Tuesday, September 23, 2014


If you want to see flashing attacking games then this blog is not the right address. I have barely gambits in my repertoire. E.g. the Dutch stonewall demonstrates clearly that I prefer a cautious positional approach. Some people categorize me therefore as a classical player.

The term 'classical chessplayer' originated from the era of Siegbert Tarrasch. The German worldclass-player stressed the importance of a healthy setup and explained this didactically at the public with the aid of many rules. However in doing so he also received a lot of critics as chess is much more than just applying a bunch of rules.

I spoke in my previous article about that I like to discover little rules but at the same time I also realize very well there exists the danger of becoming too dogmatic. Chess is a very concrete game in which the needs of a position often overrule different rules. In the games of the contemporary generation of top-players we see a complete abstention of certain dogma's. A general rule like you should take back with a pawn towards the center, is often broken. Recently Magnus Carlsen wasn't shy to offend against this rule in his game against the Italian top-grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.

So white was punished but the continuation did promise a fantastic fight. I also want to add that Caruana has gained since beginning of August approximately 44 points and now approached the worldchampion at only 20 points. This is an incredible jump on that level of which I wonder if this is just coincidence or we really witness the rise of a player whom can challenge the Mozart of chess.

Today we are spoiled by toptournaments as the Sinquefield Cup has just finished or we already can follow the Bilbao-masters. Also in that tournament players aren't embarrassed by violating rules. E.g. in the game Pons Vallejo - Levon Aronian again fxg3 at move 11 pops up. It evoked the reaction on schaaksite of the Dutch grandmaster Reinderman that maybe the rule was abolished.

Again fabulous chess but honesty obliges me to confess that black was better in the game. I remember that I was very impressed when an opponent once played such kind of move in my tournament-practice and hereby also created chances. This happened in 2002 by the very strong Belgian player Jakub Filipek from Polish origin. I wonder what happened with this creative player as since 2004 there is no trace anymore from him. I suspect that he just completely stopped with chess as in 2002 he already showed at the board that he was bored and not eager to play.

His 15th move obviously came as a complete surprise. This is sore but I assume most of us have experienced such moments in their practice (as e.g. happened a few days earlier in the Europa Cup, see move 41 game Alexei Shirov - Henk Vedder). The positive side of the lost game is that I learned to also consider more often less logical exchanges and as a consequence also tried to play less dogmatic.


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