Two Knights Defense, Fried Liver Attack

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Fried Liver Attack
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
f8 black bishop
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
f7 black king
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
c6 black knight
d5 black knight
e5 black pawn
c4 white bishop
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
d2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white king
h1 white rook
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.Nxf7 Kxf7
ECO C57
Origin Polerio vs. Domenico, Rome c.1610
Named after Italian idiom ("dead as a piece of liver")
Parent Two Knights Defense
Synonym(s) Fegatello Attack

The Fried Liver Attack, also called the Fegatello Attack (named after an Italian idiom meaning "dead as a piece of liver"), is a chess opening. This colourfully named opening is a variation of the Two Knights Defense in which White sacrifices a knight for an attack on Black's king. The opening begins with the moves:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bc4 Nf6
4. Ng5 d5
5. exd5 Nxd5

This is the Two Knights Defense where White has chosen the offensive line 4.Ng5, but Black's last move is risky (other Black choices include 5...Na5, 5...b5, and 5...Nd4). White can now get an advantage with 6.d4 (the Lolli Attack). However, The Fried Liver Attack involves a far more spectacular knight sacrifice on f7, defined by the moves:

6. Nxf7 Kxf7

The Fried Liver has been known for many centuries, the earliest known example being a game played by Giulio Cesare Polerio in about 1610.[1]

The opening is classified as code C57 in the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings (ECO) .


Considerations[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
f8 black bishop
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
c6 black knight
e6 black king
d5 black knight
e5 black pawn
c4 white bishop
c3 white knight
f3 white queen
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
d2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
c1 white bishop
e1 white king
h1 white rook
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position after 8.Nc3

Play usually continues 7.Qf3+ Ke6 (not 7...Kg8?? 8.Bxd5+ with checkmate) 8.Nc3 (see diagram). Black will play 8...Nb4 or 8...Ne7 and follow up with ...c6, bolstering his pinned knight on d5. (If Black does play 8...Nb4, White can force the b4 knight to abandon protection of the d5 knight with the rather dubious 9.a3 Nc2+ 10.Kf1 Nxa1, although this involves giving up a further rook.) White has a strong attack, but it has not been proven yet to be decisive.

Because defence is harder to play than attack in this variation when given short time limits, the Fried Liver is dangerous for Black in over-the-board play, if using a short time control. It is also especially effective against weaker players who may not be able to find the correct defences. Sometimes Black invites White to play the Fried Liver Attack in correspondence chess or in over-the-board games with longer time limits (or no time limit), as the relaxed pace affords Black a better opportunity to refute the White sacrifice.

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Computer Analysis of the Fried Liver and Lolli, Dan Heisman, Chessbase CHNESO001U
  • Re-Fried Liver, by Jon Edwards, Chess Life, July 2009, pp. 32–34.

External links[edit]