|Moves||1.e4 e5 2.Qf3|
|Named after||Napoleon Bonaparte|
The Napoleon Opening is an irregular chess opening starting with the moves:
|This article uses algebraic notation to describe chess moves.|
The Napoleon Opening is named after the French general and emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, who had a deep love of chess but was said to be a mediocre player. The name came into use after mid-nineteenth century publications reported that he played this opening in an 1809 game which he lost to the The Turk, a chess automaton operated at the time by Johann Allgaier. The name may also be a slighting reference to Napoleon's empress, Josephine and her scandalous infidelities, hence Napoleon's inability to keep his Queen at home.
The Napoleon is a weak opening because it develops the white queen prematurely and subjects it to attack, and deprives the white kingside knight of its best development square. By comparison, the Wayward Queen Attack is more forcing and stronger—2.Qh5 requiring Black to first defend his e-pawn (usually with 2...Nc6), and then after 3.Bc4 forcing Black to play a sub-optimal move (3...g6 virtually committing Black to a fianchetto rather than a more aggressive placement of the bishop; 3...Qe7 blocking the bishop; or 3...Qf6 taking away the knight's best square). 2.Qf3 places no such impediments on Black's development.
- Murray, H.J.R. A History of Chess (London: Oxford University Press), 1913, p. 877.
- Winter, Edward (1998 with updates). "Napoleon Bonaparte and Chess by Edward Winter". Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- Murray, H.J.R. A Short History of Chess (London: Oxford University Press), 1963 posthumously, p. 79.
- Napoleon Himself, 2005, John Schneider