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nimzoredivivus 237 ( +1 | -1 )
The Strange and Bizarre Move In 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.
finduriel 18 ( +1 | -1 )
I've read what you wrote and I like it. But don't you agree that one has to learn the basics first and then try something new and fresh?


keiserpaul 31 ( +1 | -1 )
finduriel I 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.
ordinary_man 13 ( +1 | -1 )
interesting post. I think it is the sign of a truly great player, when they can let go of fixed ideas and let their own intuition lead them.
jeffz_2002 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.
nimzoredivivus 53 ( +1 | -1 )
yes, finduriel I 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.
refutor 18 ( +1 | -1 )
jeffz_2002 get any book on morphy...most of his opponents he gave odds to...after he came back from europe he refused to play anyone without giving them odds
caldazar 54 ( +1 | -1 )
On giving odds My 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.
rifter1818 1 ( +1 | -1 )
borg defence all the way!!!!! e4 g5!!!!!!!
(sorry had to say it)