“Why should I learn an opening that I won’t play with either color?”
The best way to answer this question is with an example! Let’s say you are not a 1.e4 player nor a Caro-Kann player, so you may skip looking at a game from the Panov variation of Caro-Kann. However, such oversight could come back to bite you. A good example of this can be seen in the game between Giri and Grischuk in which this variation was played and Grischuk played a seemingly weird-looking 6…a6 move.
However, the move had a deeper idea behind it! Basically, Black wants to play g6 in the next move, and a6 plays a key role in fulfilling that purpose. Previously, players tried 6…g6 immediately, but then White could proceed with 7. cd Nd5 8.Qb3 and White has been scoring well.
Grischuk was not the first one to play this move, but he was the highest-rated player of those who had, so it could have grabbed some players’ attention. By the way, I did face this move in two online blitz tournament games of mine, so it has been gaining popularity.
That variation is quite interesting for the future of this position, so I strongly encourage you to analyze it even if you are not currently playing that position. Perhaps you would have the same position when playing with the opposite color, just like in this week’s Game of the Week…
Game of the Week XLI is: Narayan vs. Ergaisi
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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