Chess Opening Theory/1. e4/1...e5/2. Nc3/2...Nf6/3. Bc4

Vienna Game, Falkbeer Defence
a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8 8
7 a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2 2
1 a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position in Forsyth-Edwards Notation (FEN)
Moves: 1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Bc4

Vienna Game, Falkbeer Defence edit

White has nailed down Black's d-pawn by controlling d5 with three pieces. This prevents Black from breaking open the centre, or does it? The late Alexander Alekhine, world champion in the 1930s, recommends:


This is the fork trick common to several openings. After 3...Nxe4 Black has eliminated two of the attackers of d5 with one stroke, and will proceed to regain the piece by 4...d5, grabbing a large chunk of the centre as he does so. For now, Black is a pawn up, but White may just have something else up his sleeve too...

Black can also choose to forget about d5 for the time being:

3...Nc6 transposes back to the Max Lange Defence.
3...d6 is a timid move. It attempts to maintain a pawn at e5 after White plays f4, but it happens to give White the run of the board in the process.

Theory table edit

For explanation of theory tables, see theory table and for notation, see algebraic notation..

1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Bc4


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References edit