Gruenfeld Wins With the Meran at Merano 1924

Gruenfeld Wins With the Meran at Merano 1924‎

NM GreenLaser
8 | Opening Theory

Ernst Gruenfeld was born November 21, 1893 and died April 3, 1962. He was Austria’s top player and one of the world’s best in the 1920s and 1930s. In 1950, when FIDE began awarding titles, he became an international grandmaster.
Gruenfeld scored 10.5/13 with 9 wins, 3 draws, and 1 loss at Merano 1924. This put him in clear first place, two points ahead of Rudolf Spielmann (8.5). Akiba Rubinstein was next with 8/13. Gruenfeld was known as an opening expert. In round three, Rubinstein, as Black, gave Gruenfeld an opening lesson. Rubinstein equalized and then outplayed Gruenfeld, who suffered his only loss. In round five, Gruenfeld, as Black, applied Rubinstein’s opening idea to defeat Spielmann. Rubinstein’s line was named after the site, Merano in Italy. This Meran Variation is credited to Rubinstein, but was played in Schlechter-Perlis, Ostend 1906. Chess variations have been named in varied ways. Schlechter’s way of playing against the Tarrasch Defense was used by Rubinstein and more often credited to the latter. In the Semi-Slav shown here, Schlechter again preceded Rubinstein, but with the opposite color.
The Spielmann-Gruenfeld game is shown with alternatives and game references. The opening and middle game developed into an interesting ending. Spielmann, I believe, could have improved in the endgame. Gruenfeld played well and would have won, even if Spielmann had promoted to a new queen.


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