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Sarunas Sulskis vs Thomas Michalczak
European Championship (2005), Zegrze POL, rd 6, Jun-23
Russian Game: Cochrane Gambit. Center Variation (C42)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: GM Sulskis of Lithuania scores a decisive vitory, a piece down, in this Petroff Chochrane Gambit with 19. Qf4!! to overwhelm Black's weakened castled position.

Here's some analysis with Fritz 8:

<19. Qf4!! Bg6> All other alternatives lose for Black.

(A). 19... b5
20. Nxf6 bxc4 21. Nxh7+ Kg8 22. Ng5 Qf8 23. Qxc4

(B) 19... Kg8 20. Nxf6+ Kh8 21. Re8+ Qxe8 22. Nxe8 Rxe8 23. d7 Re1+ 24. Bf1 h6 25. Qd2 Rd1 26. d8=Q+ Nxd8 27. Qxc2 .

(C) 19... Na5 20. Nxf6 Nxc4 21. Re8+ Qxe8 22. Nxe8+ Kxe8 23. Qxc4

<20. Nxf6 gxf6 21. Qh6+ 1-0> Now if 21...Kg8, then 22. Re8# (via double discovered check and mate ), and if 21...Kf7, then Re7# mates.

Jul-30-05  gambitfan: 10 Bf4 ! (instead of 10. Nc3 ?!)
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <gambitfan> How does White proceed after 10. Bf4 Ne4? Black looks slightly better, but I haven't explored it in any depth.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Some interesting biographical information on GM Sulskis can be found at
Apr-14-06  alexandrovm: the only way to play this gambit for white, keeping the initiative without counting the pawns all the time. Seems this guy (Sarunas Sulskis) is convinced that this line is good for white...
May-22-07  Whitehat1963: Here's a Tuesday puzzle after 19...Bg6. (Opening of the Day)
Nov-09-08  newzild: I play the Cochrane sometimes. I do well in blitz (and surprisingly well against computers) but not so well under tournament time controls.

5...c5 is the most challenging line for white to meet, so this game is interesting.

Dec-28-08  cornholio denali: I think 15... Bxc2 is pointless. Black does get a pawn but it leaves the white rook to attack. 15...g6 looks better to me. I don't have an analysis software to check though...
May-18-09  ruzon: 11...a6 seems weak to me. I think ♕c7 would be stronger there because it allows 12...♘d7. The e-file can be blocked temporarily if the pressure rises with the threat of ♗c5 pinning the Queen if White's f-pawn ventures out.

If the Cochrane Gambit is as successful as it appears to be from the Openings Explorer, why doesn't White play it any time there's a Russian Game?

Nov-05-09  The Chess Express: I think <7...b5> refutes this entire line.

8. Bxb5 Qxd5
9. Be2 Nc6
10. O-O Nxd4

click for larger view

8. Be2 cxd4
9. O-O Bc5
10. Nd2 Bb7
11. Bxb5 Rf8
12. Qe2 Bxd5

click for larger view

Nov-05-09  The Chess Express: White should play 6. dxc5

Opening Explorer

May-18-12  vinidivici: is it cochrane gambit from petroff defense is a doubtful opening??
May-19-12  vinidivici: am i right?
Jul-09-12  newzild: <The Chess Express>

Your first line doesn't make much sense to me. Why should White retreat the bishop?

8. Bxb5 Qxd5

... and now, instead of your 9. Be2, more logical is the simple

9. Nc3 Qe6+
10. Be3 Ng4
11. Qf3+

followed by 12. 0-0-0 or 12. Qxa8

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <If the Cochrane Gambit is as successful as it appears to be from the Openings Explorer, why doesn't White play it any time there's a Russian Game?>

Because it's unsound.

Apr-27-14  Brown: <Domdaniel: <If the Cochrane Gambit is as successful as it appears to be from the Openings Explorer, why doesn't White play it any time there's a Russian Game?> Because it's unsound.>

What lines in particular were you thinking of?

Mar-16-20  gambitfan: 29 par 25 good
Mar-16-20  gambitfan: 48 par 26 outstanding !
Mar-16-20  gambitfan: 51 par 26 outtanding !
Apr-28-20  newzild: <Domdaniel: <If the Cochrane Gambit is as successful as it appears to be from the Openings Explorer, why doesn't White play it any time there's a Russian Game?> Because it's unsound.>

Not according to Bronstein, who considered the gambit fully viable.

Dec-29-22  EphemeralAdvantage: The Cochrane is not unsound, it is just incredibly risky and requires a very specific type of attitude to play correctly. I would recommend IM David Pruess' youtube video on the gambit (The Cochrane Gambit | Opening Deep Dives is the title). Pruess is probably on of THE experts on the topic.

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