Grappling with the Grob

  • FM FM_Eric_Schiller
  • | Jan 4, 2009

For some reason some players get scared when faced with1.g4. There is no reason to fear this. True, if you waslk into the jaws of the beast, your head can get chopped off. But if you play sensibly there is no danger. Here are two examples of solid, principled play by Black. Control the center, develop sensibly, and exploit the weaknesses. If your kingside has no weaknesses, your opponent can't mount an effective attack.


The next example is similar.


  • 2 years ago


    this is ridiculous play and not even close to the spirit of the Grob, which is a gambit (look at the games of Henri Grob or Claude Bloodgoode).  The games above demonstrate wussiness as it's highest level, Basman style; giving up the pawn is the gambit and the key to the whole thing; 2. h3, cripe, no wonder.  This is terrible play by white and misses the entire point.

  • 4 years ago


    I have experimented with variations of the Grob, always leads to very interesting games.

  • 4 years ago


    Now I see where my opponents are getting their lines from. They are copying your moves verbatim as well as your attitude. I played against someone who told my opening was "stupid," reminscent of the "junk and garbage" statement above, and then he called me names having to do with feces. Well, I crushed him in twenty moves, and he was rated a hundred points higher than me.

    I really don't know why some people get into a lather over an opening move. I suppose they hate being forced to think for a change instead of relying upon memorization. 1. g4 is just the first move of the game. In truth, White can play anything he wants to on the first move and still win. I play 1. f3 against higher-rated players and win because they don't know what to do with themselves without a memorized line from somebody else. What is important in chess is the last move, not the first move.

    I'm not out there saying the English is junk or the Queen's Gambit is garbage. I'm not even saying that the Grob is better than any other opening. The real fanatics are the anti-Grobbers, who seem to think they are so superior and call the opening and its players all kinds of names. If the Grob is good enough for IM Michael Basman to play at the London Open then I think it is respectable enough for a player of my level. 'Nuff said.

  • 8 years ago


    ErickPT, use the move list button.

    Great games, thanks!

  • 8 years ago

    FM FM_Eric_Schiller

    Broze: I am not so greedy as Black and White clearly has compensation. Why not grab the whole center? That's worth more than the g-pawn.

  • 8 years ago


    Hi, in my local chess club, the best guy always play 1.b4 with white, and it freaks me out every time because I dont know how to reply.

    This was very interesting though ..:)

  • 8 years ago


    i agree with eric... its a messy way to present anything good

  • 8 years ago


    It would be nice to be able to read the commentary on the games, but the first one is covered up by the second example, and the second one's text runs into the top of the posting area.  Is there any way to fix this? I've seen it happen before, making it difficult to enjoy the article. Thanks

  • 8 years ago


    Hi Eric what do you think of the 1. g4 d5 2. Bg2 Bxg4 3. c4 line?

  • 8 years ago


    I used to play the Grob occasionally in tournaments and it is a useful "surprise" opening. I've also faced it many times (a friend used to play it extensively) and, as you say, as long as you play sensibly, preferably occupying the centre there should be no fear. The problem is that many players when facing the Grob think that they have to be aggressive in return and this is often the worst thing you can do.

  • 8 years ago


    in the second example after 21. Ra1, why did'nt black respond Ndc2?

  • 8 years ago


    Very Good!

  • 8 years ago


    All right mate! I hate the grob.

  • 8 years ago


    Great Article!

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