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Vienna (C25)
1 e4 e5 2 Nc3

Number of games in database: 907
Years covered: 1851 to 2018
Overall record:
   White wins 45.6%
   Black wins 34.7%
   Draws 19.6%

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 37; games 1-25 of 907  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Jaenisch vs Staunton 1-0421851LondonC25 Vienna
2. Eichborn vs Anderssen 1-0331855CasualC25 Vienna
3. Eichborn vs Anderssen 0-1361855CasualC25 Vienna
4. Falkbeer vs R Brien ½-½51185511C25 Vienna
5. M Lange vs Schierstedt 1-0211856BreslauC25 Vienna
6. Paulsen vs NN  1-0351859Rock IslandC25 Vienna
7. Steinitz vs NN 1-0121860UnknownC25 Vienna
8. Hirschfeld vs Zukertort 1-0231860?C25 Vienna
9. Hirschfeld / Von Guretsky vs B Suhle  1-0321860CasualC25 Vienna
10. G Reichhelm vs W Dwight 0-1181860PhiladelphiaC25 Vienna
11. Steinitz vs Lang 1-0291860ViennaC25 Vienna
12. R Wormald vs S Boden  0-1171861LondonC25 Vienna
13. B von Guretzky-Cornitz vs M Lange 0-1201861corrC25 Vienna
14. V Green vs J Robey 1-0301862LondonC25 Vienna
15. O Holdheim vs B Wolff 1-0311862BerlinC25 Vienna
16. F Deacon vs Steinitz 0-1151863LondonC25 Vienna
17. Steinitz vs G F Barry  1-0331865Simultan (blind)C25 Vienna
18. B von Guretzky-Cornitz vs Anderssen 1-0211865UnknownC25 Vienna
19. de Riviere vs G Neumann 0-1491865BerlinC25 Vienna
20. B von Guretzky-Cornitz vs Anderssen  0-1321865UnknownC25 Vienna
21. Schuster vs A Schlieper  0-1231866InternationalC25 Vienna
22. A van der Linde vs B Spoelstra  1-0451866NijmegenC25 Vienna
23. G Neumann vs Anderssen  1-0221866BerlinC25 Vienna
24. Steinitz vs Bird 1-0231866ENGC25 Vienna
25. W Tullidge vs A Burns 0-1441867Melbourne Chess Club Handicap TournamentC25 Vienna
 page 1 of 37; games 1-25 of 907  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Poisonpawns: I remember Alekhine saying he gave up the vienna because of 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nxe4! I think this is the only way to show whites opening is weak.Other lines such as 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6!? are playable but let white off too easy.this game O Ekebjaerg vs G Timmerman, 1991 in the scariest version of vienna, shows the best way for black,accept the challenge,give up the a8 rook.Then capatalise on whites arrogant time loss.This is a model way to play by two awsome players.
Jun-29-06  ganstaman: I almost have to disagree with Alekhine -- I'm thinking of taking of the Vienna in part <because> of that Frankenstein-Dracula line. I really enjoy defending, especially when up material. Once I survive, I can attack (or play the endgame) with my extra material.

The other reason I want to play the Vienna is that I love pushing my f-pawn. I've played the Bird many times already and wanted someting else to play (I've also played the Reti, but after a while it bored me. Probably because playing 1.Nf3 traps the f-pawn for a long time). 1.e4 is always a good way to go, and the Vienna seems like a good way to allow yourself to get in the f4 push without having to play the King's Gambit (The KG just isn't my style).

But back to the Frankenstein-Dracula variation -- it isn't unsound, is it? Just double edged and risky, right? I don't care if black has theoretically equalized, but I also don't want to play a 'refuted' line regularly.

Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: <ganstaman> in Thomas-Day White's gambit doesn't look sound but 20..dxe5?? is an ordinary blunder due to boredom/over-confidence.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gambitfan: Opening of the day OPOD Tu 17/04/2007
Premium Chessgames Member
  matiz: what is the strategy of the vienna? i think of playing it but i dont know anything about it?
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <matiz: <what is the strategy of the vienna? <i think of playing it < but i dont know anything about it? >>>> Same here
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: White overprotects e4 and stops d7-d5 while leaving the f-pawn unobstructed by a ♘f3. The Vienna is probably stronger than the White side of a Petroff (or indeed the Black side of a Schleiman). In Thomas-Day White's gambit now appears pretty strong making ..Bc5 suspect compared to ..Bb4 which Werle played against me last year at the Staunton. A good way to get a feel for the Vienna is to do a search on Larsen's page. He was quite successful with it even against well-prepared GMs.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Matiz>, <whiteshark>

One thing to do is play it like a King's Gambit, 1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. f4. You can look Johnny Hector's games for modern examples.

The other main approach is to play 1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Bc4, when 3....Nxe4 leads to the so-called Frankenstein-Dracula. Black can also play 3....Nc6, which is quieter. White often plays for a delayed f4 with d3, Nge2, f4, while Black can play a sort of Ruy Lopez reversed with ....Bb4 followed by ...d5.

The latter line seems like it should be absolutely safe for Black, but in fact I am in quite a lot of trouble with it against a strong opponent in a current game on red hot pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Harvestman: I've been playing the Vienna as my main opening as white for a while now, but players have started preparing for me, and going into the Frankenstein-Dracula. In my experience, this line is good for black, and I've been squashed by black's counterplay in the centre.

I'm having to look at playing something else as white, at least against stronger players.

Premium Chessgames Member
  micartouse: <Harvestman: I'm having to look at playing something else as white, at least against stronger players.>

Have you ever tried the 5. Qxe5+ variation? Sure the queens are off the board and theory calls it equal, but it's at least worth seeing if black can unwind his pieces properly. At any rate, you don't lose the initiative as in the Nxa8 lines.

Jul-23-07  nescio: <1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Bc4, when 3....Nxe4 leads to the so-called Frankenstein-Dracula.> By whom? Is this another of <>'s fancy opening names?

<Harvestman> Did you consider reaching the intended position via 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 Nc6 4.Nc3 as Mitkov seems to have played regularly?

Jul-23-07  ganstaman: <nescio: <1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Bc4, when 3....Nxe4 leads to the so-called Frankenstein-Dracula.> By whom? Is this another of <>'s fancy opening names?>

No, that is the name of the variation.

<'One thing is certain: after 5...N-B3 sharp and often hair-raising play is inevitable; in this chapter a game between Dracula and the Frankenstein Monster would not seem out of place.' The colourful name seemed to catch on, and when I returned to analysing this line again in my 1976 book on the Vienna Opening (also published by Chess Player), the relevant chapter was called Frankenstein-Dracula Variation and began with the sentence: "If the Frankenstein Monster and Count Dracula were to sit down to a game of chess, what would happen?" >

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <<Harvestman> Did you consider reaching the intended position via 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 Nc6 4.Nc3 as Mitkov seems to have played regularly?>

Of course that won't work against 1....Nf6. :-)

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) :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  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

Premium Chessgames Member
  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

Premium Chessgames Member
  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?
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.

Premium Chessgames Member
  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.
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