Hypermodernism in chess emerged at the end of World War I. The concept, which went against the classical approach that promoted an immediate fight to the center of the board, sparked fierce debates within the chess community at that time.
The most well-known advocates of the new approach were Aron Nimzowitsch, Richard Réti, Savielly Tartakower, Efim Bogoljubov, and Ernst Grünfeld. In fact, Grünfeld is associated with one of the most dynamic, hypermodernist openings of all time which is the headache of 1.d4 players. When played by Black, White has so far not demonstrated any substantial advantage; thus, anti-Grünfeld variations have become a common topic of study in modern practice.
However, such variations started long before the use of modern engines. Today’s topic – Alekhine’s anti-Grünfeld method – had already been employed by the world champion Alexander Alekhine against Efim Bogoljubov during the World Championship match in 1929. However, 3.f3!? was played by Nimzowitsch against Tartakower in the famous Karlsbad tournament in 1929 before that match. Alekhine was so adaptive that, when he would get new ideas, he would use them in his games immediately, which is why some people think he was a hypermodernist player as well.
It is always intriguing to see new ideas arise even from these kinds of old lines.
Game of the Week is: Ding, Liren vs. Nepomniachtchi, Ian
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Edited by Della Almind