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Bishop's Opening (C24)
1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 Nf6

Number of games in database: 1819
Years covered: 1769 to 2022
Overall record:
   White wins 38.8%
   Black wins 30.0%
   Draws 31.3%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Lu Shanglei  17 games
Sergei Tiviakov  17 games
John Nunn  15 games
Nebojsa Nikcevic  11 games
Artur Yusupov  11 games
Daniel Fridman  11 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
E Paehtz vs M Mueller-Seps, 2004
I A Horowitz vs NN, 1939
Polgar vs Gelfand, 2009
Kharlov vs Topalov, 2004
E M Jackson vs Marshall, 1899
A Smith vs Philidor, 1790
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 page 1 of 73; games 1-25 of 1,819  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. D Ponziani vs NN 1-0101769ModenaC24 Bishop's Opening
2. A Smith vs Philidor 0-1331790LondonC24 Bishop's Opening
3. McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais 1-0481834La Bourdonnais - McDonnell 2nd Casual MatchC24 Bishop's Opening
4. P Bilguer vs Angerstein 0-1191835corrC24 Bishop's Opening
5. Bledow vs Von der Lasa  0-1261835?C24 Bishop's Opening
6. Von der Lasa vs A Von Der Goltz 0-1431837Berlin m6C24 Bishop's Opening
7. P Bilguer vs Von der Lasa 0-1261838BerlinC24 Bishop's Opening
8. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1161841Casual gameC24 Bishop's Opening
9. Cochrane vs Staunton 1-0301842Casual gameC24 Bishop's Opening
10. Cochrane vs Staunton  0-1351842Casual gameC24 Bishop's Opening
11. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1241842Casual gameC24 Bishop's Opening
12. C Jaenisch vs Bledow  0-1281842BerlinC24 Bishop's Opening
13. Cochrane vs Staunton 1-0491843Casual gameC24 Bishop's Opening
14. Kornik vs Sroda 1-0481843UnknownC24 Bishop's Opening
15. Staunton vs Cochrane  1-0251843Casual gameC24 Bishop's Opening
16. Staunton vs Saint-Amant ½-½891843Staunton - Saint-Amant Casual SeriesC24 Bishop's Opening
17. Stralsund vs Greifswald  0-1511844City corrC24 Bishop's Opening
18. Marseille vs Algiers  1-0361846City MatchC24 Bishop's Opening
19. A Mongredien vs Harrwitz  0-1291848Casual gameC24 Bishop's Opening
20. E Lowe vs H Kennedy 0-1351848Kennedy - Lowe mC24 Bishop's Opening
21. F Deacon vs A Alexandre 1-0361850Casual gameC24 Bishop's Opening
22. A Ehrmann vs Anderssen 0-1351851Club TourneyC24 Bishop's Opening
23. K de Heer vs G Weimar  1-0481851AmsterdamC24 Bishop's Opening
24. G Weimar vs W F van Essen ½-½621851AmsterdamC24 Bishop's Opening
25. A Mongredien vs F Greenaway  1-0201851Casual gameC24 Bishop's Opening
 page 1 of 73; games 1-25 of 1,819  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-31-05  ughaibu: 3.d4 is a reversed elephant, surely as worth a go as anything.
Jul-31-05  WMD: There's some excellent analysis of the gambit at:

Jul-31-05  Koster: Anything to avoid the Petroff I guess.
Jul-31-05  ughaibu: 1.d4 is an easy way to avoid the Petroff.
Aug-01-05  mack: Surely not playing chess in the first place is the easiest way to avoid the Petroff?

What does everyone think of 3.Qe2? That can cause all sorts of long thinks from black.

Aug-01-05  SEMENELIN: what can you say about qf3 thats more counteractive :) nyahahahehahah
Aug-08-05  SneechLatke: <mack> I had a game at the MN open a few years back which started with 1.e4 e5 2.♗c4 ♘f6 3.♕e2 where I played 3...♗c5, which ECO14 evaluates as =. I don't see what's so great about this move either, since white doesn't really challenge black at all.
Mar-01-06  LluviaSean: So much for the "Knights Before Bishops" rule...
Apr-13-06  Dr. Funkenstein: I have a questions about the bishop´s opening.

A line someone played against me the other day was

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 c6 4. Nf3 d5 5. Bb3 Bg4?!

This seems normal to prevent Nxe5 and develop the bishop, but after I went over the game in which I responded with the tame 6. ♘bd2?! and went on to lose after an unrelated blunder later on I came up with

6. h3 and if 6. ...Bh4 then 7. g4 Bg6 8. Nxe5 dxe4 9. Nxg6 hxg6 10. g5!? Nh7 {though this knight could go to a more active square, I imagine an opponent trying to double attack the g5 pawn) 11. dxe4 Qxd1+ 12. Kxd1 Be7 13. h4 (though f4 or Rg1 is possible) 0-0 14. Bd2 Rd8 15. Kc1 (perhaps Ke1 would be better to bring the rook into play, but the king feels drafty here)

White is now up a pawn, but has some problems developing. All the same, I like being up material especially with a strong kingside attack by the pawn front and black's knight is misplaced on h7. What do you guys think about this? Let me know if there's a flaw in my analysis that white wins a clear pawn in this sequence.

Apr-28-06  Dr. Funkenstein: Sorry, my above analysis contains a glaring error I just realized. 13. h4 is no defence because the rook would drop if the h-pawn moves. Therefore 13. f4 or 13. Rg1 is necessary. I think f4 is the strongest move. White would then try to get the c1 bishop to e3 and the knight to d2 to disentangle with a likely c3 and Kc2. Holding on to the pawn isn´t easy, but I think once white gets him/herself in order white´s position is strong with the advanced kingside pawns supported by both rooks and the bishop pointing at the weak f7 pawn.
Apr-28-06  refutor: <dr. funkenstein> black hasbetter 7. ...dxe4 8.dxe4 Qxd1+ 9.Kxd1 Nxe4

if 8.gxh5 exf3 9.Qxf3 Nbd7 and Black is good

Apr-28-06  Dr. Funkenstein: Excellent point Refutor, also, 8. Ng5 falls to 8... Bg6 when 9. h4 is met by 9. ...h5

What do you think the best course of action in this line (5. Bg4) is for white?

Clearing out the center with pawn exchanges doesn't seem to do anything for white

May-07-06  refutor: i wonder if 3.Nc3 is better than the passive 3.d3? i'm sure 3.d3 has been played for centuries, but it seems too early to commit the pawns
May-16-06  Dr. Funkenstein: Well 3. Nc3 transposes into the Vienna game as opposed to the classical bishop's opening. I prefer 3. d3 because I don´t like black having the option of 3. ...Nxe4 even when a lot of black players don´t like that gamble (gamble not in terms of lost material but in potentially awkward positions after 4. Bxf7+) either. At my low level, I like the simplicity of the Bishops opening and waiting to commit my knight to c3 or d2 as opposed to the more complex Vienna game.

However, sometimes the bishop can be missed on the kingside due to the d pawn locking it to center and queenside. I think it just depends on your style Refutor.

Jun-07-06  Kings Indian: Today's opening of the day is the Urusov Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4) I don't play this line but I'm thinking of it. It looks very similar to the Max Lange Attack.
Sep-25-06  Kwesi: Here's one close FICS game of mine playing the urusov gambit where i reckon it was very close until my final move of the game when I blundered (I'm blaming time trouble). <Any comments on the game would be much appreciated>:

kwesiquest (1703) vs. AEGC (2043) --- Mon Sep 25, 06:13 PDT 2006 Rated standard match, initial time: 15 minutes, increment: 60 seconds.

Move kwesiquest AEGC
---- --- ---
1. e4 e5
2. Bc4 Nf6
3. d4 exd4
4. Nf3 Nxe4
5. Qxd4 Nf6
6. Nc3 Nc6
7. Qh4 Be7
8. Bg5 d5
9. O-O-O Be6
10. Rhe1 h6
11. Bxf6 Bxf6
12. Qg3 Bxc3
13. bxc3 O-O
14. Re4 dxe4
15. Rxd8 Nxd8
16. Ne5 Bxc4
17. Nxc4 Rc8
18. Ne5 f5
19. Qg6 c5
20. g4 Nf7
21. Nd7 Rfd8
22. Nf6+ Kf8
23. Nh7+ Ke7
24. gxf5 Rc6
25. f6+ gxf6
26. Qxe4+ Kd7
27. Qf5+ Ke7
28. Qe4+ Re6
29. Qxb7+ Rd7
30. Qc8 Red6
31. Qxc5 Ng5
32. Qf5 Rd1+
33. Kb2 Rb7+
34. Ka3 Rd6
35. Qc5 Nxh7
36. Ka4 Ng5
37. Ka5 Ne6
38. Qe3 Rbb6
39. Qxh6 Ra6+
40. Kb4 Rdb6+
41. Kc4 Ra4+
42. Kd3 Nc5+
43. Ke2 Re6+
44. Kf1 Rxa2
45. h4 Ne4
46. Qg7+ Kd6
47. h5 Rxc2
48. h6 Rxf2+
49. Kg1 Re8
50. h7??? Rb8
White resigns 0-1

Jul-28-08  WarmasterKron: In my ongoing quest to find an unsound gambit against everything, I recently unleashed the following:

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 Bc5 4.h3?! b5!?

click for larger view

Play continued 5.Bxb5 c6 6.Bc4 d5 7.exd5 cxd5 8.Bb5+ Bd7 9.Bxd7 Nbxd7

click for larger view

An interesting mess, and I'd take the black side of it any day.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Warmaster Kron>

You and Paul Morphy. C Mead vs Morphy, 1857

Jul-29-08  WarmasterKron: Nice game, Keypusher. If it's good enough for Morphy, it's good enough for me.

I will now proceed to use this and similar excuses to justify all sorts of rubbish.

Mar-06-09  FiveofSwords: heh causing problems for the other guy is never rubbish. But i must say that 4 h3 is really a lame move. If i were black and saw white make that move, I would feel no need to do anything fancy. I would just sit and do nothing and wait for the other guy to blunder because I suspect he has no idea what he should be doing in this opening, if he actually plays 4. h3. For this reason I think your gambit, although it is probably objectively sound, its meta objectively totally unsound- because when white plays 4 h3 you have no excuse to try to attack his position- its more probable that white will simply ruin his own position with no help from you.
Mar-07-09  chessman95: <FiveofSwords> I wish I could do that! Whenever my opponents play a crazy line that I've never seen before, I just can't resist the temptation of playing something even more weird back. Luckilly this doesn't happen too often...
Apr-05-10  FiveofSwords: Ive decided i kinda prefer the bishop's opening to Nf3 recently, since im now a good enough player to think for myself about openings. Philidor, centuries ago, was amazingly spot on, imo, when he also preferred it, due to the fact that white leaves open the possibility of f4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Vladimir Kramnik played the unusual move 4...0-0 against Luke McShane at the 2009 London Chess Classic:

McShane vs Kramnik, 2009

An interesting offer of a pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Weird to move your bishops before your knights.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day

Bishop's Opening
1.e4 e5 2.♗c4

click for larger view

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