It starts with 1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Bb4, I checked in the 1984 edition of The Oxford Companion to Chess, but couldn't find anything about it.

[Title "Vienna Game - Zhuralev Countergambit [C25]"]
[FEN ""]
[StartPly "4"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Bb4
  • That's strange, because a "countergambit" means Black sacrifices material, but Bb4 is not a sacrifice. Looking online turns up a "Zhuravlev [sic] Countergambit" starting with the further 3 Qg4 Nf6 (gambitting the Pg7). Still no idea who Zhuravlev might be. Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 4:04
  • I'm aware of the continuation, black leaves their G7 pawn unguarded baiting white into attacking it with their queen, I don't recall the exact continuation, however I think black gives up their G-file pawn in exchange for an equalised position Rook on an open G-file and a lead in development. Your original point stands, white hasn't gambled a thing, it should probably called the Zhuravlev Gambit. I suspect that it might be named after Valerij Zhuravliov en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerij_Zhuravliov however spelt differently Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 8:13

1 Answer 1


This what I have managed to come up with I am fairly certain that it is named after Valerij Zhuravliov https://lv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Val%C4%93rijs_%C5%BDurav%C4%BCovs#cite_note-17 I had to translate the page to english,

according to chess tempo he was the first to play this variation which is why i believe it is named after him. He also died after 1984, which probably means that it was named after him posthumous, which would explain why it's not mentioned in my copy of The Oxford Companion to Chess,


  • English version here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerij_Zhuravliov
    – Herb
    Commented Feb 10, 2023 at 3:03
  • I'm going to leave this like this, if anyone can offer me a reference that proves the above, I will mark that answer as correct, because my evidence is merely anecdotal. Commented Feb 10, 2023 at 18:48

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