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rec_kasj3 ♡ 60 ( +1 | -1 )
Trouble with the four knight's as black. As really smart people can figure out, by reading the title of the topic, I have some trouble with the four knight's system as black. I like my opening repertoire at the moment, so I will always play 2. ... Nc6 as response to 2. Nf3. Then 3. Nc3 comes and I can't say I find anything that offers anything but a very drawish game.

My questions:
a. Are there certain variations that can deviate into sharper lines?
b. Are there any main lines after 3. Nc3 worth looking into (do they offer something more sharp)?

General thoughts, support and acknowledgements is welcome.

ganstaman ♡ 34 ( +1 | -1 )
Well, the 4 knights is notoriously boring, and I haven't played into it for a long time.

You could go with 3...Bb5, but it probably won't be much different. If you want sharp, 3...f5 is always nice. If white plays 4.Bb5, you've got a Schliemann Ruy Lopez. Otherwise, you get similar play anyway. playing 3...f5 is risky, but can be fun.

And if all else fails, hope for the Halloween Gambit (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nxe5?!).
ionadowman ♡ 71 ( +1 | -1 )
You might try this kind of thing... 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bb5 Bc4!?
After 5.0-0 0-0 6.Nxe5 Nd4 7.Nd3 Bb6 8.e5 Nxb5 9.Nxb5 Ne4 10.Nc3 d5 11.Na4 Re8
12.Nxb6 axb6 13.b3 Qg5 14.f4 Qg6 15.Bb2 Bg4 16.Qe1 Rad8
17.f5!? Bxf5 18.Nf4 Qc6 19.d3 Qc5+ 20.Kh1 Ng5 21.Qd2 Ne6 Now the tactics are starting to kick in... 22.Nxd5 Bxd3 23.Nf6+ gxf6 24.cxd3 fxe5 25.Rae1 Ng7 26.Qe2 Qb5 27.Bxe5 f6 ...
28.Rxf6 Rd5 29.Rf5! h6! 30.Qe4! Qd7! 31.Ref1 Rc5 32.h3 Nxf5 33.Rxf5 Rc6 34.Qg4+ Kh7 35.Qe4 Kg8 36.Qg4+ Draw agreed by repetition.
OK, a peaceful ending, but there was plenty of incident! Always worth a crack.
ionadowman ♡ 81 ( +1 | -1 )
Have you tried Runinstein's line? 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bb5 Nd4!?
I confess my essay in this line turned into a drawish sort of game, but it need not have done.
5.Bc4 Bc5!? (Possibly not the best)
6.Nxe5 Qe7
7.Nf3 d5
8.Nxd5 Qxe4+
9.Ne3 Bg4
10.Be2 Nxe2
11.Be2 0-0-0
12.0-0 Rhe8
13.Qb5 Bxe3
14.fxe3 Qxc2
15.Ne1 Qg6 ...
At this point one would fancy Black's chances. Material is level, Black's position is the more active, and, in a race for each other's King in this opposite castling situation, Black has a head start. In the game, White played 16.a4 to which I rather tamely responded 16...Qh5, the game petering out after a further 8 moves. More enterprising might have been 16...a3 17.Qc4 h5 followed by ...h4 and ...h3.
Not a lot to go on, but you might like to check out Rubinstein's counterattacking line if you haven't already.
rec_kasj3 ♡ 40 ( +1 | -1 )
Ok, I find myself with three basic variations from white after the position is developed.

4. Bc4
as to which I'd reply Nxe4.
4. d4
as to which I'd reply exd4.
4. Bb5
The Rubinstein Counter-Gambit looks very nice. Nd4 it is.

Then we have the Halloween, but that doesn't look that terrifying with the Ng8-line and with d5-Bxd5-c6-Bb3-Be6 to cool down events a bit.

Thanks for the help.