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The Bongcloud Opening in Chess is a highly unconventional and risky strategy that should be avoided at all costs. Named for its inventor, internet chess legend Lenney_Bongcloud, the opening can quickly lead to disaster for your chess game. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the Bongcloud Attack and why you should stay away from it!
You’ll learn the fundamental concepts, how to execute them, and what common traps to avoid. By the end of this guide, you’ll be ready to experiment with your chess game and the Bongcloud. So let’s get started!
What is the Bongcloud Opening
The bongcloud opening started as a joke from the chess.com user Lenney_Bongcloud; it is an opening where white voluntarily throws castling privileges in the game by making Ke2 on the second move after opening with the King’s pawn. Since the bongcloud, or denying yourself an opportunity to castle, is so technically unsound,it became an instant chess meme for the ridiculous nature of the move.
The moves for the bongcloud opening include 1. e4 e5 2. Ke2, where the move Ke2 declares Bongcloud attack; it is easy to see why The Bongcloud is considered a joke opening. White gives upcastling privileges for no reason and blocks the f1 bishop.No matter how you look at it, this is a bad move.
You will find very few YouTube videos based around Bongcloud. Only when famous chess streamers and YouTubers like Hikaru Nakamura cover the attack is there any genuine interest.
The Bongcloud is so unsound from a strategy perspective that it only makes sense to attempt if the player wants a personal challenge to overcome the immediate disadvantage they place themselves in.
In serious chess games, players should not attempt the Bongcloud attack.
- The Bongcloud is dictated by 1. e4 e5 2. Ke2
- Bongcloud is one of the worst possible openings
- Black gains an immediate advantage in the game
- White loses castling privilege
Basic Moves and Strategy of the Bongcloud Attack
There is no real strategy behind the bongcloud since it is an unsound move that intends to give the opponent an early advantage.
However, there are things that you can do to make the position better. You can go back to e1 and continue developing as you have never played e2,or you can go pawn to f3 and artificially castle via the f2 square.
The vulnerability of the King is the main weakness of the Bongcloud opening.Suppose a player insists on playing Bongcloud and losing a tempo by playing the move. In that case, the only real option available is an artificial castle.
Completing the Castle move in this manner will encompass a couple more moves that highlight how ridiculous 2. Ke2 is
For the most part,it is preferable to just back at the e1 square since going f3 and Kf2 exposes the weak King to the dark squares; this might become a problem when trying to castle. After e1, it is best to develop the knight to g3 and bishop to c4, then somehow castle without getting checkmated.
There is no strength in playing the bongcloud opening.
Anyone the claims the Bongcloud is a strong opening is not a chess expert.
Thereis a reason why The Bongcloud is considered a joke opening.
The moves rank as one of the worst possible combinations of the first two moves in a chess game.
In any chess theory,it is one of the worst openings in chess that a chess player can play.
There is no strength in talking about it game-wise, but if we are talking about theart of trash-talking, then there is one to mention.
Since the Bongcloud is theoretically a prank opening,winning after using the opening could bring a sense of pride in your abilities. You can trash talk about how you have played a bad opening and still manage to win.
There are several weaknesses in the Bongcloud opening.
The first weaknessiswhites’inability to subsequently castle, leading to a situation where the King can be highly vulnerable in the center.
Watch many chess games; you will realize that castling is almost automatic as part and parcel of a vast range of chess openings. The inability to castle is a huge blow early on.
The second weakness is the loss in tempo that Ke2 will bring.
Since Bongcloud is a bad opening and ultimately a mistake, there is no preferable option to going back, which leads to further loss in tempo.
Tempo is essential in chess (which is why white is slightly favored); the Bongcloud opening can potentially cost the player a total of 2 move tempo lost.
The third significant weakness is Ke2 blocking the development of both the queen and the Kings’ bishop.
The King on e2 prevents the swift development of these pieces unless the King moves away. You can develop the queen when the pawns move and fianchetto the bishop, but this will lead to more loss in tempo than just going back to e1.
How You Should Play Against the Bongcloud
Against the Bongcloud, the bestway to play the position efficientlyis to develop as many pieces as possible and overwhelm white with your complete development.Developing rapidly as black against Bongcloud is essential as white will lose multiple tempi, an advantage provided to black.
Lenny_Bongcloud, The Legend
Chess.com user, Lenny_bongcloud is where the name of the opening came from after he repeatedly used the first two moves.
It was plainly apparent that Lenny was not looking to win games of chess on the platform but was just trolling to site by trying to move his king from one side of the board to the other as quickly as possible, which more often than not, and almost always, ended in defeat and one of the lowest chess.com ratings possible.
It was considered an honor to find yourself in a game with Lenny and some players would even make way for him to achieve the goal of getting his king to the other side, before inflicting defeat upon him.
There seemed to be no other motivation in playing the opening that the King race to the other side.
Who knows what the ultimate motivation was in Lenny’s game, but he has gone down in history in being one of the select few people, generally famous grandmasters, and champions, who have had a chess opening name after them.
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The double Bongcloud occurs when 2. Ke2 if followed by 2…Ke7
here we have both white and black players giving up casting rights and playing their King to the bongcloud position.
This is a respected double challenge where white has thrown down the challenge for black to defeat them despite playing one of the worst chess openings known to man.
Black responds by equalizing the position by playing an equally bad move.
From here the game is anyone. White still has the advantage thanks to the gift from black in responding with double Bongcloud.
The Double Bongcloud can be widely considered as a novelty game of chess from the moment the black King hits the e7 square.
If there is any doubt about how the Bongcloud is a chess meme, take a look at this video where the world’s best chess player, Magnus Carlsen, plays Bongcloud opening against GM Hikaru Nakamura and they laugh while they are playing
The bongcloud opening is a mistake and should provide an advantage to the opponent that played positively should not be given up throughout the remainder of the game.
If we’re talking about Bongcloud skill-wise, there is no benefit in playing it other than the personal challenge of overcoming the disadvantage you caused yourself. It gives so much impetus to the opponent.
The vulnerable King, the loss in tempos, and the blocking of pieces resulting in moving the King on e2 is a disaster opening causing the technical perspective. You can use it to troll your opponents but do not expect it to be a solid opening.
Why is the Bongcloud opening so bad? ›
The Bongcloud Attack violates several accepted principles of chess strategy by forgoing castling, impeding the movement of both the queen and the light-squared bishop, leaving the king exposed, wasting a tempo, and doing nothing to improve White's position.Does Bongcloud lose by force? ›
Most Bongcloud Variations lose by force so you have to play the correct lines.What is the deadliest chess opening? ›
- Benoni Defense: General (A43) ...
- Reti Opening (A09) ...
- Philidor Defense (C41) ...
- Vienna Game (C27) ...
- Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation (B70) ...
- Scandinavian Defense: Ilundain Variation (B01)
The idea behind the Bongcloud is to play for style points and memes. The opening violates several chess principles by forfeiting castling rights, wasting time, and failing to control the center. The Bongcloud also delays the development of other pieces.What is the hardest opening to master chess? ›
Hardest: Even though it's the most used opening in the world, the sicilian. Easiest: I love to play the Queen's Gambit Declined. The Sicilian Najdorf just has to be the toughest to play, both for White and Black.What is the smartest opening in chess? ›
- The Italian Game.
- The Sicilian Defense.
- The French Defense.
- The Ruy-Lopez.
- The Slav Defense.
It is not something you would use in a serious game, it is both bad and disrespectful to your opponent.Who is the strongest chess AI? ›
Stockfish has consistently ranked first or near the top of most chess-engine rating lists and, as of February 2023, is the strongest CPU chess engine in the world. Its estimated Elo rating is over 3500. It has won the Top Chess Engine Championship 13 times and the Chess.com Computer Chess Championship 19 times.Will chess ever be solvable? ›
As of 2022, work is still being done to solve 8 pieces on the board. Since there are more chess games (10^120) than the number of atoms in the observable universe (10^80), it is highly unlikely that chess engines will ever completely solve the game of chess with all 32 pieces on the board in our lifetime.Has anyone beaten AI chess? ›
No human has beaten a computer in a chess tournament in 15 years. In new research, a team including Jon Kleinberg, the Tisch University Professor of Computer Science, developed an artificially intelligent chess engine that doesn't necessarily seek to beat humans – it's trained to play like a human.
What is illegal 1 in chess? ›
It is illegal to make a move that places or leaves one's king in check. The possible ways to get out of check are: Move the king to a square where it is not in check. Capture the checking piece (possibly with the king). Block the check by placing a piece between the king and the opponent's threatening piece.What opening do grandmasters use? ›
According to the lichess masters database the most common openings are the indian game and the sicilian.Should I play against AI chess? ›
The answer to both of your questions is "yes." It's true that playing bots will help improve your chess, but it's also true that playing other people is better. I play almost exclusively against bots and have learned a lot from analyzing those games.Why is 3 minute chess so hard? ›
It's because the average strength of the player pool is different. Beginners tend to like longer time controls, like 10|0. After playing for a while they might switch to 3|0 but from what I've seen people never start with 3|0 because it's too fast so they don't like it. And of course all the pros play stuff like 3|0.Which color moves first in chess? ›
In chess, the player who moves first is referred to as "White" and the player who moves second is referred to as "Black". Similarly, the pieces that each conducts are called, respectively, "the white pieces" and "the black pieces".Who is the lowest rated chess master? ›
Woman Candidate Master (WCM)
Introduced with CM in 2002, Woman Candidate Master is the lowest-ranking title awarded by FIDE.
The most popular second move for White is 2.Nf3 attacking Black's king pawn, preparing for a kingside castle, and anticipating the advance of the queen pawn to d4.What are the best 5 moves in chess? ›
- The King's Gambit.
- The Sicilian Defense. ...
- The Ruy López (a.k.a. “The Spanish Game”) ...
- The Scotch Game/Gambit. ...
- The Danish Gambit. The Danish Gambit may be one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it has the potential to end a game in a heartbeat if staged correctly. ...
- Patzer Attack/ Wayward Queen Attack.
- Sodium Attack.
- Sturm Gambit.
- The Potato.
- Toilet Variation.
- Tortoise Opening.
- Tuebingen Gambit.
- Vulture Benoni Defense.
- Castling. The special move castling allows a player to legally break three of the basic movement rules of chess! ...
- Pawn Promotion. ...
- En passant.
What is the fastest trick in chess? ›
Fool's Mate is the fastest checkmate possible in chess, and it occurs after only two moves! Don't worry, you can't be forced into this checkmate unless you make two bad moves in a row. Fool's Mate is the fastest checkmate possible.Why do people hate the Bongcloud? ›
Playing the bongcloud puts you at a significant disadvantage as it prevents you from castling and you hinders your development significantly, when someone play it players should be happy as they are giving you tempo and positional advantage.What is a bad chess player called? ›
In German it means mistake or error and we don't really use it anymore, but somewhere along the line Americans started referring to chess players of poor skill as "patzers" which apparently stuck.What is the point of Bongcloud? ›
The Bongcloud can also be seen as a taunt, with the implication that the user does not consider their opponent to be up to their level of skill, and so they balance the game out with an act of self-sabotage. The Bongcloud involves three steps. First, a player moves their pawn from E2 to E4, or two squares forward.Who are the most intelligent chess players? ›
- #1 Garry Kasparov.
- #2 Magnus Carlsen.
- #3 Bobby Fischer.
- #4 Jose Raul Capablanca.
- #5 Anatoly Karpov.
- #6 Mikhail Botvinnik.
- #7 Vladimir Kramnik.
- #8 Emanuel Lasker.
It is near impossible for any human to defeat Stockfish in a game of chess, and no human chess player has yet been able to beat Stockfish. It remains to be seen if the reigning undisputed world chess champion Magnus Carlsen one day gets a go at Stockfish and manages to cause an upset by upstaging it at its own game.What is the hardest chess computer? ›
Stockfish. Stockfish is currently the strongest chess engine available to the public. As an open-source engine, an entire community of people is helping to develop and improve it. Like many others, Stockfish has included neural networks in its code to make even better evaluations of chess positions.Does chess up your IQ? ›
Multiple studies have shown that while chess playing does improve cognitive, memory, and math skills, it doesn't necessarily translate into higher test scores.Does chess prove high IQ? ›
The study found that intelligence was linked to chess skill for the overall sample, but particularly among young chess players and those at lower levels of skill. This may be because the upper-level players represent a winnowed distribution of cognitive ability -- in other words, they all tend to be fairly bright.Do chess players live longer? ›
The researchers found that the “survival rates” of grandmasters aged 30 and 60 were 87% and 15% respectively. A 30-year old grandmaster has a life expectancy of 53.6 years, compared to 45.9 years for the general population. Grandmasters in North America and Western Europe lived longer than those in Eastern Europe.
How high is Magnus Carlsen IQ? ›
And if Magnus Carlsen is the finest chess player the world has ever seen, he can be that intelligent! His IQ of 190 is ideal for him!Has anyone beat Deep Blue in chess? ›
In the final game of a six-game match, world chess champion Garry Kasparov triumphs over Deep Blue, IBM's chess-playing computer, and wins the match, 4-2.Has Magnus Carlsen ever lost? ›
Carlsen lost twice in the space of a week in the Netherlands, the same number of defeats he suffered in 2018 (from 62 games), 2020 (from 79 games) and 2021 (24 games). In 2022 he lost just once in 52 games and in 2019 he was unbeaten in 76.How rare is 2000 chess rating? ›
The way the Bell curve of the rating system is defined, a rating of 2000 corresponds to the top few percent of players. Clearly the 50th percentile (a median average player) will always be distinct from this.What does 960 mean in chess? ›
Chess960, or Fischer Random, is a variant invented by the late World Champion Bobby Fischer. The rules of the game are the same as standard chess, but in an effort to reduce the impact of opening theory, the pieces have been randomly shuffled on each player's back rank.What is sandbagging in chess? ›
A sandbagger is a player who intentionally lowers their rating by losing on purpose, often with the intent of entering tournaments that they can easily win.Can chess be won in 2 moves? ›
The two-move checkmate is also called the 'Fool's Mate'. This set of chess moves allows a player to control the black chess pieces during a chess match to defeat their opponent in just two moves. This chess pattern happens to be the fastest possible chess checkmate in the fray.What is the least moves to win chess? ›
"Fool's Mate", also known as "Two-Move Checkmate", is the checkmate in the fewest possible moves.What is a 4 move win called in chess? ›
The four-move checkmate (also known as scholar's mate) is by far the most common finish to a chess game. Almost all chess players has fallen for or delivered this checkmate at some point in their lives.What is the hardest phase of chess? ›
endgame is the most difficult with middlegame a close second. definatly the endgame,why? because most games are more or less over by the time you reach the endgame,so it,s a bit of a of a formality,barring blunders, which tend not to happen because there,s so little material left.
What is the 4 move rule in chess? ›
In chess, a scholar's mate is a four-move checkmate in which you use your white-square bishop and queen in a mating attack targeting the opponent's f-pawn (f2 if white; f7 if black). The f-pawn is considered among the weakest pieces on the chessboard because it is only defended by the king.Is it possible to beat a perfect chess AI? ›
It's not possible without Some AI assistance yourself or cheesing it by for example locking the position down by avoiding pawn exchanges. If you just play a game of chess, you will never beat it, It's too strong. There's a reason its rated 400 rating points higher over the highest rated human player ever.How do you counter aggressive chess openings? ›
I'd say two things in general to keep in mind... First, ignore every threat you can get away with (this goes along with alot of what estragon said, try to avoid passive defense, don't let them dictate the game, continue to develop). And second, don't be afraid to give material back.What is the hardest chess opening for white? ›
The Danish Gambit is one of the most aggressive openings as white will look to sacrifice two pawns for quick development and the attack.How much IQ does it take to win chess? ›
A person with average IQ is expected to reach a maximum rating of about 2000 in chess. Strong grandmasters with a rating of around and over 2600 are expected to have an IQ of 160 plus. The strongest grandmasters of the day with their ratings hovering around 2800 are expected to have IQs around 180.Do you need high IQ to win in chess? ›
No, they are not. Just like in any other activity, having a high IQ is a big boost and helps a lot, but its not neccesary to play chess.How do you punish an aggressive chess player? ›
Bring out knights and bishops quickly, castle, and then play a pawn break in the center (pawn break meaning use a pawn to attack an enemy pawn that's blocked). Pawn breaks open up the position so that you can make use of your superior development.How do you punish a bad opening in chess? ›
The best way to "punish" bad opening moves is not to try to punish them at all, so much as to exploit the weakesses that they create in the opponent's position. The way to do this, of course, is to strengthen your own position by adhering to sound opening principles.What is the rare chess tactic? ›
Here is how Wikipedia describes it: "In the game of chess, interference occurs when the line between an attacked piece and its defender is interrupted by sacrificially interposing a piece. It is a chess tactic which seldom arises, and is therefore often overlooked."What color is harder in chess? ›
In chess, there is a general consensus among players and theorists that the player who makes the first move (White) has an inherent advantage. Since 1851, compiled statistics support this view; White consistently wins slightly more often than Black, usually scoring between 52 and 56 percent.
Which opening is best for black? ›
- The French Defense.
- The Caro-Kann Defense.
- The Scandinavian Defense.
- The Sicilian Defenses (Najdorf, Dragon, Classical, Scheveningen)
- The Double King's Pawn Game (1.e4 e5)
- The Queen's Gambit Declined.
- The Slav (and Semi Slav) Defense.
- The Dutch Defense.
- Hyper accelerated dragon.
- Sicilian Pterodactyl 1.e4 g6 2.Nf3 Bg7 3.d4 c5. ...
- C45 Scotch Game.
- Wild Bull Defense 1.e4 Nh6.
- Kangaroo Defense 1.d4 e6 2.c4 Bb4+
- Anti-neo-Orthodox Variation.
- B97 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Qb6 including Poisoned Pawn Variation.
- B21 Sicilian, Grand Prix Attack.