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Dealing with the Grob

  • #1

    The title says it all. I'm having a lot of problems when my opponent plays 1.g4. Does anyone know a good line to deal with it?

  • #2

    Well, everything goes. White has weakened at move 1 the f4 and h4 squares for nothing. Probably the best way is going straight there: 1...e5 followed by 2...Ne7, which has a tremendous record at the databases.

    Even if Black falls in the classical white "trap", he is actually fine: 1.g4 d5 2.Bg2 Bxg4 3.c4 d4! 4.Bxb7 Nd7 5.Bxa8 Qxa8 and Black has splendid compensation for the exchange (at least equal chances).

  • #3

    Another safe way to deal with it, if for some reason you don't fancy the already mentioned e5/Ne7 systems - is to form a triangle of pawns facing the bishop... so 1...d5 2.Bg2 c6 and then if 3.h3 e6, possibly even followed by Bc5 unless White plays d4 - and pressure against f2. It is probably not the best way to handle Grob, but it does look fairly simple and appears solid.

  • #4

    I do have the Bloodgood pamphlet. It's rather useless. He does not offer any prose about good/bad lines, and he does not mention the ...Ne7 variations at all. And- as I have already said: after 1.g4 d5 2.Bg2, the g4 pawn is not poisoned at all! Black has a great game by accepting it, and sacrifising the exchange on a8. I think he recommends 2.d3 after 1.g4 e5, to avoid 1.g4 e5 2.Bg2 h5, but IMHO 2... h5 does not offer advantage to Black. 2...Ne7! does, though.

  • #5
  • #6

    The strongest players who have played some one dozen of Grobs against fairly strong opposition are GM's Reprintsev, Vlassov and Skembris. None of them had a particularly good record, though.

  • #7
  • #8

    Ah, what a stroll down memory lane. I'm quite certain I have Bloodgood's book packed away in a box with thousands of other pieces of chess literature. For some reason I recalled it to be a Chess Digest publication, however found it on Amazon and it WAS a Chess, Ltd publication (1974) that has been reprinted by Ishi Press (2010) complete with an introduction by none other than Sam Sloan himself. (As an aside, if anyone can share me the link to that endless drivel that Sloan used to post I'd be most grateful.) A new foreword by Michael Stewart includes a game by the "premier Grobster" Sam Sloan and future World Champion Anand played in 1989. (Don't worry, Anand won.)

    So for twenty bucks and shipping you can have a physical reprint, or at least look at parts of it (including the new foreword and introductin) in preview at http://www.amazon.com/Tactical-Grob-Claude-Bloodgood/dp/487187866X

    Or for nothing more than having Chessbase or Chessbase Reader, you can have it for free from http://www.chessville.com/downloads/ebooks.htm#TacticalGrob Just scroll down a bit, it's under 'Opening Theory and Analysis' where you'll be linked to download a zipped CB files.

    Happy reading...


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