Category – Open Game Opening Move Sequence – 1 e4 e5, 2 Bc4 ECO Codes – C23 and C24 Bishop's Opening is a very

old opening. In sixteenth century it was analyzed by Lucena and Ruy Lopez. However in spite its history it is rarely played on a consistent basis by grand masters in tournaments. It is more often used as a surprise weapon to catch opponents unprepared, even by the world champions Bishop's Opening falls under the category of Open Game openings that begin with 1 e4 e5. Its ECO codes are C23 and C24.

Moves and Variations
1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 By Bc4 White attacks the weak f7 point in Black’s starting position and blocks the pawn advance d5. Going against the conventional opening theory which hold that knights should be developed before Bishops, White by not developing Knight to f3 keep the possibility of f4 pawn advance open. This characteristic relates this opening to Vienna Game and King's Gambit. Most of the variations in Bishop’s opening transforms into King's Gambit, Vienna Game, Giuoco Piano, and Two Knights Defense and other Open game openings. This is very advantageous to White and unless Black is vigilant Black will find that the position has transformed into a disadvantageous (for Black) variation in King’s Gambit. Bc4 does not make an immediate threat as such Black’s options for a response are not curtailed. 2 … Nf6 This is known as Berlin Defense and is the most common second move by Black in Bishop’s Opening. Nf6 attacks the e4 and asks White to defend it. Variations after 3 d3 can end up as King's Gambit Declined variation unfavorable for Black. A variations that will avoid that predicament can proceed; 3 ... c6, 4 Nf3 d5, 5.Bb3 Bd6. Or as 3...d6, 4 f4 exf4, 5.Bxf4 Be6! White can use Bishop's Opening to reach Giuoco Pianissimo without allowing Black the option of transferring to Petrov's Defense, thus; 2...Nf6 3.d3 Nc6 4.Nf3 Bc5 Black too can transform Bishop's Opening to another opening. In by declining Urusov Gambit (3 d4 exd4, 4 Nf3), Black can reach Two Knights Defense; 2...Nf6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nf3 Nc6. If black accepts the Urusov Gambit White gains attacking possibilities in return for the lost pawn 4 ... Nxe4, 5 Qxd4 Nf6, 6 Nc3 Be7, 7 Bg5, 0-0-0. After 2 ... Nf6, 3 Nf3 Nxe4, 4 Nc3 Nxc3, 5 dxc3 f6, under Boden-Kieseritzky Gambit variation White’s gains initiative does not seem to justify the loss of pawn. The continuation will proceed 6 0-0 Nc6 (if 6 ... Be7? 7 Nxe5! With debilitating threats, however 6...d6 is a valid alternative here) 7 Nh4 g6, 8 f4 f5, 9 Nf3 (if 9 Nxf5? d5!) e4, 10 Ng5 (if 10.Ne5 Qe7! with Qc5+) Bc5+. Main problems for Black will be inability to castle on the K-side and slow development of pieces. Black would do better by 5...c6 6.Nxe5 d5 returning pawn to White. 4...Nc6!? used in place of 4 ... Nxc3 will result in 5 0-0 (5 Nxe4 d5) Nxc3, 6 dxc3 Qe7, 7.Ng5, Nd8.

2 ... Bc5 This is the classical Defense; Black responds symmetrically. White can transform to Vienna Game by playing 3 Nc3, to Giuoco Piano by playing 3 Nf3, or continue in Bishop's Opening by using the Wing Gambit, 3 b4, or Philidor Variation 3 c3. Transformations to King's Gambit Declined and the Giuoco Piano van also be achieved after playing 3 d3. Wing Gambit (3 b4) can be transformed to Evans Gambit by playing 3 b4 Bxb4, 4 c3 Ba5, 5 Nf3 Nc6. In reply to Philidor Variation (3 c3) Black can respond by Lewis Countergambit, 3.c3 d5 New players usually play the popular 3 Qf3 and 3 Qh5. However this may end up with loss of tempo if the opponent realized error both threaten an immediate scholar's mate and so may lead to a quick win for White. If Black spots the threat however (as is likely at all levels but the very lowest), the moves are considered inferior because they either hamper White's development or leave the queen exposed, inevitably leading to a tempo loss. Other moves Other Second moves for Black are hardly ever worth a look,

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