A Bust to 3.Bc4 in the Vienna Game?
Carl Schlechter - William Steinitz [C28]
DSB-11.Kongress/Cologne (11) 1898
This is now my favorite defense against the Vienna, since I know first-hand as White how annoying it is to surrender the light-squared Bishop. For me, this line practically busts the Vienna with Bc4 as a means of gaining any advantage. But Black must take care, as the course of the game shows.
Black does well after the chief alternatives also:
c) 5. Qf3 Nxc4 6. dxc4 d6 7. Nge2 Be6 (7... Bg4?! 8. Qg3! Bxe2 9. Kxe2 Be7 10. Rd1 (10. Qxg7 Rg8 11. Qh6 Rxg2) 10...
O-O11. Kf1 Rogers-Beliavsky, Polanica Zdroj 1996) 8. b3 Be7 (8... c6 9. Be3 Be7 10. h3 O-O11. g4 Qa5 12. Bd2 Qc7 13. Rg1 a6 14. g5 Ne8 15. a4 f5 1/2-1/2 Sikora Lerch,J-Banas,J/Trnava 1989 (15)) 9. h3 c6 10. Bb2 Qc7 11. O-O-Oa6 12. a4 O-O13. g4 Rfc8 (13... b5!) 14. Rd2 b5! 15. cxb5 axb5 16. axb5 d5 17. bxc6 dxe4 (17... d4! 18. Nd5 Bxd5 19. exd5 Qa5! 20. c4 Bb4 21. Rdd1 Ba3 22. Qd3 (22. Rd2 e4) 22... Bxb2+ 23. Kxb2 Qa2+ 24. Kc1 Ne4 25. Qxe4 Qxb3 26. Qd3 Qb4!) 18. Nxe4 Ra6 19. Nxf6+ Bxf6 20. Qe4 Rxc6 (20... Qa7! 21. Kb1 Ra8!) 21. Kb1 Qa5 22. Rhd1 Ra6 23. Nc3 1/2-1/2 Sikora-Banas, Ternavia 1989
Black may appear at first to have an easier game if he develops his Bishop outside the pawn chain with 6... Bc5 but Black is eventually compelled to play ...c6 to hold the d5 square and the potential weakness of ...d6 can be even more critical without the Bishop on e7. One well known game continued 7.
Commenting on this game in Chess Review 1955, Fred Reinfeld writes quite inaccurately and with great hyperbole: "Steinitz was the man who showed what damage could be caused by inferior Pawn moves. Here he has violated his own precepts a number of times. By playing 6...d6, he ct down the mobility of the King Bishop and thus considerably neutralized the value of the two Bishops. Again, by playing 8... c6 (to prevent an eventual Nd5), he robbed his Queen Pawn of its natural support. Finally, with 10...h6? he has lost precious time and conclusively weakened his position." According to Reinfeld, Black is practically lost. But there are many defensive resources that both Steinitz and Reinfeld overlooked.
Schlechter thinks that time is more important than the two Bishops.
Black could have played much more energetically to castle queenside with 12... Qa5! 13. Qf3 (perhaps Steinitz missed the trick 13. Qxd6? Rd8! 14. b4 Rxd6 15. bxa5 Rxd1 16. Rxd1 Bxc4 and Black likely has a won ending.)
( meanwhile, it is probably prudent to castle kingside if White prepares a quick attack by 13. Rb1!?
Better 13... Qa5! 14. cxd6 (14. b4!? Qxb4 15. cxd6 (15. Rb1 Qxc5 16. Rxb7 Bc8 17. Rb3
20. Qxf7! also wins.
Much stronger than taking the Queen directly, since this forces mate.1-0
Game in PGN