Fun Chess Openings

When it comes to chess, the popular and well-known openings are often discussed and studied extensively. However, there is another side to chess openings that is often overlooked – the fun and unconventional openings that can bring a new level of excitement to the game. These offbeat openings may not have centuries of established theory behind them, but they offer a refreshing change of pace and can surprise opponents who are expecting the usual lines. In this article, we will explore some of the weirdest and most entertaining chess openings that you can try in your own games. So, get ready to brighten up your chess game with these fun chess openings!

Key Takeaways:

  • Fun chess openings add excitement and unpredictability to the game.
  • Unconventional openings offer a refreshing change of pace from traditional lines.
  • These openings can surprise opponents and catch them off guard.
  • Trying out fun chess openings can improve your adaptability and understanding of chess principles.
  • Enjoy the thrill of a unique and entertaining game with these fun chess openings.

The Toilet Variation

The Toilet Variation, as the name suggests, is a peculiar and unconventional opening. Legend has it that it was conceived by a Sicilian Grand Prix player in the restroom, hence its quirky name. Despite its unusual origins, this opening can catch opponents off guard and quickly eliminate any advantage they might hope to gain. It may not be the most strategic or well-known opening, but it certainly adds a touch of humor and unpredictability to the game.

Whether it’s the flush of victory or a catastrophic checkmate, the Toilet Variation is sure to make your opponents rethink their strategies. This unorthodox opening disrupts the familiar patterns of play and tests the creativity and adaptability of both players. While not recommended for serious competitive games, the Toilet Variation can inject an element of fun and surprise into friendly matches or casual play.

Unleash the Quirkiness: Key Moves of the Toilet Variation

Let’s take a look at the key moves that define the Toilet Variation:

  1. 1. e4 c5
  2. 2. Nf3 Nc6
  3. 3. d4 cxd4
  4. 4. c3

This sequence of moves diverges from the traditional Sicilian Defense and enters the unique realm of the Toilet Variation. By playing 4. c3, White aims to open up the game and create tactical opportunities, catching Black off guard. This move unleashes the quirkiness and unpredictability that defines the Toilet Variation.

Now, let’s visualize the moves and corresponding positions in a table:

Move White Black
1. e4 c5 e2-e4 c7-c5
2. Nf3 Nc6 Ng1-f3 Nb8-c6
3. d4 cxd4 d2-d4 c5xd4
4. c3 c2-c3

The moves 1-4 of the Toilet Variation create an unconventional position on the chessboard, setting the stage for an unpredictable and exciting game. This opening challenges players to think creatively and adapt to new situations, breaking away from the traditional patterns of play.

The Toilet Variation may seem unconventional, but it has the potential to flush away your opponent’s plans and give you a fresh perspective on the game.” – International Master Ivanov

Remember, the Toilet Variation is all about injecting some lightheartedness and amusement into your chess games. So, why not give it a try and flush away the boredom with this weird and wonderful opening?

The Monkey’s Bum

The Monkey’s Bum is an aggressive opening that was invented by British IM Nigel Povah in the early 1970s. This unique and unconventional opening offers exciting strategies and surprising moves that can catch opponents off guard.

The name “Monkey’s Bum” came about when Povah demonstrated the moves to his friend Ken Coates. Coates humorously remarked, “if this works, then I’m a monkey’s bum.” Little did they know that this opening would become known by this playful name.

The Monkey’s Bum is particularly effective against the Modern Defense. It provides players with powerful attacking opportunities that can lead to dynamic positions on the chessboard. Its aggressive nature allows chess enthusiasts to unleash a barrage of tactical moves, keeping opponents on their toes.

With the Monkey’s Bum, players can take the initiative from the very beginning and set the tone for an exciting and unpredictable game. By exploring new ideas and strategies, chess enthusiasts can further develop their skills and enhance their enjoyment of the game.

Check out the following table for an overview of the main moves in the Monkey’s Bum opening:

Move White Black

Immerse yourself in the Monkey’s Bum opening and enjoy the thrill of aggressive and strategic gameplay. Surprise your opponents and unleash the power of this unconventional opening!

The Hillbilly Attack

The Hillbilly Attack is a wild and exciting chess opening that brings a fresh and aggressive approach to the traditional Caro-Kann Defense. This daring strategy aims to create a dynamic and unpredictable position on the chessboard, catching opponents off guard and leaving them scrambling to find the best moves. Inspired by the legendary Magnus Carlsen, who was reportedly impressed by this unconventional opening, the Hillbilly Attack is a rootin’-tootin’ way to shake up your games and keep your opponents on their toes!

With the Hillbilly Attack, you’ll venture into uncharted territory, unveiling surprise tactics and innovative ideas that can lead to thrilling and unorthodox positions. It’s a chance to break away from the conventional play and embrace the excitement of wild chess openings.

Key Features of the Hillbilly Attack:

  • An aggressive and dynamic approach to the Caro-Kann Defense
  • Creates unpredictable positions that challenge opponents
  • Offers a fresh perspective and an element of surprise
  • Brings excitement and variety to your chess games

Unlock the thrill of the Hillbilly Attack and take your opponents by storm with this wild and offbeat opening. Embrace the spirit of adventure and let the hillbilly spirit guide your chess moves to victory!

The Frankenstein-Dracula Variation

Are you ready to unleash the undead on the chessboard? Look no further than the Frankenstein-Dracula Variation, a sharp and aggressive twist on the Vienna Game. While not the most strategically ambitious line, this variation has captivated players like Alexei Shirov, who have utilized it in exhibition games, adding to its mystique and allure.

Some chess enthusiasts have even likened the Frankenstein-Dracula Variation to a battle between the iconic monsters themselves, envisioning the chessboard as the ultimate battleground for their clash. If you’re seeking a wild and unconventional opening that will keep your opponents on their toes, the Frankenstein-Dracula Variation is the perfect choice.

Frankenstein-Dracula Variation Example

White Black
e4 e5
Nc3 Nf6
f4 exf4
Nf3 d5

The Hippopotamus Defense

The Hippopotamus Defense is not your typical opening. Popularized by Boris Spassky during his 1966 world championship match against Tigran Petrosian, this setup is designed to be flexible and adaptable, making it a formidable defense against White’s attacks. Although it may appear passive at first glance, the Hippopotamus Defense is a strategic choice that patiently waits for the right moment to strike.

Unlike traditional chess openings, the Hippopotamus Defense doesn’t follow a specific set of moves. Instead, Black positions their pawns and pieces in a way that allows them to react to whatever White tries. This flexible approach keeps the options open and forces White to carefully plan their moves, creating an element of surprise.

The strength of the Hippopotamus Defense lies in its ability to adapt to different variations, making it a valuable asset in strategic gameplay. By avoiding early pawn breaks and focusing on solid piece development, Black creates a solid foundation for a counterattack. This defense is particularly effective against aggressive and tactical players who may rely on more straightforward openings.

The Hippopotamus Defense allows for creative maneuvering and unexpected tactical opportunities. It can catch opponents off guard and lead to exciting and dynamic positions on the chessboard.” – Grandmaster Alexander Morozevich

The Hippopotamus Defense requires patience, discipline, and careful calculation. It is not a passive defense but rather a patient waiting game, where Black positions themselves for the perfect moment to unleash a powerful counterattack. This strategic approach can unsettle opponents and create opportunities for victory.

Example Game: Boris Spassky vs. Tigran Petrosian

White Black Result
Boris Spassky Tigran Petrosian 1-0
1.e4 a6
2.d4 b5
3.c4 Bb7
4.Bd3 e6
5.Nf3 Nf6
6.d5 exd5
7.exd5 Bb4+
8.Bd2 Bxd2+
9.Qxd2 O-O
10.O-O d6
11.Nc3 Nbd7
12.Nd4 Ne5
13.f4 Nxd3
14.Qxd3 Re8
15.Rae1 Qd7
16.Nf5 Rxe1
17.Rxe1 Re8
18.Rxe8+ Nxe8
19.Nd4 Nf6
20.Nc6 Bxc6
21.dxc6 Qxc6
22.b3 Qe8
23.Nd5 Nxd5
24.cxd5 Qd7
25.Qc3 Qf5
26.Qd4+ g6
27.Ne3 Qe4
28.Qxe4 Rxe4
29.Kf2 f5
30.Kf3 Kg7
31.g4 Kf6
32.gxf5 gxf5
33.Nc2 c5
34.Ne3 d4
35.Nd5+ Kf7
36.Nxb6 d3
37.Ke3 d2
38.Kxd2 Ke6
39.Kd3 Kd5
40.Nc4 Nxb3
41.Ne3+ Kc6
42.Nxf5 h5
43.Ng3 h4
44.Nf5 h3
45.Nd4+ Kd5
46.f5 Ke5
47.a4 Kxf4
48.Kxd4 Kxf5
49.Ke3 Kg4
50.Kf2 Kf4
51.Ke2 Kg4
52.Ke1 Kf3
53.Kf1 Kf4
54.Ke2 Kg4
55.Ke3 Kf5
56.Kd3 Kg4
57.Ke4 Kg5
58.Ke3 Kh4
59.Kf4 Kh5
60.Kf5 Kh6
61.Kg4 Kg7
62.Kxh3 Kf6
63.Kg4 Ke5
64.h4 Kd4
65.h5 Kc3
66.h6 Kb2
67.h7 a5
68.h8=Q a4
69.Qg8+ Ka3
70.Qf8+ Ka2
71.Qa3+ Kxa3
72.Ke4 Kb2
73.Kd3 a3
74.Kc2 a2
75.Qb4+ Ka1

The Orangutan

The Orangutan opening is named after a famous 1924 game between Tartakower and Maróczy in New York. Tartakower claimed he “talked” with an orangutan named Susan before the game, who recommended the move 1. b4. While the game ended in a draw, the name “Orangutan” has stuck with this unconventional opening ever since. It may not be the most popular or well-known opening, but it can definitely add an element of surprise and unpredictability to your games.

Give it a try and see how your opponents react to this unusual chess opening.

Advantages Disadvantages
Surprises opponents Lacks established theory
Creates unbalanced positions Might lead to unfamiliar positions
Can disrupt opponents’ plans Requires adaptability and creativity

Despite its unconventional nature, the Orangutan opening offers a fresh and exciting approach to the game. It tests both players’ abilities to think on their feet and find creative solutions. So, if you’re looking for a surprise element in your games, consider giving the Orangutan opening a go!

The Flick-Knife Attack

The Flick-Knife Attack is a powerful and aggressive response to the Modern Benoni Defense. Some strong players even consider this opening to have “busted” the Modern Benoni, as it poses serious challenges for Black. The setup of this opening resembles a flick-knife, and it can lead to tactical and dynamic positions on the chessboard. If you’re looking for a strong and decisive opening, the Flick-Knife Attack is definitely one to consider.

Advantages of the Flick-Knife Attack: Disadvantages of the Flick-Knife Attack:
  • It puts significant pressure on Black’s position right from the start.
  • It offers the opportunity to seize control of the center quickly.
  • It can lead to tactical complications that favor White.
  • It requires precise and accurate calculation to avoid falling into traps.
  • Black has several defensive options to neutralize the attack.
  • It may lead to an imbalanced position where mistakes can be costly.

Unconventional Openings in Popularity

Chess has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years, thanks in part to events like PogChamps on Twitch and the success of Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit. These events have introduced a new wave of players to the game and have sparked interest in unconventional openings.

Learning from grandmasters’ previously played games has become a valuable resource for chess players, and understanding basic opening principles such as developing pieces and controlling the center is crucial for success in chess.

The rise in popularity of chess has also contributed to the discovery and exploration of more unconventional openings, making the game even more exciting and diverse.

Popular Chess Events Effects on Popularity
PogChamps on Twitch Introduction of new players to the game
The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix Increased interest in chess

With more people participating in the chess community, there has been a growing curiosity for unconventional openings. Players are eager to explore new strategies and surprise their opponents with unexpected moves.

Quote: “Chess is no longer just a game for grandmasters. It has become a popular pastime, thanks to the exposure it has received through Twitch events and The Queen’s Gambit. This has encouraged players to experiment with unconventional openings and discover new ways to enjoy the game.” – Chess Enthusiast

Unconventional openings not only add an element of surprise and excitement to the game but also offer a fresh perspective on traditional chess strategies. They challenge players to think outside the box and adapt to unique positions on the chessboard.

By embracing unconventional openings, players can unleash their creativity and engage in thrilling battles on the 64 squares. Whether it’s the Toilet Variation, the Monkey’s Bum, or the Hillbilly Attack, these unconventional openings provide a welcome change from the norm and keep the game captivating and dynamic.

Exploration and Experimentation

As chess gains more popularity, players are motivated to study and explore different opening variations. The availability of online resources allows chess enthusiasts to learn from grandmasters and analyze their games for inspiration.

  1. Online tutorials and guides
  2. Grandmaster games analysis
  3. Chess forums and communities

These resources empower players to try out unconventional openings and adapt them to their individual playing style. The rise in the popularity of unconventional openings showcases the ever-evolving nature of chess and the desire for players to push the boundaries of traditional strategies.

Enhancing the Chess Experience

The rise in popularity of unconventional openings not only adds excitement to the game but also enhances the overall chess experience. It encourages players to think creatively, adapt to unpredictable situations, and develop their own unique styles of play.

Exploring unconventional openings allows players to challenge themselves and test their understanding of chess principles. It opens doors to new possibilities and strategies that can surprise opponents and lead to thrilling victories.

So, whether you’re a seasoned player looking to shake up your game or a beginner eager to explore uncharted territory, give unconventional openings a try and experience the thrill of discovering new horizons in the world of chess.

The Sharpest Opening in Chess

The Sicilian Defense is widely recognized as the sharpest and most commonly used opening in modern chess. It offers dynamic and tactical positions right from the start, making it a favorite among aggressive and tactical players.

By allowing Black to battle for control of the center, the Sicilian Defense creates a fertile ground for multiple strategies and counterattacks. Both players must navigate a complex web of variations and ideas, showcasing their tactical prowess and positional understanding.

Despite its complexity and the extensive theory behind it, the Sicilian Defense is not limited to seasoned grandmasters. In fact, beginners can embrace this aggressive opening and use it as a tool for improvement and self-challenge, honing their skills as they navigate the intricate battles of the chessboard.

Advantages of the Sicilian Defense Disadvantages of the Sicilian Defense
  • Provides dynamic and tactical positions
  • Allows Black to fight for control of the center
  • Offers numerous strategies and counterattacking opportunities
  • Keeps opponents on their toes with its complexity
  • Requires extensive theoretical knowledge
  • Can be overwhelming for beginners
  • May lead to sharp and aggressive positions, requiring accurate calculation
  • Can create imbalanced positions, making it challenging to navigate the middle game

“The Sicilian Defense is like a double-edged sword, offering both risk and reward. It’s a playground for tactical geniuses and those seeking an exciting, uncompromising battle on the chessboard.” – International Chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov


Fun chess openings can bring a new level of excitement to the game, offering unique strategies and surprising opponents with unconventional moves. Whether it’s the Toilet Variation, the Monkey’s Bum, or the Hillbilly Attack, these openings add an element of fun and unpredictability to your chess games.

Exploring unconventional openings not only brightens up your games but also helps you improve your understanding of chess principles and adaptability in different positions. By venturing into uncharted territories on the chessboard, you’ll enhance your creativity and sharpen your decision-making skills.

So, next time you sit down at the chessboard, consider trying out one of these fun chess openings and enjoy the thrill of a unique and entertaining game. Keep in mind that in chess, as in life, embracing the unexpected can lead to extraordinary outcomes. Get ready to shake up your opponents and discover the joy of exploring the vast and fascinating world of unconventional chess openings.


What are some fun chess openings I can try in my games?

Some fun chess openings to try are the Toilet Variation, the Monkey’s Bum, the Hillbilly Attack, the Frankenstein-Dracula Variation, the Hippopotamus Defense, the Orangutan, and the Flick-Knife Attack.

What is the Toilet Variation in chess?

The Toilet Variation is an unconventional chess opening that can catch opponents off guard and quickly eliminate any advantage they might hope to gain.

How did the Monkey’s Bum chess opening get its name?

The Monkey’s Bum is an aggressive chess opening that was named when British IM Nigel Povah’s friend jokingly said, “if this works, then I’m a monkey’s bum.”

What is the Hillbilly Attack in chess?

The Hillbilly Attack is a dynamic and aggressive approach to the Caro-Kann Defense that aims to create an exciting position on the chessboard.

What is the Frankenstein-Dracula Variation in chess?

The Frankenstein-Dracula Variation is a sharp and aggressive variation of the Vienna Game that offers a wild and unconventional opening.

What is the Hippopotamus Defense in chess?

The Hippopotamus Defense is a flexible and adaptable chess setup that offers a unique and powerful defense against various White moves.

What is the Orangutan opening in chess?

The Orangutan opening is an unconventional chess opening that was named after a famous game between Tartakower and Maróczy in 1924.

What is the Flick-Knife Attack in chess?

The Flick-Knife Attack is a strong and aggressive response to the Modern Benoni Defense that can pose serious challenges for Black.

How have unconventional chess openings gained popularity?

Events like PogChamps on Twitch and the success of Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit have introduced new players to chess and sparked interest in unconventional openings.

What is considered the sharpest opening in chess?

The Sicilian Defense is considered the sharpest and most commonly used opening in modern chess practice, offering dynamic and tactical positions.

Can fun chess openings help me improve my game?

Yes, exploring unconventional openings can help improve your understanding of chess principles and adaptability in different positions.

What are the main points to remember about fun chess openings?

Fun chess openings like the Toilet Variation, Monkey’s Bum, Hillbilly Attack, and others offer unique strategies, surprises, and excitement that can enhance your chess game and challenge your opponents.

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