Amar Opening

The Amar Opening (also known as the Paris Opening,[1] or the Drunken Knight Opening) is a chess opening defined by the move:

Amar Opening
a8 black rook
b8 black knight
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
f8 black bishop
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
d7 black pawn
e7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
h3 white knight
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
d2 white pawn
e2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white king
f1 white bishop
h1 white rook
OriginCharles Amar, Paris, 1930s
Named afterCharles Amar
Synonym(s)Paris Opening
Drunken Knight Opening
Ammonia Opening
1. Nh3

Analogous to calling the Durkin Opening the "Sodium Attack," this opening could be called the Ammonia Opening, since the algebraic notation 1.Nh3 resembles the chemical formula NH3 for ammonia. The Parisian amateur Charles Amar played it in the 1930s. It was probably named by Savielly Tartakower who used both names for this opening, although the chess author Tim Harding has jokingly suggested that "Amar" is an acronym for "Absolutely mad and ridiculous".[2]

Since 1.Nh3 is considered an irregular opening, it is classified under the A00 code in the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings.


Like the Durkin Opening, White develops a knight to the edge of the board, where it does not control central squares. Black's most common reply is 1...d5 which threatens 2...Bxh3, ruining White's kingside pawn structure. White usually plays 2.g3 to prevent this, when Black can continue to occupy the center with 2...e5.

World champion Magnus Carlsen used the Amar Opening to defeat Aleksey Dreev in a game played at rapid time controls in the 2018 online PRO Chess League.[3]

Named variationsEdit

There are several named variations in the Amar Opening. The most well-known one is known as the Paris Gambit: 1.Nh3 d5 2.g3 e5 3.f4?! Bxh3 4.Bxh3 exf4. In the Paris Gambit, White allows Black a firm grip on the center, and also gives up material. Therefore, the gambit is considered dubious. The only named variation in the Paris Gambit is the Gent Gambit: 5.0-0 fxg3 6.hxg3. This variation was first played by Tartakower against Andor Lilienthal in Paris, 1933.


  1. ^ Pandolfini, Bruce (1995). Chess Thinking: The Visual Dictionary of Chess Moves, Rules, Strategies and Concepts. Fireside chess library. Simon and Schuster. p. 287. ISBN 9780671795023.
  2. ^ Winter, Edward (1996). Chess Explorations. London: Cadogan Books. p. 89. ISBN 978-1-85744-171-0.
  3. ^ "Magnus Carlsen vs. Alexey Dreev, Pro Chess League (2018)".

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