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10 Mind-Blowing Chess Openings That You’ve Never Heard Of

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Crack the Code: Mastering Chess Openings That You Didn’t Know Existed

If you’ve always wanted to master the art of chess openings, your wildest dreams are about to come true. In this article, we’ll teach you the secret to leaving your opponents in awe of your skills.

Chances are, you’ve probably heard of a handful of these yourself. Among the most popular chess openings in the world are the Sicilian Defense, the Scotch Game, the Ruby Lopez, and countless others. 

Though some might stick to their comfort zone and opt for such common chess openings, others might prefer the more unusual variations, which is as bold and exciting as it gets. 

While you may see few grandmasters using these moves, you can always find ways to incorporate at least half of them into your repertoire to shock your opponent. After all, there’s nothing like a good surprise.

And hey, even though it is admittedly daunting to study new things, it is just as enjoyable. You’ll have a blast learning about quirky opening patterns that’ve been around for years but aren’t widely used or known. 

For all of you newcomers and seasoned enthusiasts, we’ve developed a list of the most unusual chess openings. If you’re a chess aficionado like us, this is the perfect opportunity to improve your chess ratings and leave a lasting impression.

So, without further ado, let’s get right into it! By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll gain a better understanding of the game as a whole. Take our word for it.

Skip ahead to:

  • What is the sharpest opening in chess 
  • What opening do most grandmasters use?
  • What is the oldest chess opening?
  • Our list of 10 mind-blowing chess openings ideas for you
  • Final thoughts

What Is the Sharpest Opening in Chess?

The Sicilian Defence is the most commonly used opening in modern chess practice. And the best part? It’s even suitable for beginners!


This move makes it possible for Black to battle for the center through multiple strategies that can meet d2, d3, or d4 with a special move of cxd4. Frequently analyzed and discussed, you can easily find more information about this opening. 

What Chess Opening Do Most Grandmasters Use?

Most grandmasters will or have already used the Ruby Lopez at some point in their chess career. In use for over five centuries, many notable grandmasters still prefer it to this day. 


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What Is the Oldest Chess Opening?

Among the oldest openings known by chess players worldwide, the Ponziani was first cited in chess-related literature around 1497. It was also mentioned by name in two of the earliest treatises. 

quotation marks

The Sicilian Defence is the most commonly used opening in modern chess practice.

Chess Openings

Our List of 10 Mind-Blowing Chess Opening Ideas for You

Pay close attention, chess lovers. Here are the ten most unusual chess openings in the world.

#1 Desprez Opening

Thanks to multiple successful uses of the strategy, French chess player Marcel Desprez had the opening move of 1 h4 named after him. Alternatively, this step is also referred to as the Samurai opening.

#2 Fried Fox

In the 19th century, Thomas Wilson Barnes defeated Paul Charles Morphy, one of the best chess players of his time, with the aggressive 1 e4 f6 opening. Since that day, moving the f-pawn as either black or white has been permanently associated with his name.

#3 The Sodium Attack

Yes, you read that right. As you can probably guess, the Sodium Attack refers to the periodic table, which uses the symbol Na for sodium. This same symbol is used in a chess game when the knight goes to the a-file. Simply put, there’s only a single square that the White knight can reach with this opening. 

#4 The Crab Opening

In simple words, the Crab Opening refers to the h and a pawns advancing during the first two moves. Rare and exhilarating, this move is sure to keep your opponents on their toes.

#5 Apocalypse Attack

Picture a single person trying to take down an army, and you’ll understand how the Apocalypse Attack got its name. Even though changing the knight’s position more than once goes against traditional principles, this is still a playable opening that takes skill to execute correctly. 


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#6 Campomanes Attack

Florencio Campomanes, the fifth president of the FIDE, is most notable for using this Caro-Kann variation during a few controversial matches. In short, the step involves moving the knight for the third time in a bizarre fashion. 

#7 The Bongcloud

Frequently considered a joke move, the Bongcloud opening gained significant recognition after chess winner Andrew Fabbro used it during a match and later wrote a free book about it. Today, this e4 e5 ke2 move is a guaranteed head-turner. 

#8 The Hillbilly Attack

Making a move to c4 by the Bishop during the second stint of the Caro-Kann is what characterizes the Hillbilly Attack. Magnus Carlsen, the 2015 World Blitz champion, also used this playable opening on his road to victory. Impressive, right?

#9 The Flick-Knife Attack

As an alternative to Modern Benoni, the Flick-Knife Attack is said to be an aggressive response. The set-up of this opening resembles a (you guessed it) knife, and some aspects are particularly risky for the Black, considering the fact that the 8 Bb5+ check places them in danger. How’s that for a bold chess move?

#10 Vulture Defense

Making strong leaps fairly early in a chess opening by the Black has allowed this risky move to make quite a name for itself. Considered a Benoni variation, the Black can also ruffle feathers by going against the grain and moving the knight to e4 as soon as the third move.

Chess Openings

Final Thoughts 

How’s that for a fun chess lesson? Now, you can wow your opponents with some of the most uncommon yet fascinating chess openings of all time.


While the popular options make for easy strategies, these unorthodox moves are excellent if you want to gain a competitive edge. Plus, who doesn’t like a little twist in the tale?


If you have any other questions regarding the game, feel free to read our other articles for a wonderful confidence boost. Just believe in your abilities, and you’ll be able to do the unthinkable.

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