Vanquish ’em with the Vienna

The Vienna Game (1 e4 e5 2 Nc3) is one of the most venerable answers to 1…e5. White develops a piece and at the same time keeps the option of the f2-f4 pawn lever, which 1. e4 e5 2.Nf3 does not. In a sense it is related to the King’s Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.f4) but it is more subtle and cautious. It’s also highly transpositional as after 2…Nf6 3 Nf3 Nc6 we get a Four Knights Game. Starting with the Dunst (1.Nc3) can also lead to a Vienna after 1…e5 2.e4.

The following game demonstrates a Vienna played consistently, with 2…Nf6 being answered by 3.f4. Chess parents and coaches might note that this can work very well at junior level as youngsters will often meet this with 3…Nf6 after which 4.fxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 followed by 6.e5 can cause great panic and confusion. It’s also not bad even if Black plays the right move with 3…d5.

Nigel Davies

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Author: NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster and FIDE Senior Trainer living in St. Helens in the UK. He works as a chess coach and author and Nigel runs the Tiger Chess Academy which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos, courses and a regular blog. His students include his 18 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Nigel has written a number of chess books that are available at Amazon: View all posts by NigelD

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