This blog is going to be devoted to some old, tactical, unusual, or dangerous openings. As a disclaimer, I can't say that all of these openings are sound (i will say so if i DO think they are), but they're certainly fun!
So, for today let's start with an old favorite, the Vienna Game.
Most early beginners see this position and think, "Ok, black will play 2... Nf6 [this part is mostly accurate], then white will try to slowly build up and hope a pawn-break comes up." This couldn't be much farther from the truth. All the Vienna truly is, is a non-committing preparation for gambitting the f-pawn. From the diagrammed position two main situations arise.
Option 1: after 2... Nf6, white can immediately break the center with 3. f4!?! [that means it's probably not sound but the refutation would be so complex that a misstep is almost guaranteed at the amateur lever] or
Option 2: after 2... Nf6, white plays 3. Bc4!?, to activate the bishop before the typical follow-up, 4. f4!?!
Typically I prefer option two, but really it's all personal preference.
Unfortunately, the games I used the Vienna in (though there weren't many) were all live (it's taken a long time for me to dare try it in corr., where my rapid, natural moving can be a disadvantage in tactical situations). So let's see what Alekhine can teach us about the Vienna: