Template:Chess notation The Fried Liver Attack, also called the Fegatello Attack (named for an Italian idiom meaning "dead as a piece of liver"), is a chess opening. This colourfully named opening is a variation of the Two Knights Defence in which White sacrifices a knight for a superficially impressive attack on the enemy king. The Fried Liver has been known for many centuries, the first known game score being from a game played in Rome in 1610.[1]. The Fried Liver Attack is classified in the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings (ECO) with the code C57.

After usual opening moves of the Two Knights (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6), White goes on the offensive, the game continuing 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5. This latter move gives White a strong attack and is often considered to be a mistake. (Black usually plays 5...Na5 instead; other moves are 5...Nd4 and 5...b5.) White can now get a small advantage with 6.d4 (the Lolli Attack).

However, The Fried Liver Attack involves a far more speculative knight sacrifice on f7, with the defining moves 6.Nxf7 Kxf7 (See diagram.)

Play usually continues 7.Qf3+ Ke6 8.Nc3 (see second diagram). Black will play 8...Nb4 or 8...Ne7 and follow up with ...c6, bolstering his pinned knight on d5.

White has a strong attack, but it hasn't been proven to be decisive. Because defence is harder to play than attack in games with short time limits, the Fried Liver is dangerous for Black in over-the-board play. It is also especially effective against weaker players who may not be able to analyse the correct defences in detail. Sometimes Black invites White to play the Fried Liver Attack in correspondence chess as the relaxed time limit affords Black a better opportunity to refute the White sacrifice.



  1. Polerio v Domenico, Rome 1610

Further readingEdit

  • Computer Analysis of the Fried Liver and Lolli, Dan Heisman, Chessbase CHNESO001U
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