FRIED LIVER - IT'S OFFAL FOR BLACK


If you go for SCHOLAR'S MATE you MIGHT win in four moves if your opponent hasn't seen it before, but if he knows what to do you'll end up in a bad position. The opening we'll look at in this lesson gives you a very good chance of mating your opponent in nine moves without the dangers of SCHOLAR'S MATE.


The game starts like this:


1. e2-e4 e7-e5

2. Ng1-f3 Nb8-c6

3. Bf1-c4 Ng8-f6


Black's other move here, which you've seen before, is Bf8-c5. The moves are equally good. If you're Black you can choose either move, but in each case you have to KNOW what you are doing in order to survive. Ng8-f6 is called the TWO KNIGHTS DEFENCE


White now has a dangerous attacking move. Can you find it? A move we don't recommend is Nb1-c3 because Black can play Nf6xe4 and, if White takes the Knight, d7-d5 (The FORK TRICK). If White wants to go for the DOUBLE FREDDIE he should play d2-d3 first (Remember: Pawn, Knight, Bishop, Pawn, Knight, Bishop). 0-0 is not very good: Black can get away with winning a Pawn: Nf6xe4. d2-d4 is a good move for White if he knows how to continue after e5xd4. But the move we want to look at now is...



4. Nf3-g5 (Diagram)


One of our Opening Rules is: DON'T MOVE A PIECE TWICE IN THE OPENING WITHOUT A VERY GOOD REASON. Does White have a good reason here? Some strong players would say 'Yes', while others would say 'No'. But first, what's the big idea? That's right: White is THREATENING Ng5xf7+ with a KNIGHT FORK of Queen and Rook. Can you find a way for Black to defend f7?


Black could play Qd8-e7, which avoids the fork, but the Queen is too valuable a piece to defend with here: White can still take the Pawn on f7. There's only one way for Black to avoid losing a pawn on f7, and that's to block the Bishop's line of attack with ...


4... d7-d5

5. e4xd5


This is White's best move (his Bishop was THREATENED) and the most obvious reply for Black is to take the pawn back with...


5... Nf6xd5 (Diagram)


Any idea what White should play next? If you haven't seen the move before you probably won't get it right.


Bc4xd5 is not a good move. In OPEN positions such as this one, where Pawns have been exchanged in the centre, BISHOPS ARE BETTER THAN KNIGHTS. If you understand fractions you might like to think of Bishops as being worth 3 or 3 points in OPEN POSITIONS. Qd1-f3, FORKING d5 and f7, looks tempting but Black can play Qd8xg5 (you noticed, didn't you, that Black's last move opened up a DISCOVERED ATTACK on the Knight on g5). Qd1-h5 can be met safely by g7-g6. d2-d4 is a strong move for White but the move we're looking at in this lesson is...


6. Ng5xf7


What's happening? Has White gone crazy. No - it's a good move. This is called the FRIED LIVER ATTACK. (No one knows why - it's a translation of its Italian name: FEGATELLO). Black's Queen and Rook are FORKED so he has to take the Knight...


6... Ke8xf7


... and White continues with a check:


7. Qd1-f3+ (Diagram)


Now stop for a minute and decide how Black should go about meeting the check.


Did you suggest Kf7-g8? After that move White can win quickly. Do you see how? That's it: either Bc4xd5+ or Qf3xd5+ leads to mate.

Most players, seeing this position for the first time play Kf7-e8. White continues with Bc4xd5, winning back the SACRIFICED KNIGHT. Now if Black plays Nc6-d4, THREATENING the Queen, not to mention a FORK on c2, what should White play? Think CCT! Yes, Qf3-f7#, the KISS OF DEATH! And if Black plays Nc6-b4? Qf3-f7# again! Or if Bc8-d7? Again, Qf3-f7#! Or if Qd8-e7? Bd5xc6+, and if Black takes, Qf3xc6+ and Qc6xa8. Black's best move is Qd8-f6, to DEFEND both THREATS, on c6 and f7, but White is a Pawn ahead with the better position. So, returning to the diagram, we see that White's last move, Qd1-f3+, is a FORK. Black is in CHECK and his Knight on d5 is THREATENED. Nd5-f6 is ILLEGAL (do you see why? - the Knight is PINNED) so if Black doesn't want to lose his Knight he must play...


7... Kf7-e6


What would you suggest now for White?


What we DON'T do is exchange the pieces off on d5. We're a Knight for a Pawn behind but Black's King is in trouble in the middle of the board. We must play for mate. Black's Knight on d5 is PINNED, remember. And what do we do to a PINNED piece? We attack it with everything we've got. How can we attack the Knight again? Yes: with the Knight on b1.


8. Nb1-c3 (Diagram)


How can Black defend d5 again? By moving the Knight on c6 (the other ones PINNED, remember) to either e7 or b4. (Best play for both sides is probably 8... Nc6-b4 9. a2-a3! Nb4xc2+ 10. Kc1-d1 Nc2-d4 - taking the Rook is too risky - when White wins the Knight back but Black may just be able to defend.) But instead we'll follow a game where Black chose a different move.

At this point we take White's Rook on a1 off the board, as in the diagram on your right. The game we are going to follow was played by the brilliant American player Paul Morphy in 1858. His opponent was a much weaker player so Paul gave him a Rook at the start of the game.


8... Nc6-d4

9. Bc4xd5+ Ke6-d6

10. Qf3-f7


What's the THREAT? Nc3-e4#! So Black doesn't have time to take on c2.


10... Bc8-e6

11. Bd5xe6 Nd4xe6

12. Nc3-e4+


The Black King is like a fly going further and further into the spider's web.


12... Kd6-d5

13. c2-c4+ (Diagram)


13... Kd5xe4


Moving further into trouble.


14. Qf7xe6 Qd8-d4

15. Qe6-g4+ Ke4-d3


Another step up the board.


16. Qg4-e2+ Kd3-c2


And another step. Perhaps he thought he could have another Queen if he got his King to the end of the board?!


17. d2-d3+ Kc2xc1?? (Diagram)


After Kc2-b1 the game goes on. But now White can win at once. Do you see how?


Black's walked straight into the firing line of White's Rook lurking on h1. It's mate next move, but for some reason most people can't find it.


18. 0-0#


Yes, it's perfectly legal! There's no reason why you can't castle and check, or even mate your opponent at the same time! If you look at it it's death by FIRING SQUAD: the Rook fires the fatal shot while the Queen stands guard.


Black might just about survive the FRIED LIVER ATTACK if he's lucky but you'd have to be very brave - and a very good defender - to risk it. Black does much better to avoid the Fried Liver by SACRIFICING a pawn or two himself.


Here's how. Can you remember the opening moves?


1. e2-e4 e7-e5

2. Ng1-f3 Nb8-c6

3. Bf1-c4 Ng8-f6

4. Nf3-g5 d7-d5

5. e4xd5 (Diagram)


Black has a choice of several interesting moves here. 5... Nc6-d4 is interesting, as is 5... b7-b5, planning to meet d5xc6 by b5xc4 and Bc4xb5 by Qd8xd4, FORKING b5 and g2. But the most popular move here for Black is...


5... Nc6-a5


Yes, a Knight on the rim is USUALLY dim, but this is an exception. Here Black gains time by THREATENING the Bishop. A quick look at how the game might continue:


6. Bc4-b5+ c7-c6

7. d5xc6 b7xc6


8. Bb5-e2


The most usual move: elsewhere it might become a target for Black's pieces.


8... h7-h6

9. Ng5-f3 e5-e4


See how Black is using his pawns to drive the White Knight round the board.


10. Nf3-e5 Bf8-d6


Now White can defend his Knight with either d2-d4 or f2-f4. In each case Black does best to capture en passant. You haven't forgotten the en passant rule, have you? White is a pawn ahead but Black has a lead in development which can lead to a strong attack.


Try to remember these variations and try them out in your own games.

HELPFUL HINTS


1. There are some openings where the best moves are too hard to find over the board. You have to LEARN them off by heart, REMEMBER them, and, MOST IMPORTANT, UNDERSTAND the reasons why they are played. You can win game after game after game in this openings if you LEARN, REMEMBER and UNDERSTAND the variations in this lesson.


2. In open positions Bishops are better than Knights. Don't exchange off a Bishop for a Knight unless you have a very good reason.


3. If you're attacking, don't exchange off pieces if you can help it. The more pieces you've got on the board the more likely you are to mate your opponent.


4. Think CCT every move: for your opponent as well as for yourself.







































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