My Road to Perdition

My Road to Perdition‎

GM thamizhan
20 | Opening Theory

by GM Magesh and GM Arun


Over the years that I have been teaching chess, I have come to realize that explaining 'what not to do' is actually easier than explaining 'what to do'! Hence, today we will be discussing one of my worst nightmares on the chess board and the events that lead to some of the decisions I made before and during the game.


The worst part about playing a good friend is that there will be no element of surprise. I have known Grandmaster Sundararjan Kidambi for close to 20 years now, but for the first time in our lives we were facing each other in a play-off. It was the semi-finals match of the Badalona Open chess tournament. The tournament format was a little confusing, but it is important for understanding the mindset of the players during the time. We had to face each other in one 90 min + 30 sec increment game and if that ended in a tie we were to play a 10 min play off game and if that were to end in a tie as well then we would play a final 3 minute Armageddon blitz game to decide the winner. I had the comfort of white pieces in the main game, however if it were to be a tie, then black pieces in a 10-minute game was a situation I was afraid of. I was pretty confident during the tournament and I was determined to get that win in the main game and seal the issue without a tie-break.


All said and done the real issue was what opening do I play? The guy knows pretty much everything I know and even worse, he knows everything that I do not know! Kidambi has a memory that is good enough to quote the exact events and moves from a game that I played ten years ago (it would be one thing if he remembered his games, but uncommon that it extends to my games!). Not only does he know the kind of moves I play, but also the weird reasons behind why I play them. So anyways, here I was trying to come up with an opening that would surprise him and I finally thought of one, The Larsen Opening. All I needed was a comfortable middle game position and that is not a difficult thing to achieve with the white pieces.


Let us take a look at the game now




One of the quickest losses I have had in recent years and it was a huge learning experience. Even at the best of your form, things can go wrong and all it takes is a small moment of lapse of concentration. I have had people literally ask me if I had just 'thrown' the game, certainly not the ones who knew me well. While I am gloating over my phenomenal loss, I hope the readers enjoyed that brilliant rook sacrifice from Grandmaster Victor Korchnoi.


Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up.”

Batman Begins

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