Fried Liver Attack

For the last few weeks, I’ve looked for a game in which we could play the Fried Liver Attack as either white or black. So far, nobody has taken the black line far enough for me to initiate it as white, and when I was black and did take it that far, white didn’t use the attack. Oh well. At least I know it exists and will be a fun game when I get to play it.

The main line begins as follows:

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

Black uses the Two Knight’s Defense

To initiate the Fried Liver Attack, white moves 4. Ng5 threatening to take the f7 pawn on the next move and fork black’s queen and rook. What would black’s best response to this be?

If you found 4. … d5, good job. This block’s the bishop from its attack on f7. After white captures with 5. exd5 we find ourselves in the following position.

Not yet to the Fried Liver Attack. It depends on Black’s next move.

It is suggested by Stockfish not to recapture the pawn right away, but to play 5. … Na5 to attack the bishop. We will not explore this line, as we want to explore the Fried Liver Attack, which means that the knight must recapture the pawn. So, play continues with 5. …Nxd5 and the Fried Liver Attack may commence!

6. Nxf7

After this odd and interesting play, white sacrifices the knight in order to bring out black’s king.

The Fried Liver Attack

Black’s only move here is to capture the knight to protect the queen and rook. But after 6. … Kxf7 white responds with 7. Qf3+. Study the following position and see how you would respond as black before reading on:

Here is where things get interesting if black has not yet seen this position.

With white having two attackers on the knight on d5, and black only having the queen as a defender, the best move for black is to add a defender while getting out of check with 7 … Ke6.

White continues to attack the knight with 8. Nc3. From here we’ll look at two lines that black could initiate, either 8 … Nce7 or 8 … Ncb4. The engine seems to favor the second option. To provide yet another defender for the knight pinned on d5, let’s say black answers with 8 … Nce7.

What is white’s next best move?

In this case, white’s best response is 9. d4. If black takes the bait with 9 … exd4, then white will win back the knight (and possibly a pawn) after 10. Nxd5 Nxd5 11. Qe4+. So, black should answer by providing further defenders to the d5 square with 9. … c6.

Playing it out from here would provide some interesting games!

Let’s back up and explore black’s slightly better move of 8 … Ncb4. Here, black initiates an attack on the c2 pawn while providing a defender for the knight pinned to d5.

Ncb4 takes the offense away from white

Rather than continue the attack, white now needs to think about defending the c2 pawn. After either 9. Bb3 or 9. Qe4, black can respond with 9 … c6 and interesting games can ensue.

Puzzles from my game last week

The game we played was pretty even for 16 moves. Moving my bishop to h6 was a huge error according to the Stockfish engine. After a few text moves we were in this position with white (my opponent) to play. What was his best move here?

White to move

The only defender to my bishop on h6 is the knight. White should threaten those knights the best he can with 19. e5. In the actual game, however, play continues with 19. Qd2 which kept black in the game.

Later on, we found ourselves in this position. White had just advanced the f pawn, and the black queen came down to take. What is white’s best response here?

White to move

White elected to trade queens here leaving black a bishop up. But look at 40 … Qh7+! The king is now forced to move in line with the queen with Kf8 or Kf7 and then white can now get black’s queen for their rook with 41 … Rf5.

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