Chess Opening Theory/1. e4/1...e5/2. Nf3/2...Nc6/3. c3

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Ponziani Opening
a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8 8
7 a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2 2
1 a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position in Forsyth-Edwards Notation(FEN)

r1bqkbnr/pppp1ppp/2n5/4p3/4P3/2P2N2/PP1P1PPP/RNBQKB1R

Ponziani Opening[edit]

3. c3[edit]

The Ponziani is one of the oldest openings. Its plan is to support a later d4, and set several traps for unwitting opponents, but it doesn't pose much of a problem for the defence if black knows the lines. An opening that has never been popular. Black can counter with the immediate d5.

Some evaluations:

The defense 3. ...Nf6 often leads to a game where White has a small space advantage plus a small time advantage. Not really a bad deal at all.

The defense 3. ... d5 leads to a good fight for both sides but really the person who knows current theory best will probably get a very good game.

The defense 3. ... f5 fairly often leads to a White advantage but again theory must be known.

The defense 3. ... d6 will usually lead to a positions often reached via the Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Variation [usually just fine for White]

There are "refutations" to the Ponziani in two books The Kaufman Repertoire for Black and White and The open Games for Black.


Theory table[edit]

For explanation of theory tables see theory table and for notation see algebraic notation.

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c3

4

5

6

7
...
d5
Qa4
f6
Bb5
Nge7
exd5
Qxd5
O-O
Bd7
=
...
...
Bb5
dxe4
Nxe5
Qg5
Qa4
Qxg2
Bxc6
bxc6
=+
...
Nf6
d4
d5
Bb5
exd4
e5
Ne4
Nxd4
Bc5
=
...
f5
d4
fxe4
Nxe5
Qf6
Ng4
Qg6
Bf4
d6
+=

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References[edit]

  • Batsford Chess Openings 2 (1989, 1994). Garry Kasparov, Raymond Keene. ISBN 0-8050-3409-9.
  • Nunn's Chess Openings. 1999. John Nunn (Editor), Graham Burgess, John Emms, Joe Gallagher. ISBN 1-8574-4221-0.

((Play the Ponziani)) Taylor/Hayward