Orangutan Opening

Jan 25, 2011, 4:25 PM |

Taking a break from the usual, I would like to put a wrinkle in your brain about one story of chess. I heard this opening mentioned in a book I'm reading and felt the urge to look it up. According to various databases, out of the twenty possible first moves from White, 1.b4 ranks ninth in popularity.  It is considered an irregular openings, so it is classified under the A00 code in the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings. The Sokolsky Opening (also known as the Orangutan or Polish Opening) starts with the unlikely move of 1.b4.

The opening is probably most famous for this game in 1924 where it received it's name, "The Orangutan Opening" The day before some of the masters visited the Bronx Zoo, where Tartakower consulted orangutan Suzan on what to play against Maroczy. She advised him to try 1.b4 which, however, was not a novelty. Alekhine in his tournament book notes calls it "an old move, the chief drawback of which is the fact that white discloses his intentions before knowing those of his opponents"



All the information that I've posted here here was found on Wikipedia and Chessgames.com, I wouldn't want to take credit for other people's work :)