Grob Opening


The Grob Opening is a dubious flank opening for White. Rarely used by masters, the Grob is still relatively common among club players. Although not as reputable as other openings, the Grob can be very dangerous against unprepared players. Especially effective in blitz and bullet games, this opening can lead to quick wins for White.

Starting Position

The Grob Opening is an offbeat wing opening for White that starts after 1.g4. White's first move prepares the quick development of their light-squared bishop on g2 and gains space on the kingside. Perhaps even more importantly, White's first move teases Black in an effort to provoke sloppy play.

Grob Attack Chess Openings
The starting position of the Grob Opening.

Considered unsound among masters, the Grob Opening does have many drawbacks. White's 1.g4 considerably weakens the kingside, doesn't help White control the center, and makes it harder for the white king to castle.


  • It could catch Black by surprise
  • It could tease Black into wreckless play
  • Black can fall into a few traps if they're not careful


  • It weakens White's kingside considerably
  • Black can easily get an advantage if they know how to respond
  • Its effectiveness decreases in longer time controls

Main Variations Grob Opening

There is not much theory behind the Grob Opening since masters tend to avoid it in serious games. Black's first move will dictate much of how the game will develop, with the most critical lines coming after 1...d5.


The most critical line of the Grob Opening starts after Black tries to immediately punish White's opening choice with 1.g4 d5. Black opens up the diagonal for their light-squared bishop and attacks White's pawn.

White's two main responses are protecting the pawn with 2.h3 or ignoring Black's threat and play 2.Bg2. However, playing 2.h3 is inaccurate since Black can play 2...h5 and get a much better position. Therefore, 2.Bg2 is more common, and the subject of the two variations below.

Grob Gambit Accepted

The Grob Gambit Accepted starts after 1.g4 d5 2.Bg2 Bxg4. White's 2.Bg2 invites Black to take the g4-pawn, claiming that it is poisoned. The Grob Gambit Accepted is where most of the traps associated with the Grob occur. White tries to exploit Black's weakened a8-h1 diagonal and can win material quickly if Black isn't careful.

However, Black can take the pawn and still get a significant edge with correct play. For this, Black will usually give one or two pawns back to get a massive lead in development.

Grob Gambit Declined

Black can also play the Grob Gambit Declined with the moves 1.g4 d5 2.Bg2 c6. This variation is the most popular among masters and also the best scoring. Black reinforces their center and blunts White's light-squared bishop, trying to exploit White's kingside weaknesses in the long run. On the other hand, White will protect their g-pawn with 3.h3, double-down on their kingside expansion with 3.g5, or try to expand on the queenside with 3.c4.


Less critical lines start after the moves 1.g4 e5. Black can choose a more peaceful approach by developing their pieces and occupying the center or strike immediately with 2...h5. White will usually try to exploit the power of their light-squared bishop or expand on the queenside.

History Of The Grob Opening

The Grob Opening is named after the Swiss IM Henri Grob, who analyzed the opening and used it extensively. While other players and masters occasionally played the opening, the Grob never picked up in popularity for tournament play. Today, it is still rarely seen in tournaments, although streamers like NM Kevin Bordi regularly employ it during their streams.

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