is the Grunfeld for intermediates?

stephen2801
Can an intermediate player with a 1250 rating play the Grunfeld? Trying to combat whites' big center looks like it requires very precise play.
Vanhinov

Precise play, high level of theory, can't play it against 1.Nf3/c4, long forcing lines, counter intuitive moves (for what a beginners used to at least) no direct attack on the king...  sad.png

 

I tried learning this opening at 1650ish and it was simply too rough. At lower levels when both players are confused (which is usually all the time) whoever has the center will plow the opponent. I was getting plowed. The theory wasn't that fun to study, but I guess its a matter of style. The KID is said by some to be harder but at least I know which side of the board to play on with the thematic pawn chains and the thrill of a King hunt makes me study it more. I suppose if Grunfeld makes you want to study more you should look into it, but you've been warned! wink.png

stephen2801

Hey thanks.  You seem to be confirming my hunch.

Vanhinov

Another question could be (at least the one I wonder) "does the Grunfeld ever really get any easier?" Everyone remembers Fischers record setting 13 straight wins, what they forget is the loss that broke the streak was a Grunfeld. Everyone remembers Kasparov failing to break Kramniks Berlin in 2000, but they forget how he fell behind the first place (a Grunfeld). These were 2 players at the top of their game.

 https://www.chess.com/article/view/the-opening-that-didn-t-like-bobby-fischer

good read by Silman

 

 

As for a solution, maybe try the Tarrasch Defense. It grabs the center and is an IQP postion so you can take what you learn and apply it to other positions.

 

 

bong711

If one likes dynamic play by black, the Gruenfeld is best. I play it at otb, daily chess and live 10 min. I still lose games because of middle game and endgame mistakes. The opening works for me.

coolchess_guy
stephen2801 wrote:
Can an intermediate player with a 1250 rating play the Grunfeld? Trying to combat whites' big center looks like it requires very precise play.

bro, we are having huge hard time with such questions ; the fact is that if you are playing valid move you are allowed to play any opening. the opening that is used by GMs or in top level games frequently are playable in all level. you just need calculative and positional mind to play anything on board and that is the only thing making differences between wining and loosing frustrated.png. the most truth is if u r 1200 ish player and your opponents are not going to be a super GM/alpha 0 most of the time so you are free to enjoy games with all of your hearts, and grunefild/ neo-grunefild  is worth trying by any players.

kindaspongey

"... Most books on the Gruenfeld ... are written for fairly advanced players, which is not entirely surprising, because the opening is strategically very complex. In light of this, I find it mildly bizarre an peculiar when I see players rated below 1500 study and play this opening as Black. ..." - FM Carsten Hansen (2009)

https://web.archive.org/web/20140627001410/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/hansen121.pdf

stephen2801

Vanhinov--good follow up comment.  I remember that article by Silman, but forgot it was but the Grufeld, which I didn't know about at that time anyway.  Fischer's game of the century against Burn, though, was also a Grunfeld, and he was 14 years old!

 

Do you have any video suggestions or links for the Tarrasch?  Thanks.

bong711

OP, If you like Gruenfeld, just study and play it. Losses are part of learning. After playing a dozen games you will get the feel of it. Don't expect winning your first few games. If you enjoy playing Sicilians, you would enjoy Gruenfeld too.

 

Nic_Olas

I am rated around 1100 and I find the Gruenfeld to be really difficult to understand. White gets a pair of passers in the center in a lot of lines and that can be hard to defend with the chess experience I have. I also think that I simply prefer more classical positions most of the time. It is mostly a matter of taste but don't force it if it isn't coming to you after a while.

coolchess_guy
Nic_Olas wrote:

I am rated around 1100 and I find the Gruenfeld to be really difficult to understand. White gets a pair of passers in the center in a lot of lines and that can be hard to defend with the chess experience I have. I also think that I simply prefer more classical positions most of the time. It is mostly a matter of taste but don't force it if it isn't coming to you after a while.

grunefiled has few popular variations Seville variation Spassky variation Lundin variation Stockholm variation Russian. Smyslov Variation petrosian system three knight's variation Flohr Variation Burille Variation, makogonov variation etc . central pawns are must needed to protect by to creates a passer till endgame and it is hard to protect specially in grunefeld. happy.png keep playing you will see . two gambit 1. grunfeld gambit 2.  Spike gambit etc. you can start playing and you will discover it more. happy.png 

Nic_Olas

Maybe I'll give it a shot, thanks for the encouragement. I have mostly had bad results with the Gruenfeld but that was around 10 months ago

ThrillerFan

I would never recommend the Grunfeld to a 1250 player.  A 1250 player shouldn't be studying openings in the first place.  Leave that for 1800 on up.  That said, if you really want to study openings, go with ones that follow opening principles to the letter, like the Ruy Lopez and Queen's Gambit Declined.

 

That said, for what it's worth, my OTB rating has fluctuated between 2040 and 2180 for the last decade plus and even I can't make heads or tails out of the Grunfeld, but part of that has to do with the fact that I'm no good at positions with the mobile center.

 

Speaking of which, before you get into openings, can you even name the 5 main types of center?  Most can't!  Opening like the Grunfeld and Alekhine lead to what is called the Mobile Center, with the others being the Open Center, Static Center, Dynamic Center, and Closed Center.  Hmmm...I wonder why I tell French players (like myself) that ask what to play against 1.d4 to play the King's Indian (like myself) and vice versa?  Could it be the closed center?   Hmmmmmm!!!!!!!!

 

Many make the mistake of selecting an opening at random, or selecting an opening simply because it's "Aggressive", like they are ADHD or something, when instead they should be selecting openings with a similar type of center, and note that the center is determined by BOTH colors, not just White's or Black's, which is another common mistake lower rated players make.  They think because "Black's" pawn moves are the same, the game is the same, and that the King's Indian is just like the Pirc when they are literally night and day or oil and water!

 

So long story short, I would say no, the Grunfeld would not be advised at this time.  Learn the more critical stuff right now and apply opening concepts, and if you really are that curious, check out the Ruy Lopez and Queen's Gambit declined, and leave the Grunfeld for a time when you are far more knowledgeable and actually know what you are getting yourself into before you even start studying it!  If at that point you figure out that you are savy at mobile centers and facing mobile centers, then maybe the Grunfeld is for you!  Even I once upon a time played the QGD before I started playing the King's Indian Defense!

coolchess_guy
ThrillerFan wrote:

I would never recommend the Grunfeld to a 1250 player.  A 1250 player shouldn't be studying openings in the first place.  Leave that for 1800 on up.  That said, if you really want to study openings, go with ones that follow opening principles to the letter, like the Ruy Lopez and Queen's Gambit Declined.

 

That said, for what it's worth, my OTB rating has fluctuated between 2040 and 2180 for the last decade plus and even I can't make heads or tails out of the Grunfeld, but part of that has to do with the fact that I'm no good at positions with the mobile center.

 

Speaking of which, before you get into openings, can you even name the 5 main types of center?  Most can't!  Opening like the Grunfeld and Alekhine lead to what is called the Mobile Center, with the others being the Open Center, Static Center, Dynamic Center, and Closed Center.  Hmmm...I wonder why I tell French players (like myself) that ask what to play against 1.d4 to play the King's Indian (like myself) and vice versa?  Could it be the closed center?   Hmmmmmm!!!!!!!!

 

Many make the mistake of selecting an opening at random, or selecting an opening simply because it's "Aggressive", like they are ADHD or something, when instead they should be selecting openings with a similar type of center, and note that the center is determined by BOTH colors, not just White's or Black's, which is another common mistake lower rated players make.  They think because "Black's" pawn moves are the same, the game is the same, and that the King's Indian is just like the Pirc when they are literally night and day or oil and water!

 

So long story short, I would say no, the Grunfeld would not be advised at this time.  Learn the more critical stuff right now and apply opening concepts, and if you really are that curious, check out the Ruy Lopez and Queen's Gambit declined, and leave the Grunfeld for a time when you are far more knowledgeable and actually know what you are getting yourself into before you even start studying it!  If at that point you figure out that you are savy at mobile centers and facing mobile centers, then maybe the Grunfeld is for you!  Even I once upon a time played the QGD before I started playing the King's Indian Defense!

i admire your advise but i thought about such openion a lot. i determined one thing a 1200 + or even 1400 + rated players won't get a call for wcc matches even if read ruy qgd a lot or even if they successfully / unsuccessfully deployed grunfeld /sicilian so why not trying it ? at leas t they would live on earth something that they like happy.png

stephen2801

Wonderful comments everyone, thanks.  There is lots of good advice here.  I'll admit that I'm more familiar with openings like the Slav or Nimzo, and Sicilian and Caro Kan.  Chess.com had a nice video series on the Grunfeld, so I got interest.  I also think that managing the center game in the Gunfeld seems challenging.  And I don't want to get rolled with white's center pawns.  Thanks!

Lyudmil_Tsvetkov

Unless you are Fischer or Kasparov, forget all about the Gruenfeld.

This opening is weak, it scores very badly at top engine 3300 level competition, white wins too many games, better learn and play the KID, which is much sounder.

Kasparov and Fischer played the Gruenfeld, but just rarely. they both preferred the KID.

ThrillerFan
Lyudmil_Tsvetkov wrote:

Unless you are Fischer or Kasparov, forget all about the Gruenfeld.

This opening is weak, it scores very badly at top engine 3300 level competition, white wins too many games, better learn and play the KID, which is much sounder.

Kasparov and Fischer played the Gruenfeld, but just rarely. they both preferred the KID.

 

Actually, Kasparov didn't play the Grunfeld "Rarely".  It was his primary weapon against 1.d4 for a good 4 to 5 years.

 

The culprit was Kramnik!  Kasparov played the Benoni early on, but by the time he became World Champion in 1985, he was playing the King's Indian Defense with maybe an occasional Grunfeld, hence the Seville variation, which came from the Kasparov/Karpov WC Match in I think 1987 (could be off on which year), but otherwise Kasparov played the King's Indian, until of course in the mid-90s when this guy named Kramnik kicked his a$$ with the Bayonet Attack!  Kasparov then dumps the King's Indian and starts playing the Grunfeld, and all through the late 90s at Wijk Ann Zee, Linares, etc, he's kicking everyone's butt with the Grunfeld, until this culprit named Kramnik comes along in 2000 and once against kicked his a$$ in the 2000 World Championship match in a game that he got beat so badly that he spends his last 4 or 5 years before retirement floundering around with the QGA, Slav, and other defenses that clearly didn't match Kasparov's attacking nature from the Benoni, King's Indian, and Grunfeld that he played from 1980 to 2000.

 

So the Grunfeld was not rare in his case, and I wouldn't go as far as saying that it's unsound, but there is literally no wiggle room for error by Black.  One slight, minute slip-up and Black's dead, unlike in say, the Queen's Gambit Declined, where Black at least has some room for a minor error or two.  Of course, one Black blunder in any opening at the GM level and he might as well resign!

 

It's not that the King's Indian is sounder than the Grunfeld.  It's simply a little more forgiving, but still nowhere near as forgiving as the QGD.

Lyudmil_Tsvetkov

Kasparov's KIDs are much more than his Gruenfelds.

Fischer's even more so.

But then, Kasparov might be a weaker player than Fischer, who knows, I would suppose so on a number of factors, but who knows?

Mainline Gruenfeld, trading the knight on c3, where white gets extremely powerful pawn center, is either altogether lost, or very close to being lost by black. With perfect play, I mean.

And this is only easily corroborated by the pattern approach: 1. d4 Nf6(black misses the best 1...c5) 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5?(this will trade central d for less valuable semi-central c opponent pawn) 4. cd5 Nd5 5. e4 Nc3 6. bc3(captures again towards the center, so the b pawn becomes a c one), and we are here:

 

Black is already tempo down due to the fact he is the second player, black commited couple of slight inaccuracies, on above diagram, white has central advanced d for semi-edge b black pawn, nice compact center, etc. In conclusion, big advantage, black could hold by a miracle.

Again, that is with perfect play. As said, top engines at very long TC win 70-80% of the games with white in this particular line.

So that, I would not play the Gruenfeld, the KID yes, but it very much depends on one's individual style, of course.

For the pattern approach, you might want to check this article: https://www.chess.com/blog/Swordfish55/review-the-secret-of-chess

bong711

At patzer level, Gruenfeld scores. I tried KID, QID and NID with less satisfaction. the Gruenfeld gives me 60%. QG is too boring for me.

nighteyes1234
Lyudmil_Tsvetkov wrote:

 

 

Black is already tempo down due to the fact he is the second player, black commited couple of slight inaccuracies, on above diagram, white has central advanced d for semi-edge b black pawn, nice compact center, etc. In conclusion, big advantage, black could hold by a miracle.

Again, that is with perfect play. As said, top engines at very long TC win 70-80% of the games with white in this particular line.

So that, I would not play the Gruenfeld, the KID yes, but it very much depends on one's individual style, of course.

For the pattern approach, you might want to check this article: https://www.chess.com/blog/Swordfish55/review-the-secret-of-chess

 

Paradoxical, is not it?

Now, tell me modern chess/theory is very advanced.

...g6:

- fiacnhettoes the black dark-square bishop on the long diagonal, it attacks 6 different squares there

- it atacks the center

- the black light-square bishop is not hemmed in after e7-e6, and ready to trade on either f3 or d3/f5, leaving black with a good bishops vs white's bad c1 bishop, etc.

All those advantages easily decide 3...g6 is the best move above, but why do modern theoreticians not see it? Because they don't use patterns sufficiently, in any case advanced patterns.

In that way, everybody learns the wrong way to play. You really think that is good?

 

LOL...they must sell a lot of those phony baloney sandwiches at that deli you go to.