The BEST Chess Opening Against 1.e4 – Every Move is a Trap!

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In this video lesson, GM Igor Smirnov talks about the most underrated chess gambit for Black against the White’s first move 1.e4. It is the Rousseau Gambit (or Ponziani Countergambit) from the Italian Game (Giuoco Piano), which happens after the opening moves: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 f5.

The resulting position is similar to a King’s Gambit Declined with colours reversed. This gambit has a lot of tricks and traps along the way which helps Black to win within just 10 moves in these lines.

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► Chapters

00:00 Underrated chess gambit against 1.e4
00:40 Rousseau Gambit from Italian Game
02:40 Line-1: 4.Nc3 loses quickly
03:31 Line-2: 4.exf5 gives up center
05:39 Amazing combination wins in 9 moves
10:04 Line-3: 4.d3 defending e4-pawn
12:51 2 checkmating threats at a time!
14:35 Line-4: 4.d4 White’s best response
16:44 Conclusion: Black is very active

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704 Comments

  1. I'm early days in Chess but this has been great and has helped me win several games as black. I hit some unexpected lines but managed to work my way out of a couple of them by myself. Thanks so much! 🙂

  2. Hi , best coming move for white after attacking his knight with a pawn in e4 is knight d4 Sacrifice the knight if black takes by knight there is Check by the queen h5 .. and white stay in the game

  3. This is completely wrong, it is actualy very bad oppening even if white does not make best move with pawn d4 and insteat take a pawn. After moving black pawn to e4, white knight does not have to move back to the first line since in the case that it go to d4 instead, black knight must not take it becouse of the threat of white queen to make a complete destruction with h5 check. How come that you missed that.

  4. Hi. French here, 'Rousseau Gambit' pronunciation is great ! Thx a lot for all the insights. I'm very much looking forward to try this.

  5. But Nd4 isn’t prevented by our knight on c6 because of queen check after we take their night can cause a lot of problems before we can block it or what

  6. 4:18 — "no good place for this knight to go." WRONG!!! White plays 5. Nd4!, and after 5 … Nxd4?? there follows 6. Qh5+ g6 7. fxg6 and Black's already in deep trouble. Stockfish level 15 evaluates this as +2.4 on Black's best response, 7 … Qf6 8. g7+ Kd8 9. gxh8=Q Qxh8 10. Bxg8 Qxg8 11. Qh4+ Be7 12. Qxe4. Better for Black by far is 5 … Nf6 6. Nxc6 dxc6 (or bxc6) – about even. Not great for White, but hardly losing.

  7. it's feels like a black Vienna Gambit a little bit

  8. I’ve played this Rousseau/ black Vienna gambit move sequence before. But, after …f5, I’m nearly always hit with bxg8 and it screws up the game entirety. 😤

  9. Hi GM Igor Smirnov, I have a question and I really need your response pls. I played the Roussou gambit against an opponent few days ago and this was how the game was played. After C4, C5, Knight F3, Knight C6, Bishop C4, Pawn to F5.. my opponent accepted the gambit and captured pawn at F5.. after that I pushed pawn to E4 threatening opponents knight…and of course he retreated Knight to G1.. Then I brought out my other Knight to F6 Preventing white Queen from coming to H5… Then my opponent pushed pawn to G4 defending his pawn at F5.. then I got confused on what to do because pushing pawn to D5 my Bishop at C8 is no longer threatening opponents pawn at F5… In a situation like that what should I do..pls make a video of this Variation. Thank you 🙏

  10. If you are my generation, you'll need to jump to the third min. No wonder TikTok is taking over.

  11. Just absolutely dismantled someone with this, this channel makes chess so much fun with new ideas to try.

  12. At 8.32 the white queen could give a check on H5 giving up your bishop?

  13. What if he didn't castle and played the move pawn to g3?

  14. this is literally the vienna gambit reversed right?

  15. And black looses every time if white dont take the pawn

  16. “Don’t bother you too much today.” That makes me laugh every time I watch this.

  17. 16 mn 20 s : au lieu de Cxf5 Cxc6. Avez-vous envisagé cette variante ?

  18. How to continue when white plays knight to d4 at 4:33? When Black takes the knight. White can give a killing attack with his queen.

  19. So glad I found your channel. I'm an e4 player as white and have a real fear of playing e5 as black. I play c5 or d6 and will search your videos for them posts. After watching this video I will start trying playing it.. I can see why you are a Grandmaster and thank you for the free lessons

  20. Any one plz help many times while bishop take(exchange) my kight G8 at very early stage of the game once i move My F7 pawn up.

  21. What move can black do if white play Bg5 attaking black queen ?

  22. is it me or did you forget to mention what black's best response is to white's best move in the main line (5. e5 at 15:31)? great video anyway!

  23. unfortunately this is a weak opening for beginners or to play against someone who doesn't know any theory. I think that building your game on dubious openings from the start is not the best way to improve…. After 3…f5 the best is 4.d4! with a real advantage for white… end of hope. But 4.exf5 is playable and could trap the one who thinks he is trapping after 4…e4 5.Nd4! Nxd4? 6.Qh5+g6 7. fxg6 Qf6 (what else?)8.g7!+Kd8 9.gxf8 (Queen) Qxf8 with a big black advantage. I am disappointed that a Gm can advise this type of opening without consistency.

  24. What if the knight doesn't retreat but goes d4 and if black takes white attacks Qh5, isn't black in trouble?

  25. I need some help, what if white moves bishop t b5 instead of c4?

  26. what if they dont develop their bishop on their third move?

  27. He plays Nc3 instead of d3 here, how to respond after Nd4 and he plays Nd5?

  28. Man I love Vienna and it's exactly same but with black I'm definitely gonna play it alot

  29. I won a game with this strategy at a 89.6 accuracy. I noticed how my opening wasn't totally correct but it led into an opening you showed. It ended up being that he moved his knight out… blah blah blah. I made one move that wasn't computer perfect that only eventually cost me time but I traded off the pawns to fork his bishop and knight like you showed. The game went easy as butter from there

  30. Thanks for this one!! I have won so many matches with this.
    But I found one move which I am not able to understand – after black plays e4 what if white play Nd4 ??
    It's free and if I capture it with Knight – White will move Qh5+
    Could anyone help me to play this line?

  31. In the begining you said the knight has to go back but you can sacrifice him on d4 and win the game with white and it is pretty obvious so i think you cant play this in front of a real player

  32. After white plays night g 5 you play f4 now if white plays q5 you play g6 then if bf7 ke7 and bg6 ?

  33. After black f4 white qh5 + g6 bh7+ kf8 bg6 then?

  34. Sir e4 e5 nf3 nc6 bc4 f5 d3 bc5 ng5f4 now if white plays qh5+ g6 bh7+ kf8 bg6 nf6 qh6 white wins!

  35. Actually now I am still very sad. Because last week I played a tournament and in one game I got this position with black on chessboard with e4,e5 – Kf3,Kc6 – Bc4,f5 / d4 and so on. Same like in your great video. But I forgot to hit the pawn on d4 with my knight finally and played rock g8 and so on what was not very good of course. And the fact is, that my opponent actually has ELO around 1900. This was much better than mine and I feel still very upset about, that I forgot my preperation …

    I don't play very bad. But often I have situations, I don't know how to go on with the best move and later I know, I even could win against some stronger opponents. Could you give any tipps how to memorise some moves better?

  36. Fantastic idea. Will try it. Thanks for sharing

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