Saturday, October 07, 2006

My first Grand Prix Attack

Update: Please all give a warm welcome to our newest Knight Board Scholar.
May his rating rise as fast as Kramnik heads for the men's room!

Yesterday I played my first Grand Prix Attack.
I think this opening has great potential.
My preparation existed of only one evening study of the lines, choosing the lines I like.
That was enough allready to play it with confidence. What helped is that I'm allready familiar with the Kings Gambit (early f4) and the Dutch (sneaking Queen to the kingside via e1, vulnarable c2)
I clearly was better after the opening with the initiative and more space at the Kingside. My opponent offered a draw which I would have taken if it were a rated game since I was short on time. But I continued and lost to a calculation error.

I seem to have found a new system against the Sicilian though.
You can find the game here.
The program seems to have problems with en passant. I sent the webmaster an E-mail.


  1. hello.. just stopping by to say hello. A new opening i see.. I'm in japan now, and is preparing to move to my new apartment. Well, see you later ok..

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Tempo,

    I started using but it seems like you can't link to a specific game - it just lists all the games you have posted. . .

    I'm not sure this will work all that well because readers might get confused about which game they need to look at. I wonder if we make suggestions to the developer if he might find a way to fix this?

  4. Looks like a nice opening to me: maybe I'll try it.

    I am still enjoying the GPA. I don't run into the Sicilian very often, but when I do I am always excited to try the GPA.

    During games, what do you spend most of your time thinking about? Looking for tactics or quick check for tactics and then positional thinking?

  5. Hey Tempo

    About a month ago I found an article at which presented a repertoire for the attacking player. The openings were based on a number of criterias: not too much theory, must be sound, create many tactical oppertunities. I like so many others have played a lot of different openings (KI, KIA, Sicilian Dragon, Scheveningen, Pirc etc) and have had a tendency to jump from one to the other.

    I have never really understood how to study an opening until about a month ago and I decided then to build a repertoire from scratch. During my search for openings that would suit my love for tactics I found the above mentioned article. The openings i decided to learn were: The Scandinavian, The Leningrad Dutch, The Vienna Game and GPA.

    Now, since you've been so gracious in the past in helping me out with my opening dilemmas and since we seem to have chosen very much the same openings, I thought I might ask you for yet a favor.

    I bought a book on the Dutch Leningrad a week ago called Understanding the Leningrad Dutch. I have read through about a third of the book and have started to doubt if it is enough for me to grasp the opening. It might be that it is written for someone with a greater understanding about the key principles and ideas in the opening. My question is: Have you read this book and do you have any other to recommend? Maybe I'll do fine with just picking the lines I wan't to play and memorise them, but I would really like to understand more about this opening.

    Thank you Tempo for your help. As I've said before, maybe we should discuss your training fee in a near future. :)


  6. Jim,
    I suggest you make the suggestion this time, because I made a lot of suggestions to him allready lately. He solved allready an important issue for me. You can find his E-mail at

  7. Blue,
    that's an interesting question. At the moment I don't know. I will research it and will come back at it later.

  8. Samurai,
    I don't know if I allready showed you my repertoire at

    The principle I use for opening choice is that you will have to get your lines on the board as often as possible. That means that move 2 or 3 has to force things in my direction. Further must it be solid. So no speculative sacrifes for the sake of sacrificing, but it must accomplish something.
    Piece play is not enough, you must get chances on the kingside of your opponent. That's why I dismissed the Smith Morra lately, I always had the feeling I was attacking at the wrong side of the board.

    About the Leningrad Dutch: if an opening isn't based on principles, you will find it hard to grasp them.
    I dismissed the Leningrad years ago since it gives holes in my position where I don't want them. Piece play just for the sake of piece play isn't enough compensation for this, in my opinion. I'm familiar with the Classical Dutch (Be7 in stead of Bg7). I haven't played it the last 4 years or so, since it is too slow. In the coming year I will re-evaluate it since I have become stronger. Maybe there are possibilities to speed it up.

  9. I think what your saying sounds very sound Tempo. One of the main reasons why I was sceptical against the Leningrad (except for the reasons you gave) was that I knew I would probably only meet sidelines at the level that I'm playing. It had never occured to me that you could force things so early in the game as move 2-3 through gambit play.

    I must say that I am a bit suspicious against some of the lines you present. Not because I've tried them or have any extensive opening knowledge to base my suspicions on. But because one has read and heard so many warnings about choosing these type of lines (Kings Gambit forn instance) vs the big main openings.It would be really interesting to hear your opinion on this.


  10. Samurai,
    There is a lot to say about this.

    I talked to GM Sipke Ernst lately who said that below 2000 the opening plays no significant role, only tactics.

    An opening like the KG isn't "busted". Once they thought it was, but the computer proves time and again that there is much more playable than they ever imagined.
    "Fashion" plays a big role here.

    What does it mean to you when somebody says that an opening is theoretically not so good?
    When you can't win with black from a KG, this information is of no use to you at all.

    In my early days I played the Najdorf and hated it when they played the Smith Morra against me. So I adopted the Smith Morra in my repertoire. After 3 years playing the SM, I know what I don't like as white. So only now I am able to play the Najdorf again.
    Which I don't do, but that's the idea.

    The efforts that you put in an opening are not wasted, even if there comes a moment you stop playing it.
    First: as said, you learn to play the other side.
    Second: a lot of openings bear resemblance. The Vienna, the GPA and other openings with an early f4. all have elements of the KG.
    Third: it happens often that I can transpose from other openings to a good version of the KG.
    For instance with black:
    1.c4 e5 2.e4 f5!?
    My opponent was immediately off book and was crushed within 20 moves since he had no idea what the KG is about.

    So you and prof Elo are the judge. No matter what everybody else say:)

  11. Hey!

    I was hoping to post some annotated games on my blog and facilitate interaction. what are your thoughts on so far?

  12. Hi Harmless,
    long time no see!
    The IDEA of is very good, but there are a few annoying bugs around. The webmaster has solved one of them after I E-mailed him, but the past week I didn't get answer on my E-mails with other bug-reports.
    If these minor bugs were the only thing, I could live with that, but there is one major flaw:
    I don't know how to link to individual games yet. Either I have to find a method to do this or the developer has to solve this.

    On a positive note: it is very easy to post a game.

    So it is too early to recommend it.

  13. "I talked to GM Sipke Ernst lately who said that below 2000 the opening plays no significant role, only tactics".

    I've also heard and read similar statements before and am not one to say this is wrong. I study opening solely on the basis that I think it's fun and a nice break every now and then from studying tactics.

    "What does it mean to you when somebody says that an opening is theoretically not so good?
    When you can't win with black from a KG, this information is of no use to you at all".

    Well, to me it doesn't mean a lot at the level that I'm at. But I wouldn't like to put time into studying an opening that has been busted.

    Since I've been trying out quite a few openings and now am interested in sticking with something more long term, it feels important to choose something that I will enjoy and that is sound.

    When I started playing the lines you sent me on the Scandinavian, I knew immediately this was something for me. I had never felt that comfortable with an opening before. And now I want more of the same goods!

    All that you've said makes much sense and I'll look into the lines that you've suggested. DO you have any good tips on litterature on gambits?

    Thank you for your profound reply and your time.


  14. Chris,
    my openings are carefully hand-picked:) On a scale of 1 to 10 they have an estimated soundness of 7. Meaning that they aren't rock-solid like the Slav, but good enough to get any opponent below 2400 into trouble.

    I like openings you can learn in an evening. Like the GPA. Against the Caro-Kan I knew only 3 moves: 1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Qf3 and I was on my own.
    But so was my opponent. Over the years I developed a few gambits in these lines. Which is something CK-players don't like.

    I don't know specific reading about gambits. Graham Burgess has written a very nice booklet "101 opening surprises" which I can highly recommend.

    The most important is that you have the right "spirit" for gambit play. Tim Harding described it beautifully in his book "four gambits to beat the French":

    A typical scenario (with or without computer) against a gambit is:

    Move 5: I can refute this gambit in half a dozen ways!
    Move 10: Maybe my opponent has slight compensation, but I soon will neutralize it.
    Move 15: Maybe one of the other refutations was clearer.
    Move 20: X is the best move. But if I play it my opponent can force perpetual check/ a level endgame.
    Move 25: I definitely underestimated his attack!
    Move 30: I resign.

    Which means: a good gambit works at long term. You don't need to hurry, but can't afford to lose time.

  15. Blue,
    I have taken a look where I have spent my time on. This were my time consuming moves:

    5. Be2 pure positional
    9. Kh1 pure positional
    11.Bxf3 pure positional
    13.b3 pure positional
    14.Bb2 defensive tactical sanity check
    15.Rae1 force positional plan with tactical means
    17.e5 force positional plan with tactical means

    Move 20-23 In search for the tactical killer blow, which I didn't find.

  16. "Meaning that they aren't rock-solid like the Slav, but good enough to get any opponent below 2400 into trouble".

    Hmm, so the next time I meet a 2400+ rated opponent I might lose. I guess I ccould live with that. :)

    "Against the Caro-Kan I knew only 3 moves: 1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Qf3 and I was on my own".

    This is something I've been looking for lately. Up until now I've just relied on that my poor choice of moves will lead the opponent unto unfamiliar territory in the opening.

    Thank you once again for your help Tempo. I will look further into the crazy world of gambits and see if I can construct something that isn't completely insane.


  17. Jim,
    I know now how to link at a specific game at (see my link).
    There is another important problem though and that is I get the message "sorry, no valid session". This is a cookie problem. When I go to the homepage of and to the game again, everything works fine.

  18. Has anybody else got this message "sorry, no valid session" or "sorry, cookie fehlt"?

  19. Tempo -

    I did. You have to clear your cache.