Could you believe it if 8 out of 9 moves by White in the opening of a high-level game were made by pawns – and White would actually be winning?!
I remember when I was just learning how to play chess that I would make many pawn moves at the beginning of the game; then as I got better at the game, I started to notice this pattern in other beginners’ games. It looks like they almost forget how other pieces move. Because of this, it is entertaining to me to see a high-level game in which 8 out of 9 moves by White in the opening are made with pawns. Weirdly enough, even though White basically only played with pawns and Black did not make any obvious fatal errors, Black got into a lost position.
I should add that, even though not developing one’s pieces goes against fundamental chess principles, White’s pawn moves actually have some deep ideas behind them. In particular, pushing the pawn to d6 to freeze Black’s queenside development was fascinating and also led to Black’s king getting mated.
Game of the Week XXXVIII is: Alekseenko, Kirill vs. Ragger Markus
I have analyzed another Grunfeld battle here.
Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this article, please click the “Share” button, and if you find any noteworthy games that you think should appear on Game of the Week, please send us a message on Chess.com.
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