Bayonet Attack

The Bayonett Attack is the White move “1.h4!?” usually followed by further rook pawn advances. This may refer to the opening, but the term “bayonet attack” in the middlegame, may refer to a “pawn storm” or a “rook pawn advance attack”. Related topics include:

Bayonet Attack Opening

This opening is also known as the “h4 opening” or “Desprez Opening”. It is not a well-regarded opening, does not occur hardly at all in tournaments, and only has surprise value. Beginners may find it entertaining, but it’s not particularly strong. Black usually ignores the rook pawn and claims the center.

Diagram: Bayonet Attack (1.h4!?)

Bayonet Attack with Full Advance

The common follow-up plan is for White to play 2.h5 and 3.h6, which sticks a “bayonet” into the Black kingside. However, this wastes a lot of time for a minimal disruption to Black pawns.

Diagram: Bayonet Attack Line (1.h4, 2.h5, 3.h6)

This is a gambit version where White loses the rook pawn for not much compensation.

Bayonet Attack with Bxh6

Perhaps better is that White may hold back h6 by first playing d3, so that Black’s move Nxh6 can be handled with Bxh6.

Diagram: Bayonet Attack: Example Line with Bxh6

White has still lost a pawn, but at least has damaged the Black kingside pawn structure. Black would probably now castle queenside instead of kingside.

Reverse Openings Starting with 1.h4

Alternatively, if White plays 1.h4, but then develops normally (instead of playing “h5” and “h6), it becomes as if White is playing a Black opening, with an extra rook pawn move thrown in, which can be fine. It’s just like White has wasted the first move and is now playing Black, which isn’t bad. But then it’s not really a “bayonet attack” any more!

Related Chess Openings Topics

Read more about these related chess openings, strategies, chess puzzles, and other chess topics: