The Comeback Trail, Part 4

Let’s put some meat on the bones of the Zulu Principle concept I mentioned in my previous article in this series. Is there a good source of ideas in which a returning player might specialize?

Bill Hartston once suggested that it’s worth looking at what Bent Larsen played thirty years ago, and this isn’t a bad place to look. Actually I’ve got another two tips for where to look, first of all the games of inventive but lesser known GMs (for example Heikki Westerinen) and the blitz and rapid games of super-GMs. The latter can be a most fruitful source as super-GMs may try out ideas they think are playable in order to avoid showing any heavy theoretical preparation.

Here’s a game in which Vladimir Kramnik tries out the 5…g6 sideline of the 3…Qd6 Scandinavian, and wins in just 14(!) moves. His opponent, the late and brilliant Vugar Gashimov was a particularly good blitz player. Will your opponents do better at normal time controls? Maybe not.

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: