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Vienna (C25)
1 e4 e5 2 Nc3

Number of games in database: 1477
Years covered: 1851 to 2017
Overall record:
   White wins 47.7%
   Black wins 31.4%
   Draws 20.9%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Wilhelm Steinitz  48 games
Jacques Mieses  42 games
Johannes Zukertort  21 games
Adolf Anderssen  19 games
NN  10 games
Emil Schallopp  10 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
R Steel vs NN, 1886
Steinitz vs Paulsen, 1870
Weenink vs L Gans, 1930
J Corzo vs Capablanca, 1901
Schmaltz vs R Har-Zvi, 2001
Steinitz vs J Minckwitz, 1870
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 page 1 of 60; games 1-25 of 1,477  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Falkbeer vs Anderssen 1-0301851BerlinC25 Vienna
2. Jaenisch vs Staunton 1-0421851LondonC25 Vienna
3. Falkbeer vs R Brien 1-01918555C25 Vienna
4. R Brien vs Zytogorski  1-0301855Kling's Coffee HouseC25 Vienna
5. Eichborn vs Anderssen 1-0331855CasualC25 Vienna
6. Eichborn vs Anderssen 0-1361855CasualC25 Vienna
7. Falkbeer vs R Brien  ½-½51185511C25 Vienna
8. R Brien vs Zytogorski  1-0561855Kling's Coffee HouseC25 Vienna
9. M Lange vs Schierstedt 1-0211856Breslau -C25 Vienna
10. Paulsen vs NN  1-0351859Rock IslandC25 Vienna
11. Steinitz vs NN 1-0121860UnknownC25 Vienna
12. G Reichhelm vs W Dwight 0-1181860PhiladelphiaC25 Vienna
13. Hirschfeld vs Zukertort 1-0231860?C25 Vienna
14. F Deacon vs NN 1-0251860LondonC25 Vienna
15. Steinitz vs Lang 1-0291860ViennaC25 Vienna
16. Hamppe vs Steinitz 0-1311860ViennaC25 Vienna
17. Hirschfeld / Von Guretsky vs B Suhle  1-0321860CasualC25 Vienna
18. R Wormald vs S Boden  0-1171861LondonC25 Vienna
19. B von Guretzky-Cornitz vs M Lange 0-1201861corrC25 Vienna
20. V Green vs J Robey 1-0301862LondonC25 Vienna
21. Steinitz vs Bird 0-1301862LondonC25 Vienna
22. Steinitz vs Anderssen 0-1311862ENGC25 Vienna
23. O Holdheim vs B Wolff 1-0311862BerlinC25 Vienna
24. F Deacon vs Steinitz 0-1151863LondonC25 Vienna
25. B von Guretzky-Cornitz vs Anderssen 1-0211865UnknownC25 Vienna
 page 1 of 60; games 1-25 of 1,477  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-23-07  nescio: <1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 Nc6 4.Nc3 Of course that won't work against 1....Nf6. :-)>

One could try 1.e4 Nf6 2.Bc4 (2...Nxe4 3.Bxf7) :)

Nov-24-07  Kings Indian: I have a question for 1.e4 e5 players: Have you studied the Vienna gambit? Like, is it a well known opening for most players and how often do you get it?
Nov-24-07  Red October: <Kings Indian> I rarely encountered it when I played at club and provincial level...

but I hear it is a popular club level opening... but not to be feared... good opportunities for counter attack

Nov-24-07  Kings Indian: <Red October> Oh, well I was just asking because I would like to play it as white but it seems black can equalize easily.
Nov-24-07  Red October: <Kings Indian> well you could do a lot worse..

If you like tactical games then play it.. especially since you would not really have to worry about prepared improvements in a club tournament for example.. its a very under rated opening... as I said not to be feared but certainly a solid opening and not dubious or refuted

Jul-16-08  Harvestman: <micartouse>, <keypusher>, <nescio>: Thanks for the suggestions, especially the alternate move orders. I used to play 2.Bc4 a long time ago, and had forgotten all about it. Of course, that should be the solution.
Nov-13-08  FrogC: After 1.e4 e5; 2.Nc3 Nf6; 3.f4, it's usually stated that Black shouldn't take the pawn because of 4.e5, forcing the knight to retreat to g8. But take it on a bit. After 4...Ng8, White must play 5.Nf3 to prevent the queen check at h4. Now Black plays 5...d6. What should White do here? The best I can find so far is 6.Bc4 de; 7.Nxe5 Qh4+; Kf1, which looks promising, though if White's attack doesn't break through soon he may be embarrassed by the inability to castle. Or is there something better?
Nov-13-08  Shams: <FrogC> I suppose a King's Gambit aficionado would know better than I how to handle that, but I ran your line through opening explorer. after 4...Ng8 there are 11 games with 5.Nf3 plus this one with 5.Bc4 (1-0 16) B Nielsen vs Jensen, 1926

the only game with 6...dxe5 is this one, possibly the least illuminating game I could link to: Kreidewei vs Saathoff, 1989

yikes, this game (score) is even worse:
F Kreideweiss vs L Nebel, 1989

who knows.

Nov-13-08  MaxxLange: <FrogC> is 4 e5 really the main theoretical move?

I never played the Vienna, but, when I dabbled in the King's Gambit, I was trained to play d4 as a first reaction if Black played a delayed ...exf4

my KG advisors were only 1800-200 strength, though

Nov-14-08  FrogC: 4.d4 Bb4, I guess. And yes, e5 is the standard move. Many opponents play 4...Qe7, when after 5.Qe2 the knight has to retreat and White is definitely better. Thanks, <Shams> for the games, very useful.
Feb-07-09  FrogC: I now have another question. What's the best reply after 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.f4 d6!? The book move is 3...d5, but I meet ...d6 more often on the internet and in OTB play against lower-ranked players. There's nothing wrong with it as far as I can see. 4.Bc4 allows Nxe4 with complications similar to the 3.Bc4 line (which I don't play). 4.Nf3 allows either ...Bg4 or ...exf4, both of which are unclear to me. 4.fxe5 and 4.f5 just look wrong. It seems odd that such a logical response isn't in the books, and I'm struggling to find the best continuation.
Feb-07-09  blacksburg: after 3...d6, i'd probably just play 4.Nf3. the problem with d6 is that is locks in the f8 bishop and makes it a "bad" piece. if black wants to then play Bg4 and exchange his "good" bishop for the knight, white shouldn't be afraid of this. maybe.
Feb-07-09  nescio: <FrogC> I imagine the position after 3...d6 can also be reached via 1.e4 e5 2.f4 d6 3.Nc3 Nf6, so you could try books on the King's Gambit. Even better is to study some games of the world's best:

Steinitz vs G B Fraser, 1867
Spielmann vs A Kramer, 1928
Alekhine vs Alden J jr, 1933
Fischer vs T Kumro, 1964

Feb-07-09  FrogC: What great examples, <nescio>, thanks. Interesting to see Fischer and Alekhine winning bread-and-butter games against weak opposition unlike the usual masterpieces that get all the publicity. The Alekhine game follows a familiar course - I must have played dozens of openings like that on the Net, and if he does it I can't be doing that much wrong. On the other hand, both Spielmann and Fischer play an early Bb5, whereas I've always assumed the bishop has to go to c4 in this opening. It looks simple and effective, and I will certainly try it.
Feb-23-09  FiveofSwords: after 1e4 e5 2 nc3 I would never play Nf6 because white can play f4 and if you play Nf6 too fast against the kings gambit then you can get in serious, serious trouble. I get into the standard KGD positions via the Bc4 move order a fair amount, but I dont generally play 2 Nc3. When Ive seen 2nc3 played against me i generally go for 2...Bc5 3 Bc4 d6 4 f4 and then either Bxg1!?, which leads to quite an interesting game and has been underestimated for black imo, or Be6, taking advantage of not having played Nc6 yet so white doesnt have the standard Bb5 response.
Feb-23-09  FiveofSwords: If it goes liek this: 1 e4 e5 2 Nc3 Bc5 I suppose white could try an immediate 3 f4. Bxg1 may still be fine but im not sure. if 3...d6 then Nf3 and white forces the KGD position that he wants and that I know and like for white. Although black does have reasonable play here, id rather prefer avoiding playing that position as black especially since ive committed the bishop to c5 which isnt really what I consider the best spot for it. anyone have any feedbakc on this? if 1e4 e5 2 Nc3 Bc5 3 f4!? is Bxg1 rxg1 4 fe (Bc4 would be transposition and Im pretty certain that this line is playable and fun for black after 4..Qh4+) - is this position OK for black?
Feb-24-09  FiveofSwords: <Frogc> when you assume that after 1 e4 e5 2 nc3 nf6 3 f4 ef? 4 e5!? ng8 white must play Nf3 to prevent Qh4+, you are actually very mistaken. That's the kings gambit for you. A lot of threats are actually illusions because the other guy has serious threats as well- so if you arent mating you may very well get mated. However, im sure that Nf3 is perfectly fine. after d6 white has various ideas to continue his attack. Bc4 probably is fine but there are other options that are probably stronger, such as d4 or qe2. when you say 'if' white's attack doesnt break through you speak of something completely impossible. white's attack absolutely will break through if white knows how to play the king's gambit. Besides Kf1 by the way, white would also have the interesting option of g6. This is not a position you would ever want to play as black because its simply too easy to get killed, and white can make quite a lot of suboptimum moves before he's in danger.
Mar-01-09  FiveofSwords: For Matiz and Whiteshark. Just as a general overview, If you compare 2 Nc3 to 2 Nf3, you can see that white is keeping the possiiblity of TWO different central pawn breaks instead of one. He has d4, or f4 at some point. For black to handle this potential double threat, moth of white drastically alter the position, can be somewhat more tricky, from a defensive point of view. There are two possible drawbacks to the idea, however. Firstly, white is not developing his kingside very fast and as a consequence will be at least a move later in castling, and developing his rooks to open files, than typical 1nf3 openings. His exposed king is not generally much of an issue because his good development counters that nicely, so most lines for black where he tried to expose white's king turn out badly for him. However, it is rather odd and contradictory that being a move late developing the rooks means that although you have multiple breaks availible, its harder to use them once you get them. Good vienna players have learned a lot of tactical patchwork to handle this contradiction. Another issue, which is somewhat more annoying perhaps, is that the early commitment of Nc3 rules out options for white to play c3 and this makes some timely Bb4 by black, increasing pressure on the already rather insecure e4, more annoying. For this reason, (and also sometimes to avoid the highly theoretical and sharp dracula-frankenstein variaiton) many players prefer to approach vienna-esque lines via 2 Bc4. White's many move control of two seperate breaks instead of one really forces black to play energetically to fight for equality-if black tries to play 'close to the vest' then its simply inevitable that one of these breaks are going to leave him in a bad position (assuming white is familiar with the various sorts of positions either break will bring about). For this reason, the opening is often very sharp and tctical and many strange things can occur, making it difficult to speak of definate 'methods' because so many sorts of positions are possible. One must know position would be the king's gambit declined transpositions, since this is quite common when white performs the f4 break, and in practice is what black seems to go for most often (but I dont know why). However, there are many lines with similar character to the ruy lopez, a ruy lopez reversed, and a two knights/scotch/ and or ruy lopez sort of hybrid. So to make a long answer short, I consider the vienna to be a somewhat fancy approach to double king pawn openings and you really should have the strategic concpect down of five different fundamental lines (king's gambit (declined and accepted), ruy lopez, two knights, and scotch). Then the opening is highly conducive to home preperation for both sides in very sharp, dangerous lines, for both sides. My best advice if you dont do this, and are playing on a lower level, is simply continue developing as logically as you can for white, but always stare at the two possible breaks, d4 and f4... as black develops, especially if he goes a little passive, figure out if one of these breaks are seem to give you some advantage.
May-29-09  Fanacas: The Steinitz gambit from the vienna is a intresting line to play with white(my faforit opening) your king wil be in the center but stil rather well gaurded you get compleet center domination only as i said the king is in the center and you wil have a lead in devolepment.

1.e4 - e5
2.Nc3 - Nc6
3.f4 - exf4
4.d4 - Qh4+
5.Ke2 - d6(is the best option for black atleast said by gm d5 is also a option but white can defend himself wel enough against it but it is more aggressive for black) 6.Nf3 - Bg4
7.Bxf4 - 0-0-0(taking the knight isent that good white takes back with the kign and the king wil soon be in safety.) 8.Ke3 - Qh5 (otherwise black wil lsoe a piece)
9.Be2 This is a quit intresitn opening if white can trade queens his postion is rather well sind the king isent in that much danger anymore. And i lvoe my opponents faces when i play my king form e1-e2-e3.

Jun-17-10  Minty: <FiveofSwords: after 1e4 e5 2 nc3 I would never play Nf6 because white can play f4 and if you play Nf6 too fast against the kings gambit then you can get in serious, serious trouble.>

This isn't a king's gambit. 2... Nf6 3. f4 d5 is fine for black.

Apr-11-11  Helloween: Demolishing the fortress with the Bxh7 sac---
A recent game of mine, annotated with emphasis on simplicity for players of all skill levels.

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.f4 d5:
<The Vienna Gambit, with the Falkbeer counter ...d5 being the strongest and sharpest reply.> ---
4.fxe5 Nxe4 5.d3:
<A tricky yet sound variation. 5.Nf3 and 5.Qf3 are also playable.> ---

click for larger view

<Not the Wurzburger Trap, 5...Qh4+ 6.g3 Nxg3 7.Nf3 Qh5 8.Nxd5! with tremendous advantage.> ---
6.bxc3 d4 7.Nf3 Nc6 8.Bb2:
<Less common than 8.Be2, which also keeps good tension on the board. The most common continuation is 8.cxd4 Bb4+! 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 Nxd4 11.c3 Nxf3 12.gxf3, simplifying and giving Black many options, which is why I avoided it.> ---8...Bc5 9.cxd4 Bxd4?!:
<9...Nxd4 10.c3 Nxf3 11.Qxf3= with lots of play> ---10.Nxd4 Nxd4 11.c3 Nf5 12.Qf3 O-O 13.d4 c6 14.Bd3 Ne7 15.Ba3 Be6 16.O-O Re8:

click for larger view

<Note the abandonment of forces on Black's kinside, as well as his pieces' lack of coordination in defense. Truly, the perfect setup for a thunderbolt strike!>

17.Bxh7+! Kxh7 18.Qh5+ Kg8 19.Bxe7!:
<Removing the key defender, traded for White's dark-squared Bishop which will not be necessary in the attack.> ---
19...Qxe7 20.Rf4 g5?:
<Strongest is 20...g6 21.Qh6 Qf8 22.Qg5 followed by Rf6, Raf1, and the advance of the h-pawn. This plan proves very difficult for Black to meet and Black can hope for a draw with best play.> ---
21.Rf6 Qf8 22.Raf1 Qg7 23.R1f3 g4 24.Rg3 Kf8 25.Qh4!: <Key offense, preventing the King's escape with on e7. White threatens things like Rh6 and h2-h3.> ---

click for larger view

<Now the Rook cannot recapture on e6, and the following reply works nicely.> ---26.Rxe6 fxe6 27.Rxg4 Qxg4:
<Forced, as the Black Queen is in a terrible bind for squares to move to, and things like 27...Qf7 fall to 28.Qh6+ Ke8 29.Rg7 and 30.Qxe6+.> ---
<Now the exposed and bound nature of Black's King and White's connected g and h-pawns easily tell the rest of the story, despite the relatively close material balance.> ---

Apr-12-11  Shams: <Helloween> Great post. I see you've been contributing more lately, that's great. I'm a fan.
Apr-12-11  Helloween: <Shams> Indeed! I now am able to use the computer much more. And of course, return to one of my favorite chess sites, which I still have my membership with after 8 years:)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day
Steinitz Gambit
1.e4 e5 2.♘c3 ♘c6 3.f4 exf4 4.d4 ♕h4+

click for larger view

Aug-24-16  kamagong24: why not?!!
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