[FEN ""]
1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. Qf3

Qf3 should be a mistake for white, but I just can't get a decent position whenever I play this with Black. If I go on to castle kingside the queen and bishops are already well placed to attack; if I try to develop on the queenside white just pushes the g and h pawns and my knight runs out of squares very quickly. Excuse the noobness, I'm obviously a beginner. So.. how to continue?

4 Answers 4


This opening is not dangerous.

You have no weaknesses.

White's Queen is doing nothing useful while blocking the best square for White's King's Knight.

Once you develop your Queen's Knight to c6 White has to worry about Nc6-d4 with a big gain of time.

Your f6 is fine – your knight masks it for now, and once you castle kingside it's well-defended and easily reinforced, while White will have trouble bringing up anything else to attack it.

Castling queenside is probably not indicated, although the White pawn-storm you mentioned is both premature and far too slow.

It's not like you're winning here, but White is not going to wrest any advantage out of this position without being given a gift. Whatever problems you're running into are not due to this opening.

  • 1
    Whatever problems... Perhaps the OP could post an entire game.
    – Tony Ennis
    May 25, 2013 at 13:17

You can chose 3. ... c6 to prepare ... d5:

[FEN ""]
1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. Qf3 c6

3. ... Nc6 - you can play Na5 later in the game:

[FEN ""]
1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. Qf3 Nc6

3. ... Bc5 and ... O-O or ... O-O-O depending on the situation on board:

[FEN ""]
1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. Qf3  Bc5 4. Nc3  Nc6 5. Nge2 Na5 6. d3 Nxc4 7. dxc4 c6 
8. h3 d6 9. g4   Be6 10. b3  Qe7

3. ... Be7 and ... O-O and you are safe:

[FEN ""]
1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. Qf3  Be7 4. d3 O-O

Try 3. ... d5 if you want some action:

[FEN ""]
1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. Qf3  d5

All this move (except 3. ... d5) give you a good position with the opportunity to castle and to be active or wait for your opponents move to react.

If it is still not enough for you - post some more moves in the line you have problems with and I will give you more advices.


By moving out his queen prematurely, White has practically given you the "first move" advantage. That's because your N on f6 shields the pawn he wants to attack.

My personal preference is to play Nc6, threatening Na5 to harass the B. With Nc6, you have two knights out, white has none. In the opening, the rule for development is "knights before bishops," not to mention queens.

My second choice would be d6, threatening Bg4, chasing the queen. Another followup move would be Be6, forcing the exchange of light squared bishops. The doubled pawn that you get by recapturing is an advantage, because it brings a second pawn to support an eventual d5, and you open the f-file for your rook to chase the White queen.

So.. how to continue?

I depends what you want to get to. Do you want to open the game up? Play 3...c6 and follow it with ..d5. If you are into gambits you could try 3...b5 4.Bxb5 c6 and then ..d5, it should be sound enough. More standard moves: 3...Nc6, 3...Bc5, and 3...d6 are all fine too, but generally would lead to more closed positions.

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