The Fried Liver Attack – Part 3

At this second critical position, when black has to protect the hanging knight on d5, there are   only two possible continuations:  A.8…Ndb4 ; B.8…Nce7



A.) 8… Ndb4

Black not only defends Nd5 but also intends to capture the pawn on c2 with the check!  

So…. It looks like white has to forget about the d5 knight and to care for the pawn c2?  

Many would go for the obvious 9. Qe4 and after the forced 9…c6 10. a3 Na6 we reach a position, where black somehow succeeded in avoiding an immediate disaster.   

I would say even more: If you start checking this position with the assistance of a computer program you might even come up with the premise that you are not sure if white has sufficient compensation for the piece. Has white gone wrong?

Look at the next important attacking principle:

‘Although you must be careful before starting an attack, once you have started you must go on as hard and fast as you can. This is even more important if you realize you shouldn’t have started the attack quite yet – if you try to back out you will only make matters worse.’   

So…White has to play energetically!   

When I was 11 years old, this position happened in one of my games. I was about 1700-1800 rated.

My thoughts were – OK… his King is so naked – let’s send the knight b4 to a1 and my attack could flow easily to the next level.  

So I made the decision to sacrifice a whole rook!  

9. a3! Nc2+ 10. Kd1 Na1  

This is the position I was dreaming about. Now white could eliminate the Nd5 and to exploit the ugly position of the King for a brutal attack. 

However white has to play carefully.Of course many of us would think about taking the knight with the check, though I don’t see anything special after 11.Bd5 Kd7 and black is threatening Qf6! trading Queens.  

There’s no clear way to take advantage of the precarious position of the King even after 12.Qg4 Kd6! 13. Qb4 c5! And white has to fight for a draw. That’s why  

11. Nd5!


 Is a much more imposing move. White eliminates the knight keeping the discovered check as an option.As we know from Dr Tarrasch “The threat is stronger than the execution”. Black needs to move his King out of the e6 square and is obligated to set out on a lengthy journey.    

11… Kd7  

11…Kd6 doesn’t seem to be any better: 12.d4!

White simply advances his Queen pawn as a result black’s position in the center becomes totally compromised.  

12… c6 Black is trying to take away the knight from d5. 13. de Ke6 Is the only way . Now it looks like white has spoiled everything. The knight is pinned and black’s King got a very good cover – the white pawn e5!  

But white comes with the brilliant strike. 14. Ke2! Simply completing his development!  

14…cd 15. Rd1! And there are no defenses against the final mating attack.  

12. Re1  

Black has an ocean of moves, but it’s pretty hard to solve his problems.  


Giving me the pleasure of executing my main threat. Let’s consider the best defense:  12…Bd6 Black defends the pawn e5, but the storm comes from another side 13. Bb5+! c6 14.Qf7+ Be7 There are no other  pieces to cover the 7th rank. 15.Qf5+! The nasty Queen discovers a way of removing of the e5 pawn with check! 15…Kd6 16.Qe5+ Kd7 17.Ne7  We could smell a finish very soon. 17…cb 18. Re3!



And black hopeless against the upcoming Rd3 + . 


13. Qf5+!  

Black’s King has only one option, since 13…Ke8 is losing at once after 14.Qe5+  

13…Kd6 14. Qe5 + Kc5

 or 14…Kd7 15. Qe6 mate – by the way this way my game ended!  

15. Nc7 Kb6  

Black has no other escapes except the Queen desperate move 15…Qd5  

16. Na8 mate  !





21 Responses

  1. 9. a3, Ncx2+; 10. Kd1, Nxa1; 11. Nxd5, Qh4 deserves comment.

    There are at least two factors for White to be careful about: the placement of his K and Q on the same diagonal as the Black Bishop on c8 and the fact that even if White wins the Rook on a8, the Black Knight will find it easier to get out of the corner because of the hole at b3.

    Taking these into consideration I find two plasuible continuations:

    1) 12. Nxc7+, Kd6; 13. Ne8+, Kd7 (other moves lose, cutest is 13 … Ke7; 14. Qf7+, Kd8; 15. Qc7+ !); 14. Bb5+, Kd8 and Black may yet live.

    2) 12. Nb6+, Ke7; 13. Qf7+, Kd8; 14. Nxa8, Qe7 and it appears that the initiative may switch to Black as White’s cornered Knight appears to be in greater peril than Black’s.

  2. Hi Daddoo !
    12. Nc7 Kd6 will be met by 13.Nb5+! Kc5 only and 14.d3! with the decisive mating threats.

  3. Hello Mr. Alterman. I know your game with fritz program named “the alterman wall”. It’s a beautiful game. I was surprised to find your analysis of the fried liver attack on the web. Well after 11…Kd6 12.d4 Be6!? is an interesting and stronger alternative to 12…c6?

  4. 12…Be6 is not so good as 13.Re1 leads to white advantage.

  5. Dear Mr. Alterman
    What would analyse the move 10…Nd4?

  6. Dear Mr. Alterman
    How do you assess the move 11…c6?

  7. Hi, Mr. Boris. Your lessons on icc are simply beautiful, especially because they merge high level technical analysis with great wisdom of speech i’d say.. :)))

    It seems really that, in the Fried-Liver attack, 8… Ncb4 is a losing move. But i tried, even if i’m not a great chess player, to find some line which could let black end the game with dignity.
    It seems to me that 11… Kd6 is in any case much better than 11… Kd7. Now, if white plays 12.Re1, black could try 12…Qh4, followed by 13.d4 and 13…Qg4.
    So, as you say in you lesson, the best move for white would probably be 12.d4 after 11…Kd6.

    And now? Which is the most honorable answer for black, except to resign?
    I decided to find some ideas, and then to analyze them with Rybka. 12…c5 seems plausible, to challenge d4 pawn and recover poor black king in c6. Even 12… b4 seems playable, trying to decoy white bishop and open b line for rook. But the strongest move for black is probably 12…Be6.
    So spoke then Rybka for the 3 lines.

    I 12…b5 13.dxe5+ ( 13.Bxb5 Rb8 14.Nc3 Rxb5 15.Nxb5+ Kd7±) 13…Ke6 14.Ke2 bxc4 15.Rd1 Bd6+-

    II 12…c6 13. Re1 (13.dxe5+ Kc6 14.Bd2 Qh4 15.e6 a6±) 13… Kc6 14.Rxe5 Bd6 15.Nc3+ Kc7+-

    III 12…Be6 13.Re1 b5 (13…h5 14.Qe4 Kd7 15.Nb6+ cxb6+-) 14.Nb4 Bxc4 15.Qc6+ Ke7 16.Bg5+±

    That is the position of Rybka analysis:

    Yes, black is almost fried in the Fried-Liver, but is it possible that from that position black could draw the game? Yes, if for example i play white in this position (after 16.Bg5+) against you, i probably could even lose the game… 🙂

    I think chess are like life. At first sight things seems to be complicated. Then, in some point, one can believe they are simply or rather simply. But the worse is when you finally discover that thay are really complicated, but even more than you believed in the first sight…

    I wish you all the best.

  8. […] The Fried Liver Attack, Part Three by Boris Alterman (June 13, 2008) […]

  9. Isn’t “8…Ndb4” a typo? Should it not be “”8…Ncb4. The knight on D is pinned by the White bishop.

  10. How does white proceed after:
    12 d4. c6.
    13. dxe5. Kc5.

    I can’t seem to find a decisive mating attack

  11. are amaizing player. and i wont to ask you …
    after 11-….,Kd6/12-d4….what about Be6!!?!?
    it seems to be very good for Black..
    so what you say about this move….surely you have a very good met to this move

  12. Hi!

    I’ve been thinking what white should do after 11.Nxd5 Kd7 12.Re1 Bd6 13.Bd5+ Ke6? You said in Fried Liver attack part 1 that 13…c6 is forced, but why? Isn’t 13…Ke6 a lot better? I analyzed the position with Chessmaster and it seems to be a draw.

    I would be happy if you could tell me can white continue the mating attack.

    I wish you all the best.


  13. Julian, not a mating attack, but enough for a big advantage…

    13. dxe5, Kc5
    14. Qc3, cd
    15. Bd3+, Kb6
    16. Be3+, d4
    17. Bxd4+, Qxd4
    18. Qxd4, Bc5
    19. Qc4, Bd7

    and with the Knight falling eventually on a1, white must win

  14. This really is regularly a amazing blog site. I have previously been back again various times inside of the final 7 days and wish to sign up in your rss making use of Google but can’t find out how to do it especially properly. Do you know of any sort of instructions?

  15. Hi Boris,
    too bad the fried liver attack fails miserably if black plays 11… Qh4! Even after the horrible double check 12. Nc7++ white ends up losing his N while black can rescue his. Do you have any counter-move against that?

  16. Boris,

    After 11. Nxd5, what about simply 11. … c6 returning material and reaching a favorable ending?


    12. Nb6 Kd6 13. Nxa8 Qh4! (threatening Bg4) 14. Qd3 Qd4 15. Qxd4 exd4 and black has at least equalized, no?

  17. very, very good.
    I always play The Fried Liver Attack, when i have a chance. I like aggressive play when i am white 🙂

  18. I love the Fried Liver against weak(er) players in quick time controls, as it is very winnable for both sides if they have a lot of Fried Liver lines memorised.

  19. Paul, possibly missing a key option for black. After 12. D4, Be6 13. Re1, c6 the landscape changes!

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