Gruenfeld, Job And Family

In the Huffington Post Lubosh Kavalek has been describing how he taught Nigel Short to play the Gruenfeld Defence which then helped him beat Jon Speelman. But I feel duty bound to issue a warning lest anybody with a job and family think this could be their own dream defence.

It’s one of those openings that is such high maintenance that for an amateur (or even a professional with a life) it just doesn’t make sense. Kavalek mentions a two volume work by Boris Avrukh, weighing in at a mere 600 pages of tightly packed analysis, none of which does very much for one’s overall chess understanding. And who needs such a sharp opening anyway when some perfectly good systems are available in which the basics can be learned in an afternoon.

Where I agree is that it was a good idea for Short to play it against Speelman, but neither Short nor Kavalek came up with this idea. Short was in Hastings that year so on seeing this game he would have been well aware of Speelman’s troubles against the Gruenfeld: