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Vienna Game (C27)
1 e4 e5 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 Bc4 Nxe4

Number of games in database: 685
Years covered: 1851 to 2021
Overall record:
   White wins 50.5%
   Black wins 30.2%
   Draws 19.3%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Jacques Mieses  10 games
Alexander Alekhine  9 games
Julius Nielsen  8 games
NN  5 games
Gert Jan Timmerman  4 games
Henry Bird  4 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
M Kupferstich vs H Andreasen, 1953
J Mieses vs Janowski, 1900
J Mieses vs NN, 1900
J Ost-Hansen vs Nunn, 1974
Hamppe vs Steinitz, 1860
O Ekebjaerg vs G Timmerman, 1991
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 page 1 of 28; games 1-25 of 685  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Falkbeer vs Anderssen 1-0301851BerlinC27 Vienna Game
2. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  1-0181855CalcuttaC27 Vienna Game
3. Falkbeer vs R Brien 1-0191855MatchC27 Vienna Game
4. R Brien vs Zytogorski  1-0301855Kling's Coffee HouseC27 Vienna Game
5. R Brien vs Zytogorski 1-0561855Kling's Coffee HouseC27 Vienna Game
6. B Wolff vs S Leow  1-0631856BerlinC27 Vienna Game
7. Cochrane vs Somacarana  1-0131857CalcuttaC27 Vienna Game
8. L Spitzer vs Szen 1-0151857PestC27 Vienna Game
9. Owen vs T Barnes 1-0271857Casual gameC27 Vienna Game
10. Morphy vs T Lichtenhein 1-02918571st American Chess CongressC27 Vienna Game
11. Morphy vs T Barnes 1-0381858Casual gameC27 Vienna Game
12. S Boden vs Morphy ½-½411858Casual gameC27 Vienna Game
13. Paulsen vs NN  1-0271858Blindfold simul, 10bC27 Vienna Game
14. Morphy vs Potier 1-0251858Blindfold simul, 8bC27 Vienna Game
15. Harrwitz vs Bird  1-0331859Casual gameC27 Vienna Game
16. S Boden vs Harrwitz  0-1501859Casual gameC27 Vienna Game
17. Morphy vs T Barnes 0-1381859Simul, 5bC27 Vienna Game
18. J A Leonard vs Frank Perry  1-0191860New YorkC27 Vienna Game
19. F Deacon vs NN 1-0251860LondonC27 Vienna Game
20. Kolisch vs G B Fraser  0-1271860Match?C27 Vienna Game
21. Hamppe vs Steinitz 0-1311860ViennaC27 Vienna Game
22. T Lichtenhein vs H P Montgomery  0-1261861Lichtenhein - Montgomery MatchC27 Vienna Game
23. J O H Taylor vs NN 1-0131862LondonC27 Vienna Game
24. Steinitz vs Bird 1-0281862Casual gameC27 Vienna Game
25. Steinitz vs Bird 0-1301862Casual gameC27 Vienna Game
 page 1 of 28; games 1-25 of 685  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: This is one of those variations in which a booked-up player will do well with either color. Or for that matter, a player like myself who doesn't study the book, but just likes crazy positions.

I once won with Black in five moves against a player rated 2131:

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nxe4 4.Qh5 Nd6 5.Nb5?? Nxc4 0-1

It was an early morning round, to be sure. That tournament was memorable for me in another way. I had one game that lasted 91 moves; the other four lasted a total of 59.

Jul-27-06  Knight13: <1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nxe4 4.Qh5 Nd6 5.Nb5?? Nxc4 0-1> Are you sure!!?? I never heard a 2100+ make that kind of mistake! He's an expert! 2000+ player don't hang pieces directly, you know, but tactically.
Jul-27-06  letekro: <Knight13> When I was 13, I went 4-1 in an under 2200 section, pushing my rating above 2100 for the first (and hopefully not the last) time. My one loss was with Black and it went as follows:

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cd4: 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bg5 a6 8. Na3 b5 9. Bxf6 gxf6 10. Nd5 Ne7?? and 0-1 before my opponent could play 11. Nxf6#.

I'm sure I'm not the only player above 2000 who has made a grotesque, unprovoked, blunder like that. It happens more often than you might think.

Jul-27-06  letekro: As further proof of my point, I meant to write 1-0, not 0-1, in my message above. See? Experts make mistakes all the time! ;)
Sep-30-06  naamloos: I play this as white and I have noticed that there are a lot of people entering the frankenstein-dracula variation without them knowin it, which means lots of free points. A game last thursday went:

[Event "Club Intern"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2006.09.28"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Loos, Rudolf"]
[Black "My opponent"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C27"]
[WhiteElo "1327"]
[PlyCount "55"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Bc4 Nxe4 4. Qh5
<My opponent was visibly suprised when I played this immediately.> Nd6 5. Bb3 c6 ? <perhaps already the losing move.> 6. Ne4 Qe7 7. Nxd6+ Qxd6 8. Qxf7+ Kd8 <The material is still equal, but black will have tremendous difficulty developing his pieces.> 9. d3 ?! <♘f3 Is stronger.> h6 ?! < black wants to avoid ♗g5, but for now it is more important to develop. (9... Qe7 10. Qh5 g6 11. Qe2 d6 12. Nf3 h6 black is still alive.)> 10. Nf3 Qf6 <black ofcourse wants to exchange queens.> 11. Qh5 g6 <(11... Bb4+ ! This is an interesting variation and it seriously questions whether white has trown away the advantage. 12. c3 g6 13. Qxe5 !? Re8 14. Qxe8+ Kxe8 15. cxb4)> 12. Qxe5 Bg7 <(Ofcourse not: 12... Qxe5+ 13. Nxe5)> 13. Qxf6+ Bxf6 14. O-O d6 < Why not d5?> 15. Re1 g5 16. c3 Bg4 17. Nd2 Nd7 <(17... d5 18. Nf1 Bf5 19. d4 Nd7 20. Ne3 Bg6 )> 18. Ne4 Re8 19. Bd2 Be7 20. d4 Nf6 ?! < White does not mind the trading down.> 21. Nxf6 Bxf6 22. Rxe8+ Kxe8 23. Re1+ Kd7 24. h3 Bh5 25. Re6 <(25. g4 This is somewhat easier.)> 25... Bg7 26. Re3 Bf6 27. d5 ?! <A weak move of mine aiming to disrupt the queensidepawns, but obviously this is not helpfull or of important.> Bf7 ? < black blunders, but his position was already bad. (27... Be5 This could have given white some trouble in creating a passed pawn.)> 28. dxc6+ 1-0

I hope above is somewhat readable.

Sep-30-06  naamloos: The real problem with the Vienna (and reason for me to think about switching to another opening) is the variation:

1. e4 e5
2. Nc3 Nf6
3. Bc4 Nc6
4. d3 Na5

After this white has big difficulty proving any advantage. Theory suggest further:

5. Ne2 Nxc4
6. dxc4 Bc5
7. 0-0

Black has the bishop-pair and it seems a save game. White usually playsfurther with Qd3, Bg5 and Ng3-f5 trying to get some threats on the kingside, but it does not seem much dangerous.

Jun-10-09  Fanacas: Knight13

Even grand masters make great blunders, also in the openings simply becous they are getting 2 opening varations trought each other and play to quick, or somtime by what you can call rare cases of blindes where they just make very stupid mistakes wich even amateurs can see.

Jun-10-09  Fanacas: Ow and instead of the Frankenstein-Dracula 5.Qxe5 check is also a idea something mieses played much.
Jun-11-09  Fanacas: But personaly i believe that the delayed 3.f4 is the best for white i most of all like the lines steinitz played.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: OPENING OF THE DAY <Vienna Game <1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nxe4>> Opening Explorer
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: ... OPENING OF THE DAY <Frankenstein-Dracula <1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nxe4 4.Qh5 Nd6 5.Bb3 Nc6 6.Nb5 g6 7.Qf3 f5 8.Qd5>> Opening Explorer
Aug-04-09  Amarande: I do not see Black's compensation for the Exchange in the F-D main line; appears to be the clear evaluation.

Ergo, Black is lost, and the 7th move at latest was the last opportunity to change his ways, since there is no real alternative to 8 ... Qe7.

On move 7, the only other viable looking choice 7 ... Nf5 leads to a long and mostly forced variation (at least, from Black's point of view): 8 Qd5 Nh6 9 d4 d6 10 Bxh6 Be6 11 Qf3 Bxb3 12 Bxf8 Ba4 13 Bg7 Rg8 14 Bf6 Qd7 15 Na3 Nxd4 16 Qh3 Qxh3 17 Nxh3. Black now has two pawns for his piece, and can gain a third in two ways. But 17 ... Nxc2+ appears to lose perforce, viz. 18 Nxc2 Bxc2 19 Rc1! (A Kupferstich vs J Andreassen, 1953) So 17 ... Bxc2 is forced, whereupon White gains significant edge with 18 f4.

On move 6, though, Black has very few alternatives either; the only one that does not lead to immediate loss of material is the offbeat 6 ... Ke7?! 7 Nxd6 Kxd6 8 Qxf7, after which here too White appears to have too much of an edge to really recommend the variation.

Therefore, it seems best that Black avoid attempting to retain the extra pawn on move 5, and instead return it with 5 ... Be7, after which the position after both 6 Nf3 and 6 Qxe5 appears even.

And so, 3 ... Nxe4 is hardly a refutation of 3 Bc4, but merely a potential psychological weapon against newer players, or intermediate players who dogmatically adhere to opening principles without question (who would dismiss 4 Qh5! as a fantasy and entertain instead 4 Bxf7+? or 4 Nxe4?).

Aug-04-09  blacksburg: why go into all that when 3...Nc6 is perfectly good?
Aug-04-09  MaxxLange: <Amarande>You don't see Black's compensation. So, you conclude Black is lost. I conclude don't see Black's compensation.

Have you looked at any games in this line? Maybe J Ost-Hansen vs Nunn, 1974 will help.

Aug-04-09  MaxxLange: It's certainly a debate, whether Black's compensation is enough for the exchange, and there is a lot of concrete analysis that I haven't seen, generated by devotees of this crazy may well be that White comes out with the better chances if he can castle long, for one thing. But it's far from clear.
Aug-11-09  Fanacas: Nothing wrong with 3...Nc6 but 3....Nxe4 is just a little better personaly i would probaly never play 3.bc4 3.f4 is much more intresting, fierce, and porbaly a little better (alteast that is what my opening book of the vienna says)
Apr-05-10  FiveofSwords: White can easily lose in the mainline of the f-d variation. Easily. White may or may not be winning with perfect play, but that is not relevant. If you are black, and are not a god, and your opponent is not a god, and you want a win, this is perfect line to play.
Apr-05-10  FiveofSwords: peoples dismissive attitude toward the f-d vairaiton is imo just a stupid side effect of trying to let comps think for them. If they ended up being on the white side of the line in otb play, i'll put 5-1 odds on them losing...EVEN THOUGH I do think it is 'objectively' 'unsound'. I do not allow the variation when i am playing white.
May-03-10  Danchris: Sorry, I think
1 e4 e5 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 Bc4 Nxe4 4 Bxf7+!.
Jun-21-10  Amarande: <Danchris> 4 Bxf7+? has been tried and found wanting; it is in fact the worst of the three reasonable options in reply to Nxe4.

After the obvious continuation 4 ... Kxf7 5 Nxe4 d5, Black has a powerful central Pawn phalanx - in fact the very one White should have been striving to obtain. In addition, Black has a very free game and the two Bishops in a position very favorable to them, while his only disadvantage is the temporary displacement of his King, something which White has not the development to take advantage of successfully.

While White may be able to survive, he certainly will be on the defensive the entire game, and will have to be very careful not to get squashed as in, e.g., M Kuerschner vs Tarrasch, 1889.

4 Nxe4 is not quite as bad as White does not give away the two Bishops and Black will have only one Pawn in the center after regaining the piece (4 ... d5 5 Bd3 dxe4 6 Bxe4), but still leaves Black with the better game.

Really 4 Qh5 is best, after which Black will either have to return the Pawn with 5 ... Be7 (which leads to a mostly even game) or risk the uncertainties of the F-D (as the only even remotely possible alternative is the 6 ... Ke7 variation I suggested, which really does look too risky to attempt anywhere outside, perhaps, of very fast blitz).

Jun-26-11  Attack77: The variation was given its name by Tim Harding in his 1975 book on the Vienna Game in which he said that the bloodthirstiness of this was such that "a game between Dracula and the Frankenstein Monster would not seem out of place."
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day

Vienna Game
1.e4 e5 2.♘c3 ♘f6 3.c4 ♘xe4

click for larger view

May-09-13  Mozart72: The exact name of this C27 is Vienna Game: Stanley Variation: Modern Variation.
Sep-24-13  Kikoman: <Opening of the Day>

Vienna Game
1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Bc4 Nxe4

click for larger view

Nov-12-13  Sho: I call misnomer. Frank doesn't seem cerebral. "Wolfman-Draculla" is better. Or "Frankenstein-Zombie" for 1. a3 a6 2. b3 b6 3. c3 c6 ....
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