The reinvented Ulvestad Variation

Looking for an aggressive way to meet the popular Two Knights Variation, but don’t fancy too much opening theory? After 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 - try the move 5…b5!? and catch your opponent off-guard with the Ulvestad Variation! An ambitious counter-strike, which will come as a surprise to many White players - most of whom will be more familiar with the heavily investigated alternative 5…Na5. With our choice, Black immediately sets the tone by neutralizing White’s attack against the pawn on f7, and intends to take the initiative. From all White’s available options, the critical move 6.Bf1 may still be known to some as the engines’ top move; but most likely, that’s where their preparation ends! New ideas have been discovered, and in various variations Black obtains wonderful piece play as compensation for the pawn, resulting in promising attacking possibilities. With the right mix of general ideas and direct play, the Ulvestad Variation will become your best friend!


Sample video


  • The reinvented Ulvestad Variation
  • 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 b5
  • Introduction
  • 6.dxc6
  • 6.Bb3
  • 6.Be2
  • 6.Bxb5
  • Main Line 6.Bf1 Minor options
  • Main Line 6.Bf1 and 8.d4
  • Outro

Open Games

After 1.e4 e5 we have the so-called Open Games. Previously this move order was almost obligatory and this is how some of the most famous games in the history of chess began, such as the Immortal and the Evergreen games. Nowadays beginners learn first of all to play the open games, and it is only in this group of openings that we can come across Scholar’s Mate (2.Qh5 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Qxf7 mate). But at the same time 1...e5 is considered to be the most solid continuation of them all and so dominates top level chess.

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