One of the best openings for chess beginners is the classical Vienna Game. Thank you to Petr Slavik of ELO2000 for graciously taking the time to write this article for us.
What opening repertoaire should I build? This is the question that many new chess players ask. Do not worry. You are not the only player who thinks about it.
In the following series of articles I would like to recommend you a few solid chess openings which are suitable for chess newbies. At least according to me 😉
The suggested openings have something similar – they have easy to follow strategic principles and the fact they are mostly tactical based. I know, many of us can be excited by perfect attack of black in King’s Indian Defense, but it is really not the opening, which you should start to learn just after understanding the basic principles of chess.
OK, stop talking and let us go to those opening! And today we will start with…
Many of you can be surprised I placed the Vienna Game as the choice No.1 in my post. Frankly, I would be also suprised a few years ago. But meanwhile I have learnt something about this opening and I will share it you now.
The Vienna Game is an attacking opening. It is defined by moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 and the idea behind this opening is this: With the knight on c3 white first of all supports the bulwark of his centre, the pawn on e4, and at a convenient moment begins a flank attack with f2-f4. I would call the Vienna Game an attempt to play the King’s Gambit in a more accurate, improved way, without at the same time allowing black to employ certain defences that are unfavourable for white. The attack does not develop swiftly, but it is thoroughly prepared, and promises white good chances. This was said by Rudolf Spielmann – a great chess player of the beginning of 20th century and huge fan of the Vienna Game.
What are the typical variants in this opening? Let us take a look to to some of them.
After 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 black has three main options:
A) 2…. Nc6 3.f4 exf4 4.d4 (it leads to wild complications, where white has strong centre, but loses right to castle. But the Vienna Game is an opening from old times when attack was everything, so you should not be surprised.) Qh4+ 5.Ke2 d5 6.exd5 (do not play 6.Nxd5 nor 6.e5 as these moves causes that the initiative passes to Black) Bg4+ 7.Nf3 0-0-0 8.dxc6 Bc5 9.Qe1 Qh5 10.cxb7+ (White can also try 10.Ne4 Bxd4 11.Qb4 which leads to serious problems for Black) Kb8 11.Kd2 Bxf3 12.gxf3 Bxd4 13.Bd3 Qxf3 14.Qf1 Be3+ 15.Ke1 Bf2+ 16.Qxf2 Qxh1+ 17.Bf1 Re8+ 18.Kd1 and White has a slight advantage at this moment.
B) 2…. Nf6 3.Bc4 (White focuses on f7 square) Nxe4 4.Qh5 Nd6 5.Bb3 Nc6 (another possibility is 5…. Be7 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Nxe5 g6 8.Nxc6 dxc6 9.Qf3) 6.Nb5 (White still has to attack the f7 square – remember he is still one pawn down) g6 7.Qf3 f5 8.Qd5 Qe7 9.Nxc7+ Kd8 10.Nxa8 b6 (now White is an exchange up, but he is behind with development. The battle begins now.) 11.d3 Bb7 12.h4 h6 13.Nxb6 axb6 14.Qf3 Bg7 15.Qh3 e4 White has a solid pawn structure and he only needs to castle to have a good game. But he must be careful as well as Black has bishops on long diagonals and queen on the same file as White king is.
C) 2…. Bc5 3.Nf3 d6 4.d4 exd4 5.Nxd4 Nf6 6.Bg5 Nc6 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.Bd3 0-0 9.Na4 Bb6 10.0-0 Qe7 11.Qe2 Qe6 12.Kh1 Re8 13.Rae1 and White’s position is preferable.
How do you like these variants? I hope you found the Vienna Game interesting enough to play it in your games.
Next time we will look at another attractive variant for chess beginners.
Good luck at your games!