Malcolm Pein on…Grunfeld Themes


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Malcolm Pein’s Daily Telegraph chess column examines a number of Grunfeld Themes today.

Malcolm Pein on…Grunfeld Themes

In the 1980s, the Correspondence IM Frank Boyd produced a great opening monograph on the Grunfeld Defence. It was more a collection of variations than anything else, but some of them were fantastic and in the pre-computer era I deployed several with success. One of the lines inspired this game.

U. Osieka – M. Pein
Lugano Open 1986
Russian System

1.c4 Nf6 2.d4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Qa4+ Bd7 6.Qb3 dxc4 7.Qxc4 0–0 8.e4 b5! 9.Qb3 (White does not survive 9.Nxb5 Nxe4 10.Nxc7 Nc6 11.Nxa8 Qa5+ 12.Bd2 Nxd2 13.Nxd2 Nxd4 14.Bd3 Rc8 15.Qa6 Nc2+!) 9…c5! 10.dxc5 Na6 11.e5 Ng4 12.e6 Nxc5 13.exf7+ Kh8 14.Qa3 Rc8? (14…Qb6! was much stronger and if 15.Nd5 Qd6) 15.h3 a5!? 16.Nxb5 Nxf2! 17.Kxf2 Bxb5 18.Bxb5 Qb6 19.Be3 Ne4+ 20.Kg1 Qxb5 21.Qb3 Qf5 (Black is still better) 22.Nd4 Qxf7 23.Ne6?

Test Your Strength

Gruenfeld Themes

Black to play and win material

Similar ideas in this recent game.

L. Aronian – M. Vachier-Lagrave
Opera Euro Rapid KO 2021, Chess24
Grunfeld Russian System 15+10

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Qb3 dxc4 6.Qxc4 Be6 7.Qa4+ Bd7 8.Qb3 c5 9.d5 (9.dxc5 Na6 10.Qa3 0–0 11.e3 Rc8 12.b4?! Nd5! If 10.Qxb7 Nxc5 11.Qb4 Qb6 12.Qxb6 axb6 with excellent play) 9…b5! 10.Nxb5 Na6 11.Nc3 Rb8 12.Qd1 Qa5 (Threat Nxd5 Qxd5 Bxc3+. If you have a three-point lead in development, this is usually enough for a pawn. Here Black has a four-point lead, six pieces in play to two) 13.Qd2 (13.Nd2 Nxd5!! 14.Nxd5 Ba4 or 14.Nb3 Rxb3 15.Qxb3 c4 16.Qxc4 Nab4 17.Qb3 Be6 18.Qa4+ Qxa4 19.Nxa4 Nc2+ 20.Kd1 Nxa1 are both winning for Black) 13…Nb4! 14.e4 Ba4!

Gruenfeld Themes

15.b3 Bxb3 16.Rb1 (16.axb3 Qxa1 17.Bc4 Ng4 18.Ne2 was the best defence) 16…Bc2 17.Rb3 Bxb3 18.axb3 Nd7 19.Bb2 0–0 20.Be2 Na2 21.Na4 Qxa4! 22.Bxg7 (22.bxa4 Rxb2 23.Qe3 Bc3+ 24.Kd1 Rb1+ 25.Kc2 Rxh1) 22…Rxb3 23.Bxf8 Rb1+ 24.Bd1 Qxe4+ 25.Kf1 Nc3 26.Qxc3 Rxd1+ 27.Ne1 Nxf8 28.h4 Qxd5 29.Rh3 Ne6 30.Re3 Rd4 31.Nf3 Qc4+ (Simplest, there were other ways to win) 32.Qxc4 Rxc4 33.Ra3 Nd4 34.Nxd4 cxd4 35.Rxa7 d3 36.Ke1 Re4+ 37.Kd2 Re2+ 38.Kxd3 Rxf2 0–1

Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answer.

23…Nd2! 24.Qb6 (24.Bxd2 Qf2+ 25.Kh2 Be5+) 24…Nc4 25.Qa6 Nxe3 26.Nxf8 Rxf8 27.Qe2 Bd4 28.Kh2 Qf4+ 29.g3 Qf2+ 30.Qxf2 Rxf2+ 0–1

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