When we play games and strategize and form various plans to attack, we often want to use the best possible strategy which puts us in the best possible situation. However, some strategies work, but they put us in strange situations which are anything but good, in the short and in the long run.

Chess openings are sets of moves which are meant to open matches, either for the attacking or the defending side, meaning white or black. Some openings are really strange and they are rarely played.

Here they are, in no particular order.

The Toilet Opening

This has to be one of the strangest openings and the story goes that it was conceived by a Sicillian chess player when they were using the toilet. It also might have to do with the fact that the white player throws away all their advantages in the third move. They move their pawns to e4 and f4, and to top everything off, they move their knight to c3. The last move makes everything so much worse, exposing the king completely and putting the knight in an awkward spot.

The Hillbilly Attack

This is one of the most interesting names for an opening and it is thought of as a counterattack to the Caro-Kann. The opening involves a white pawn moving to e4, followed by a classic black pawn to c6. This is where things get spicy and the white player moves their light bishop to c4. This tactic is very interesting and has put a lot of players off, especially experienced ones. Magnus Carlsen was impressed and if he was, then that is good enough for most other players. 

The Orangutan

This was actually from a game between two grandmasters, in 1924. The grandmasters in question were Tartakower and Maroczy. Tartakower made the opening move, moving his pawn to b4. He afterwards moved his black bishop to b2, where the pawn used to be. This thrilling match ended up in a draw, but was one of the world’s most fascinating matches.

The story goes that Tartakower visited the Bronx Zoo prior to the match which took place in New York, and that the said orangutan, named Susan, told him to play this move, hence the name.

These are some of chess’ strangest openings and you are strongly advised to avoid them unless you are a grandmaster with a plan.