I recently discovered that on January 2016 the ICCF will start a thematic tournament on the Frankenstein-Dracula variation of the Vienna game.

[FEN "..."]
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nxe4 4.Qh5 Nd6 5.Bb3 Nc6 6.Nb5 g6 7.Qf3 f5 8.Qd5 Qe7 9.Nxc7+ Kd8 10.Nxa8

Tim Harding gave it this name

"because of its hair-raising and bloodthirsty nature."

Now I am wondering: are there other variations with funny names?

  • 2
    At the top of my head I'm thinking of the Orangutan opening or the Hippopotamus defense. There is also a Noah's Ark trap.
    – Wes
    Sep 29, 2015 at 19:11
  • 2
    Some other examples: the "Fried Liver attack", the "Kalashnikov variation" and the "Hedgehog setup".
    – Maxwell86
    Sep 29, 2015 at 19:20
  • 2
    I always thought that hyper accelerated dragon was a bit much. Sep 30, 2015 at 16:32
  • YMMV on Legal's mate/trap (not because everything else is illegal, that's the dude's name). Even obscurer in German: "Seekadettenmatt" by the obscure opera it was seen in. Dec 3, 2021 at 12:32

4 Answers 4


You can just browse through this list:


I suspect a lot of the names out there aren't official like the Reversed Rat (1. d3 e5) and Double Duck (1. f4 f5 2. d4 d5), while the Pterdoactyl variation appears to be recognized.

Some other funny or interesting names: Creepy Crawly Formation, Bayonet attack (recognized), Pork Chop, Nescafe Frappe attack in the Budapest Gambit, the Apocalypse attack in the Caro-Kann.


My favourite, which is good for blitz games, is the Halloween Gambit or Halloween Attack

[FEN "..."]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5. d4

Tim Krabbe wrote this up for ChessCafe.com and his own website - A BREEZE IN THE SLEEPY 4-KNIGHT'S GAME.

Steffen Jacob did a lot of work on the opening playing it many times with success on ICC. He wrote them up on his website - The Halloween-Attack in the Four Knight Game - where you will also find links to his database of Halloween Attack games.

  • Unfotunately, the databases don't seem to be available anymore... But thanks for this nice answer, the Halloween Attack matches well with the Frankenstein-Dracula variation!
    – lodebari
    Oct 4, 2015 at 16:28
  • It is more legit as black, if white plays 4.g3 (but 4.Bb5 and 4.d4 are more popular).
    – Ferazhu
    Dec 3, 2021 at 21:50

The opening 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 d5 is called the Elephant Gambit.

[FEN ""]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d5

The "Aged Gibbon Gambit" certainly deserves a mention here too. It occurs when g4 is played against Old Indian defense.

[FEN ""]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.g4

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