The Complete Chess Course From Beginning To Winning Chess! (2016)
How to Play the e-pawn Openings
Whereas in the Scotch Game White advances too rapidly in the center to achieve any lasting effect, in the Ponziani Opening he advances too slowly. So Black equalizes without any trouble.
White - Black
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c3 Nf6! (D)
Position after 3…Nf6!
White’s third move holds up his development and takes away his queen knight’s best square.
Much better than 4…Nxe4? 5.d5 Nb8 6.Bd3! Nc5 7.Nxe5 when Black has an unpromising position.
White wisely takes the prudent course. If 5.exd5 Qxd5 6.Be2 e4 7.Nfd2 e3! 8.fxe3 Qxg2 Black has the initiative.
Meanwhile White hopes for some such continuation as 5…dxe4 6.Nxe5, which gives him fair prospects of initiative. In addition, even after 6…Bd7 White would permanently spoil Black’s queenside pawn position with 7.Bxc6 etc.
5…exd4 6.Nxd4 Bd7 7.exd5 Nxd4 8.Bxd7+ Qxd7 9.Qxd4 Qxd5 10.Qe3+ Be7
Black has a slight lead in development, but the position may be considered even.