Chess Openings - The Fried Liver Attack
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 d5?! 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Nxf7!?
Following our coverage of the Italian Game where both sides sensibly develop pieces, this page looks at a similar but very aggressive line!
Knowing the core line works, 5. Ng5! looks like it's the way to undermine black's position.
The fried liver attack is a "do or die response" to the d5 thrust.
In our section on sacrificing in the opening, giving up a piece on f7 should either be done for material compensation, much more active pieces or a mating attack.
Three things we will learn today
- The Fried Liver Attack is crazy
- With aggressive openings, you need to be prepared to calculate and take risks
- Aggressive play leads to sharp positions - be on your guard!
Part 1 - Fried Liver = Crazy!
Because white is sacrificing a whole piece and there's not an immediate material recovery, white needs to play actively to make sure it's black who is fried, rather than lightly boiled.
Shirov is usually pretty exciting - let's see how he handles the white pieces:
White played boldly and with the "no guts, no glory" approach won an attractive game, using the mantras from our knowledge of sacrificing in the opening -
- Pieces out quickly
- Using development initiative
- Prepared to invest further material 9. a3 to make further progress
Part 2 - Aggressive Openings require sharp play
We saw Shirov above butchering his opponent, after being allowed to play the Nxf7 sacrifice and following up with gusto!
It was absolutely vital Shirov played throughout with energy, as it can so easily turn if white chickens out after the initial investment.
(note after 6...Kxf7 the position theoretically is winning for white, which is why black often avoids 5...Nxd5 preferring 5...Na5!? with an equally interesting game!)
Let's look at a couple of reasonable alternatives to see the importance of active play and practice development:
Part 3 - Aggressive play means you must be on your guard!
To end our discussion of the Fried Liver Attack, let's see what happens if white cannot make the move of his initiative - in this game, black also uses the modern rebuttal of the opening with 5...b5 and reaches a positional equality quickly before finishing with some excellent tactics!