Chess openings – Vienna Game

Chess openings – Vienna Game


Hello again, and welcome to chessopenings.com.
Today’s video is all about the Vienna game, which begins with the moves
pawn to e4, pawn to e5, and knight to c3. By developing the knight to
c3, white is keeping his options open on the king’s side. He’s avoided deploying
the knight to f3, and for this reason he can either choose sharp gambit
play, with the move pawn to f4, or he can play g3, looking for strategic
set-ups with bishop g2. There’s a lot to look at here, so let’s get
started. The Vienna game is characterized by this move
knight to c3 on move two. Remaining flexible on the king’s side, and
strengthen white’s control of the light squares in the center. Now black
has a decision to make, which knight does he want to deploy first in this
position? If he brings the knight out to f6, this has the benefit of
preparing an early pawn to d5 break, but the knight’s location is surprisingly
vulnerable in this position if white chooses the gambit play
with f2 to e4. Since in this case if black captures the pawn
as he generally doesn’t in this position, e5 is a pretty strong move
and this knight probably has to go all the way back home, since there are
no other squares where it can’t be captured. This is a bad situation for black.
On the other hand, if black deploys his queen’s knight first, he’s
much better placed to handle the gambit options after pawn to f4, since
now after pawn takes pawn on f4, he doesn’t have to worry about this move e4
to e5, gaining time and space so easily. However, there is a drawback to deploying
the knight to c6, which is that in this case, black is doing less to support
the d5 break, he’s actually doing nothing to support the d5 break in this
position. And this allows white a chance to play more slowly and strategically
with g3, and bishop g2, and this is one of the downsides to moving
the knight to c6. I think both moves are completely reasonable.
Black can successfully cope with the downsides of whichever strategy he
happens to choose in this position. We’ll start our analyses of this
opening by taking a look at white’s attempts to play strategy after knight’s
e6 and pawns to g3. Now white has a simple idea in this position,
what he’s going to do is he’s going to grip the d5 square, and make it very
difficult for black to open up the game. Then more gradually, he hopes to set up a
long term break pawn to f4, and he wants to set black certain problems in
this way, maybe go up a gradual king side attack in this position. Now black’s
simplest reply is to deploy his bishop actively with this move bishop
to c5, and I think this is a very wise choice since the bishop presents on this
diagonal will definitely make it more difficult for white to play f2 to
f4 later, since he’ll have to watch out for his king when he does castle
kingside. Additionally, Whites natural development of
his bishop of c1 later is going to want to deploy his bishop and the bishop
on c5 conveniently make it a little bit less promising for white to bring
out this bishop due to its natural square on e3 without taking some damage
to his pawn structure. So in this position play normally continues with
the move bishop g2 and now black have various options. One idea is simply
to play d6. But I don’t think there is really any good
reason to allow white an opportunity to snatch the bishop pair with
this move knight e4. So instead of d6 I would recommend in this position that
black plays a6 and this was played by the ex-world champion Emanuel Lasker
many decades ago. In this move, simply creates an escape square for
the bishop on a7 and only after white continues white to g2, once again he’s
trying to avoid getting in front of this pawn because he definitely wants
to expand to f4. But now that white has played this move, black
now plays d6 and he has an escape square for the bishop in this position.
The play now often continues with pawn to d3, and now black has
options here, but quite frequently he also develops his knight to
e7 also looking to play f5 at some point in this position. Theoretically speaking, this position doesn’t
offer a whole lot to white. The chief difference in the position lies
in the deployment of the bishops. Whites light square bishop sits on g2 and
contributes to the bind on d5 and also contributes to the king’s safety. Whereas
black’s bishop on c5, is perched a little bit more aggressively spying
on the f2 pawn, and making it somewhat difficult for white to achieve bishop
to e3, and it’s a matter of personal taste, which bishop you prefer in
this kind of position. In my opinion however, black definitely doesn’t
have too much to worry about in this position. However, there are
some benefits to playing this way for white which is that, if he thinks
he can outplay his opponent, this is a very simple way to set up a solid strategic
game without too much to worry about. On the other hand another benefit of the Vienna
game, is that if white is willing to take some risk, he definitely can
force a sharp game, with the move f4 as we talked about quite a bit earlier
in the video. Let’s take a look at that right now. After pawn to f4 black
generally captures on f4 in this position since he does not have to worry
about the move e5. In this position he also sets up a threat queen to
h4 check. So in this position might generally begin with the move knight
to f3. White’s goal is simply to continue with the
move pawn to d4 and to capture this pawn on f4 setting up a commanding center
recovering the pawn and, gaining a big advantage in this position.
But black has a great way to keep white from achieving this kind of easy
life, and the excellent move here is actually to play the move pawn to
g5, in this aggressive move, it solidifies the pawn on f4 temporarily. But
at the same time, it introduces the threat of playing the move pawn to g4
and this queen check will once again start to become very serious after that. Interestingly some players enjoy this very
risky situation with white and there are some pieces sacrifices white can
try. For example, the most popular move here is, pawn to h4, and now
after pawn to g4 white has created a square for his knight with knight
to g5 but now h6 does in fact chop the knight and white falls through with
his main idea. As I’ve said, there is some sacrificial ideas in this position
and that is knight take f7. After king takes f7 he can choose between
the check on c4 or simply grabbing some center. Now many of these sacrificial
ideas have scored well for white. He’s brought the king out into
the center, right at the [inaudible 00:07:05] of a piece at the moment.
These pawns are pretty shaky, so there are definite chances of building
up an attack. But so far, theory and practice seem to show
that, if black, is very strong or well prepared, he can probably handle these
situations and so the risk that white is taking on is quite high but
depending on the scale level of his opponent or his own confidants white definitely
can try his luck in these kinds of positions. Backing up to the initial position after knight
to c3. White can achieve a more attractive version of the gambit if black
plays the move knight to f6. And now as we mentioned after pawn to f4,
black doesn’t usually take on f4 because of how strong the move e5 is. Now
if the gambit is just so much stronger in this position, why is it that
black might choose to play the move knight to f6? Well, I think that if black plays to f6, this
is the best way for him to get a good fighting position out of the game,
since white is very likely to play f4, and the complications that arise,
give black ample chances for winning the game. By playing knight to f6,
black is somewhat discouraging these more quiet lines with pawn to g3, since
in these positions he can break open the position now with the move
pawn to d5. To give an example of how this would generally
unfold after pawn takes pawn, knight takes pawn, and bishop g2, black
normally continues in this position with knight takes on c3, pawn takes
knight, and bishop d6 covering the e5 pawn which was about to come after
attack after this move knight to f3. So now play simply continues castling kingside,
castling kingside and I think that in this position, black is happy
that he’s managed to open up the center, and all of his pieces will gain
easy development and white also has the somewhat weakened pawn structure.
Certainly white has trumps here too but all in all this position is equal
and black can be happy that he has introduced a few imbalances into the position. So instead white goes straight in for the
gambit with the move pawn to f4. And now, black best reply is actually to continue
on with this excellent counter thrust pawn to d5 anyway in this position.
And it’s this sharp move that keeps the position adequately balanced
for black. Now the solution for white here is to take on e5 with
the pawn and it’s not too difficult to demonstrate that other moves
are inferior. If white plays simply d3, in this position
trying to consolidate the e4 pawn, black’s best option now is to pawn takes
on f4 and notice here that move e5 is not very strong, because the knight
does have access to g4 square and the threat of queen h4 check, as
well as knight takes e5 would be quite strong. So in this position instead, white takes on
f4 with the bishop. But now after the quiet move bishop b4 rather than
capturing in the center, black sets up just way to many threats in this position,
he’s threatening to pawn ahead with d4 or to capture on e4, and white
cannot maintain as real superiority in this position theory has found. On the other hand, if white plays instead
the move pawn take pawn on d5, it look like he might be winning a pawn in this
position, Since after the moves knight take d5, he simply plays F takes
d5. But here too white finds that he runs into some serious difficulties
after the move knight takes c3, B pawn takes on c3 and now this annoying check,
queen to h4 check, and because of the tactic, because of g3 followed
by queen e4 check picking up the rook. Because of this tactic, white must actually
play king e2 in this position, and now after the move bishop to g4 check,
even though white has captured a pawn in this position and remains up a pawn
in this position, black clearly has a lot of compensation since the king is
floating around in the center. In fact some adventurous grand masters have
been willing to play this position with white but, the general feeling
about this position is that white is probably taking a little too much
risk and black has full compensation for the pawn. Backing up to the position of d5, white’s
best move here is definitely to play pawn takes pawn on e5, when black will
certainly play knight takes pawn on e4. Now it might look like knight
takes e4 is a strong idea for white, since he leaves what appears to be
a symmetrical situation in the center and since its white’s move maybe he
can pick up the pawn first, but in fact, this position is definitely not good
for white. Since there is a difference between the two
structures that is that white has used his F pawn and black has used his
D pawn and it’s because of this factor that white actually faces far too many
problems here. Black easily gets his light square bishop developed in
the game and at the same time white’s king is vulnerable because of the
missing F pawn, vulnerable to check on h4, it’s vulnerable to the diagonal
bishop c5, and because of these factors white does not capture the knight
on e4. Instead a better option for white is to simply
play the move knight to f3 and there’s many ways this position can go
but, it’s likely to remain in roughly balance. Another option here is to
lay an interesting trap with this move, pawn to d3. And it looks like in
this position, black should be able to simply play queen to h4 check since
after the move pawn to g3, black can always play knight takes g3 taking
advantage of the pin. However it turns out that this position is
a trap. White played in this position the move knight to f3, and now black
has no choice but to play queen to h5 maintaining the pin but it would
appear that this work however white has the very strong move knight takes
d5. Despite the fact that black definitely can try moves like knight takes
h1, theory has shown repeatedly that this position is not good for black.
Black simply faces too much pressure, his king is actually the one which
will end up being vulnerable, and white should have no trouble staying ahead
in material in this position. However, if black knows about this trap he
does not need to play the move queen to move h4 check, instead after d3,
he can continue to play for a balanced game after the move knight takes
c3, B takes c3, and now instead of allowing white to play d3 to d4, black
himself plays the move d4, an outstanding move, this clearly disallows white
from bringing a pawn there, and theory holds zip fly pass at least equal
chances after for example knight f3, which does offer this pawn as a
sacrifice. But of course white can definitely recover
that pawn, black instead typically maintains the pawn with knight c6,
and play is often continued here bishop e2, bishop c5. I think in this
position, white definitely has some chances to create an imbalanced game,
but the position is definitely equal. That’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed this
tour of the Vienna game. Black shouldn’t have too much fear in these
positions if he’s done his homework, and has a little bit of knowledge
about how to treat these positions. On the other hand, the Vienna game
does allow white to choose between steering the game towards more positional
waters or taking risk with the gambit play f4. I think it is this reason, this chance for
white to steer the game into whatever channel he would like, that allows
the Vienna to remain popular with many players on the club level. That’s
it for today and I look forward to seeing you again.

100 thoughts on “Chess openings – Vienna Game

  1. Simply put,,you do a fine job on these. Crystal clear info. Do one on the Scottish Gambit sometime,,please. 🙂 Thanks

  2. thank you for all the info provided in you videos, have you thought about or perhaps already have done anything on the Scotch game?

  3. Thank you! Hmm, by Scotch Gambit are you referring to 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4? That could be interesting for a later video though I don't have any plans to cover it yet – I'll have to consider this! 🙂 -Dereque

  4. After 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. f4, you and others says 3…exf4 is very bad, but how is White winning? I see that 4. e5 Ng8 loses time, but White has moved his e-pawn twice, so it's only a one tempo loss. After 5. Nf3, Black can start to catch up with 5…d6 6. d4 dxe5, when 7. Nxe5 allows 7…Qh4+, while 7. dxe5 lets Black trade queens.

    I've also looked at 7. O-O exd4 8. Bc4, when 8…dxc3? 9. Bxf7+ wins, but 8…Nc6 still seems fine for Black. Is Black really in such bad shape after 3…exf4?

  5. (3/3) To see this clearly, just imagine that Black plays …Ne7 sometime in the near future. He will have used three tempi to bring the knight to this square instead of the usual one – this maneuver …Nf6-g8, therefore, costs two tempi even if you do not count the pawn’s advancing. I think White can maintain his advantage if after 5.Nf3 d6 6.d4 dxe5 he plays 7.Qe2! –Dereque

  6. (2/3) (This is why your variation immediately aims to remove the pawn with …d6). But you should also keep in mind that Black’s knight moved back to its home square which represents a loss of –two- tempi.

  7. (1/3) Great question and analysis!! Depending on what system of counting you’re using the push of the pawn may or may not count as a tempo in and of itself. But let’s assume that e4-e5 doesn’t count towards White’s advantage in time – then you could say that it contributes to White’s advantage in space since the e5-pawn is a cramp which Black will either be compelled to remove or else he will have to develop his pieces awkwardly in order to compensate for this annoying pawn.

  8. Thanks for the kind words! Great to hear you're getting back into the game. I hope it goes wonderfully for you -Dereque

  9. Ah, yes… 7. Qe2 is a very nice idea to keep the advantage. I was actually thinking about 5. d4 instead of 5. Nf3. After 5. d4 Qh4+ 6. Ke2, planning Nf3, it gets very messy.

    Btw, your opening videos are great. You explain the key ideas exceptionally well. You also have a great voice for videos, a quality that should not be underestimated. (I'd have mentioned this in my first comment, but that 500 character limit puts a serious damper on chatty posts!)

  10. @10:30 – In my opinion, the line you show after exd5 is very good, however I think the position is about equal. As you said, some grandmasters have played this line as White. However, you might find it suprising that there was a game between two super-gms, Ivanchuk and Svidler. Surprisingly, Ivanchuk as white won!

    If you know the Falkbeer Countergambit, then Black can play 4. e4 transposing right into the Falkbeer. In my opinion, this is Black's best move, there is nothing wrong with your move.

  11. Great video. Vienna's game is my favorite opening system as White because most people have more knowledge of Ruy Lopez or Italian game than this and 2.Nc3 comes as a surprise to some.

  12. Interesting idea! Perhaps White simply goes Nf3, and later tries to exploit the queen's awkward placement with Nd5 or d3, Bg5.

  13. nice!!! very interesting… but this opening is bory and rare guest in tournament.

  14. 9:23 this position is really similar to the falkbeer gambit (answer to king's gambit). What if white's next move was KnF3? Then black has a choice. If PxE4, KnxE5 where I find this game interesting for white. Backing up second. What if black chooses to push the pawn instead? PD4. What's white's best option? PXE5 where an interesting exchange begins? (white ends up with a floating pawn & black with doubled pawns. when it's all said & done) Just thinking out loud.

  15. I have a question. Alot of times when I play this opening against a computer for practice, it goes 1. e4, e6 2. Nc3, d5. and I run into SUCH a roadbump, because no matter what I do I either lose a pawn and have to move my knight after he plays d4, or don't loose a pawn but have to move my knight because he goes for d4 no matter one. What should I do? or when I see e6 should I just throw the vienna out the window for that game and play something else? I tried d4 after d5, and its ok but scary.

  16. And I don't really want to throw out the vienna game because when they do other things i usually get myself in a great position lol

  17. 3.d4 would transpose back into the main line French. The Vienna begins after 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 – if you play Nc3 against other openings you may still get a similar position but it will not be referred to as the Vienna. Since Black's 1…e6 and 2…d5 prepares the d-pawn's advance, you'll probably want to learn some good ideas against the French (1.e4 e6)

  18. I have found that e4, c5, Nc3, Nc6 works REALLY well. I just go into the Vienna on my end and usually push f4 later on, getting a really strong center. then I limit the knights with h3 or a3, and if they bring their queen to b6, i have a few ways to defend it. It works really well, you should study it a bit. Usually goes 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.d3 d6 6.Be3 e6 7.f4 Qb6. Then I can do Qc1 or Rc1 and im in a good position

  19. This is known as the "Closed Sicilian" or "Grand Prix Attack" depending on how early you play f2-f4 🙂 Of course, you are free to call it the Vienna! I am mainly pointing this out so that if you seek out further training materials you know what to look for. Good luck!

  20. Ah!! that is why I kept seeing it called the closed Sicilian lol I was always confused on that. So the names depend on what the opponent does as well? I was thinking that, but I didn't know lol I have only been playing for 4 months, so it kinda confused me. Thanks though, that actually cleared alot of things up

  21. I just won a game in 10 moves with this gambit (forking the king,queen and rook)… the opponent obviously had no idea how to counter-play … :))

  22. Wow, all of these vids are really very good! Good job… busily liking all of them as I plow through them 😛

  23. These videos are awesome! Probably the most straight-forward, non-dumbed-down approach to explaining strategy I've seen. One thing that would be really helpful would be a review of what positions are more or less advantageous at the end of the video. Thanks for all the hard work!

  24. You, Kevin from the chesswebsite and Mato are the best online chess teachers. Period. I personally like you the best because you go in great detail with the different variations and another thing this is personally my favorite opening, i always win when i play it lol, i love playing Nc3 and seeing my opponent confused right from the start because they always expect Nf3 lol. So i feel like i have the advantage.

  25. Derek, when i firstly watched one of your videos i immediately clicked that subscribe button. You re great. However, I have 1 request : could you add more openings like King's Gambit, Nimzowitsch Defence 1. Nc6, Budapest counter (defence) , Modern Defence, Reti, Petrov's Defence (Russian) , London system or even Trompowsky.. Thank you !!

  26. Interesting gambit line. I love f4 brakes anyway. I asked you to make a Dunst video and you said that that opening is bad or uncommon. As this might be true you have made many videos on crappy defences the counter center so way not go over the Dunst. Please I want to see what lines you come up with. You are my favorite online chess video producer I'm a big fan of your games and commentary. PLEASE DO THE DUNST:-)

  27. Lol! 1.Nc3 d5 2.e4 (that is normally how I recall the Dunst being played) 2…d4 3.Ne2 and now 3…e5 or 3…c5 with some space advantage for Black 🙂 And thank you for the kind words – suggestion noted!

  28. Yes I agree. That's why I play 2. d4 transposing into a queens pawn and threatening 3. e4. Also 2. e3 is tricky for black because he is tempted to play e5 and d5 which 3. Qh5 creates some sharp lines. The Dunst I believe is best played as a Queen pawn game. The Scotch Opening has become my favorite because the bishops then have great scope.

  29. lol vienna game doesnt seem to lead to an advantage, he showed a lot of endings, and most of them white sucked 😀 haha

  30. The vienna gambit (or the grand prix attack vs the sicilian, similar themes for white) is now my preferred opening for white thanks to this video 🙂 You're an excellent teacher Dereque!

  31. Hey Dereque, do you think it is better to do the gambit in the Vienna or to just go straight into the King's Gambit.  I'm around 1400 and trying to learn these gambit lines to win quick and decisive games against lower players.  This guy at my chess club (who is around 2100) always plays the king's gambit and does quite well with it.  Thanks!

  32. Excellent Job! Thank you! The Vienna opening was my first opcion in the begining chessplayer…I want play it again! lol…

  33. In the end you said White is the one dicatating if the game will be strategically or tactically played.
    Isn't it the other way aroung actually?! If Black knows the Vienna Game, he is the one deciding if White has to play f4 or g3, because if white takes the wrong alternative, he is worse in position…

  34. I love how Dereque Kelley walks you through the good moves, and how the bad moves may look desirable, but in fact can lead to disaster. I have this problem all the time, and seeing how he handles these situations, my game has really improved. Not only am I learning great opening theory, but my strategy and tactics have become loads better too.

  35. Is it just me or did he say 'That's it for day' at the end? Still, love this opening, my new favourite 🙂

  36. the best defense for black after 3.f4 is Bc5, preventing the kingside castle for white and pressuring the f2 square.

  37. Glad I came across your videos. Even a complete newbie like myself can appreciate a more in depth review of these positions than is common in similar channels.

  38. Hey Dereque, I have a doubt. Can you solve it?
    e4 e5
    Nc3 Nc6
    f4 exf4
    Nf3 g5
    h4??
    I think better move was h3. Can you please tell me the reason?

  39. Looking for a way to surprise my opponent tomorrow at a local OTB game and Dereque comes to the rescue! Dereque Kelley is the to go channel when you need some knowledge on a chess opening. As always, thank you for the fantastic presentations!

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