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# Great chessopening: The lion, with commentary, tips, tricks, example game and puzzle!

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The lion: a flexible opening system

This post is going about one of my favorite chessopenings: The lion.

The lion is invented by Leo Jansen and Jerry van Rekom. First there was only a black lion, later there also came a white lion.

The lion-system has three openings:

• The lion’s claw, which my post is going about, in this opening the lion player is going to try to attack on the kingside.
• The lion’s den, which is an answer against 4. f4 (see the first moves of the lion). See the website from the lion for many variations.
•  The lion’s head, in the lion’s head the lion player is going to play more defending and castle. See the website from the lion for many variations from this opening. I prefer the lion’s claw because it’s more attacking.

The first moves of the lion

The first moves of the lion seem to be passive, but it’s not a passive opening!

The lion’s claw

These moves are the begin of the lion’s claw. Now white has two choices: 5. Bc4 and 5. Be2.

5. Bc4

5. Bc4 is more attacking than 5. Be2, because it attacks square f7. Here is a possible continuation:

After these moves you think: where is that attack. Here is that attack!:

5. Be2

5. Be2 is more defending than 5. Bc4, here’s a possible continuation:

The white lion:

The white lion is the black lion for white, there are a few differences:

·       The white lion doesn’t begin with 1. d3, but with 1. e4.

·       The white lion is a move further than the black lion in comparison to the opponent.

Here are the first moves of the white lion with a possible continuation:

An example game:

The lion is a very attacking opening!:

Some tips and tricks:

I played the lion very often, so I have some tips and tricks:

•     The weakest squares in the black lion’s claw are e5 (1) and f7 (2). The best way to defend e5, is doing c6 followed by Qc7 (3). The reason why the move d5 for white a bad move is, is because the black e5 pawn isn’t weak anymore. The best way to defend f7 is doing h6 (4), if you do h6, the white knight on f3 cannot go to g5 (5) with a kind of a fried liver attack.
•   Here a nice tactic in this opening, can you find it? (white’s response is a stupid move)

I hope, now you know more about the lion.

Update:

On the website of the lion there is no answer against 4. g4 wich poucin suggested as a good attempt to disprove the lion. So I analyzed a good continuation (together with stockfish):

Update:

Here a good answer on the diagrams from Poucin's comment:

In the first diagram 9... 0-0 was not good, better was 9...Qe7, follow by 10. Kd2 and then 10...0-0.

Here a good way to prevent the knight sac in the second diagram:

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