Learning from Masters: Gyula Breyer and his stunning opening ideas.

Learning from Masters: Gyula Breyer and his stunning opening ideas.‎

GM Gserper
38 | Tactics

Today, one of the most talented chess players of his generation, Gyula Breyer is mostly remembered for the variation of the Ruy Lopez named after him: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d6 9.h3 Nb8!  The last paradoxical move which first undevelops the Knight and then transfer it to d7 has a deep idea.  First of all it opens a nice diagonal for the Bc8 (when it gets developed to b7) and also opens the path for the c7 pawn to attack White's center.  This is one of the most popular variation of the Ruy Lopez thanks to the numerous efforts of Boris Spassky. Other World Champions (Karpov and Kasparov to name a few) played this variation as well.  But the funny thing is, I was not able to find one single game played by Breyer with this variation! There is also an obscure line of the King's Gambit 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Qf3?! which is also called the Breyer variation. Unlike Breyer's line in the Ruy Lopez, this line was never popular and I found only one game played by Breyer which he convincingly...lost to Reti! 

Unfortunately, most of the games of this extremely talented chess player are lost or forgotten. But the second World Champion Lasker said once that if not for Breyer's premature death (at the age of 28), he would have been World Champion for sure.  Probably Lasker's opinion was greatly influenced by the next game where 18 years old Breyer completely crushed the World Champion!

(Just like in most of my articles I give you a chance to test your attacking skills, so the games are given as a Quiz.  Please remember that you can always replay the whole game from the first move if you click "Solution" and then "Move list".)


Today I want to share with you a forgotten idea of Breyer's in a very popular modern opening: the Semi-Slav Defense.
In the next game he played an unusual 6.f4 move to increase his control over the center and one of the most amazing games I have ever seen started...
If you have correctly guessed White moves till this point, pat yourself on the shoulder.  White has sacrificed a pawn to get a formidable center, but how should he take advantage of his promising position?
So, White has sacrificed a minor piece and started a direct attack against Black's King.  But you ain't seen nothin' yet!  If you manage to guess correctly White's next move-- and its idea from the first attempt-- then you are a true chess genius!  Believe me, I really mean it!
This unbelievable game features one of the deepest and most amazing opening concepts where White envisioned the coming King's side attack when he played 6.f4 and especially 8.Bb1! Now you dear readers can see why it was such a big loss for the Chess World when Gyula Breyer passed away in 1921 being just 28 years old...
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