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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121 Comments

  1. 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

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

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

  4. 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.

  5. I feel we need a Naruto version of this

    <performs hand seals>

    "kangaru-boei-no-jutsu"

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

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

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

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

  10. 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

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

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

  13. 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.

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

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

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

  17. 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!

  18. 20:49 maybe useful in bullet to force opponent to burn clock when their premove is stopped πŸ™‚

  19. 13:55 let me guess the first person to play this opening was el chapo

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

  21. Fried Fox Defense = Bongcloud Opening 2

  22. I just resign against hippo defense i'm sick of playing against that shit it's so exhausting

  23. Crab opening is my favourite meme opening (a4 h4), I don't think it's on here tho xd

  24. fried liver I get, but fried FOX? why.

  25. When two furries play chess, all 18 openings are played in just 18 matches.

  26. the is also The Whale varitation with e4 e5 c4 c5

  27. I was expecting the Orangutan, also called Polish opening

  28. im pretty sure there is no good animal opening

  29. I absolutely lost it at 18:42 while i was cutting vegetables in the kitchen and i had to take a break so i could rewind and hear that whole thing again

    Edit: typo

  30. My games always ended fast idk why the opening that i always see when im playing as white is barnes opening :fool's mate

  31. The Hippo is such an underrated opening that is great against impatient attacking players and even does well against most engines.

  32. The fried fox defence is worse than the bogcloud

  33. Who named these openings ? πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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