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Thursday, August 2, 2018

Playing d5 Against the Gruenfeld

     One of the chess books I wish had been around 50 years ago was Alex Yermolinsky's The Road To Chess Improvement. While looking through the section on openings and early middlegame structures the other day I came across an interesting game and comment. Yermolinsky wrote that he read John Watson's book Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy "like a bible." For Benko Gambit addicts he recommended anything written by John Fedorowicz. 
     The game that caught my attention was his game against his student at the time Boris Kreiman. Yermolinsky (April 11, 1958) was born in Leningrad and after immigrating to the United States via Italy he won a lot of titles, including the US Championship in 1993 which he shared with Alexander Shabalov and again in 1996. In 2012 Yermolinsky was inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame. 
     While living in Cleveland, Ohio he teamed up with Senior Master Boris Men and they conducted the popular Yeromlinsky Chess Academy and the book consists of a lot of material that formed the basis of the Academy lectures. These days he lives in South Dakota. 
     Boris Kreiman (June 7, 1976) was born in Moscow and at the age of 13 moved to Brooklyn, New York. Kreiman began his chess training at the age of 5 at the Russian School of Chess in Moscow. After moving to the U.S. he trained with Gata Kamsky before becoming a student of Yermolinsky. He received his GM title in 2004 and then retired from competition and moved into helping communities through chess programs and education. 
     In the following game Yermolinsky discussed the advantages of playing d4-d5 against the Gruenfeld, the implementation of which may be difficult and even require a P-sac. I am giving a very condensed version of his notes, but have tried to capture the important points he makes in this very instructive game. The game is also a modern example of sacrificing a Pawn for long term positional advantages that was discussed in my recent post on Chasing the Initiative.

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