Grandmasters and the Basic Principles

Jan 19, 2010, 8:36 PM |

Even at the highest levels we still see grandmasters breaking the basic chess principles. Exceptions to the rule exist but often come with a fee... It all depends on what basic elements you sacrifice and to what extent.

The basic elements that Im talking about are: 1) the center; 2) piece placement (related to PROPER piece development); 3) Space control (some refer to this as space advantage - space is not necessarily an advantage when you're overextended... what's important is control); 4) king safety (the most important element... although many many of us do sacrifice on king safety for getting in our attack... I am one of those... Thats how I lose most my games); 5) and offcourse time or tempi (don't lose tempi... or in other words don't allow your opponent to steal your tempi and add it to his...)

Once you defy the basic chess principles you embark on a risky path which you must tread carefully. The more principles you break the more you give your oppent control translating quickly into positional and tactical advantages.

I was going over todays games from the Wijk aan Zee tournament... I want to first congradulate Shirov for his amazing 4/4 till now. He is one of the very interesting players around although he seems to always fade away and return to surprise us... anyways I will not be talking about Shirov today. I want to show you a game played at a slightly lower level (Corus C). I was looking at this game earlier tonight and scrolling through the moves quickly... I couldn't help going crazy with every move white played:

This game is between: Grandelius,N (2515) vs. Bok,B (2322)

I am not sure why Grandelius proceeded to break all the rules of the game... maybe he was trying to confuse his lower rated opponent... but Bok kept his cool and delivered the right punishment in a 21 move game... I will annotate lightly and will not include any variations except in passing. The game is mostly obvious for those of you who know the basic principles; I hope you enjoy the game and find something in there to learn from!!