Vienna Game Anderssen Defense

Summary: The Vienna Game is a popular chess opening that leads to complicated and dynamic positions. The Anderssen Defense is an interesting variation of the Vienna Game that involves sacrificing a pawn for quick development and attacking chances.

1. History of the Vienna Game

The Vienna Game is a chess opening that starts with the moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3. It was named after a tournament held in Vienna in 1873, where it was first played. The Vienna Game aims to control the center and develop the pieces quickly, with White usually playing d3, Bd2, and Nge2 to support the e4 pawn and prepare to castle kingside.

The Vienna Game has been a favorite of many chess players throughout history, including Paul Morphy, Wilhelm Steinitz, and Bobby Fischer. However, it has also been criticized for being too passive and allowing Black to equalize easily.

2. The Anderssen Defense: Move Order

The Anderssen Defense is a variation of the Vienna Game that starts with the moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.f4 d5!? This move sacrifices a pawn for quick development and counterattacking chances. The idea is to force White to defend the e4 pawn and create weaknesses in their position.

The Anderssen Defense is named after Adolf Anderssen, one of the strongest chess players of the 19th century. He used this opening several times with great success, including in his famous victory over Lionel Kieseritzky in 1851, known as “The Immortal Game.”

3. The Anderssen Defense: Strategic Ideas

The Anderssen Defense leads to an unbalanced and complex position, where both sides have attacking chances. Black’s strategy is to open lines for their pieces and put pressure on White’s center, while White’s strategy is to defend their pawns and use their superior development to launch a counterattack.

One common idea for Black is to play …c6 and …d5 to gain control of the center and create a strong pawn chain. Another idea is to play …Bf5 and …Nbd7 to put pressure on the e4 pawn and attack the weak squares around White’s king.


The Anderssen Defense is an interesting and aggressive option for Black in the Vienna Game. It leads to dynamic and tactical positions, where both sides have chances to win. However, it requires careful calculation and understanding of the underlying strategic ideas. Players who enjoy sharp and attacking chess will definitely find the Anderssen Defense appealing.

If you are interested in learning more about the Vienna Game and the Anderssen Defense, there are many resources available online and in chess books. You can also study games played by top players such as Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, and Wesley So, who have used this opening successfully in their own games.

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