urusov Gambit


The move-order 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.Nf3 is a good way to steer play towards a Scotch Gambit or Göring Gambit, as long as you are happy to play into one of the main lines of the Göring Gambit (3.Nf3 Nc6 4.c3 dxc3 5.Nxc3 Bb4), for after 3...Bb4+, the transposition with 4.c3 dxc3 5.Nxc3 Nc6 probably represents best play from both sides.  If not, then 3...Bb4+ may be an objection.

This move-order side-steps the Petroff Defence, the Latvian Gambit or the Elephant Gambit.  Black is also prevented from reaching the Philidor Defence line with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nf6, although Black can transpose directly to the 3...exd4 line, by playing 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.Nf3 d6.  Black has nothing better than 3...Nc6, but there are a few comparably good alternatives, most notably the aforementioned 3...Bb4+.

3.Bc4 is a good alternative if White wants to get into a Scotch Gambit (3...Nc6 4.Nf3).  In that case, after 3...Nf6 White has no good alternative to 4.Nf3 which gives us the Urusov Gambit.  The Urusov gives White dangerous attacking chances if accepted, while Black also has the option of transposing into the 4.d4 lines of the Two Knights Defence with 4...Nc6 (which I have covered in the Scotch Gambit section).  Note that 3.Nf3 can also lead to the Urusov Gambit if Black plays 3...Nf6 and White continues with 4.Bc4 rather than the traditional 4.e5.

Although I have covered most of the important Urusov Gambit lines in some detail, there is a far more thorough coverage available at Michael Goeller’s site:  If you try out the Urusov and come up against sidelines that I haven’t mentioned, chances are they’ll be covered there.  The coverage in Danish Dynamite is also pretty good.


Description: Description:


Coverage of all lines

In brief, I cover:

3.Nf3 and Black’s various third-move alternatives to 3...Nc6, including 3...d6, 3...Bc5, 3...c5, 3...d5, 3...Bb4+, and 3...Nf6.  I look at 3...Bb4+ 4.Bd2 and even 4.Nbd2 as alternatives to 4.c3, but I don’t find either of them convincing.  I have to admit that I only cover certain lines, such as the 3...d6 4.Nxd4 line of the Philidor and the Old Petroff with 3...Nf6 4.e5, quite sparsely and you may need to do other research to get a thorough repertoire against those.

3.Bc4 and Black’s various third-move options.  There are many transpositions with the 3.Nf3 sidelines here.

The Urusov Gambit following 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nf3.  I look mainly at 4...d6, 4...Bc5, 4...Bb4+, 4...d5, and 4...Nxe4.  4...c5 is covered via 3.Nf3 c5 4.Bc4 Nf6, and 4...Nc6 is covered in the Scotch Gambit section.



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