We already mentioned this intriguing variant of the Vienna Game in the article about opening traps. Now it’s time to dive deeper into the maze of sub-variants, and propose the best strategy for both sides.
1. e4 e5 2. ♘c3 ♞f6 3. ♗c4 ♞xe4 4. ♕h5
One may ask why White didn’t capture the black knight. The reason is that 4. ♘xe4 d5 5. ♗d3 dxe4 6. ♗xe4 f5 actually leads to a better position for Black, who would get a strong pawn center and the initiative. The countergambit alternative (4. ♗xf7+) isn’t good either – check the article about the artificial castling where we analyzed this line.
The classic line
4. … Nd6 5. Bb3
The queen exchange
4. … Nd6 5. Qxe5+
This variant is rarely seen in top-level play, but thanks to the complications and various traps, it can become a useful weapon in your arsenal. Don’t hesitate to try it out.