Allegedly, Radjabov said in an interview during the 2010 World Blitz Championship that “Everyone is getting tired. You might as well start with 1.a4 and you can still beat them.”
Carlsen decided to test this statement against Radjabov during their 2012 World Blitz Championship game, and it worked like a charm for him! I guess most players would agree that one can start with practically any move in fast controls.
However, not very many strong players have been bold enough to play like this in classical control. In fact, I would say that the most recent notable example is from 1980 when Miles tried 1…a6?! against the World Champion Karpov – and won. Even though 1…a6?! is not a great choice, it is not necessarily a very bad move as long as one does not add 2…b5?.
Of course, Miles’s victory does not have much to do with the first move…or maybe it does?! Miles’s score against Karpov was 2-13 (excluding draws). Earning one of two victories in this fashion could say something about it.
Generally, starting the game with a strategically unsound move could have some psychological impact on your opponent and you may earn some publicity…or it can just backfire badly. This brings us to the first Game of the Week of 2022.
Game of the Week I: Bernadskiy vs. Tabatabaei
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Please note that Game of the Week will cover games played from Saturday to Saturday of each week, and any games played on Sunday will go to the next week. See you next Sunday!
Edited by Della Almind