is the Vienna game sound?

Technical questions regarding Openings, Middlegames, Endings etc.
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Joshua Gibbs
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is the Vienna game sound?

Post by Joshua Gibbs » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:45 pm

Hi I've been advised by my trainer to stop playing the same openings and try other lines until I get better.

I looked at e4 and found the Vienna appealing

how come it isnt played that much at Grandmaster level?

Is there something unsound about it?

Any responses are greatly appreciated
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John Hickman
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Re: is the Vienna game sound?

Post by John Hickman » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:50 pm

How can something with a line called the 'Frankenstein–Dracula Variation' not be good :mrgreen:
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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: is the Vienna game sound?

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Wed Feb 08, 2017 4:11 pm

It is perfectly *sound*, and the fact it is only rarely seen at GM level doesn't indicate otherwise.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: is the Vienna game sound?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:07 pm

Joshua Gibbs wrote:
how come it isnt played that much at Grandmaster level?

Is there something unsound about it?
It's not that it's unsound, it's just that it doesn't, in the opinion of the GMs who don't play it, give White the small advantage that can be gained with space and initiative seeking openings such as the Spanish, Italian and Scotch.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: is the Vienna game sound?

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:24 pm

"How can something with a line called the 'Frankenstein–Dracula Variation' not be good "

It should be, but it probably isn't, not that I'm going to try to prove it to you over the board!

Incidentally, that isn't Frankenstein, it's his creature.

Some openings don't work against GMs, but are perfectly ok for normal use. Lower graded/rated players make more mistakes than GMs. I used to play the Benko Gambit, and tried it against a GM who won without too much effort. When I asked what went wrong, He shrugged and said, "you lost a pawn on move 3."

John Hickman
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Re: is the Vienna game sound?

Post by John Hickman » Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:06 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:Incidentally, that isn't Frankenstein, it's his creature.
I could have bet money that someone was going to make that comment :D

Nick Grey
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Re: is the Vienna game sound?

Post by Nick Grey » Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:02 pm

Why not give it and some other open games a chance?
Slower time limits and over the board.
I you are trying to win against a significantly stronger player you may want something messy and swampy to make them uncomfortable.
Read Chess for Tigers.

Simon Brown
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Re: is the Vienna game sound?

Post by Simon Brown » Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:04 pm

Before I shifted to d4 I played the Vienna, because I wanted the option of playing f4 later, which is prevented by 2 Nf3. At lower levels it also has the benefit of not being that well known, so now and then you may get 1 e4 e5 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 Qg4 which is great fun. Leonard Barden will no doubt remember he published a game which I won in 16 moves because I knew of two old games, one Morphy, one Alekhine.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: is the Vienna game sound?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:29 pm

Simon Brown wrote: so now and then you may get 1 e4 e5 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 Qg4 which is great fun.
I have a handful of games in my archive where I reached it from a Bishop's opening move order. Against the 4. .. g6 defence, an engine is so offended by the position of the Queen on g4 that it would take the move back with Qd1.

Engines seem to believe that after 4. .. Qf6 and the provocative line 5. Nd5 Qxf2 6. Kd1, that the only sensible idea is 6. .. Kf8 and that 7. Nh3 should be met by 7. .. h5.

Have the correspondence guys had a go at trying to solve this?

As a pgn for anyone who wants to see actual positions.



It's an alternative to watching the paint dry in the London or the Colle, but less practical as a line for all seasons.

Simon Brown
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Re: is the Vienna game sound?

Post by Simon Brown » Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:28 am

Thanks Roger

The main game I recall went 7..Qd4 8 d3 Bb6 9 Rf1 Nf6 10 Rf6 d6 then spot the continuation. Perhaps Roger can pgn that as well?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: is the Vienna game sound?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:50 am

Simon Brown wrote:then spot the continuation.

John Moore
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Re: is the Vienna game sound?

Post by John Moore » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:27 am

I have tried 4...Nd4 two or three times as recommended in Dangerous Weapons e4 e5. One win and 2 draws but worth a punt just for the reaction by White who thinks he is going to get the kind of stuff shown above.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: is the Vienna game sound?

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:54 am

Simon Brown wrote:Thanks Roger

The main game I recall went 7..Qd4 8 d3 Bb6 9 Rf1 Nf6 10 Rf6 d6 then spot the continuation. Perhaps Roger can pgn that as well?
Nice combination. Mate in four in one line (delivering mate with a bishop) and mate in seven in the other line (delivering mate with a pawn).

Leonard Barden
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Re: is the Vienna game sound?

Post by Leonard Barden » Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:03 am

Simon Brown wrote:Before I shifted to d4 I played the Vienna, because I wanted the option of playing f4 later, which is prevented by 2 Nf3. At lower levels it also has the benefit of not being that well known, so now and then you may get 1 e4 e5 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 Qg4 which is great fun. Leonard Barden will no doubt remember he published a game which I won in 16 moves because I knew of two old games, one Morphy, one Alekhine.
I can just about remember the publication with this prompt, I think it was in The Field where the chess column is now long defunct. However, Simon's references to Morphy and Alekhine defeat me. The prototype was a game with identical moves, published in Chess Review in the 1940s and possibly played by IA Horowitz in a simul around 1941. As for the claim above of two variations with mates in four and seven, that also baffles me.

Angus French
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Re: is the Vienna game sound?

Post by Angus French » Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:33 am

Leonard Barden wrote:... As for the claim above of two variations with mates in four and seven, that also baffles me.
Is it four and five?

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