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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Grob Attack

I’ve long advocated playing solid, mainline openings for everybody, even beginners, but I have a confession to make. Sometimes I play the Grob Attack…1.g4.

I’ve successfully played it even in correspondence games against players up to about 1900, but I wouldn’t advocate playing it against anybody above that unless you want your head handed to you on a plate. When I first got into playing server chess I played on a site that had an unusually larger number of beginners and it became my favorite weapon. None of the games lasted more than 20 moves and there were a couple as short as 5 or 6 moves. It’s surprising how befuddled low rated players get and succumb to the attack on the long diagonal and end up losing the R on a8. However, nothing will ever compare to my shortest game ever. It was an OTB game against a mid-1600 player that went. 1.g4 Nf6? 2.g5 d5??? 3.gxf6. My opponent stared at the board a few seconds then looked up and asked, “What did you do?” I told him, “I took your N.” to which he replied, “How?” After demonstrating how I removed his N, he thought for a few more seconds then resigned.

The Grob Attack can be very tricky tactically and it’s worth a shot especially in blitz. You can download a copy of Claude Bloodgood’s The Tactical Grob, originally a database of his games, I made it into a pdf booklet and added a short bio. I’d advise that before purchasing a more serious work on the opening such as The Killer Grob (Pergamon Chess Series)

In this game my 1600ish opponent befuddled me on the first move when he played 1…h5. Nobody ever did that before and I didn’t have any “book” knowledge on it. As it turned out Bloodgood barely mentioned it so I was on my own after move one.

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