Chess Opening: Trend and research
Back in the 1950s, the soon-to-be world champion Vasily Smyslov considered the King’s Indian Defense as incorrect. Playing the Scandinavian was seen as folly, not to say absurd. And because of that, there were no signs of it in the high competition. A man named Tigran Petrosian responded to all the openings for semi-open with a 2.d3 and the King’s Indian Defense. There was no news of the Giuoco Piano (or Italian chess opening) and its variant ‘pianissimo’.
A few decades later, the King’s Indian Defense became one of the most popular defenses against the Queen’s Pawn. The Scandinavian occupies an honorable theoretical place in the semi-open defenses. And the King’s Indian Attack has lost the effectiveness of its first successes. Though it still retains a considerable number of adepts. And the close Italian (with d3 and others) has gained prominence ever since. By the end of the 70s, the GM Sergei Makarychev had recovered it, revealing to us many of its secrets.
The babelic world of openings…
During the second part of that decade (1975 onwards), the Sveshnikov/Pelikan Variation was creating serious havoc, along with its revisionists, Evgeni Sveshnikov and Gennadi Timoshenko, the prophets of Chelyabinsk. By the end of the century, Sveshnikov said that his technique did not make much sense, because whites can play advantageously 3.Ab5. Does that mean that Sveshnikov has been refuted? No, it means that it is possible to elude it and corner it.
In the event where after 1.e4e5 2.Cf3, and the blacks responded with 2…Cc6, in 90% of the cases the whites would follow with 3.Ab5, the Ruy Lopez is also known as the Spanish Chess Opening. But in the matches of Karpov-Kasparov or Kasparov-Karpov, the Scotch chess Opening made its entry with all the honors. Thanks to the important analysis of Sveshnikov, among others.
Until the 80s, the Petrov Defense was a minor defensive system, considered by all the great players as an opening without perspective, in which the blacks were lack of all counterplay. However, the contributions and practice of Yusupov and other grandmasters lifted it to a foreground among the answers to the king, showing its dynamic possibilities, in addition to spotlighting its robustness.
“Such is life, my son”, Kipling would say.
Mimicry preys in the theory of openings, a world subjected to trends and beyond trends to constant research and revision. And it is good to be like that, for the benefit of chess.
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