Poisoning the Grunfeld with The London Part one!
Give headaches to your unsuspecting opponents!

Poisoning the Grunfeld with The London Part one!

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Hi Everyone! 

After a long anticipated wait for how to poison the Grunfeld, here it is!

The Grunfeld is an elite level opening where often white cannot claim an advantage and the position simplifies to a boring draw. For that reason after 2...g6 I recommend NOT playing c4 because after dxc4 and c5 break black's bishop becomes very strong. In fact the approach I recommend (A.K.A Barry attack, or sometimes Jobava-Prix variation) is a toxic weapon that will win many games against strong but unprepared opponents.  It's an inspiring line and I selected 2 knockout games (under 25 moves)

Here is an overview on this line:

White makes an aggressive pawn thrust on the kingside and tries to mate black white right away by tearing up the position with h5 Nxh5 Rxh5! in the case that black castles. In fact the variation 5...0-0 6.h5! Nxh5? is refuted outright with our thematic sacrifice 7.Rxh5! gxh5 8.Qxh5 +- with a killing attack. Black lost a huge percentage of games here. 

Here's an outline for black's responses after 5.h4!

  • 5...0-0?! 6.h5! c5 an attempt to distract white from his inexorable onslaught on the kingside, surprisingly some strong players still go for this line although black has to be extremely cautious not to get mated. (Part 1)
  • 5...h5?! another popular attempt especially from players who aren't confident that they can hold off the attack. Also among lower-rated players this response seems safe and logical... Wrong! The inclusion of h4 and h5 is a considerable plus for white as now unlike other Londons there is no more pesky Nh5 kicking our bishop which gives many a London fanatic unnecessary issues. (Games 2)
  • 5...h6! Perhaps least natural of all this move is the best one. It's subtlety lies in the fact that now Nh5 is an option and g5 is not a gaping hole white can occupy. There is the added bonus for white however, that black probably won't play this move but even if he does we get a comfortable position. White handles the situation excellently in (Part 3)

No cursory comments would be helpful for the above game, it the crushing attack spoke for itself! thumbup.png

Unlike the above game which was truly messy, GM Nigel Short efficaciously knocked out his opponent without allowing counterplay. By 0-0-0 white was considerably better and black's early b5 gambit to generate counterplay never materialized following his untimely demise on move 21.