Black, White and Grey

One of the problems with writing books about positional themes is that it can be hard to find good examples. Modern Grandmaster games between players of roughly the same strength feature confusion rather than clarity. Yet students of the game need this clarity in order to understand.

What’s the solution? Well if we want more clarity we could do with more mismatches, very strong players against those who will allow them to get their plans in. There would also be a few upsets after which the papers could go wild with ‘local hero beats superstar’ headlines.

Here anyway is a nice GM game featuring a Stonewall Dutch ‘bad bishop’, the only problem being that the ‘bad bishop’ side wins. Actually the bishop wasn’t that bad, especially when Larsen moved some pawns to dark squares. And White’s ‘good bishop’ wasn’t that good, biting on the pawns which were supposed to be making Black’s bishop ‘bad’.

Throw Smejkal’s habitual time trouble into the mix and we get the kind of game which is, let’s say, difficult to explain. Not black and white but grey:

Nigel Davies


Author: NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in St. Helens in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days Nigel teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 15 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Nigel has written a number of chess books that are available at Amazon: