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


Game with Morphy Attack of the Two Knights Defense

Dear Mr. Alterman

Here is my last effort with one of your gambit suggestions:

White: mrjoker (1681)

Black: ChessInProgress (1593)

Internet Chess Club, Blitz 2 12, October 2, 2008

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.O-O Nxe4 6.Re1 d5 7.Bxd5 Qxd5 8.Nc3 Qa5 9.Nxe4 Be6 10.Neg5 O-O-O 11.Nxe6 fxe6 12.Rxe6 Bd6 13.Bg5 Rde8 14.Qe2 Kd7 15.Re1 Qxe1+ 16.Nxe1 Rxe6 17.Qg4 Re8 18.Nd3

So far this is Estrin-Krogius (USSR 1949) according to ECO, but I was unaware of this since this was my very first game with this line.

18…h5 19.Qh3 Nb4 20.Nxb4 Bxb4 21.g3 Kc6

After the more cautious 21…g6, White still seems fine, for example 22.g4 hxg4 23.Qxg4 c5 24.c3! dxc3 25.bxc3 Bxc3 26.Qb3.

22.Qxh5 Re1+ 23.Kg2 R1e2 24.h4

I must admit that I almost fell for 24.Be3?? (attacking both rooks with queen). Fortunately I saw 24…R8xe3! just when my mouse was about to move the bishop.

24…Be1+ 25.Qf3+ Kb6 26.Qb3+ Ka6 27.Qc4+ Kb6 28.Qxd4+ Kc6 29.Qxg7 Rxf2+ 30.Kh3 Ref8 31.h5 R2f3 32.Bh4

The key to White’s defense; 32.Bf4?? is another unfortunate blunder that I almost played.

32…R8f7 33.h6

Most elegant and simplest.

33…Rf8 34.h7 (1-0)

Thanks again for your marvellous videos on gambits

Louis Morin

Montreal, Canada