Why Do People Play Garbage Chess Openings?
You should hope your openings don't belong in this truck.

Why Do People Play Garbage Chess Openings?

| 135 | Opening Theory

In last year's article about chess insults, I mentioned a funny episode that happened in the game between two chess legends, Tarrasch and Nimzowitsch. The game barely started when GM Tarrasch loudly announced: "Never in my life have I had such a won game after 10 moves as I have now!"

Even though it was just a casual game, it attracted numerous spectators, so many people heard what became one of the first cases of chess trash talking! You might be wondering what was the horrendous opening Aron Nimzowitsch played there?

Here it is:

I am wondering what Dr. Tarrasch would have said had anyone played this "opening" against him:

If you want to know why I am showing games played by beginners and what is the name of the maniac who played Black, watch this video (you can start from 25:10):

Browse through the video and you will see many similar "openings" there! 

Jokes aside, it was a bullet tournament, so the world champion obviously had fun and chess fans can only thank him for the show. The real question is why people play similar junk in their real games.

For example:

Let's discuss the most common reasons for this weird behavior.

1. Putting psychological pressure on the opponent

When you face a bizarre opening it is difficult to keep your cool. Even the world champion Anatoly Karpov, who was famous for his ability to stay calm in any situation, lost the following notorious game:

I discussed how to deal with this strategy in my old article.

2. "I can do whatever I want!"

In this category of "openings" people play the most outrageous stuff.

Like this:

We talked about this "feeling like an outlaw" strategy in a recent article.

3. Protest

Sometimes an opening for a chess player is the way to make a protest. The most notorious case is definitely this game:

In one of my junior tournaments, the captains of two teams agreed to a prearranged draw on all boards so our team would secure first place. While I was happy for our team, I didn't like that I was forced to make a draw, so this is how my game started:

I even managed to get a playable position, but a draw was agreed anyway around move 15. Can you imagine my surprise when I saw the following game:
Was GM Zherebukh also protesting against something?

4. Bizarre aesthetics

In this case, the goal of an opening is to produce a position that pleases your artistic side. It can be a strange symmetry, like this:

Or some strange geometry:

5. "I am Magnus Carlsen!"

We started our article with a game by the world champion, and I want to finish it with his game too. 

Why does he do this? I already mentioned the reason in one of my recent articles. Here it is again:

I hope you don't play garbage openings. But if you do, give us your reason in the comments!

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