The Lolli Attack

This is the most pleasurable line of play for White, so Black does best to avoid it at all costs. After 5....d5 6.exd5 Nxd5?! 7.O-O! Black has four main tries at defense, none of which is effective:

LA4) 7....f6

Position after 7.O-O

The Gambit Line
The Main Line
The Lolli Attack
The Queen Check
Early Divergences
Links & Acknowledgments
Games in PGN Format

The Lolli Attack is named for Giambattista Lolli who originally conceived the line as an improvement on the Fried Liver Attack, arising after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5, when instead of the immediate 6.Nxf7 Lolli recommended 6.d4! In this traditional method of reaching the Lolli Attack, Black has the option of playing not 6....exd4?! (transposing to our main line here) but instead 6....Bb4+! (to prevent the development of White's Knight to c3) 7.c3 Be7 8.Nxf7 Kxf7 9.Qf3+ Ke6 10.Qe4 (10.O-O Na5 11.Qg4+ Kf7 12.Qf3+ =) and Black has more defensive resources (after either 10....Bf8 or 10....b5!?) than he does in the lines we consider below.

In the Perreux Variation, Black has already committed to taking the d-pawn, opening the e-file. Therefore White has a deadly attack after 7.O-O Be7 8.Nxf7! or 7....Be6 8.Re1 and there is little Black can do about it. Note that White should not play immediately 7.Nxf7? because of 7....Qe7+! 8.Qe2 Qxe2+ 9.Kxe2 Kxf7 10.Bxd5+ Be6 11.Bxe6+ Kxe6 12.Bf4 Re8 13.Nd2 g5 14.Bg3 Kd7+ 15.Kf3 h5 16.h3 Bb4 17.Bxc7 Kxc7 18.Nc4 b5 19.a3 Be7 20.Nd2 Rhf8+ 21.Ke2 Bb4+ 22.Kd1 Bxd2 23.Kxd2 Rxf2+ 0-1 Spielmann-Hardt, Trier 1926.

White should not expect his attack always to lead to check mate in every line. According to close analysis, if Black plays most accurately, White may only end up a pawn or two ahead. Of course, White will have a winning game, but some players will be a bit disappointed in not finding a mate and may underestimate their good fortune or try too hard to continue the attack when they have already achieved their goal. Don't let the best be the enemy of the good!

LA4) 7....f6

LA1) 7....Bb4?! (Even worse is 7....Bc5? 8.Nxf7 Kxf7 9.Qh5+ g6 10.Bxd5+ Ke8 11. Bxc6+ bxc6 12. Qxc5 Ba6 13. Qxc6+ Qd7 14. Re1+ Kd8 15. Bg5+ Kc8 16. Qxa8+ 1-0 Mandarin-Tiffay, Meudon 1991) 8.Qf3 Be6 9.a3 Ne5 10.Qh5 Bg4 11.Qh4 Nxc4 12.Qxg4 Ne5 13.Qxd4 Bxa3 14.Qxe5+ Be7 15.Qxg7 Kd7 16.Nxf7 Qf8 17.Qxh8 Qxh8 18.Nxh8 Rxh8 19.Rxa7 +- b5 20.Nc3 Bc5 21.Nxb5 Bxa7 22.Nxa7 Ra8 23.Rd1 Rxa7 24.Rxd5+ Ke6 25.Rd8 Ra1 26.Rd1 Ra2 27.f4 c6 28.g4 c5 29.f5+ Kf6 30.Rd7 Ra1 31.Rd6+ Ke5 32.Rd1 Ra4 33.Re1+ Kd5 34.Rd1+ Ke5 35.h3 Ra2 36.Rd7 Ra1 37.Re7+ Kd5 38.Re1 Ra6 39.g5 c4 40.Rd1+ Ke5 41.f6 Ra7 42.Re1+ Kd6 43.Bf4+ Kd5 44.Re7 1-0 Delta-Zen 1988.

LA2) 7....Be7 8.Nxf7! Kxf7

LA2a) 9.Qh5+?! (Inaccurately preferred by Beliavsky and Mikhalchishin over 9.Qf3+!) 9....Kf8 (9....g6 10.Bxd5+ Ke8 11.Qf3 is similar to LA2b3 below) 10.Bxd5 Qe8 11.Qf3+ Bf6 12.Bg5?! = (Fritz suggests instead 12.Bd2 in order to play 13.Re1 +=, but White is still not getting nearly as much advantage as he would after the more direct 9.Qf3+!) 12....Ne5 13.Qf4 Qg6 14.Bxf6 Qxf6 15.Qd2 (15.Qg3!?) 15....c6! 16.Bb3 b6!? (Fritz likes the immediate 16....Nf3+! 17.gxf3 Bh3 18.Qb4+ Ke8 19.Re1+ Kd7 20.Qxb7+ Kd6 21.Be6! Bxe6 =+. Black may have been trying to swindle White into letting him play a more immediately winning variation of this line where the Queen's check could be blocked by c5!) 17.Re1 Bb7? (This move loses the d-pawn by force and hands White a winning advantage. Also no good is 17....c5? 18.Qe2! +-. But Fritz still likes 17....Nf3+! = with a forced draw after 18.gxf3 Bh3 19.Re4 Qg6+ 20.Rg4 Bxg4 21.fxg4 Qxg4+ etc.) 18.Re4! Ng6 (Likely Black overlooked that he cannot play 18....c5?? due to 19.Rf4 +-) 19.Rxd4 +- Re8 20.Nc3 h5 21.Rd7 Re7 22.Re1 Ne5 23.Rd8+ Re8 24.Rxe8+ Kxe8 25.f4 Kf8 26.Rxe5 Rh6 27.Qd7 1-0 De Poole-Mohammed, Yerevan 1996.

LA2b) 9.Qf3+!

LA2b1) 9....Bf6 10.Bxd5+ Be6 (10....Kf8! 11.Bxc6 bxc6 12.Qxc6 += or 11.Re1!? with the idea of building a slow attack after 11....Bg4! 12.Qb3 Rb8 13.Nd2 +=) 11.Bxe6+ Kxe6 12. Re1+?! (12.Qb3+! is much more accurate) 12....Kf7 13. Qb3+ Kg6 14. Re4?! (Simply completing development with 14.Bf4 and 15.Nd2 is probably better) 14....Re8?! (14....Qd7 at least resists White's obvious attack) 15. Rg4+ Kh5? (15....Kf5! 16.Qd3+! Ke6 17.Qxh7 Kf7 18.Bd2 Qd5 +=) 16. Qh3+ Bh4 17. Rxh4+ Qxh4 18. Qf5+ g5 19. Qxh7+ Kg4 20. f3+ 1-0 Flagg-Underwood 1982.

LA2b2) 9...Ke6

LA2b2a) 10.Nc3! dxc3 11.Re1+ Ne5 12.Bf4 Bf6 13.Bxe5 Bxe5 14.Rxe5+ Kxe5 15.Re1+ Kd4 16.Bxd5 Re8 (16....Qf6 17.Rd1+) 17.Qd3+ Kc5 18.b4+ Kxb4 19.Qd4+ 1-0 Morphy-Amateur, New Orleans 1858 (19...Ka5 20.Qxc3+ Ka4 21.Qb3+ Ka5 22.Qa3+ Kb6 23.Rb1+ #)

LA2b2b) 10.Re1+ Ne5 11.Bf4 Bf6 12.Nc3 c6 13.Rxe5+ Kf7 14.Nxd5 Be6 15.Rxe6 Kxe6 16.Nxf6+ Ke7 17.Re1+ Kf8 18.Qa3+ 1-0 Bobby Fischer-Rouse, Chicago Simul. 1964.

LA2b3) 9....Ke8! 10.Bxd5 Bf6 11.Bxc6+ bxc6 12.Qxc6+ Bd7 13.Re1+ Kf8 14.Qc5+ Kg8 15.Bf4 ± Rc8 16.Nd2 h6 17.Rad1 Kh7 18.Ne4 Rf8 19.Nxf6+ Qxf6 20.Qxd4 Bg4 21.Qxf6 Rxf6 22.Rd4 +- Bf5 23.c4 c5 24.Rd6 Rcf8 25.f3 Bg6 26.Be5 Rxd6 27.Bxd6 Rc8 28.Re7 Rc6 29.Be5 Kg8 30.Rxg7+ Kf8 31.Rxa7 Bd3 32.b3 Re6 33.f4 1-0 Huewels-Galvarino, Correspondence 1994.

LA3) 7....Be6 8.Re1 Qd7 (8....Qd6 9.Nxf7! is no better) 9.Nxf7! Kxf7 (9....Rg8? 10.Qh5 g6 11.Qxd5 +-) 10.Qf3+ Kg8! (10....Ke7? 11.Bxd5 Nd8 12.Bg5+ Kd6 [12....Ke8 13.Bxe6 Nxe6 14.Qf5 +-] 13.Nc3! c6 14.Qg3+ Kc5 15.Na4+ Kb5 16.Qd3+ Ka5 17.Bd2+ Bb4 18.a3! +- with a mating attack; 10....Kg6? 11.Rxe6+ Qxe6 12.Bd3+ Qf5 13.Qxf5# 1-0 Schroder-Illgen, Dresden 1926; 10....Ke8? 11.Bxd5 Nd8 12.Rxe6+! Nxe6 13.Bxb7! +- threatens both 14.Bxa8 picking up the Rook and 14.Bc6 pinning the Queen) 11.Rxe6!

LA3a) 11....Rd8 12.Bg5! Qxe6 13.Bxd8 Qe1+ 14.Bf1 Qe5 15.Bh4 g5 16.Bg3 Nf4 17.Qb3+ Kg7 18.Qxb7 Nb4 19.Nd2 Be7 20.Nf3 Qc5 21.Qe4 h6 22.Bxf4 gxf4 23.Nxd4 Kf7 24.Qe6+ 1-0 Bohak-Jovivic, Correspondence 1973.

LA3b) 11....Ncb4! 12.Re4 (Dan Heisman ends here with "±." Also good is the forcing line 12.Re5 c6 [12....Rd8 13.Bg5! +-] 13.a3 Re8 [13....Bd6 14.Re2 Rf8 15.Qe4 b5 16.Bb3 Na6 17.Qxd4 ±] 14.Rxe8 Qxe8 15.Qd1 Na6 16.c3! Nac7 17.cxd4 ± and White is a pawn to the good with the better position to boot. But White does not have to hurry to win the pawn at d4, so long as he plays carefully.) 12....c6 13.Qe2! (White plays to keep control of the e-file. Premature is 13.Rxd4? due to 13....Bc5 14.Rd2 Rf8! 15.Qg3 Qe6! and Black is suddenly on the offensive with the better game) 13....Bc5 (A natural way to try to defend the pawn. Not 13....c5? 14.a3 Na6 15.Re5 Nc7 16.Qe4 Rd8 17.Bg5 +-. Fritz recommends instead the rather nuanced defence 13....Qf7!? 14.a3 b5 15.Bb3 Na6 16.Rxd4 Re8 17.Be3 Bc5 18.Rd2 ± but White is winning here as well.) 14.a3 Na6 15.Nd2 Rf8 16.Nf3 Nac7 17.b4 Bb6 18.Bb2 ± and White can pick up the pawn at d4 whenever he likes with a winning advantage in both material and position.

LA4) 7...f6 8.Nc3!! (This is the "book" move and it is by far the best. It would also be very difficult to find over the board. The brutal 8.Re1+ yields only a small edge after 8....Be7 9.Nf7 Kxf7 10.Qh5+ Kf8 11.Bxd5 Qe8 12.Qf3 +=) 8...dxc3 (8...Nxc3 9.Bf7+ Ke7 10.bxc3 +- Heisman or 8....Ne5 9.Bxd5 ±) 9.Bxd5 fxg5 (9...Qd7 10.Re1+ Be7 11.Ne6 or 10....Ne5 11.Nf7 ±) 10.Re1+ (10.Bxc6+ wins as well) 10....Be7 11.Bxg5 (Bucker ±) 11...Kf8 (11...cxb2 12.Bxc6+ bxc6 13.Qxd8+ Kxd8 14.Bxe7+ ±) 12.Qf3+ Bf6 13.Rad1! (13.Bxc6? bxc6 14.Rad1 Bd7 does not yield much, while this veiled attack is deadly) 13....Bd7 (13....Bg4 14.Qxg4 Bxg5 15.Bxc6 +- and Heisman gives 13....Nd4 14.Rxd4 c6 15.Rf4 cxd5 16.Rxf6+ and White mates shortly) 14.Be6!? (Fritz and Heisman prefer the subtle 14.Bc4! Na5 15.Be6, but this move seems most thematic) 14....Bxe6 15.Rxd8+ Rxd8 (15....Nxd8 16.Bxf6 gxf6 17.Qxf6+ Kg8 18.Re3! Bf7 19.f4! gives White a winning attack) 16.Bxf6 Bd5 (16....gxf6 17.Qxf6+ Kg8 18.Qxe6+ +-) 17.Be7+ Kg8 18.Qxc3 +- with an easily won game.

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Last modified: February 1, 2003
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