Vienna Chess: Spielmann - Flamberg (Mannheim, 1914); This miniature is dubbed the Mannheim Steamroller, it illustrates the power of the Vienna Gambit in creative hands. After 15.Bxc5 Black resigns as he is sunk.
Playing Vienna chess is like playing a souped up King's Gambit. The Vienna Game differs from the King's Gambit only through the early arrival of two Knights.
We'll see how these two pieces change things as the opening develops. Can White get his attack together even faster with one less piece blocking the Queen's Rook from sliding across to the f-file.
The Vienna Gambit is the main gambit in this opening. The Steinitz Gambit and the Pierce Gambit are among it's variations. Also within the Vienna Game you can find the Adams Gambit, Fyfe Gambit, Hamppe-Allgaier Gambit and Hamppe-Muzio Gambit.
The Vienna Gambit runs with many similarities to the King's Gambit. The big difference is the presence of your c3-Knight and Black's f6-Knight in the center.
After 2.Nf6 you have a couple of good moves to choose from. You can defer your attack for one more tempo by playing 3.Bc4. This fine moves adds even more venom to the coming attack. The main continuation here though is the Vienna Gambit, 3.f4.
Black's best response here is 3...d5 and even then you can still continue with hopes of getting an edge. 4.fxe5 Nxe4 5.Nf3 will keep the duel finely balanced. The move you want to see however is 3...fxe4 and you surprise Black with 4.e5 and his Knight must return home to g8 if it is to survive.
After 5.Nf3 you have 2 pieces to none developed, an imposing pawn on e5 and an open f-file that you will soon hand to your Rook. By the time you place your Bishop on c4 and castle Black will be staring down the barrel of a ferocious attack.
The Adams Gambit is almost a novelty but leads to a tactical game. You leave Black with two options. He can kick the Queen with 6...g6 to free up the d6-Knight or he can just go ahead and take with the move 6...Nxd4.
The second move is a bit more successful and was enough to beat Bobby Fischer. Don't write off this line because of that. White won the other three games in the database and Fischer only lost due to a careless oversight.
Taking advantage of pins and other positional peculiarities you can win the battle for space. Black will try to force trades that will take the pressure of his position. He will hope to make it to the endgame with his pawn advantage intact.
The Hamppe-Allgaier Gambit is the Vienna Game's take on the Allgaier Gambit where 2.Nc3 is played early. This extra preparatory move long before the attack gathers speed improves your flow as you swiftly bring the White pieces into the game.
There are two boons when compared to the regular Allgaier Gambit in the King's Gambit. The first is that the Queen's Knight is on the edge of the action right from the off. His next move will bring him right into the heart of the fight.
The second advantage the Vienna version gives you is that the Queen's Rook can slide right across the home rank during the attack. He can go to either of the central files if needed or to f1 when the King's Rook has advanced up the f-file or has been traded on f1.
The Pierce Gambit throws all conservative thoughts out the window as you invite Black to help himself to your Knight and that's only the start of it. Many of the patterns seen in the King's Gambit, Muzio lines are evoked here.
You don't flinch after 5...g4 and just carry on developing. 6.Bc4 just says to Black, 'sure take my Knight'. And he duly does. This sacrifice increases your lead in development of course and brings your Queen to the much coveted half-open f-file. From here you can now attack Black's broken and undeveloped Kingside.
But 7.Qf3 isn't even the main move here. The most common move by far is 7.0-0. The other moves played in this position are the aforementioned 7.Qf3, 7.Bxc4 and 7.Bxf7+. The move order may vary.
Again the Hamppe-Muzio Gambit is like the Muzio Gambit with that extra move 2.Nc3 emptying out the home rank ahead of time. The f3-Knight is sacrificed bringing the Queen to f3. Before long d3 is played and the dark square Bishop will take on f4.
The Queen's Rook is then to all intents and purposes developed. The value of being able to slide this Rook quickly over to f1 cannot be under-estimated.
You need to finish off the Black King quickly before he can mobilize his Queenside. Paul Morphy was considered even more dangerous in odds games when he started without his Queen's Knight. This amounted to a sacrifice to get the piece out of the Rook's way. So 2.Nc3 can replicate this at the cost of a move rather than the piece.
The Steinitz Gambit can be used if Black goes with 2...Nc6 instead of 2...Nf6. Again 3.f4 is played and this time 3...exf4 is a better move for Black. 4.d4 brings the Steinitz about. 4.Nf3 is the Steinitz Gambit Knight Variation.
4...Qh4+ is played and of course 5.g3 cannot be considered as 5...fxg3 would be ruinous. Here you play 5.Ke2 without batting an eyelid. It's all part of the plan. Steinitz's theory is that the King is a fighting piece and should begin his journey to the center on move five!
Steinitz was adamant that Black's Kingside attack could be contained even after 5...Bg4+ 6.Nf3. After careful maneuvering you can parry the attack get harmony for your pieces and maintain the nice center. The gambit does come with a health warning though. Ways have been found to play against d4 and e4, pinning them to the King and Queen.
The Fyfe Gambit is a questionable central thrust that has shades of the Center Gambit about it. What difference do the two Knights make to the position?
The first obvious difference is that after 3...exd4 the follow up move from the Center Gambit, 4.c3 is not available. You will have to work hard to eventually win back the pawn. This should be done in conjunction with your development efforts.
Black will not easily be able to play the supporting move ...c5 to shore up his advanced strong point on d4. With the Knight on c6 and the dark square Bishop coming in many lines to c5, you ought to eventually be able to eliminate this problem. This will go a long way to deciding if your gambit has been successful or not.
The Vienna Gambit has striking similarities but also marked differences from the King's Gambit. The other gambits here show that the Vienna Game as a whole offers a diverse repertoire for you to adjust no matter what your opponent responds with.
Still the Kingside gives you more gambit possibilities. They come thick and fast. Vienna chess is by no means the last way to slip your opponent a gambit on this wing.
The next opening offers several more ways to drop some material for a powerful attack. We're talking about the Bishop's Opening.