How to handle the Grunfeld

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #2


    What is the Kotov line in the exchange? The Kaufman rep book recommends the Russian system. Have to say the discussion seems a little lightweight for such a complicated line, but may give a start. His recommendations are little bit off most played moves, based on using software.

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #4


    I am a Grunfeld player and I think one of the most testing lines for both sides is Exchange variation 7.Nf3 c5 8.Rb1

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #5


    Yes on reflection think IM Pfren correct. His first book was reasonable because chose rather safe, limited openings. Latest one the lines chosen too ambitious for such lightweight approach.


    Dearu's recommendation looks reasonable, and Gelfand's book of games, has a large number of model games in this line.

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #7


    Eddie Dearing's "Challenging the Grunfeld", is on Nf3, Rb1 line I think, but quite dated now. That Kotov endgame line isn't played that often far as I know, maybe something wrong with it.

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #10


    Your placeholder for game didn't work. From information given about Kotov line, would say stick with Exchange var, because it seems that line the least of worries.

    For middlegame there are many good books, Bronstein's Chess struggle in practise, recent "Lessons with a GM" by Gulko etc. If can afford it,  coaching with an titled player is a good idea.

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #12


    paulgottlieb wrote:

    If you're not a complete beginner in the Grunfeld, I can think of nothing better than to study the games where Vladimir Kramnik is White against the Grunfeld. He seems to win an amazingly high percentage of those games, usually by way of a central breakthrough. A study of those games will probably teach you more than any book on the openings

    Excellent advice.  And in any case, one would learn more from the whole games than lines in a book ending with "and White has the better game."

    But Kramnik knows what he is playing inside and out, he introduced a fair amount of the theory.  If you don't want to get knee deep in preparation in critical lines, choose something less seldom seen, resign yourself that the Grunfeld is a good defense and difficult to force an advantage against, accept the even games in the line you adopt, but form plans and practice playing them.  In this way, when you get to the "even" game, at least you will be more familiar with the terrain.

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #13


    Yes you are right. Grundfeld is a very good defense against d4. The problem with the grundfeld though is that it should be played concretely ie you must be well versed in theory.


    Otherwise you risk the danger of losing. AS a grundfeld player, sometimes its difficult to press a win against white if white knows quite a handful of theory.


    The exchange variation and the russian are the most dangerous lines in my opinion.

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #15


    Handle it, you'll handle it?  You know, your predecessors had more respect.

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #16


    redchessman wrote:

    I am starting to think I should just stick with bf4 or bg5 sidelines if i want more winning chances as it leads to less simplification of pieces and gives more classical positions with intact pawn structures. 

    i looked at a few of kramnik's games in the nf3 rb1 line and it looks like it simplifies fast as well if black allows it.

    I really think at the 1900 level I need to keep more pieces on the board in the early stages if i want better winning chances as white.  Any ideas on this?


    With the Grunfeld's fluid pawn structure and emphasis on piece play, there are ways the game can quickly simplify in any line, including Bf4 and Smyslov lines.  But as paulgottleib notes, you won't be facing Svidler most of the time, so there is no need to fear the Grunfeld.  It's just not so easy to control as some openings with more permanently defined pawn structures.

    Don't worry so much about general rules about simplifying, having the idea your chances are better with more pieces on the board can artificially affect your thinking, making you avoid exchanges when you might benefit from making them.

    And when playing weaker players, simplifying is sometimes the quickest way to win, as they tend to badly misplay endings.

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #17


    A very solid white line like g3, doesn't get busted. Their might be problems in gaining an advantage in top level games, but that isn't the same thing. I presume you are talking about the neo-grunfeld line which happened in candidates final game between Gelfand v Grischuk, which black lost. At the moment that line does look quite attractive for black, but is very complicated and subtle line for club players like us to play.  In Russian and various exchange vars, white as big centre and active peices. For a predominately 1.e4 player like me, looks very promising for white. Think 1d4 club players being uncomfortable with active play is more a factor, than the complicated struggles happening between FIDE 2700+ players.

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #19


    Umm, but the lines you are worried about are not critical, forced or popular. This includes the Kotov endgame, and g3 line gave above. Can see this even though a 1.e4 player, and don't know much about this stuff, just researching a little in database. All the lines worried about have big improvements for white. 8e4 above not forced, three is 8d4xc5, 8Nc3. Lots of options earlier. Think you just need to choose one line, play some games, deepen knowlege and stick with it for a season. At the moment, give impression frightened of ghosts and problems that don't exist.

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