Beginner Chess Openings: Beating the Grunfeld Defense

[D70] Anti-Grunfeld

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. f3!?

Beginner Chess Openings

The “Anti Gruenfeld” is an interesting practical weapon, but from a theoretical point of view Black should have adequate resources.

3. …d5

Played like a true Gruenfeld Defense devotee. Alternatives are:

a) 3. …c5 4.d5 b5 leads to the “f3 variation” of the Benko Gambit after 5.cxb5 a6 6.e4 etc.
b) 3. …Bg7 4.e4 0–0 5. Nc3 and White has reached a Saemisch variation of the Kings Indian Defense.

4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nb6 6. Nc3 Bg7 7. Be3 0-0

Fritz seems to think Black is already slightly better as he will be able to mount rapid pressure on the white center.

8. Qd2 Nc6!

Beginner Chess Openings

Actively pressuring the d4 point before White can complete his development and mobilize behind his center.

9. Rd1

White protects his d4 pawn, but since his kingside is lagging in development he should secure his king as well with 9.0–0–0!? but central action with 9. …f5! offers Black equal chances.

9. …a6

Black could strike immediately in the center with:

a) 9. …e5!? 10.dxe5 Qxd2+ 11. Rxd2 Nxa5
b) 9. …e5 10. d5?! Nd4! 11. Bxd4? exd4 12. Nb5 f5! with a crushing attack in the making for Black as the white king is still in the middle of the board.

10. d5 Ne5

Black threatens 11. …Nc4 collecting white’s valuable dark square bishop.

11. Bc5

White naturally plays to preserve his bishop, but also interesting was 11.Bxb6!? cxb6 12.f4 Bh6! 13.Be2 with a balance game where White has the center, but Black has the bishop pair.

11. …Nbc4

Attacking in the center with 11…f5 can be met by 12. Bxb6 cxb6 13. f4 with initiative since 13. …Bh6 14. Qd4! Bf4 15. g3 is good for white.

12. Qc1 b6

Attacking white’s bishop, but the quiet retreat 12. …Nd6!? was more prudent.

13. Bd4 Nd6 14. f4!

Beginner Chess Openings

Suddenly the White center is mobile!

14. …Nd7 15. Bxg7

In the Grunfeld, the exchange of the dark square bishops weakens the black king position, thus improving white’s attacking prospects.

15. …Kxg7 16. Nf3 +-

Beginner Chess Openings

White has emerged with a clear space advantage.

16. …a5

A feeble move that does nothing to create counterplay or attack the white center.

17. e5!

White siezes the opportunity to push Black back even more.

17. …Nf5 18. g4!

Our young player is a space hog! [Also strong was the centralising 18.Ne4!?

18. …Nh6 19. h3!

This quiet move secures the g4 pawn and highlights the weakness of the black knight on h6!

19. …Nc5 20. Bb5 Ba6 21. 0-0 Qc8

Black hopes to bonzai his knight on g4 to collect a few pawns and checks.

22. f5!

Beautifully executed as White strikes while the iron is hot!

22. …Bxb5 23. Nxb5

White makes the practical decision to simply recapture and maintain his strategically crushing position.

The immediate 23. f6+!? exf6 24. exf6+ Kxf6 25. Qxh6 Bxf1 26. Rxf1 -> also leads to a winning attack for white.

23. …gxf5?

White was expecting black to bail out with 23. …Nxf5 but after 24. gxf5 Qxf5 25. Kh2! +- Black has insufficient compensation for his knight.

24. Qg5+ Kh8 25. Qxh6 fxg4 26. Ng5 1-0

Black has no serious defense against 27. Qxh7 mate.

Article by Grandmaster Ron W. Henley

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