Top 10 aggressive chess openings for black and whites

▷"Top 10 aggressive chess openings for black and whites"

“Top 10 aggressive chess openings for black and whites”


Do you like open and dynamic positions? Are you a tactic and an aggressive player? This time we analyze what we consider  “Top 10 aggressive chess openings for black and whites”. There might be some other interesting attack variation we didn’t include here, but we can say for sure that these 10 openings have killer instincts. :)


King's Indian Attack (KIA)

ECO A07-A08

This is a very nice and strong attack. Since the beginning, White is driving the pieces to the kingside, because at some point they get some good space in the center, so, if Black doesn’t know the position and doesn’t play accurately, they can stay lost very early in the game. The name King’s Indian Attack is because the pawn structure and also some pieces development are similar to King’s Indian Defense.

This opening system is very flexible: White can develop pieces in some different orders and very often it doesn’t matter too much. It’s also versatile because it can be played against some defenses, like French or Sicilian.

The strong master Vasili Smyslov and the legend Bobby Fischer played King's Indian Attack.


Scotch Game 

ECO C44-C45

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4

The great and aggressive Garry Kasparov played this opening and he got many important and convincing victories with it. In this position, Black has to play 3. … exd4 and the main variation is 4. Nxd4. Nevertheless, White can also play other aggressive options like Goring Gambit (4. c3) and Scotch Gambit (4. Bc4).


“Top 10 aggressive chess openings for black and whites”, some of the entertaining lines you can play. 


Fried Liver Attack


  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 d5 5. exd5 Nxd5? 6. Nxf7!

This is a stunning attack, very strong and almost winning for White. They sacrifice a piece, but in the next move, they will play Qf3 checking and threatening the knight on d5. Black can defend the knight then with the move Ke6, but they will have to keep the king in the center under an annoying pin and a big pressure. Very often White opens the center with a move like d4, to exploit the terrible position of the black King.

We need to say that this famous attack includes a bad move from Black. In move 5, their best option is 5. … – Na5! Then the second player doesn’t really have any real problem. But very often, beginners and even some stronger players don’t know the theory very well, so they just play logical moves in this variation, and then they are lost almost without noticing anything.


King’s Gambit

ECO C30-C39

  1. e4 e5 2. f4

This is clearly one of the top 10 aggressive openings. White sacrifices a pawn in move 2, but… what is a pawn for an attack player? :) The idea is to get some compensation with the control they can get in the center once the black “e” pawn is deflected to aside. Also, the half-open “f” file can be used by the white rook on f1 along with the bishop on c4 and create some pressure on f7.

A problem for White in this opening is the fact that the King loses some protection once the “f” pawn is not on f2. This gambit is not played very often among the elite, but it’s still very popular in clubs.


“Top 10 aggressive chess openings for black and whites”, some of the sharpest lines you can play


Danish Gambit (“Top 10 aggressive chess openings for black and whites”, 10 sharpest lines)


  1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. c3

Aggressive gambit, the idea is to sacrifice one or maybe even 2 pawns, to get a good development advantage.

Fantastic players like Alexander Alekhine and Frank Marshall used this opening.


Sicilian Defense

ECO B20-B99

  1. e4 c5

This is the most famous and popular defense in chess. Also, the best performance for the second player in masters’ games databases is with Sicilian. Black can play in some different ways, so we are talking about several aggressive defenses like Pelikan, Taimanov. Najdorf, Classical, Kan, Dragon, Scheveningen.

Almost every great player has Sicilian included in his repertoire for Black. We can mention Vladimir Kramnik, Garry Kasparov, Veselin Topalov, and current World Champion Magnus Carlsen, just saying some of them.


“Top 10 aggressive chess openings for black and whites”, some of the most dynamic lines you can play


Scandinavian Defense


  1. e4 d5

You know you are playing one of the top 10 aggressive chess openings when your queen is out in move number 2. Scandinavian is dynamic, entertaining, and interesting. Even some of the best players in the world (like Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand) use it from time to time as a surprise.

The problem with this Defense is that there is a principle for the openings that states not to develop the queen early in the game, because as it is such a valuable piece, the opponent can develop and threaten it, getting some important tempos and some development advantage.

Benko Gambit 

ECO A57-A59

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5

This is against Queen’s Pawn. As it usually happens in gambits, Black is sacrificing one pawn to get some development advantage. Also, the second player is getting two half-open files, and the bishop from g7 will perform a very annoying pressure in the dark squares great diagonal, hitting b2 along with a rook.

Garry Kasparov, with his aggressive style, and Mikhail Tal, the Magician from Riga, played this dynamic defense.


“Top 10 aggressive chess openings for black and whites”, some of the riskiest lines you can play


Latvian Gambit


  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f5

This is not so strong, but, hey… are we talking about strong-boring openings or tactic-aggressive ones? :) In top-level, they don’t play this, because a strong master as White can take advantage of the risky move Black has done in his second turn, but among beginners and club players, this is very well.


Alekhine’s Defence 

ECO B02-B05

  1. e4 Nf6

This defense is named after 4th World Champion Alexander Alekhine. Since the first move, Black is creating threats (Nf6 attacks the White pawn on e4), and invites White to advance the pawns, so the position is open and dynamic.

Some great masters who played this variation are Bobby Fischer, Boris Spassky, and of course, Alexander Alekhine.

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