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The Bongcloud Attack is a chess opening named after player Lenny Bongcloud in which the player moves their pawn at e2 (in front of the king) forward, then moves their king forward a space on their next move, leaving them in a vulnerable position and less likely to win. The move is widely used to troll the opponent and is the frequent subject of memes on chess forums and communities like /r/AnarchyChess.
The earliest known use of the Bongcloud Attack dates back to 1475, played by El Aleman. The Bongcloud Attack is named after player Lenny Bongcloud, who helped pioneer the move through a number of successful games in which he opened with it. The move was further popularized by chess Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, who has notably started and won a number of games with the Bongcloud Attack and other "joke openings," and has a YouTube series where he plays chess against players online only using the opening (examples shown below).
On December 16th, 2018, YouTuber agadmator's Chess Channel uploaded a video in which World Chess Champion and Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen analyzes a game between himself and Grandmaster Andrew Tang in which he describes an improved Bongcloud Attack, garnering over 900,000 views in two years (shown below).
On February 21st, 2019, Nakamura played a game against Grandmaster Wesley So in which he opened with the Bongcloud Attack, ultimately winning the game and gaining significant attention in the chess community.
On September 20th, 2020, Nakamura uploaded a video to YouTube in which he opens a tournament game against Grandmaster Jeffery Xiong with the move, garnering over 808,000 views in five months (shown below).
The Bongcloud Attack became the subject of memes in the online chess community as chess Grandmasters, particularly Nakamura, continued to popularize it, with fans enjoying the "trollish" nature of the move.
In late 2020, posts and memes referencing the Bongcloud began increasing in number on /r/AnarchyChess (examples shown below).
Magnus Carlsen Uses Bongcloud Attack Against Hikaru Nakamura (2021)
On March 15th, 2021, World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen played the Bongcloud Attack against Hikaru Nakamura, who returned with another Bongcloud, a move the two laughed about while playing (shown below). The video was uploaded to YouTube channel chess24.5 that day and posted to /r/videos, garnering over 700,000 views and 38,000 upvotes in 24 hours.
The move was praised in the chess community, sparking an influx in memes on /r/AnarchyChess and becoming worldwide news.
 Chess.com – Famous Bongcloud Games
 Chess.com – Lenny Bongcloud
 Chess.com – "Be Like Nakamura: Know When To Play The Bongcloud In Chess"https://www.chess.com/blog/raync910/be-like-nakamura-know-when-to-play-the-bongcloud-in-chess
 Reddit – The philosophy of the bongcloud opening.
 Reddit – Grandma Mastered The Bongcloud
 YouTube – TSM Hikaru Uses Bongcloud Opening In Tournament | Blitz Day 5 vs GM Jeffery Xiong
 YouTube – Magnus Carlsen Plays Bongcloud Opening Against Hikaru Nakamura and They Laugh While They Are Playing
 Reddit – Magnus Carlsen, current reigning Chess World Champion plays a meme opening called The Bongcloud against Hikaru Nakamura during tournament play, solidifying it into the history books.
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Mar 16, 2021 at 06:11PM EDT
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