One of my favorite openings is the King's Gambit. It is extremely aggressive, and makes for a sharp tactical game without sacrificing too much material. It isn't played much at the highest level at standard time controls, but even today it is occasionally used in blitz by top level players such as Hikaru Nakamura.

What other openings for black or white would force these kind of very aggressive, tactical, sharp and open games? (Without putting yourself in too bad a position.)

  • 6
    budapest gambit, schliemann defense, evan's gambit, two knights, rossolimo attack.. – wim Jul 3 '12 at 10:22
  • 2
    In my answer I present the Sicilian Najdorf and the Semi-Slav Botvinnik variations. Cheers! – Rauan Sagit Jan 25 '14 at 12:30
  • 1
    The Sicilian Dragon is my personal favorite for the following reason: it is incredibly sharp and incredibly bookish. If they deviate in the first 9 moves from the book, you can crush them. I've been told (though I don't have a citation for this, so take it with a grain of salt) that at the grandmaster level among dragon practitioners the first 25 moves (50 ply) are considered "the book" and deviation doesn't occur until move 27 or so. Of course, it's semi-open, but I think might be sharp enough to suit the question. – Dennis Feb 27 '14 at 6:12
  • 1
    @EPN Please check the Double Muzio Gambit in King's Gambit, probably the most aggressive opening without putting yourself in unplayable position. – ferit Dec 26 '15 at 23:24
  • Most answers here talk about gambits but I don't think there are many things more aggressive than a good open Sicilian – David Sep 5 '20 at 9:58

30 Answers 30


The most (overly-)aggressive openings I know of that aren't too bad would probably be the Danish Gambit (Accepted) and the Fried Liver Attack.

Danish Gambit Accepted:

[FEN ""]
1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Bc4 cxb2 5.Bxb2 

White gets three open files and both bishops on open diagonals facing black's king; black gets two pawns. Usually considered slightly better for black, but played occasionally even up to master level.

Fried Liver Attack:

[FEN ""]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6. Nxf7!? Kxf7 7. Qf3+ Ke6 8. Nc3  

White sacrifices a knight to get Black's king out right away. Proper defense is extremely difficult over the board, but played correctly, black is thought to have a slight advantage. In most lines, white wins their material back.

  • 25
    How did you make those animated gifs? Is there an easy way? – Eve Freeman May 11 '12 at 4:37
  • 22
    Btw, that fried liver attack line doesn't happen much--most people play Na5 instead of Nxd5. – Eve Freeman May 11 '12 at 4:49
  • 7
    I agree with Wes, most people play 5...Na5 (Morphy's move) or 5...b5(Ulvestad variation) – Valentin Brasso May 11 '12 at 7:06
  • 7
    @Wes: I just used the first hit on google for "chess diagram generator" – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft May 11 '12 at 7:10
  • 18
    The Danish Gambit is only "aggressive" if your opponent doesn't know the standard "deflating" line 5 ... d5 6 Bxd5 Nf6! 7 Bxf7+ Kxf7 8 Qxd8 Bb5+ and we're already in an even endgame with little tension or asymmetry to speak of. To me an aggressive opening is one that requires the enemy to accept a sharp challenge or make awkward positional compromises -- not one that merely might lead to a sharp game if the other guy patzes around. – Evan Harper Aug 21 '12 at 23:46

The Latvian Gambit (ECO: C40) is an agressive opening.

[FEN ""]
1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 f5
  • 15
    The Latvian is a fun opening to play, but arguably it is a bad opening for black. I can't think of any top GM games that feature the Latvian. – Andrew May 2 '12 at 17:52
  • 3
    Spassky played it once – Andrew Latham Sep 15 '12 at 0:47
  • Interestingly the Latvian can be transposed into via 1. Nf3 f5 2. e4?! f5?! – user76 Jan 2 '13 at 18:14
  • 2
    @Andrew - I guess this is one reason why it isn't played much: chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1211518 – xaisoft Jan 4 '13 at 16:22
  • 4
    I tested in real games and analyzed latvian a lot. Result: Don't play it. It's a crap gambit. What's a gambit afterall? In a proper gambit, you give up material for initiative and/or development advantage and hoping for an attack. In Latvian, you give up a pawn for FALLING INTO DEFENSE! There is really no point. – ferit Dec 25 '15 at 23:25

As there other answers cover only white's options, let me throw in some black thoughts...

The Benko Gambit is a sharp, but sound and deep opening:

[FEN ""]
1. d4 Nf6
2. c4 c5
3. d5 b5 

The aggressive, but not-so-sound Budapest Gambit. However, if the opponent doesn't know the theory, she can be soon in serious trouble:

[FEN ""]
1. d4 Nf6
2. c4 e5
3. dxe5 Ng4  

Finally I like to play the Steinitz variation in the Scotch game, especially in blitz. If the opponent doesn't know the theory, it's quite unlikely he comes up with the only correct plan Nb1-c3-b5 by himself:

[FEN ""]
1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. d4 exd4
4. Nxd4 Qh4!?
  • 1
    "...it's quite unlikely he comes up with the only correct plan Nb1-c3.." what else would they play then? I don't see many other options than 5.Nc3 :o – gented Dec 21 '16 at 0:00
  • @Gennaro Tedesco Nc3 is the easy part, and no problem for black. Nb5 is the critical move to be found by white. It is not really a refutation of black's play, but all other lines are quite comfortable and natural to play for black. – Landei Dec 21 '16 at 8:22
  • The Benko also has a sharp line if it is declined, as 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nf3 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nbd5 d5 6. cxd5 Bc5 gives a pawn for an attack. – aschultz Apr 30 '17 at 22:35

It is difficult to force an aggressive position in any opening. Even in the King's Gambit, Black can simply play 2...d6 or Bc5 to reach a more positional type of position.

With that said, some popular openings traditionally thought to be more aggressive include the Sicilian Defence, the Dutch Defence, the Albin Counter-Gambit, the Benko Gambit, the King's Indian Defense, the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit, and an array of gambits on 1. e4.

  • 1
    Not to mention 2...d5! (on the King's Gambit) that actually give slight advantage to Black directly. – gented Dec 20 '16 at 23:58
  • Accepting a pawn gives a slight advantage, the position is actually around equal after 2.d5 – user24344 Aug 22 '20 at 2:27

Probably the most aggressive opening without being unplayable in chess is Double Muzio Gambit in King's Gambit, which suicide-bombs two minor pieces at f7 for a wildest possible opening attack:

[FEN ""]
[Title "Double Muzio Gambit"]

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 g5 4. Bc4 g4 5. O-O! {Strongest continuation, Muzio gambit! White sacrifices a piece for better development and attack(a very wild one)} gxf3 6. Qxf3 Qf6 7. e5 {after Qxe5, white can play d4 with tempo, increasing deveolpment advantage} Qxe5 8.Bxf7+!!? {Double Muzio Gambit, doubles the fun, now its kill or to be killed. White has two big pieces in f-file, and also black king is on the same file, white has a clear development advantage, shortly white has the wildest possible attack in 8 moves}

I invite you to see this nice analysis about Double Muzio Gambit

I played this variation succesfully in OTB games. If you think that this can't be playable, then check this master game:

[Title "Kuznetsov, Sergei (2396) vs. Korjakin, Boris (2274) - 2007"]
[FEN ""]

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 g5 4. Bc4 g4 5. O-O gxf3 6. Qxf3 Qf6 7. e5 Qxe5
8. Bxf7+ Kxf7 9. d4 Qxd4+ 10. Be3 Qf6 11. Nc3 fxe3 12. Qh5+ Kg7 13. Rxf6 Nxf6
14. Qg5+ Kf7 15. Rf1 Bg7 16. Nd5 e2 17. Rxf6+  1-0

Not satified? Another master game:

[Title "Lanzani, Mario (2371) vs. Sheskin, Matan (2207) - 2010"]
[FEN ""]

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 g5 4. Bc4 g4 5. O-O gxf3 6. Qxf3 Qf6 7. e5 Qxe5
8. Bxf7+ Kxf7 9. d4 Qxd4+ 10. Be3 Qf6 11. Bxf4 Ne7 12. Nc3 Qf5 13. Qe3 d6
14. Bg5 Nbc6 15. g4 Bg7 16. Nb5 Qxf1+ 17. Rxf1+ Ke8 18. Bxe7 Nxe7
19. Nxc7+ Kd7 20. Nxa8 b6 21. Rf7 Be5 22. Qg5 Re8 23. Nc7 h6 24. Qh4  1-0

If you think that the line is unplayable and white is winning just because of being stronger about 130 Elo, then check this evaluation of Komodo-9.3. A GM-slayer chess engine can't find a winning advantage too:

[Title "After 10...Qf6 | Komodo-9.3 Depth:31 -0.30"]
[FEN "rnb2bnr/pppp1k1p/5q2/8/5p2/4BQ2/PPP3PP/RN3RK1 w - - 2 1"]

1. Nc3 Nc6 2. Bxf4 d6 3. Nd5 Qf5 4. Be5 Qxf3 5. Rxf3+ Bf5 6. Bxh8 Nge7
7. Nxc7 Rc8 8. Nb5 Ke6 9. g4 Bxg4 10. Rf6+ Kd7 11. Rxd6+ Ke8 12. h3 Be2
13. Nc3 Bh5 14. Ne4 Nf5 15. Nf6+ Kf7 16. Rd7+ Kg6 17. Nxh5 Bc5+ 18. Kh1 Kxh5
19. Bc3 h6 20. Re1 Bf2 21. Re6 Rf8 22. b3 Ncd4 23. Bxd4 Bxd4 24. Rxb7 Kh4
25. Kh2 Rg8 26. Rb4 {-0.30}

If it can't find, we can say that our opponents can't find over the board too. Therefore, we can say that this line is definitely not a cheap opening trap, and absolutely playable. Black seems to have only a little advantage in this very uncomfortable extremely sharp defensive position, while White is enjoying the attack.


I've tried out the Goring gambit several times, and it has worked in ~1500 level tournament play. I don't think it's sound at the master level, but it's fun and open with lots of tactical options along the diagonals attacking the kingside.

[FEN ""]
[Title "Goring Gambit"]

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. d4 exd4
4. c3

Also, the Evans gambit. Probably also not sound at the master level, but it's quite similar, opening up the diagonals to attack the kingside after getting those pesky pawns out of the way for fast development.

[FEN ""]
[Title "Evans Gambit"]

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bc4 Bc5
4. b4
  • 5
    The Evans has shown up in world championship matches (like Kasparov v Anand) so I wouldn't write it off so cavalierly. – Arlen Nov 2 '12 at 17:40
  • Cool, I didn't know that. – Eve Freeman Nov 3 '12 at 6:17
  • 1
    re: "probably not sound..." Chess is a game between two people. At the amateur level, almost anything is playable. Just be more booked up than your opponent when taking chances. And by all means, have fun :-) – Tony Ennis Feb 2 '13 at 19:05

Perhaps the most insanely aggressive opening that's remotely playable is the Halloween Gambit,

[FEN ""]
[Title "Halloween Gambit"]

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Nc3 Nf6
4. Nxe5?!

It seems to defy logic that White can sacrifise a whole knight for merely a pawn and a speculative advantage in space and time, but sometimes aggression has a logic all its own. The White pawns roll up-board, attacking moves come naturally for White, while Black mis-steps can rapidly lead to catastrophe.

Strangely enough, Black's best idea in practical play may be to calmly counter-sac his own knight and play for a slight but sure positional advantage.

See also the Cochrane Gambit, a similar idea, but with a more distinguished pedigree.

  • Yes, this one rather caught me off guard (as black) when I first met it. Of course the idea is that if accepted, d4 then e5 will hit both knights in sequence, and will be followed up by Bc4. I have since found that the "deflating line" for black is to sac back one pawn: Nxe5 d4 Ng6 e5 Ng8 Bc4 d5 Bxd5 N8e7. Probably Be4 is white's best, but not enough. – Jeff Y Oct 13 '16 at 17:11
  • Had soooo much fun with this one in blitz... :-) – Danijel May 8 '17 at 13:27

The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit: is an agressive opening.

[FEN ""]
[Title "Blackmar-Diemer Gambit"]

1. d4 d5
2. e4 dxe4
3. Nc3
  • 1
    What sorts of things happen from here? – Thomas Ahle Dec 5 '13 at 16:04
  • 1
    @ThomasAhle Usually 3.. Nf6 4. f3. If black accepts the second pawn, white can put his bishop of c4 and castle on the king side, eyeing the f7 square, and having great momentum in general. I personally usually respond with 4.. e6 in blitz. – moteutsch Jan 21 '14 at 23:19
  • @moteutsch It isn't a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit unless White plays f3, usually 4.f3. If he doesn't, and Black plays ..c6, the game transposes to a line of the Caro-Kann, for example, and if Black plays ...e6, it transposes to a line of the French. – jaxter Sep 16 '16 at 21:02

I can't believe that no one mentioned the Lolli attack, very similar to the fried liver attack, but the Lolli attack is better!

[FEN ""]
[Title "Lolli Attack"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.d4 exd4 7.O-O 

From there, you actually have 4 main variations, watch this youtube video, it will tell you everything you need to know about the attack.

  • 1
    The Lolli Attack has been shown to reach an equal, quiet position if black plays ...Nxd4 – limits Jul 12 '15 at 4:06
  • I've always known this as the Pincus variation. Better than the Fried Liver attack for sure. 6...exd4 is a natural looking move, but leads to a pull for White after 7. 0-0. Alternatively 6...Nxd4 looks wrong, but leads to complex play with Black's king stuck in the center, for example, 7. c3 b5 8. Bd3 h6 (8...Nc6 9. Qf3 f5 10. Bxb5 +/=) 9. Nxf7 (Qh5!?) Kxf7 10. cxd4 exd4 11. 0-0 – rsoren Mar 4 '16 at 8:18

The Open Sicilian (1.e4 c5 followed by 2.Nf3 and 3.d4) counts, in my view. White immediately gets a lead in development and great attacking chances, in return for some positional sacrifice, most notably the 1v2 pawns in the center.

This opening is famous for its wild sacrificial attacks, in my opinion even more so than the king's gambit. Piece sacrifices on b5, d5 and e6, and black exchange sacrifices on c3 are the order of the day.

And best of all: almost all top players play it. It's actually good.

  • Another common sacrifice is of an exchange on h5 to open the h-file. – Qudit May 18 '19 at 23:04

Sometimes, one way to get overtly aggressive in a reasonably sound way is to throw out an early g4 pawn thrust in an otherwise vanilla, mainline position. For instance, in the Anti-Meran 6.Qc2 variation of the Semi-Slav, the gambit move 7.g4!? was popularized by Shirov and Shabalov:

[fen ""]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.g4!?

Speaking of Shirov, he pioneered a similar idea with 5.g4!? against the Pirc move-order of the Philidor Defense, and one could also try it a move earlier:

[fen ""]

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nbd7 4.Nf3 (4.g4!?) e5 5.g4!?

Indirectly Benoni Defense is one of the best opening for modern chess player. (A66)

[FEN ""]
[Title "Beoni Defense"]

1.d4 Nf6
2.c4 c5
3.d5 e6
4.Nc3 exd5
5.cxd5 d6
6.e4 g6
  • 9
    You have diagrammed a particular variation of the Benoni; actually, the Benoni is a much larger family of openings characterized by an early Black c5 against White's pd4, to which White responds by pushing d4-d5. Furthermore, the move order you have given is largely obsolete, because 7 ... Bg7 8 Bb5+ is too much trouble for Black. Knowledgeable players will generally not allow this line, and so reserve the Modern Benoni for when White has already blocked his Pf2 by Ng8-f6. – Evan Harper Feb 5 '13 at 2:05

Let me recommend two sharp opening variations for the black pieces: the Sicilian Najdorf and Semi-Slav Botvinnik variation. They lead to dynamic and complicated positions with chances for both sides. They are excellent for playing for a win with the black pieces. To master one or both of these variations, I recommend getting at least one modern book per variation and study these in great detail. Also, check all grandmaster games you can find and explore the ideas for both sides in these positions.

The starting position of the Sicilian Najdorf is reached after

[FEN ""]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6

Let's try to understand this position. Black has a statically better position thanks to the semi-open c-file. This means that an exchange of queens in this position is beneficial for black. White will fight for the d5 square and try to plant a light piece there. Black will try to deliver the d6-d5 center blow, thematic for the Sicilian system. White castles queenside in the sharpest Najdorf variations. Black castles kingside, queenside or stays with the King in the center, depending on the situation. Black chooses between the setups e7-e6, e7-e5 and g7-g6. White chooses between f2-f3 and f2-f4.

When white castles queenside, black attacks with the b- and a-pawns as well as the thematic exchange sac Rc8xNc3 bxc3, ruining the queenside pawn structure. If this exchange sac can be followed by picking up the e4-pawn, then it can be done at virtually any moment. Another thematic plan for black is placing a knight on e5 (after white's f-pawn is either on f5 or exchanged off) or c4 (attacking the b2-pawn and undermining the c3-knight).

The starting position of the Semi-Slav Botvinnik is reached after

[FEN ""]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.e4 b5

At first glance, black just grabbed the c4-pawn and is trying to hold on to it for dear life. Yet things are more subtle than this. Black has entered an assymetric position where white has to find dynamic plans to compensate for the material loss. It also looks like white is winning with e4-e5. Yet again, things are not so simple at all. A bit deeper we reach the following position

[FEN ""]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.e5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Nxg5 hxg5 10.Bxg5 Nbd7 11.exf6

White will try to win using the extra kingside pawns. White can also launch an attack on the black King. Black will try to win by launching an attack on the white King, after developing with Bc8-b7, Qd8-b6 and O-O-O. White will most probably castle kingside, since staying in the center or castling queenside looks spooky. Black will open the a8-h1 diagonal and attack the isolated d4-pawn. I have used both these variations with joy and success. They are simply awesome!


Two interesting gambit trees to be aware of are:

1) The Scotch/Goring/Italian/Danish gambit complex (there's a lot of opportunity to transpose among them). These start out with:

1. e4 e5 2. d4 ed 3. c3 (Danish)
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 ed 4. c3 (Goring)
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 ed 4. Bc4 (Scotch)
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. d4 (Italian)

The transpositions among them (and into both the Two Knight's and the Max Lange) should be enough to gratify anyone.

2) The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. The basic line of this is:

1. d4 d5 2. e4 de 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. f3

But the utility of this gambit lies in the great potential for transposition from semi-open e4 defenses:

1. e4 d5 2. d4 (from Center Counter)
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Be3 de (from French)
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. a3 Bxc3 5. bc de 6. f3 (also French)
1. e4 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 (from Alekhine's)
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 de 4. f3 (from Caro-Kann)

You can basically run any response to e4 except ...e5 and ...c5 and ...d6 into a BDG (and with the Sicilian or Pirc, you might find enough life in the f3 systems to keep you playing some sharp games even then).


Sicilian Defense, Dragon Variation, Yugoslav Attack

Another pretty sharp opening for both sides is The Sicilian Dragon, with the Yugoslav Attack being one of the sharpest variations. It differs from most of the openings listed here because it's not a gambit, but still a very sharp and dangerous opening with lots of threats for both White and Black.

9. Bc4 being the more aggressive move and 9. O-O-O goes for more tactical play.

[FEN ""]
[Title "Sicilian Defense / Dragon Variation / Yugoslav Attack"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. Bc4 (9. O-O-O)

The Smith-Morra Gambit is aggressive for white.

[fen ""]
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 (4.Bc4 cxb2 5.Bxb2)

White has sacrificed a pawn (or two) to free up his development.


The Alekhine's defence (1.e4 Nf6) is also a great attacking weapon for black, as it is a highly aggressive and provocative opening that lures white into overextending its centre, which can then be targeted (generally) via the knights on c6 and b6, trading the knight on f3 for your light square bishop, and sometimes even castling on the queen side to really target white's d pawn.

Take a look at the opening moves in the most common variations (Modern, Albert, Carlsen, 4 pawns, etc) and see if you like the resulting positions for black. It is a good practical weapon in tournament play, and white is frequently caught off-guard, as it is a rare opening (however, many world champions have played it (Fischer, Spassky, Tal, Capablanca, Alekhine, Euwe etc. and it is still sometimes used at the highest level today by Carlsen, Shabalov, Kamsky etc.)


Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense

Very sharp response to the Ruy Lopez. In blitz it is playable at all levels. At slower time-controls, should be solid even for master play.

[FEN ""]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 f5

I would recommend the Schara-Hennig-Gambit for black:

[Title "Schara-Hennig-Gambit"]
[fen "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5 4. cxd5 cxd4 5. Qa4 Bd7 6. Qxd4 exd5 
7. Qxd5 Nf6 8. Qd1 Nc6

It is pretty rare (the Tarrasch is 10 times more common after 3…c5), according to the computer it is sound and if white doesn't know what he is doing he can go down very quickly.

Here one of my own games, where my strong opponent started burning time after move 5 and couldn't find a way to quell the black initiative.

[Title "2325 Elo vs BlindKungFuMaster"]
[fen "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5 4. cxd5 cxd4 5. Qa4+ Bd7 6. Qxd4 exd5
7. Qxd5 Nf6 8. Qb3 Na6 9. Nf3 Nc5 10. Qd1 Nce4 11. e3 Bb4 12. Qd4 Qe7 
13. Bd3 Rd8 14. Bxe4 Bb5 15. Qxa7 Nxe4 16. Bd2 Bxc3 17. Bxc3 O-O 
18. Qa5 Nxc3 19. bxc3 Bc4 20. Rd1 Ra8 21. Qb4 Qxb4 22. cxb4 Rxa2 
23. Nd4 Rfa8 24. h4 Rb2 25. Rh3 h5 26. b5 Bd5 27. Rg3 Raa2 
28. f3 Bc4 29. Rc1 g6 30. f4 Bd3 31. Rg5 Rf2 0-1

One word of warning: White doesn't have any structural weaknesses, so black has to come up with something before his initiative evaporates. If you are confident that you will be able to do that, the Schara-Hennig-gambit is the perfect weapon for you.

  • What's wrong with 8. Qxb7? – Steve Bennett Dec 15 '20 at 7:57

I don't think anyone has mentioned the Staunton Gambit:

[FEN ""]

1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6

which I had the opportunity to play successfully against the computer earlier this week when it played the Dutch Defense. It can be seen as a sounder relative of the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit (1.d4 d5 2.e4) since 1...f5 does not contribute to Black's development and leaves the black king slightly exposed, which 2.e4 aims to take advantage of. It's sufficient for dynamic equality and can provide White with a very dangerous attack if Black is not adequately prepared for it. And the From Gambit is a strong, albeit double-edged, response to Bird's opening (1. f4 e5 2. fxe5 [2. e4 transposes to the King's Gambit] d6 3. exd6 Bxd6). If White is careless, Black can generate some quick Fool's Mate variation kingside mating attacks based on the absence of the f2 pawn and the weakness on the e1-h4 diagonal.

  • While the Staunton is definitely a dangerous line for White against the Dutch, it only works if Black plays 1...f5. To avoid it, most Dutch players open with 1...e6, and most theory books on the Dutch advocate 1...e6 first. So, you won't get much opportunity to play it if Black is knowledgeable the Dutch at all. – jaxter Sep 16 '16 at 21:20

I don't know whether these 2 opening positions have a name. But I have been on the losing side playing black in both these different types of games.

At the end of the game for these 2 boards, the white wins by checkmate. And I don't think they are very trivial board positions either.

[FEN ""]
1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. d4 exd4
4. Ng5 h6
5. Nxf7 Kxf7
6. Bc4+ Ke8
7. Qh5+ Ke7
8. Qf7+ Kd6    
9. Bf4+ Kc5
10. Qd5+ Kb6
11. Qb5#

[FEN ""]
1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bc4 h6
4. Nc3 d6
5. O-O Bg4
6. Nxe5 Bxd1
7. Bxf7+ Ke7
8. Nd5#
  • 1
    Your second trap is the well known "Legal" mate. named after the French player Sire de Légal (1702–92). The queen sacrifice leading to a mate can arise in various ways, although the one you have shown is the most common. The original game featured Légal playing at rook odds (without Ra1) against Saint Brie in Paris 1750: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bc4 Bg4?! 4. Nc3 g6? 5. Nxe5 Bxd1?? 6. Bxf7+ Ke7 7. Nd5# 1–0 – CConero Jul 14 '15 at 1:57
  • I think you could make your opponents work harder for the win if you would just stop playing h6. – bof Dec 26 '15 at 7:40
  • In the first game, what was wrong with 6...d5! ? White can try 7. Qh5+ g6. White then has to play 8.Qf3+ (Nf6) because he needs a tempo to rescue 2 hanging pieces. You get the bishop and rook out, and castle by hand. You're already a piece up, with a central pawn. If White plays 7.Bxd5+ Be6, then what? He can check with the queen, but your king just walks away; White doesn't have enough firepower to mate or win material back. He's just losing. I agree with bof that you should avoid ...h6; that just provokes him to make a move he's already planning, and weakens g6. – jaxter Sep 16 '16 at 21:33
  • 1
    All the second diagram does is lose a piece. 6... Nxe5, and then what? – ericw31415 Sep 25 '17 at 23:18
  • These are unsound opening traps, not legit openings as they will result in a completely losing position if your opponent knows them. In the first trap, black can answer 6. Bc4+ with Kg6 or d5 and you have nothing to show for your sacrificed knight. In the second trap, it works but only if black doesn't play 2. Nc6. Otherwise you are just giving your knight away for nothing – Sylverdrag Feb 16 '20 at 4:38

I like the Colorado Counter Gambit for Black in Blitz. Here's an example:

Colorado Counter-Gambit:

[Event "FRG-ch corr"]
[Date "1987"]
[White "Hallier, Karl Heinz"]
[Black "Winckelmann, Thomas"]
[Result "0-1"]
[PlyCount "38"]
[Result "0-1"]
[FEN ""]

1. e4 Nc6 2. Nf3 f5 3. exf5 d5 4. Nh4 e5 5. Qh5+ g6 6. fxg6 Nf6 7. g7+ Nxh5 8.gxh8=Q Qxh4 9. d4 Bf5 10. Bd3 e4 11. Be2 O-O-O 12. g3 Bb4+ 13. c3 Qe7 14. Qxd8+ Kxd8 15. Bxh5 Nxd4 16. Bd1 Nf3+ 17. Ke2 Qc5 18. Ba4 Qc4+ 19. Kd1 Bg4 0-1

You might notice who was playing Black: the famous Thomas Winckelmann (of Winckelmann-Riemer Gambit fame). And it was a correspondence game. And he beat White, who had essentially all the time in the world, in 19 moves.


I recommend to try Grob's Attack. This opening is very agressive for both white and black. And a lot of players don't know to play correctly in this opening as I found.

[FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"]
1. g4

Black can answer with Romford Countergambit, for example:

[FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"]
1. g4 d5 2. Bg2 Bxg4 3. c4 d4 4. Bxb7 Nd7 5. Bxa8 Qxa8 6. f3 d3

For me, it has to be Scandinavian Alekhine. Although it could be responded by Alekhine's defence (B02), Spielmann variation and would prove better.

Both sides' queen, both sides' centre pawn, both sides' knight with good position lost as soon as the 7th move.

Alekhine Defense: Scandinavian Variation:

[Event "Computer Chess Test B02"]
[Date "2016"]
[White "Stockfish 9"]
[Black "Komodo 10"]
[Result "0-1"]
[Result "1-0"]
[FEN ""]

1. e4 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5 3. e5 d4 4. exf6 dxc3 5. fxg7 cxd2 6. Qxd2 Qxd2 7. Bxd2 Bxg7 8. O-O-O
  • 2
    Can you explain how this is an aggressive opening? Exchanging pieces is not necessarily aggressive - the contrary is often the case. – Glorfindel Oct 8 '16 at 21:08
  • A better (and more aggressive) line goes 6. Bxd2 Bxg7 7. Qf3 Bxb2 8. Bc4 e6 9. Rd1 – B.Swan Sep 5 '20 at 11:38

I think the second diagram in this answer is a position called Mat de Legal.
This variation of the Scottish gambit is quite aggressive too:

[FEN ""]
[Title "Scottish gambit / Mat de Legal"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Bb4+ 5.c3 dxc3 6.O-O *
  • oups dunno how to display the diagram even with this link: apronus.com/chess/wbeditor.php – steuba Apr 23 '15 at 15:29
  • Which diagram are you referring to in the first sentence? – Dag Oskar Madsen Apr 23 '15 at 18:21
  • The second diagram of the post of Nikunj Banka, edited Jan 8 at 8:37 – steuba Apr 24 '15 at 14:03
  • @DagOskarMadsen The poster mentioned "Mat de Legal", so only one diagram could pertain; the Legal's Mate. – jaxter Sep 16 '16 at 21:35

I personally like the Grob opening, especially for blitz.

It goes:

  1. g4

And, just an example of a continuation: .. d5 2. Bg2 Bxg4 3. c4 e6 4. Qb3

I also like using the same idea as black playing against 1. e4. For example:

  1. e4 g5 2. d4 Bg7 3. Bxg5 3. c5 4. Be3 Qb6

The computer evaluation isn't always sound, but in practical play (in blitz), it works pretty well.


The Caveman variation(Caro-kann advance variation sideline) should do the trick.

  1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. h4 h5 5. Bg5 Qb6 6. Bd3!? Bxd3 7. Qxd3 Qxb2 8. e6!

If Black takes the free rook, you get a strong attack. The only problem is that you'll have to get your opponent to play THE EXACT SEQUENCE OF MOVES, which is very difficult, considering the length of the line.


The Fried Liver is good, and according to Stockfish, black would NOT have a "slight advantage" even if they defend properly.

  • We're humans, and we don't play like machines. – user24344 Sep 5 '20 at 9:01

I read all the comments , by your post I think you need a new opening to learn which has a solid reputation but aggressive in nature which always favorite of many chess player club players and grand masters . If you are trying to find new gambit lines then you can try The gambit by M.yudovich , but if you want aggressive but solid openings first, I want to recommend you Vienna Game it also can transfer from the bishop's opening which goes like , 1.e4 e5 2. (Nc3/Bc4) (Nf6/Nc6/Bc5/others) 3.(Bc4/Nc3) {now after nf6 there is also frakenstein-dracula line which will be like 3..Nxe4 4.Qh5 which always a drawish line but you can pressurize your opponent and he/she can fall into your traps} 3....Bc5(after nf6) 4.d3 d6 5.Ne2 0-0 6.0-0 Nc6 7.Kh1 Be6 8.f4(and suddenly you can see it is a solid version of king's gambit) which always played by many top players recently it's been a fashion for top players to refute petrov defence or russian defence (1.e4 e5 2Nf3 Nf6). Now e4 is played for many many years to have the main purpose checkmate the king with controlling the f7 square. In the e4 lines I also like the opening called the Najdorf sicilian english attack, (1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6.Be3) , 6. Bg5 is also aggressive which all comes into the main pawn race with g4 , g5 , and in the side of d4 openings solid and aggressive lines can be found in the A Killer Chess Opening Repertoire by Aaron Summerscale , ( the barry attack is one of favourites from that book which goes like 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Bf4 , with the plans of going in pawn race with h4 or g4 this opening also been mastered by GM mark hebden and also a new form of this opening been played by famous GM baadur jobava and the opening is named as jobava opening . Now you can also read A Ferocious Opening Repertoire by C. LAKDAWALA which includes veresov opening with f3 lines . And with black against e4 my favorite opening is najdorf (1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6)and also can play tiger modern (1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6) and against d4 you can play Grünfeld Defence(1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5) and you can play dutch defence (1. d4 f5 ) and this is also aggressive but solid played by many player you will find many examples in the ginger gm youtube channel.I don't recognize benko gambit as a aggressive opening cause a if your opponent knows then it can be not an aggressive one.And also other openings. Anyway Best Of Luck!!

  • You may want to clean this up. I started to, but your Vienna line is wrong, as white can't castle before playing Nf3. – Herb May 21 '19 at 16:42
  • Sorry #HerbWolfe I recently changed it , you have to play Ne2 before f4 , and after Ne2 you can castle and if Bc5 not going to be played then you easily play f4 directly , you can follow vienna games in the dvd of Andrew Martin – Saptarshi Ghosh May 23 '19 at 17:05
  • I'm familiar with some of the lines, I have played them using the Bishop's Opening move order. – Herb May 23 '19 at 17:10
  • yah, you can come with bishop's opening, and also looks like innocent but it is very aggressive. – Saptarshi Ghosh Jun 15 '19 at 18:42

Luccini Gambit

[FEN ""]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. d3 f5 5. Ng5 f4 6. Nf7 Qh4

Nakhmanson Gambit

[FEN ""]
1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. Nc3 dxc3 7. Bxf7+ Kxf7 8. Qd5+

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