The Complete Chess Course From Beginning To Winning Chess! (2016)
How to Play the e-pawn Openings
This opening is considered inferior because it allows Black to seize the initiative by playing 2…Nf6 with counterattack. However, Black must be on the alert for transpositions into other openings that may produce an unpleasant surprise.
White - Black
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 (D)
Position after 2…Nf6
White’s colorless second move has enabled Black to take the offensive. White can try 3.Nc3, transposing into the Vienna Game.
Continuing his aggressive policy by preparing …d5. (If 3…Bc5 4.f4 transposes to the King’s Gambit Declined, page 223.)
Should White try to seize the initiative with 4.f4 there follows 4…exf4 5.Bxf4 d5! 6.exd5 Nxd5 with a fine game for Black.
And on 4.Qe2 Black gets a splendid attack at the cost of a pawn: 4…Be7 5.f4 d5! 6.exd5 (6.fxe5 Nxe4! is also good for Black) 6…exf4 7.dxc6 Nxc6 8.Bxf4 0-0 9.Nc3 Nd4 10.Qd2 and now Black has 10…Bb4 with an excellent game - or 10…a6 11.Nge2 b5 12.Nxd4 Qxd4 13.Bb3 Bb4 14.0-0-0 a5! with a winning attack.
Black has an unbearably cramped game after 4…d6?.
5.exd5 cxd5 6.Bb3 (D)
Position after 6.Bb3
The subtle point of Black’s play is that after 6…Bb4+! White cannot interpose 7.Nc3? because of 7…d4!.
6…Bb4+! 7.c3 Bd6 8.Bg5 Be6 9.d4 e4 10.Ne5 Nc6 11.Nxc6
If 11.f4 h6! 12.Bh4 g5! 13.fxg5 Bxe5 14.dxe5 Ng4! with a powerful game for Black.
After 12.0-0, Black escapes from the pin with 12…Qc7!.
Not 13.Bxf6 Qxf6 14.fxe4? Qh4+ etc.
13…g5 14.Bf2 exf3 15.Qxf3 Ne4
Black’s position is more aggressive, and therefore more promising.