Why the Grob is Severely Underrated: An Analysis

chessgm8

I think the Grob (1. g4) is a very underrated opening for white. Observe:

 

 
 
 

 

The aggressive stance of the Grob is sure to intimidate your unassuming opponents OTB. So why is it so rarely seen in tournament practice? I think it is because people underestimate the extreme psychological impact it will have on your opponents. 

 

 

By employing the Grob, you bring your opponent into unknown territory from the first move and throw their hours of opening preparation out the window.

 

 

The moment you play the move 1. g4, you tell your opponent that you are an aggressive, risk-taking player. Add this to the fact that the Grob is an opening that your average tournament player will not be prepared against, and you have the perfect psychological weapon to employ at your next tournament or online game.

 

 

The Grob will be sure to shock your average opponent, and it will be easy for them to crack under the light square pressure you apply straight from the opening.

 

 

The Grob even transcends color; the opening can be played with the black (1…g5) or white (1. g4) pieces and the same basic principles can apply, minimizing your need to memorize reams of theory on mainstream responses to 1. e4 or 1. d4. The Grob is a true one-size-fits-all opening.

 

 

So why is it that people haven’t noticed the countless opportunities this opening can provide?

 

 

Players who doubt the integrity of the Grob may bring up some of the following points:

 

 

"The computer says the Grob is a bad opening in comparison to the more popular 1. e4 / 1. d4."

 

 

While Stockfish (Ver 1.0.5 at depth 29/42) may evaluate the position after 1. g4 as -0.57, this is still well within the drawing range and does not take the psychological benefits of playing the Grob into consideration.

 

 

“It doesn’t follow opening principles.”

 

 

Precisely why it is a more powerful weapon. By playing an unorthodox (but still powerful) first move that your opponent will not be prepared against, you immediately gain a psychological advantage.

 

 

This opening has stayed under the radar for too long, and I take it upon myself to enlighten players of all strengths about its many advantages.

 

EDIT: Agreed, in classical games the Grob may not be a good opening, but in blitz it seems to wield quite fair results.

chessgm8
BobbyTalparov wrote:

Yes, the psychological effects of telling your opponent "I am going to ruin my pawn structure and give you a much better game by simply following opening principles and potentially go into a losing endgame" can be quite daunting.


While playing normally and blindly "following opening principles" may not get you very far in the Grob, with practice you can learn to tailor it into a powerful attacking weapon.

chessgm8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4DlHLUNyPU

Aman Hambleton has employed the Grob with some quite satisfactory (I must say) results.

JamesColeman

lol

chessgm8
BobbyTalparov wrote:
chessgm8 wrote:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4DlHLUNyPU

Aman Hambleton has employed the Grob with some quite satisfactory (I must say) results.

Yes, a GM playing in a theme tournament against low rated opponents is a great example of the opening's strength. He has also given queen odds against low rated players with great results, so perhaps you would want to start as white with no queen?

If you look closer at the end of the video you would see that he was victorious with the Grob against players of 2300 strength.

chessgm8
BobbyTalparov wrote:
chessgm8 wrote:
BobbyTalparov wrote:
chessgm8 wrote:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4DlHLUNyPU

Aman Hambleton has employed the Grob with some quite satisfactory (I must say) results.

Yes, a GM playing in a theme tournament against low rated opponents is a great example of the opening's strength. He has also given queen odds against low rated players with great results, so perhaps you would want to start as white with no queen?

If you look closer at the end of the video you would see that he was victorious with the Grob against players of 2300 strength.

Again a theme tournament in a fast time control against players much weaker than himself. Magnus played 1. a3, 2. h4, and 3. e4 against an IM and won spectacularly. Does that mean 1. a3 is underrated?

I don't know, is 1. a3 underrated? Anyways, that's not the point of the article; all I'm saying is that the Grob (in my opinion) deserves more attention than it is currently receiving and is stronger than most people think.

chessgm8

Also, if you look I've provided some examples where I have used the Grob to beat players around my strength (~1900).

St0ck-fish

As you can see, the grob is spectacular when playing blitz vs. a someone rated 207

chessgm8
Another example:
 

 

chessgm8

Maybe it might not be the strongest classical opening, but I feel it definitely can be a good surprise weapon at least in blitz.

Elroch

Being better prepared is an advantage. But the grob is not very difficult to play against, except by a poorly prepared player in a fast game.

chessgm8
BobbyTalparov wrote:
chessgm8 wrote:

Maybe it might not be the strongest classical opening, but I feel it definitely can be a good surprise weapon at least in blitz.

Anything that does not immediately hang a piece is fine in blitz. Cheap tricks often are good enough to at least give you an edge on the clock in fast time controls.

I feel that may be a bit of a general statement . . . "cheap tricks" only work up to a certain point before your opponents can see them with relative ease.

Kmatta

 I just checked your account. In your 1500+ game database, you have played the Grob 5 times as White (including the 800 bird gambit game) and scored 20% against and average opposition of 1418.4. While you may not have been the same strength the whole time, that is really bad. In the Grob you currently only have 1 (!) win in the database. Here are the real games: 

Please do not advocate the Grob if you need to lie about it. Exposed...happy.png

Also, the game that you posted as wins were played today, so they did not appear in the database, even though they were wins, you had some terrible opposition.Those were played literally 3 hours ago. 

 

darkunorthodox88

a whole post on the grob and not a single mention of Michael Basman. ridiculous.

 

the grob is objectively bad. one engine gives it -0.85! at a high depth. they are plenty of lines that leave bad in simply inferior game. it is SLIGHTLY underrated however because knowing an opening is bad and proving it over the board are two different things. 

 

playing 1.g4 agaisnt someone like Basman or those very rare masters who have done their homework with it, is no fun. they know their opening inside an out, and you at best have a night's last minute research on it.

  Even if you end up fine, this is what often happens. you get some advantage vs said master in the opening, and slowly your computer grown advantage starts mysteriously disappearing until you end up in a jungle of complications you never seen and the master knocks you out.

sonatine

its exploitable but very few people have done the proper research on how.

- sincerely,

someone who plays grob about 98% of the time.

chessgm8
Kmatta wrote:

 I just checked your account. In your 1500+ game database, you have played the Grob 5 times as White (including the 800 bird gambit game) and scored 20% against and average opposition of 1418.4. While you may not have been the same strength the whole time, that is really bad. In the Grob you currently only have 1 (!) win in the database. Here are the real games: 

 
Please do not advocate the Grob if you need to lie about it. Exposed...

Also, the game that you posted as wins were played today, so they did not appear in the database, even though they were wins, you had some terrible opposition.Those were played literally 3 hours ago. 

 

I'm not lying because I didn't claim that those were all the games I played with the Grob. I just showed wins to display the Grob's potential.

chessgm8
catdogorb wrote:
chessgm8 wrote:
BobbyTalparov wrote:

Yes, the psychological effects of telling your opponent "I am going to ruin my pawn structure and give you a much better game by simply following opening principles and potentially go into a losing endgame" can be quite daunting.


While playing normally and blindly "following opening principles" may not get you very far in the Grob, with practice you can learn to tailor it into a powerful attacking weapon.

Post some tournament games then, not 3|0 garbage.

I find that ironic coming from a person who plays bullet and 3min blitz exclusively . . .

chessgm8
sonatine wrote:

its exploitable but very few people have done the proper research on how.

- sincerely,

someone who plays grob about 98% of the time.

thats the kind of people we need in this thread lol

chessgm8
catdogorb wrote:
chessgm8 wrote:
catdogorb wrote:
chessgm8 wrote:
BobbyTalparov wrote:

Yes, the psychological effects of telling your opponent "I am going to ruin my pawn structure and give you a much better game by simply following opening principles and potentially go into a losing endgame" can be quite daunting.


While playing normally and blindly "following opening principles" may not get you very far in the Grob, with practice you can learn to tailor it into a powerful attacking weapon.

Post some tournament games then, not 3|0 garbage.

I find that ironic coming from a person who plays bullet and 3min blitz exclusively . . .

Or rather, my criticism is more meaningful precisely because that's what I play.

And notice how many topics I've started about how my games/openings are so good.

You're entitled to that opinion.

I think there's been a misunderstanding. This article is not about how the Grob is "super good", and I'm not claiming that it's any better than anyone else's preferred openings. I'm just saying it is stronger than most people give it credit for. 

AveryKing

Brilliant👏👏👏300IQ