Friday, February 17, 2006

Urusov Gambit Novelty


White to play and win after 14...Rf8.

I played a game on ICC the other day in which my opponent essayed a complete novelty in the Urusov Gambit: 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Qxd4 f5!? I tried my best to refute it over the board, but it was not easy in a bullet game (game in one with 7 second increment). Fortunately, he gave me a chance and I took it (see diagram above). Afterward, I looked through my website and through every database available (including online ones) and could not find a single game with the move. Analysis with Fritz leaves me unsatisfied, though White clearly has ideas and at the very least recovers the gambit pawn easily enough. But finding a way to an advantage is still a question and the line is full of more tricks for Black than I would expect. It looks bad to open up the a2-g8 diagonal, but if Black can get in ...c6 and ...d5 he is easily winning. If there are any Urusov fans reading, I am open to ideas and will add some analysis to my site in the coming week (which will be my first update in almost a year).

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