237 ( +1 | -1 ) The Strange and Bizarre MoveIn the post "What's your favorite opening and why?", a sideline discussion developed on unusual openings and their value. A comment was made that if one wants to play the unusual move one can just as long as the unusual move is not declared to be good. But what is good? At one time or another just about every opening has had its day in the sun and its day behind a cloud. Both the French and the Caro-Kann had at one time been considered as virtually refuted -- today they are alive and well. The Evans Gambit went from Queen of the openings to scullery maid and is now once again considered respectable. The same can be said for the Scotch Game. The never ending search for a weapon to surprise one's opponent is the driving force behind revisiting openings once thought passť.
Tartakower wrote once, "Between a really bad opening and a bizarre one there can be a world of difference. Can you, for instance, condemn the 'Amar Gambit' as rankly bad, rather than merely more difficult to follow up than such moves as 1 e4 or 1 d4?" And as Hugh Myers once wrote: "When playing moves such as 1 a4 or 1 ... a5 one should combine then harmoniously with other moves so that they will be useful ... and not just lose time ... ." We should also let Nimzowitsch, that inveterate explorer in the openings (what opening DOESN'T have a Nimzowitsch variation?), comment here: "...Tarrasch granted me the honour of playing a serious game with him. My opening play, as usual, was most bizarre, partly because, at that time ... I was generally ill-versed in 'positional play', but partly because I was already consciously avoiding well-worn paths, and , in particular, regarded the dogmas of the then dominant school not without a certain scepticism." Isn't this part of the reason for playing the questionable move? To challenge the staid and stodgy establishment -- and have fun while doing so?
I play for fun, but I also play to win. If I play Grob's Attack or the Latvian Gambit, it is not to lose -- because I have more fun winning! :-) But if I lose, I lose. I note my mistake(s) and try again. Where would we be if the likes of Basman or Skembris or Ivanov or Miles or Tartakower or Nimzowitsch -- or even Kasparov (resurrecting the Evans and the Scotch) -- never challenged the sacred halls of Respectability? I believe chess would be a dry and dusty and boring game. If it ever comes to that, I'll take up backgammon.
31 ( +1 | -1 ) findurielI think you are right. You first have to study basics and orthodox openings. In the first place this means to understand the strategical ideas behind these openings. If you have this knowledge in your background you will better know what to do if you encounter similar situations in the unorthodox.
62 ( +1 | -1 ) Then I am truly great...... even if my intuition leads me into the gutter.
I am always interested to read about the great players giving others huge odds and still winning. I read about Capablanca and Nimzovitch (spelling?) giving queen's odds and still winning... wow. Giving up your queen... you can't get much more "out of book" than that. I wonder what it is that they see, or which thought process they have, that lets them do that?
Any references to annoted games where the players give up a major piece and still whip the opponent's a** would be greatly appreciated.
53 ( +1 | -1 ) yes, findurielI think one must understand the basics of chess before one experiments -- but then that goes for anything in life. But when one experiments in chess one is not tossing out everything that is accepted. The Hypermoderns didn't reject the theory of the center -- just how one viewed it. The same with Basman and Grob's attack for example. Chess is still chess. I wrote the post to help dispel a potential snobbery that the orthodox is better than the unorthodox. The unorthodox is often just a different view of the same thing.
54 ( +1 | -1 ) On giving oddsMy own personal and amateur perspective on giving odds is that the player who is giving odds simply understands the value of each piece better; what each piece can do, its strengths, its weaknesses, and the like. So even though Capablanca gave queen odds when playing against weaker players, he wasn't at a material disadvantage at all in the sense that even though he was missing his queen, his rooks were better than his opponents, his bishops better than his opponents, etc... by virtue of his greater understanding of the pieces.