Italian Game, Rousseau Gambit

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Rousseau Gambit
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
f8 black bishop
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
d7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
c6 black knight
e5 black pawn
f5 black pawn
c4 white bishop
e4 white pawn
f3 white knight
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
d2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white king
h1 white rook
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 f5
ECO C50
Origin 19th century
Named after Eugène Rousseau
Parent Italian Game

The Rousseau Gambit is a chess opening that begins with the moves:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bc4 f5

The gambit is named after Eugène Rousseau. White can decline the gambit by supporting the e-pawn with 4.d3. The resulting position is similar to a King's Gambit Declined with colours reversed, and White's king bishop aiming at Black's weakened kingside. Black will have trouble castling kingside and Ng5 is a likely threat. White's position is better, but still requires careful play.

Key themes for White are to attack Black's kingside and to avoid attempts by Black to simplify the position. Exchanges involving White's light bishop are particularly suspect.


White responses[edit]

Gambit Declined: 4.d3[edit]

White can decline the gambit and to wait to capture the f-pawn.

Gambit Accepted: 4.exf5[edit]

White still has a good game after the inferior 4.exf5, but the position is less clear. Black usually plays 4...e4, which White may meet by 5.Nd4! Nf6 (5...Nxd4? leads to trouble after 6.Qh5+) 6.Nxc6.

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
f8 black bishop
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
d7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
c6 black knight
e5 black pawn
f5 black pawn
c4 white bishop
d4 white pawn
e4 white pawn
f3 white knight
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white king
h1 white rook
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
After 4.d4

4.d4![edit]

White gets a clear advantage with 4.d4!:

  • 4...fxe4 5.Nxe5 d5 6.Bb5 Ne7 7.0-0 a6 8.Bxc6+ bxc6 (8...Nxc6? 9.Qh5+) 9.f3 Bf5 10.Nc3 +/− (Bilguer Handbuch).[1][2]
  • 4...d6 and now:
    • 5.Ng5 Nh6 6.d5 Nb8 (6...Ne7 7.Nc3 f4 8.g3 Ng6 9.Bb5+ +/−; Maróczy) 7.Nc3 f4 8.h4 Bg4 9.f3 Bd7 10.g3 fxg3 11.f4 +/− (Sozin).
    • 5.dxe5 and now:
      • 5...fxe4 6.Qd5 Qe7 7.Bg5 Be6 8.Qxe4 +/− de Rivière–Anderssen, London 1862.[1]
      • 5...dxe5 6.Qxd8+ Nxd8 (6...Kxd8 7.Bg5+ Nf6 8.Nc3 +/− Morphy–Worrall, London 1859) 7.Nxe5 fxe4 8.Bd2 Bd6 9.Bc3 +/− Löwenthal & Medley vs Morphy & Mongredien, London 1857.[1]
  • 4...Nf6 5.dxe5 Nxe4 6.0-0 Bc5 7.Nc3 Nxc3 8.bxc3 h6 9.Nd4 g6 10.Nb3 +/− (Bilguer).[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d T. D. Harding; G. S. Botterill (1977), The Italian Game, B. T. Batsford Limited, p. 128, ISBN 0-7134-3261-6 
  2. ^ Kasparov, Gary; Keene, Raymond (1982), Batsford Chess Openings, American Chess Promotions, p. 308, ISBN 0-7134-2112-6 

External links[edit]