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A Matter of (Weird) Openings and… “lots of fun”?.

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John Owen (1827-1901) .-   (A strong amateur English chessplayer, and a vicar by profession, his main feat was finishing third at London 1862, ahead of Steinitz and being the only one who managed to beat the winner of the event Adolf Anderssen. The defence  1… b6/  against 1. e4 bears his name.)


During my Chess life -I am speaking mainly about my correspondence chess  ( CC) years starting in 1986-, I have played in  different events: official ICCF events, official team matches, club events, friendsly tournaments and games, and so on, I have found many opponents -even in the hard-fought ICCF events-, who told me : “Well, … I only play Chess for fun. I want to play for the sake of it.” . And reading other Chess blogs you can also find that “curious” concept of  “playing Chess for fun” .

The problem of my fellow-colleagues who admit to it is that when you start playing, you see that they are the staunchest and more stubborn of opponents. They play as if their lives were at stake  and, if they are really playing “for fun” it implies that they only want to deprive you of your “fun”. So, don’t believe them! Always remember what Bobby Fischer said:  “There are tough players and nice guys, and I’m a tough player”.  So what?, you may say.

Well,  forget about nice guys. There is no such a thing these days…

Usually, the followers of the “I-play-Chess-for-the-fun-of-it” school of thought “should ” be seeing playing the kind of “funny” openings one can find here and there and not the “serious” 1.e4 /1.d4/1.c4… Curiously enough, the opponents who tried to show me they were “nice guys”  were firm adherents of these classical weapons as White and of the also classical Sicilians, French or Ruy Lopez as Black.  From time to time -and not played by an openly declared “nice guy”, I have to defend against  1. b4  (Sokolsky or -Orang-utan (!)-, 1.b3 (Nimzowitsch/Larsen) and 1.f4 (Bird) . Really only once did I meet 1. h4 as Black and it was in the late eighties of the 20th century (!). And as White, the strangest opening I have met was 1. e4 b6 two or three times also. (And I have played around 800 CC serious games all in all)

So then, what should an opponent of you or you yourself play if s/he/you were playing “for fun”?. Here we have a list of the odd, the weird, the bizarre, even the absurd openings that can take your opponents out of the book even baffling your opponents’ computers:

1. a3 : Andersen Opening

1. Na3 : Durkin Opening

1. a4 : Ware/The Meadow  Opening

1. g4: Grob Opening

1. …Nc6/ 2… Nf6 : Black Knight’s Tango

1. d4, Nf6 / 2. f3 : The Paleface Attack

1. e4, e5 /2. Nf3 , d5 /: The Elephant Gambit.

1.  e3:  van’t Kuijs Opening

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Ne5:   Halloween Gambit

1. e4 , Nf6 2. e5 Ne4  : Makelele Mbembe

1. d4, c5/ 2. Nf3 cd4 3. b4 , e5/ Tamarkin Countergambit.

1. e4 ,Na6/ The Lemming

1. e4, a6  : Miles Defence.

1 …, a5/ The Corn Stalk Defence

1. e4, f5 /2. ef5, Kf7 / The Fred

1. Nc3 ../. a3 : The Battambang

1.  f3 , e5 2. 2. Kf2 :The Hammerschlach

1.  e4, c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. d4  f6/ The Sicilian Fred.

1. e4, Nc6 2. d4, f6/ The Neo-Mongoloid Defence.

1. d4, …/2. d4, f6 /: The Canard

1. f4  f5 / 2. d4  d5/ The Double Dutch

1. c3 : The Saragossa Opening

1. h4: Desprez Opening

1. d3 : Mieses Opening

1. h3:  Clemenz Opening

1. e4 b6 / : Owen Defence

1. e4 e5 2. Ne2 : Alapin

1. e4 e5  2. Nf3 f6  : Damiano Defence.

And now my three “favourites” to break your opponents’ ego:

1. f3 :  Barnes/Gedult  Opening ,

1. Nh3 Paris Opening,    and perhaps the greatest one:

1. e4 e5 /2. Nf3, Nc6 3. Ne5:     :       The Irish Gambit!!, also known as the Chicago/Schulze-Müller Gambit.  (Apparently, the tale is that the unknown “inventor” asked in his detah-bed why he had played such a move, answered: “I hadn’t seen the KP was defended”...(!!!!!!!!!!)

After reading this post, you cannot say nobody has warned and advised you on how “to play Chess for fun”…

The Game:

W.: L. Stein  (1)

B.: T. Petrosian  (0)

USSR Chess Championship, 1961

In this game Stein showed how he mastered the art of conjuring up an attack from ny part of the board even if he had no direct tactical threats. Some people said Petrosian seemed to play without a plan. I do not agree: the great Petrosian would beat Botvinnik in two years’ time and was already one of the best chessplayers in the world. Perhaps what happened was that he was unable to anticipate Stein’s ideas…

1. e4  e6  2. d4  d5  3. Nc3  Bb4  4. e5  Ne7  5. a3  Bc3! 6. bc3  c5  7. Qg4  Nf5  8. Bd3  h5  9. Qf4  Nc6  10. Ne2  Ne7  11. Ng3  Ng6  12. Qd2  Bd7  13. Rb1  Rb8  14. 0-0  c4  15. Be2  Ng3!  16. fg3  h4  (Now Stein starts a powerful attak):

17. Bg4!  hg3  18. hg3  Qe7  19. a4!  Ba4: 20. Ra1  b5  21.  Ba3  Qd7  22. Rf2  Rb7  23. Raf1  Qd8  24. Qd1! (Threatening  Rf7:) 24…, Rh6  25. Bc1  Rh7  26. Be6!  and Petrosian resigned.



Written by QChess

June 13, 2012 at 7:10 am

Posted in CHESS, Openings

One Response

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  1. Regarding weird openings and good results I wanna show you my game versus a high rated (c)-program more than 10 years ago:


    December 21, 2012 at 2:35 pm

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