The Max Lange Attack – Part 1

1. e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 



The four central squares are the most important squares to control on the chess board because the quickest route from one sector of the board to another is through the center.

 Commonly you want your pieces to have access to the central squares while preventing your opponent from using them.  


This is the only good way to meet white’s aggression.  Dubious is 4…Ne4?

As leads to a position where white’s pawns are especially good at preventing black pieces from occupying the central squares.  

White keeps serious positional pressure, for example losing immediately is

6…Bc5? (Better is 6…Nc5).

White’s access to the most important center squares and attack over the weak f7 square decides the game.

7. Qd5! A typical idea – white is aiming at e4 and f7 all together, so after   7…Bf2+ 8. Ke2 white wins at once.  


Last time we were analyzing the outcome of 5. Ng5 d5, nevertheless later analysis showed that after 5…Ne5 black could achieve a fairly good game.

5… Bc5!?

This move is characterize the starting point of the Max Lange Attack.

Black defends the center pawn d4 and gets ready to contradict white’s aggressive pawn assault with his own powerful counter attack.     

Being one of the stormiest opening systems for more then 50 years in the 19th Century, The Max Lange Attack is a rare guest in the recent practice.  

The reason could be a very practical one: After 5…Bc5 we get into unbalanced positions which you have to know extremely well, otherwise one inaccurate move could cost you the game.

This elaborate opening system has been analyzed by many well known strong chess players of the 19th Century such as Staunton, Chigorin, Tarrasch, Rubinstein and others. 

6. e5 d5!


This is the key of the variation. Black allows white to destroy his Kingside pawns, but is getting a tremendous center pawn pair which should be a great compensation for the ruined King’s Safety.  

7. ef dc  

Now after  

8. Re1+

Black has two options : 8…Kf8 and 8…Be6