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Last updated on 11/29/09, 1:12 PM.
This opening (1.b4), also known as Sokolsky's Opening or Polish Opening, got its name during the New York 1924 tournament, when grandmaster Tartakower visited the Bronx Zoo, encountering Suzan the orangutan. The next day, in the 4th round, Tartakower played 1.b4 against Maroczy.
Now you've heard of it.
Someone has just played this in one of my tournament games. This is absolutely unsound. The last three times I've played against this it was crushing!! We shall see if this still holds true.
It sounds pelicular...........................
At a mediocre but solid 1500 - 1600 rating, playing anyone plus-minus 100 points, I have been 90% successful with this opening. This is a very tricky opening and if white sustains the pressure correctly, the advantage swings and stays with white for a while. Either way, its a rout if black or white is careless. This opening lends a surprise element that most folks have not experienced. Do check it out. It isnt as lame as it appears.
So why Tartakower's opening is called Sokolsky ? There wasn't even such player. lolz
There actually was such a player, his name was Alexei Sokolsky. To give you some of the highlights of his career:
In 1935, he took second in the Russian FSSR. He was twice Ukrainian Champion (1947 and 1948), He was the first Soviet Correspondence Chess Champion (1948-51). The name of Sokolsky is known now mostly due to his opening research and development of the chess opening 1.b4 which became known as Sokolsky Opening.
Furthermore Tartakower, who was a really great player, was sadly not the first to play it. Nikolay Bugaev had already been playing it since 1888.
For further info on Alexei Sokolsky go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexey_Sokolsky
thrs such an opening as the orangutan actually
Could somebody please tell me why this opening is good? I want to be prepared for it in tournaments when I am black.
I sometimes use it against friends who are used to my other openings or in chess club matches for an exciting game. the problems are pre-commiting pawn structures, but this weakness does not become serious until late mid game. There are a lot of ways for black to walk into simple traps with the Bishop on b2 bearing towards g7 and with the ability to haras an early entry by the Queens night. It can be especialy effective in speed games where black does not already know the traps and plays normal developing moves too quickly.
Wow!!!!! Weird... Opening! I'll try that, probally won't work, Lol!
What does orangutan have to do with Sokolsky or polish?
its called orangutan because its a strange opening......not because orangutan has something to do with Alexei Sokolsky or Poland.
Actually it is called the Orangutan Opening because allegedly when Tartakower was at the New York zoo, during a tournament in the city, he asked the orangutan what move he should play and showed the it a chess board. The orangutan somehow showed the move b4. (This story is probably apocryphal.) what is true however is that Tartakower said that the way the b-pawn moves on to b5 (often after moves b4 and a4 in his variations) is reminiscent of an orangutan climbing with his arms.
And that's why it's called the Orangutan.
But personally I hate that name and prefer to call it the Sokolsky.
Chess was around before mass media and the internet. What would happen (and that's the case here) is that the same opening was discovered by two or more different people on different parts of the world. So they both gave it a name unaware that some where else people were already playing it with another name. In America Tartakower called in the Orangutan while in Poland it is called the Polish opening and so on. It's the same case for 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6, The Petrov Defense or Russian Game.
This opening is not the most popular, but it is still very effective. If for no other reason, because it is not widely known. This is a very tactical opening and if you say you've beaten it easily, it is probably because you've played against someone who just stumbled upon the first 2 or 3 moves online somewhere and has no real idea how to play it. I'm not saying that this is a tournament ready opening, it is very hard to play, but it is a good tool to have for those times that you want to throw your opponent off balance from move one, and yes, it happens in high end tournaments on very rare occasions too,,, Just know what your doing before you play it LOL.
Here is a link to a blog I made about this opening, you might find it a little more informative... THE ORANGUTAN OPENING
tactical opening if you can use your bishop on open file,i used this opening & upset high rated opponent.thanks PawnNChain for additional info.
hah! This story came from Bronx Zoo! Amazing!
How about using c4?
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