Chess openings and theory. Discover theoretical secrets!


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Chess openings: Theoretical secrets…

Vladimir Kramnik shared a funny article some years ago about chess openings.

Rustam Kamsky, the father of Gata, hired Alexander Jalifman in 1989 as an analyst and trainer for his son. Not without establishing the “theoretical” bases of the relationship beforehand.

“Our favorite opening“, he said “is the Catalan, which we usually use against the Grünfeld. So, as a specialist in openings, please tell us what defense can take advantage of the Catalan?”

Surprised, Jalifman tried to imagine a way to conciliate the two chess openings. But in the end, he apologized because he couldn’t recommend a way to combat the Grünfeld with the fianchetto of the king. Then Rustam maliciously asked him if he could count with his discretion about the familiar “theoretical secrets”. In light of the affirmative response from Jalifman, Rustam fired him the next day.

Theoretical ambition…

The grandmaster Semion Furman (1920-1978), best known as the first trainer and mentor of Anatoly Karpov, had conceived a great theoretical project, and so one day he expressed to a colleague:

“I want to study and dominate in depth all the chess openings derived from 1.d4”

“And what would you do when you finish?” asked his friend.

“Start again.”

Basman and the basmaniacs…

In 1979, Michael Basman started to play assiduously the Grob Attack (1 g4), in which he also sublimed, answering 1 … g5 to 1 e4. Basman, an international master and enfant terrible of the British chess, had modified all the players of the circuit with his fearsome extravagances. He was doing postures and even radicals, like 1 a3 and 1 h3.

In 1991, Basman published The Killer Grob. Of course, he wasn’t implying that Henri Grob, his inspirer and master was a murderer, but referring to the lethal character of his opening. Although the author showed a meticulous theoretical study of Grob, the book started with a disturbing and unequivocal dedication to Jerry Lee Lewis. The father of rock and roll, who was also nicknamed The Killer; followed by a listing of the victims of the chess openings.

In the following tests, and to create further surprises, Basman recommends the usage of an imaginary device, the grobometer, used in measuring (our) skills when using the Grob. When its indicators are at the minimum, the grobometer relieves with the advice:
“Play the Queen’s Gambit.”


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