Friday 30 September 2016

I may not try this

The saga of finding an opening system against 1.d4 continues for me. Having tried the Dutch for the last 3 years, I've become less than satisfied, and for now am reflexively playing the Grunfeld again. Previously I've dabbled with various QGD systems, with mixed results, and this includes the Semi-Slav.
I did wheel it out at the 2008 Chess Olympiad, but a crushing defeat against South Korea did not help my confidence in it. And having seen the following game from the 2016 Tal Memorial, I'm not sure I'll be rushing back to it.
To be fair, Gelfand was OK going into the middle game, so the opening isn't entirely to blame. However it did look as though Mamedyarov did have an easier time of it, and maybe this influenced Gelfand's risky play (Qxb2 and g5). With Mamedyarov's well posted pieces targeting an exposed king, Gelfand tried to find a way to defend, but the game ended far more quickly than Gelfand would have hoped when he decided on 1. ... d5

Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar (2761) - Gelfand,Boris (2743) [D43]
10th Tal Mem 2016 Moscow RUS (3.5), 29.09.2016

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