Bishop’s Opening

A very aggressive King Pawn opening where White attempts to launch a quick and often fatal kingside attack, typically by targeting Black’s king bishop pawn (f7).

Black’s second move responses include:

2… Nf6 – the Berlin Defense

2… Bc5 – the Classical Defense

Gambits play an important role in the Bishop’s Opening. One such gambit is the Urusov Gambit, which arises out of the Berlin Defense, which White sets up by playing an early d4.

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4

If Black continues with 3… exd4 then 4.Nf3 produces:

Here in the Urusov Gambit mainline, White is offering up its King pawn to achieve a lead in developmentl. If 4… Nxe4 then 5.Qxd4.

White has three centrally placed pieces to Black’s lone exposed knight. Furthermore White is ready to castle while Black needs worry about its knight.

Here is miniature game showing the lethality of the Urosov.

Backtracking, note that 3… Nxe4 is questionable. After 4.dxe5, White can easily launch an attack on the Black King via the weak f7 pawn. E.g. 5.Qd5 forks the f7 pawn and the knight on e4. Or, 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Qd5+ capturing a pawn and preventing Black’s King from being able to castle.

Black tries 3… c6


Berlin Defense¬†– 2…. Nf6

Perhaps Black’s strongest reply. Nf6 simultaneously attacks White unprotected King pawn, contests the d5 square, and ¬†blunts White’s Qh5 mating threat.

The Vienna Game (by transposition)

Classical Defense

An interesting continuation of the Classical Defense, called the Philidor Variation is