18 Bizarre Chess Openings Named After Animals

I spent hours compiling a list of all the chess openings named after animals. Today I share with you 18 of the most oddly named ones!

Timestamps:
0:00 – Intro
0:44 – lichess database explanation
1:34 – Kangaroo Defense (as black against d4)
2:51 – Scorpion-Horus Gambit (as white against Caro-Kann)
4:00 – Fried Fox Defense (as black)
4:47 – Chameleon Variation (as white against Sicilian)
5:46 – Lobster Gambit (as white against Latvian Gambit)
6:45 – Double Duck Formation (as black against d4/f4)
7:40 – Gibbon Gambit (as white against Grunfeld Defense)
9:19 – Dodo Variation (as white against King’s Gambit Accepted)
10:14 – Tortoise Opening (as white against e5)
11:34 – Vulture Defense (as black against d4)
13:31 – Horsefly Gambit (as white against Mexican Defense)
15:24 – Snail Variation (as black against d4)
16:22 – Mosquito Gambit (as black against d4)
16:55 – Porcupine Variation (as white against f5)
18:19 – Penguin Variation (as white against d5)
19:17 – Mongoose Variation (as black against e4)
20:50 – Monkey’s Bum (as white against Modern)
22:44 – Hippopotamus Defense (as black)
25:18 – Part 2 (Animal Opening Traps) Coming Next!

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99 Comments

  1. Orangutan, pog cause monkey.
    1. B4 E6
    2. Bb2 Nf6

  2. By the way, yesterday I found a funny variation in the king's gambit, it's called Stein gambit

  3. It starts after 1.e4 e5. 2. f4 Bc5. 3.Bc4 Bxg1 4. Qh5!

  4. Next part: Openings named after places

  5. I also have own chess opening, which called Crocodile defence. It similar to hippo, but you only fianchetto the bishops and play h6 and a6. The point of this is try to fight for the center by pushing d5 or e5

  6. I think the Fried Fox is a worse Bongcloud.

    Which is…

    That's…

    That's really impressive.

  7. How does the Penguin variation even have a name if there were only two games of it played in the past five years?

  8. Chameleon looks like the KIA but the Knights are "reversed."

  9. I just played the Scorpion against somebody. Wiped them off the board with it! It was a fun game.

  10. I just crushed somebody with the fried fox defense. I probably made someone quit chess after that.

  11. I love playing the Hippo against e4. At my level, White generally doesn't know what to do and I can push them back quite a bit before attacking. And you can attack anywhere you want, as well.

  12. me and my friend came up with this silly opening (im not sure if it exists already) a3 followed by ra2, we called it the living room opening because it gives the rook a little living room

  13. double duck is also counter strike tactical move kinda bizarre

  14. 1 main advantage for all of these: Surprise random people on online chess sites.

  15. I love learning animal names in English! thank you ! πŸ˜€

  16. Hippo is also good for countering cheaters who use engines. Levy Rozmen (GothamChess) used it to beat a computer cheater. It’s pretty hilarious.

    Here’s the video where he does it. https://youtu.be/l5MD6hn5PgI

  17. "youre not developing your pieces, youre putting your king in a precarious place" this is a contradiction, clearly the KING is being developed

  18. You should do a video about all the openings named after places.

  19. 24:10 Hippo-Defense
    The Main-reason to play the Hippo: Expose Cheater in a rapid game. For the average online A.I the Hippo is very time intensive to crack. Cheater will always fall into time-trouble.

  20. I feel we need a Naruto version of this

    <performs hand seals>

    "kangaru-boei-no-jutsu"

  21. Couldn’t a windmill tactic have been employed with the last game?

  22. You missed the most popular animal opening of all time … birds

  23. i think the fried fox is also known as the tumbleweed or drunken king opening if i dont confuze them

  24. Just came back to report I have started playing the scorpio horus gambit and absolutely crushing. Thanks for that!

  25. I have made a fried fox gambit too! e4 f6 d4 kf7 e5! If fxe5 then Qf3 check, and then black's position is worse

  26. unfortunately the opening is called the double duck so I'm going to play it even if it's awful

  27. Really curious how many games the "Bad" openings have in the database!

  28. While it's funny to have openings with funny names, it's a bit all over the place and some depend on a specific opening to react to.

    It could be boring but easier to remember or look up if grouped as similar openings. All e4 e5 variations, d4 openings, Sicilian and "other". Maybe branch of a few so you have them grouped in equally often played sets. Certain knight moves first just change the order.

    So in addition to main lines, main traps and the main blunders you should know, there are decent variations. Some are nice for short time control or to break opponents' opening theory advantage. Some just result in a type of play (offensive, defensive, a certain pawn structure, pieces remaining after trades such as a bishop pair) that could be personal taste.

  29. the problem that the kangaro defense is also called keres defese

  30. Fried fox defence
    Me with bongcloud lifetime repertoire course on chessable

  31. I thought f6 then Kf7 was the Bongcloud for black. Hikaru lied to us

  32. I actually switched to the Chameleon about a week or two ago because of this video. It's really really good!!! Like, against variations that I am comfortable playing against (the najdorf and the dragon) I transpose to the one of the mainlines (the english attack and the yugoslav), but for pretty much every other variation (which I previously struggled against), the chameleon does sooooo good! Thanks for that!

  33. 20:49 maybe useful in bullet to force opponent to burn clock when their premove is stopped πŸ™‚

  34. 13:55 let me guess the first person to play this opening was el chapo

  35. I once played a game where not a single piece was taken

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