Creative Sidelines and an Original Style of Opening Study!

Creative Sidelines and an Original Style of Opening Study!

2Bf41-0
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"Bored of the openings you play?

Looking to try something new? 

Forward Chess is just right for you!"  -- (Ed Clarke)

For more information on the incomparable advantages of reading chess books on Forward Chess's interactive platform, please read my previous blogs: Rook Endings and Forward Chess and also Opening Study with Forward Chess.


I was recently looking at another Grivas book which caught my attention. It's called Grivas Opening Laboratory - Volume 1 published by Chess Evolution.

The unique structure of the book is what makes the learning so effective. (along of course with the interactive Forward Chess board, engine, statistics, digital book marks, etc, etc... discussed in the previous reviews ) The book dissects 3 openings: Gruenfeld, Slav, and Blumenfeld Gambit. For each opening there's a section on the various enterprising deviations in each of the major variations as well as Typical Middlegame strategy, Endgame Technique, and Tactical Motifs.

As you can see this is exactly the type of book every chess player can rely on. 

  • Well-researched sidelines against the Gruenfeld, Blumenfeld, and Slav that catch opponents off guard but are well within the reasonable boundaries of risk...
  • Deep dive into understanding the middlegame plans of the variations.
  • Analysis of endgames of games arising from those openings. Extracting ideas such as key maneuvers and pawn breaks.
  • Model games highlighting crucial tactical themes and typical positional schemes endemic to the variation.

To understand typical ideas, here's what Grivas recommends against the slightly less critical lines. But the very main lines (not covered in my review) are definitely worth a look for the 2300+ audience.

Typical ideas I notice include snatching black's pawn with Bxf6 followed by cxd5 in some variations, including h3 as prophylaxis against Bg4 (or kicking away black's bishop), and bolstering the center with a quick e4 to hold onto the pawn on d5.

For Gruenfeld, I will also show you an example from the Endgame Technique section in the Gruenfeld chapter of the book. It's not exactly from a Gruenfeld, but Grivas demonstrates at length the similarities of this QGD endgame and Gruenfeld endgame. Save for the g7 pawn not being on g6, this is the "sterile" type of endgame that arises from forced simplifications. How to grind from drawish-looking endings?

For the sake of completeness, let's find out what joy awaits us under the Tactical Motif section in the Blumenfeld Gambit chapter. I solved the position after about 1 minute. I challenge someone to beat that!  Include a forlorn tower into the attack! 

Forward Chess has some positions in the book "puzzle style" where you have to try to find the solution. There's a button you have to press to spoil the solution.

I hope you enjoyed this journey in an original type of opening book as much as I did!