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Normal Topic What's the verdict on the  Urusov Gambit? (Read 2264 times)
urusov
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Re: What's the verdict on the  Urusov Gambit?
Reply #2 - 08/15/07 at 16:37:22
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Alas, MNb is right.  White almost never gets to play the Urusov.  But I guess that means Black's verdict is, "White is fine in the Urusov, so why not play the Two Knights instead?"  At the master level, with very rare exceptions, Black invariably plays 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 (2...Nc6 is Mihail Marin's recommendation, when you are also likely to get the Two Knights after 3.Nf3 Nf6 - though White also has Vienna and King's Gambit possibilities) 3.d4 exd4 (3...Nc6!? is another method, when White likely has no better than 4.Nf3 etc.) 4.Nf3 Nc6!

Of course, the Two Knights with d4 is considered perfectly playable for Black -- and I have to agree with that verdict, as someone who also plays the Black side of it.  But if you enjoy the positions and know the theory, you can still make it work, and I think my best games and most points come from the White side of the Two Knights with d4. 

Basically, the Urusov should be considered a vehicle for getting to the Two Knights with d4 while side-stepping the Petroff, Philidor, and a host of other theory. Approached that way, it makes a lot of sense -- in much the way that Dzindzi recommends the Scotch Gambit, where Black also invariably plays the Two Knights with d4 at master level rather than enter into debates in the crazy gambit lines.

Here are some links for anyone interested in learning more about it:
http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~goeller/urusov/
http://www.kenilworthchessclub.org/kenilworthian/2005/08/urusoff-urusov-gambit-b...
http://www.kenilworthchessclub.org/kenilworthian/2007/06/urusov-gambit-update.ht...
http://www.kenilworthchessclub.org/kenilworthian/2005/12/notes-on-two-knights-wi...

I have looked at the Urusov very closely over many years, and my most objective assessment is that Black can likely equalize in a few lines besides the Two Knights method with 4...Nc6.  But Black really has to know what he is doing, and for every equalizing line there are dozens where he is destroyed in under 20 moves.  The best known equalizer is Panov's 4...d5 5.exd5 Bb4+ 6.c3 (6.Bd2!? is rather equal with few tricks, but 6.Kf1!? is actually an interesting move, especially for correspondence) 6...Qe7+! 7.Be2 (best at this point) 7...dxc3 and Black may have slightly the better structure in a rather tactical and open fighting game.  White does quite well in the database stats, though it is certainly "equal."  But if you don't mind playing this line once in a while, and you are happy to sidestep the Petroff, and you have some line you like against 2...Nc6 (such as the Giuoco Piano, Evans Gambit, Vienna, or Bishop's Gambit), and you like the Two Knights with d4 as White, then the Urusov is a nice repertoire fit  Smiley.
  
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MNb
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Re: What's the verdict on the  Urusov Gambit?
Reply #1 - 07/31/07 at 21:36:44
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There have been some short debates in the past.
My verdict: White will not get it, because Black will avoid it.

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 (Nc6; Bc5;) 3.d4 exd4 4.Nf3 Nc6
1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nf3 Nc6
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 Nxe4 (alas; exd4 4.Bc4).

alberich wrote on 07/31/07 at 02:47:26:
either accept the challenge by taking the e pawn and starting down a wild path of really complex positions

or chose a solid line, that even offers some chances to Black to take over the initiative: 4...Nc6!
  

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What's the verdict on the  Urusov Gambit?
07/31/07 at 02:47:26
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What's the verdict on this opening? I'm surprised there aren't any discussions on this as there's a very good website still up that has copious details on this setup. Is it because the transpositions are too numerous to count and quickly goes into other lines?

The Urusov starting line goes...1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4!? putting the question to Black to either accept the challenge by taking the e pawn and starting down a wild path of really complex positions...I'm talking Frankenstein-Dracula style variations like that line in the Vienna Game.
  
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