The Fried Liver Attack – Part 6

The next brilliant game is a very typical example of Fried Liver Attacking ideas.  

Morphy,P – NN [C55]  

New Orleans sim New Orleans, 1858  

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4   

There are two ideas behind 4.d4. One of them is obviously the attack over the center – to support active actions there. Another obvious idea is to open Bc1.  

4…exd4 5. Ng5 d5

Pushing the “d “pawn, Black prevents the immediate threat over f7. But now the position becomes quite similar to the standard Liver attack setup, when the inclusion of d4 and 0-0 definitely favor white.  

 6. exd5 Nxd5?  

Rather then capturing a pawn either 7…Ne5 or 7…Na5 could be a better alternative.    

7.0-0 Be7  

Black needed only one tempo to castle to get a perfect position. But after White’s next move it’s no longer possible. I have to admit that after 7…Be6  White keeps a strong attack by 8.Re1 Qd7 and here comes another bunch of pins: 9.Nf7! breaking through Black’s position. 9… Kf710. Qf3 Kg8 11.Re6! and Black is losing immediately.    


The well-known Fried Liver attack sacrifice, but here we have a much better version.   


9.Qf3+ Ke6  

White has deployed his pieces optimally, and the assault begins. Black never gets a chance to counterattack for the remainder of the game.  


Unbelievable. It’s amusing to see White breaks down the black’s position with the help of this simple developing move, despite the fact that c3 square is under attack by black’s d4 pawn!  

Of course, the reason it’s a great move is that a whole knight is going to be sacrificed for just following general attacking rules:

In the open positions we have to:

a.)    Develop all your forces quickly as possible – so Rook a1 soon will be connected with the other rook

b.)   Open central files where your opponents King is stuck so after 10.Nc3 dc  the “d” file becomes available.    

10… dxc3

 Black must accept the offer.  


The rook swings to e1 with decisive effect! Black has only one defensive move every time.   

11…Ne5 12.Bf4

Developing Bc1 with a threat.

12… Bf6 13.Bxe5 Bxe5 14.Rxe5+ !!  

A fantastic blow! Black’s position is completely ruined. The totally exposed position of the Black King makes defending impossible.  

14…Kxe5 15.Re1+

The white pieces dominate the board, besides, all black pieces are still passively placed on the back rank.

 15… Kd4 16.Bxd5

Not only does it regain the piece, but at the same time eliminates black’s only developed piece. 

16… Re8  

The rest is agony. Now if 16…Qd5  17.Qc3 leads to a beautiful mate, when  even after 16…Rf8 17.Qxc3+ Kxd5 18.Re5+ the mate is forced: 18…Kd6 19.Qc5+ Kd7 20.Qd5 mate.

17.Qd3+ Kc5 18.b4+

Preparing a resting place for the King on the Queenside.  

18… Kxb4 19.Qd4+ Ka5 20.Qxc3+ Ka4 21.Qb3+ Ka5 22.Qa3+ Kb6 23.Rb1 Mate 1-0

A magnificent game, which even still inspires chess fans everywhere!

A beautiful combination of utilizing a fast and complete development with efficient mobilization!

Botvinnik said about Morphy: “Up to now Morphy has to be the greatest ever master of the Open positions. His opening principles were so effective and his mastery of open positions was so vast that little new has later been learned about such positions.

Morphy never lost a tempo and the center was the main point of his strategy. Immediately upon achieving development advantage Morphy immediately breaks and opens files and diagonals for his pieces for a crushing attack.

Many masters even before Morphy sacrificed material in order to open files and diagonals, but Morphy always does it only when was sure about his pieces domination on the most important territory of the chess board!   

The Fried Liver Attack – Part 5


1. e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.Nxf7 Kxf7 7.Qf3+ Ke6  8. Nc3   



Another way to treat black’s position is the well known   


This move was analyzed by Polerio about 400 years ago! It’s easy to discover the drawback of

A.)  9…exd4? 

After 10.Qe4+ Black King is overloaded and Nd5 is lost.  10…Kd7 11. Nxd5 White wins the piece back while keeping a huge positional advantage. Now 11… Nxd5 loses at spot after 12.Qxd5+ Ke8 13.Qf7# .  

B.) 9…b5

The effort to decoy white’s bishop from the long diagonal doesn’t work as well.

10. Bb3! The only way in which white can maintain his attack. Bishop keeps an eye on the a2-g8 diagonal.  

10…b4 Black was pinning his hopes on this move. Nc3 is attacked and after 11. Ne4 black simply plays h6 when it’s not so clear how to break black’s position. But black’s idea could easily be refuted.  

11.Nd5 Nd5 12.Bg5!  

The decisive move! Black’s Queen is overloaded and it’s a clear sign that black’s position will be damaged very soon. He has nothing to counter the power of white’s attack.  12…Qd7 (Accepting the bishop after 12… Qg5 leads to instant disaster 13. Qd5)  13.0-0-0 c6  14. Rhe1 Despite the fact that white is still a piece down, black can resign with a clear conscience. For instance : 14…Kd6 15. de+ Kc7 16. e6 Qd6 17.Rd5! with forthcoming 18.Bf4  


C.) 9…c6! 

A critical position has arisen. Black is already under extreme pressure, nevertheless there are a few accurate moves needed: 

10.Bg5 !

 White must stick on his plan. There is no way back.  

10…h6  11. Bxe7

 It is important not to allow black to coordinate his forces.  After

 11…Bxe7 12.0-0-0

White completes his development. One more move for white (Rhe1) and the game will be over. 


Black has his own threats as well!  

13. Qe4  

Despite the material deficit, white enjoys compensation that builds on the lack of safety of the black monarch.  


Looks like black underestimated White’s 16th move. It was essential to play 13…Bg5+ 14.Kb1 Rf4! 15. Qe5 Kf7 16.Nd5 cd 17.Bd5 but after 17…Kf8 even though white is getting three pawns for the piece, black neutralizes the attack itself.  

14.dxe5 14… Bg5+ 15. Kb1 Rd2

 The point of black’s defense. Black is trying to cover the critical d5 square.  


The advance of the “h” pawn tears down black’s position. Now Rd2 is hanging and black fails to save the game by 16…Ke7 17. Bd5! But not 17.hg Nc3! + and black is who’s winning!  

16…Rxd1+  17.Rxd1

Black is completely tied up  

17… Bxh4 18.Nxd5

Finally white strikes at the crucial target.

18…cxd5 19.Rxd5 Qg5 20.Rd6+ Ke7 21.Qd5


 There is no way for black’s King to escape from the decisive threats.  

The Fried Liver Attack – Part 4

Today we will continue our course by looking at the second defense in the Fried Liver attack:  

1. e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.Nxf7 Kxf7 7.Qf3+ Ke6  8. Nc3  


The key difference is that white can’t eliminate that knight immediately with the rook sacrifice as after 8…. Ncb4 9. a3!  

Greco,G – NN [C57]

Europe 1620  


White is making room for the Rook to go to e1.  

9…c6 10. Re1


This passive move amounts to practically throwing in the towel.Black was obligated to move the King away from the center after 10…Kd6! 11. d4 Kc7 keeping some chances to survive.  

11. d4!

Black’s King is now stuck in the center and there are lots of threats in the air. White is clearing the way for his incoming forces.  


Black has to give up the pawn on e5.  

12. Rxe5 Ng6  

 At the cost of a pawn Black has hoped to drive the enemy rook from the aggressive position on e5, and has also expected to win some time for regrouping. Alas, his pieces are misplaced and the lack of safety for his K is telling.  

13. Nxd5!   

Striking while the iron is hot! White is harmoniously developed, and the next tactical operation is clearing up the situation.  


Black has no chance of saving his skin.  

14. dxe5+ Kc5 15. b4+  

The point of this forced sequence. The black’s King has to capture the Bishop.  The mate is inevitable.  

15…Kxc4 16.Qd3 Mate!

Black‘s King looks so miserable.  



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  !





The Fried Liver Attack – Part 2

1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5

We start by analyzing the Classical 4…d5 move. 


4…d5 5.ed

This is the first critical position.The assessment of this line is far from obvious. It looks like black has to capture the pawn after

 5… Nd5

and now white has a temporary initiative which could be transformed into a strong attack. 

It’s easy to see how the vulnerable f7 pawn in addition to the hanging d5 knight offer white an exciting opportunity to come up with the following beautiful resource:  

6. Nf7!

By this knight sacrifice white expels the black King to the center of the board   where it will be exposed to white’s powerful pieces.Anyway black has to accept this Greek sacrifice and to start a very unpleasant defense. 

6…Kf7 7. Qf3!

The key idea, involving the positional sacrifice of the knight. Thanks to the suspended position of the Nd5, white gains a tempo and seized the initiative. 

7… Ke6

The line is pretty forced. Black has to support the knight on d5. As a result of the sacrifice black pieces are losing their harmony. The King on e6 obstructs the development of the bishop c8.Besides white develops the knight b1 winning another tempo.  

8. Nc3! 

This is highly dynamic. White takes aim at the knight on d5, and increases his development advantage. 

The position looks extremely dangerous for black. Despite being a piece up black’s position hasn’t enjoyed great popularity.

The reason is a very simple one. I don’t see any comfortable way for black to get rid of white’s extremely dangerous Bc4. The position of the King on e6 deprives black pieces of the important center areas.

The Fried Liver Attack – Part 1

As you remember we’ve decided to start the game from the most aggressive first move 1. e4, but after

1… e5, many of you would prefer 2. Nf3, skipping the super aggressive Danish gambit after 2.d4.

Then the most logical continuation as we know will be 2…. Nc6 at once protecting the pawn e5 and increasing the control over the center square d4.On the third move white has a few interesting options: 3.Bb5 leads to the Classical Ruy Lopez, 3.d4 to the Scotch game, and 3. Nc3 to the Three (or Four) knight’s defense. 

But today we will study the outcome of the move 3.Bc4!? Then after 3…Nf6 we reach the opening called -The Two knights defense.There is no doubt that the two knights defense one of the oldest openings we know,It is also one of the most complicated tactical ones.

David Bronstein suggested that this opening should rightly be called the ‘Chigorin Counter Attack’, since, at the end of the last century, the legendary Russian chess player added a great deal to the theory of this opening.

Great credit for developing the theory and practice of this opening must go to the old masters Steinitz, Chigorin and of course Dr Tarrasch (who said that 4.Ng5 is a move of novice player.) If White invites complications with either 4 Ng5 (well known as the Fried Liver attack) or 4 d4, the Morphy attack, we reach extremely sharp positions where gambit themes exist everywhere.  

Anyone who enters the dark territory of the Two Knights Defense must be well prepared for the amazing complications that ensue.Generally speaking in chess theory the term of ‘defense’ is given to rather passive openings.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4

Indeed with the

3…. Nf6

answer black intends his counterattack against the e4 pawn but at the same time black ignores the threat over the f7 square.

White can immediately assault the weakest spot in the black’s position.Today we will examine the most direct way the move 

4. Ng5


There is a long story about this energetic attempt. Black has two main defenses: The old one 4…. d5, and the super sharp Traxler counterattack 4…Bc5!?