This chess position and moves lesson is about the “Fried Liver Attack“, which, in my opinion, is a must-learn for all chess enthusiasts. Before any move is made, its important to point out the main idea behind this attacking plan.
Chapter 1: Chess position and moves – C20 King’s Pawn Game
Please make a mental note that the f2 square is only defended by the White King and the f7 square is only defended by the Black King. These are weak points within each camp, and this concept forms the basis of the Fried Liver Attack.
Now, onto the chess position and moves lesson…
- e4 A classic opening move that stakes a claim in the center. To quote Bobby Fischer “e4 is best by test”. 1… e5 Black responds in classical fashion. This is one of the most common chess openings at every level from novice to World Champion.
- Nf3 – This move develops a Knight and attacks the e5 pawn. There are many different responses Black can choose from, however in this chess position and moves lesson we will only be focusing on the classical mainline. A few other options are included below for reference. 2… Nc6 The classical response. Black defends the e5 pawn and develops a Knight. White has several options available; references. 2… d6 Philidors Defense; 2… Nf6 Petrovs Defense or Russian game; d5 Elephant Gambit; f5 Latvian Gambit
- Bc4 The “Italian game”. White develops the light-square Bishop, which aims through the center at the f7 square. Also, White is now prepared to castle at a moments notice. 3. Bb5 Ruy Lopez or Spanish game. 3. d4 Scotch game. 3. Nc3 Knights Opening. 3. Ponziani Opening.
3… Nf6 = The “Two Knight Defense”. Black makes a natural, developing move which threatens the e4 pawn. 3… Bc5 Giuoco Piano. 3… h6 The “Anti-Fried Liver Defense“, which will be covered in a different chapter.
Chess position – weak f7 square
4. Ng5 White invades the enemy position by placing a Knight on g5 which double-attacks the weak f7 square. Remember your mental note from the introduction? (4. d3 is another fine move which protects the e4 pawn and leads to complicated middlegames.) 4… d5 This is the only logocal move. Black blocks White from further invasion on the f7 square by forking the White pawn and Bishop.
4… h6 5. Nxf7 Qe7
4… Na5 5. Bxf7+! Ke7
4… Bc5 the “Traxler Counter Gambit“, which is an interesting reply that we will go over in a later chapter.
5. exd5 White captures the d5 pawn and threatens to capture the c6 Knight. Nxd5 Not the best move, but a natural and common move that recaptures the pawn. Now, the shocking response… (5… Na5 the “Polerio Defense“, which we will cover in a later chapter, is Blacks best response to this threat.)
6. Nxf7 This is the chess opening position and moves which defines the “Fried Liver Attack”. Has White gone mad and sacrificed a Knight for nothing? Surely not, my friends. Continued in Chapter 2…
Chapter 2: Chess position and moves – C57 Italian game, Two Knights defense, Fried Liver Attack
Now that we covered how to achieve this opening chess position and moves in Chapter 1, it’s time to go over tactics and middlegame ideas. In this chapter, please make a mental note that the d5 square becomes the main target of attack for White. White has just played the critical move Nxf7, forking the enemy Queen and Rook, and it’s Blacks turn to move so…
Kxf7 Black captures the invading Knight however, in doing so, they also lose the right to castle in the future. The Black King does not want to be on this square because it is exposed and vulnerable. White has “compensation” for the sacrificed Knight.
1… Qe7 2. Bxd5 Rg8
1… Rg8 2. Nxd8
2. Qf3+ is an important move. White develops the Queen with a Check on the enemy King and creates a double-attack on d5. If Black is too passive with their next move, White will simply capture the d5 Knight and regain the sacrificed material with advantage, or even better… deliver checkmate.
2… Ke6 Black desperately tries to reinforce the d5 Knight and retain a material advantage. If we count, Black has won a Knight in exange for a pawn and has a point lead but the Black King is dangerously vulnerable in the center of the board. White should now plan to launch an all-assault on the d5 square and the Black King before he escapes to safety.
2… Kg8 3. Bxd5+ Qxd5 4. Qxd5+ Be6
2… Ke8 3. Bxd5
3… Nd4 4. Qf7#
3… Qf6 4. Qh5+ (4. Qd1) g6 5. Bxc6+ Qxc6
2… Kg6 3. Bxd5 Qf6 4. Be4+ Kf7
3. Nc3 White triple-attacks the pinned Knight on d5 with a developing move. Whenever an enemy piece is pinned, you should aim to attack it as many times as possible. “Pin it to win it”, as they say. 3… Nb4 Black attempts to create some counter-play by threatening a fork on c2. Not to worry, this “threat” is easily parried. Stay calm…
3… Nd4 4. Bxd5+ Kd6 White regains the sacrificed material with interest and the Black King is not a happy camper.
3… Ne7 4. d4 c6 5. dxe5 Kd7 6. Bg5 Ke8
7. O-O-O This position is objectively lost for Black. White exerts too much pressure to on the Black position and defense becomes untenable.
4. Bb3 Maintaining the deadly pin on the d5 Knight and defending c2.
5. a3 Qf6 (5… Na6 6. O-O Kd7 7. Bxd5 cxd5 8. Qxd5+)
6. Qh5 Na6 7. d4 Kd7 an interesting continuation that leads to a draw
4. O-O Nxc2 5. Bxd5+ Kd6 6. Bb3 Nxa1
7. Qd5+ Ke7 8. Qxe5+ Be6 9. Qxe6# Greed must be punished!
Chapter 3: Chess position and moves – The “Traxler Counter Gambit”
Black has a sneaky counter gambit that they can try in this line, and it’s important to be prepared for it if you are going to aim for the Fried Liver Attack. Let’s get right to the critical chess position and moves…
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 The logical move from Black in this position is d5, as we covered in a previous chapter. However, Black can also try this plan…
4… Bc5 This is defining move of the “Traxler Counter Gambit“. Ignoring the obvious threat on f7, Black boldly sets up a sacrifice of their own on f2. White should not become hypnotized by such a move and continue with the original plan…
5. Nxf7 (5. Bxf7+ Kf8 6. Bb3 winning a pawn and stripping Black of the option to castle, this continuation is a fine move which leads to far less complications.) Bxf2+ Again, Black ignores the Knight that is forking their Queen and Rook and sacrifices a Bishop. Is White is too greedy, they will easily find themselves in a world of trouble.
6. Kxf2 Greedy, but natural. Surely, White can just capture this Bishop, right? Not so fast… (6. Kf1 Best move 6… Qe7 7. Nxh8 Bb6 This sequence eliminates most of Blacks threats, however the game is still very complicated. White must play accurately as the smallest error could lead to disaster.)
Black initiative to attack
6… Nxe4+ 7. Ke3 Definitely not the best move but also not uncommon, especially at lower levels. All of a sudden, it is the White King in the center of the board instead of the Black King and Black still has the initiative to attack.
7. Kg1 Qh4 This is best move for White, but still not very comfortable. The Rook in the corner will have a hard time coming into the game later, the King is on the weird square, and the Queenside pieces need work. 8. Nxh8 instantly loses to 8… Qf2#
7. Ke1 Qh4+ 8. g3 Nxg3 9. hxg3 Qxh1+ Black has a serious advantage.
7. Ke2 Nd4+ 8. Ke3 Qh4 9. Rf1 d5 another serious advantage for Black.
7… Qh4= Black sends the Queen deep into the enemy position with an aggressive and strong move that would make Paul Morphy proud. Notice the King sitting in the center?
8. Nxh8 Greed must be punished! The game is now over for White. (8. g3 Qe7 9. Kxe4)
8. Qf4+ 9. Ke2 Qf2+ 10. Kd3 Nb4+
11. Kxe4 Qf4# To close this chapter, it is important to learn the Traxler Counter Gambit from both the White and Black perspectives if you are going to try the Fried Liver attack. It is a fun surprise weapon that Black can employ if White plays Ng5 on move 4.
Chapter 4: Chess position and moves – The “Anti-Fried Liver Defense”
In this chapter, we will go over the so-called “Anti-Fried Liver Defense“. Lets dive right in.
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 h6 is the defining move of the “Anti-Fried Liver Defense”. Black anticipates that White will play Ng5 on the next move and decides to put a stop to that idea. However, this move is objectively bad for Black. In the chess opening and moves, general chess theory says that you should control the center with pawns, develop all your pieces. and castle… h6 accomplishes none of those goals. In effect Black simply grants White a free move.
4. d4 immediately striking in the center, White siezes control of the game on move 4. 4… exd4 I’ll leave to you research and play this variation on your own, but I will include my favorite continuation that I have used in OTB tournament games at least a dozen times.
5. O-O Bc5 Trying to hold on to the pawn… 6. c3 dxc3 Greed must be punished with the shocking move… 7. Bxf7+ Kxf7 8. Qd5+ Ke8 (8… Kg6 9. Qf5#) 9. Qxc5 d6 10. Qxc3 White has won bac all the sacrificed material and stripped Black of the right to castle. Also, White is threatening the vulnerable g7 pawn and tje Rook behind it.
Chapter 5: Chess position and moves – The “Polerio Defense”
The “Polerio Defense” is the best defensive plan for Black against the Fried Liver Attack. As usual, we will get right to critical chess position and moves…
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 d5 5. exd5 Na5 is the defining move of the “Polerio Defense” and it looks a little weird, doesn’t it? “Knights on the rim are grim”, and all that. However, This is Blacks best chance at maintaining equality.
6. Bb5+ c6 7. dxc6 bxc6 8. Bd3= The Computer insists that the chess position and moves is absolutely equal despite White having won a pawn. The argument is that even though Blacks pawn structure is shattered and they are down a pawn, Whites lack of development and piece mobility gives equal compensation.
Blacks pieces are free to move while White still needs to solve the issue of how to develop the Queenside pieces. However, White does control the e4 square so the g5 Knight can retreat safely in the future. This chess position and moves will always lead to a fun middlegame (8. Qf3 an interesting side variation; The Bogoljubov variation in the Polerio Defense. Sometimes, you can catch a greedy opponent off guard with this variation. 8… cxb5 9. Qxa8)
Which is your favorite chess opening? Please tell us. Thanks