Quiet Lines And Advantage

The blog renders thought discontinuous but there’s a thread in all my posts, and the thread is that even in “scientific” chess there is a tendency to evaluate positions and strategy with a logic colored by emotion and blurred by human fatuity.

20th century players laughed at 19th century players for scorning ending advantage in favor of prolonged middlegame attack. In turn, 20th century 1. e4 attacking lines are nowadays being displaced by “quiet” lines, e.g., White’s Be3 London Attack against the Najdorf Sicilian, seen more often recently than the nearly obligatory Bg5 of Fischer’s day.

Note how little the names of the opening lines convey above. One has to be fully indoctrinated before any sense can be made of the above comments, since the vocabulary of opening study does not convey much about the interrelation of the opening positions.

First-move advantage in chess is one of the better Wikipedia articles about chess. The observations of many masters recorded therein suggest collectively that advantage as we use the term in chess defies, as I’ve written before, rigorous definition aside from “winning advantage”. The modern “quiet” lines in openings are here to stay because they are fully as satisfactory as the more “manly” attacking lines of the 20th century and in some ways are more comfortable to play in the age of the computer, because they are more straightforward and balanced in their handling of the opening struggle than those lines supposed to be more aggressive and are simpler for the human mind.

Jacques Delaguerre