The Saragossa Schneider Gambit is a dynamic, new chess opening that was discovered by Avi D. Schneider on January 24, 2016. (

Never heard of the Saragossa? You’re not alone. If you were to take a random sampling of 1000 recorded games of the 11.14M recorded games on ChessBase, odds are you would encounter the Saragossa Opening 0 times (Exhibit A). The Saragossa opening occurs when White begins the game by advancing their queenside bishop pawn one square from c2 to c3, hence the annotation: 1.c3.

Fat Cat Chess’ Founder & Captain, Avi Schneider, has distinguished himself as a Saragossa specialist. When asked why he plays such an obscure opening, he explains that two of Black’s most reputable defenses advance their queenside bishop pawn one square on Black’s first turn 1.c6 (Caro-Kann) or second turn 2.c6 (Slav). His logic is simple: if it’s OK for Black, why not for White too? His coach International Master Angelo Young says, “It’s a principled move, which can transpose into a variety of popular systems.”

Avi theorizes, “It’d be brash to claim 1.c3 is a mistake. So, why is it never played? In relation to Shannon’s number, which calculates there to be more possible chess moves than atoms in the existent universe, much of chess remains unexplored. Even with chess exploration moving at a record pace with recent technological advancements in computer analysis, the fact remains that the first world championship chess match La Bourdonnais vs. McDonnell (1834) took place 188 years ago. My grandfather lived 98 years. Chess is young.”

Remarkably, this young man is nearing more recorded 1.c3 games (USCF tournament,, than all database recorded 1.c3 games in history, 3085 per ChessBase. So, perhaps it is not incredibly surprising that he has discovered a new opening he’s coined the Saragossa Schneider Gambit [1.c3 e5 2.d4 exd 3.Nf3 dxc 4.Nxc3]. National Chess Expert and friend, Andrew Zinn, vouches for the Saragossa Schneider Gambit: “I suspect the Schneider Gambit is even stronger than the Smith-Morra Gambit because black is without his king pawn, which is pivotal to the Smith-Morra’s mainline defense.”

IM Angelo Young,

“I think Avi’s opponents in the USAT-N tournament avoided his Schneider Gambit because they were afraid to play against it.”

Avi’s body of theory on the Saragossa, however, extends past his prized gambit. FIDE Master William Graif credited Avi for justifying his surprising 1.c3 Nf6 2.f4 ?! by move 10.

He's been consistently surprising experts with this sharp opening and has a number of miniatures he's been adding to his collection with the plan of releasing a Chessable course on it in the near future.

Additionally, Avi's working on Trademarking this dynamic opening as patenting and copyrighting are not feasible avenues for certifying his exciting and inventive discovery. 

Both his TEASi application and Chessable course are on hold until he passes the CPA exam. Wish him luck!

 Likelihood of Encountering 1.c3 = 00.03%