The "Offensive" Chess Opening
Which chess openings do you find "offensive"?

The "Offensive" Chess Opening

| 135 | Opening Theory

In his recent stream, Russian GM Alexey Dreev called a certain opening "indecent." Moreover, he said that it is disrespectful towards your opponent to play this opening. He also said that if you don't understand why it is disrespectful behavior then it would be very difficult for him to explain why it is. I know you are wondering by now what opening he is talking about. It is the good old 2.Qh5 opening.

If you understand Russian, here is the relevant fragment of the stream.

GM Aloexey Dreev
Alexey Dreev. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Alexey Dreev is a very strong grandmaster who got a classical training under the world's most famous coach, Mark Dvoretsky. Some 10 years ago I would endorse every single word he said. But hey, it is 2020 now and nothing is normal here. Super-grandmasters play K +R vs. K+R endgames, and our world champion played the following "game."

Of course, there is reason in Magnus Carlsen's madness, and I see it as a very noble if somewhat bizarre behavior. You can read the full story here

But let's get back to the 2.Qh5 opening. In my opinion, this position is not any weirder than Fischer Random chess, where you can even castle on the very first move. In fact, I would prefer the 2.Qh5 opening to Fischer Random chess anytime! So, can I offend anyone by offering to play Fischer Random chess? 

Magnus Carlsen
Is Magnus Carlsen chess trolling? Photo: Maria Emelianova/

GM Dreev mentioned the game that Magnus Carlsen lost after playing 2.Qh5, but to be fair, the result of the game had nothing to do with the opening. In fact, at some point the world champion missed a winning tactical shot. 

Let me start with a disclaimer: I am not recommending you play 2.Qh5 since there are many openings in chess that promise White an opening advantage, and 2.Qh5 is not one of them. But as a tricky weapon of internet chess for players rated below 1600, it can be quite dangerous. Let's examine the main appeal (or should I say tricks) of 2.Qh5.

Trick #1: Checkmate In Three

After you play 2.Qh5, your opponent might intend to play 2...Qe7, but the opponent may mouseslip and play 2...Ke7 instead. 

Can you possibly checkmate your opponent in three moves in a Ruy Lopez?

Trick #2: A Free Pawn

Black can simply forget that the e5-pawn is under attack.  Here is a typical example. (Just as I do in all my articles, I have withdrawn the names of the amateur players.)

Trick #3: Scholar's Mate

Yes, it is the good old "Scholars Mate."

Scholar's Mate
Scholar's mate in action.

Trick #4: Pin and Win

Black plays g7-g6 in order to defend against the Scholar's Mate but then develops the bishop in the traditional way to c5. The subsequent pin costs Black a knight. 

Trick #5: An Exposed Bishop

Black plays g7-g6 and then correctly fianchettoes the bishop to g7. White's Qf3 really tempts Black to play Bg4 and attack the queen. On g4, the bishop becomes very vulnerable. Here is a good example of the possible mutual mistakes:

These are the most common tricks in the 2.Qh5 opening.

Today's question for our readers is: Do you play 2.Qh5 opening? If so, please share your best wins in the comments!

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