Gruenfeld Defense & Game Analysis

As I alluded to in a post earlier this week, I’ve been feeling some chess opening wanderlust. While I have loved learning 1. d4 f5 (and almost exclusively following it up with 2 … Nf6 3 … g6), something about it was feeling a little stale.

I recently picked up Fundamental Chess Openings by Paul Van der Sterren and after popping around a bit, decided I’d like to try the Gruenfeld.

I started with a little memchess to get a few reps on the basics. I focused on the exchange variation, both because that seems to be the most popular, and because it seems to me likely that my opponents will play it most.

It should be very interesting to go from playing a very uncommon first reply to the most common one.

I’ll be very curious to see how my opponents in the 1300-1400s reply, whether they will know the lines quite well or whether they will have common quirks such as their habit of playing 1. e4 c5 2. Bc4.

I imagine that one of my struggles will be facing unusual replies and trying to determine how to best take advantage; whether I’m simply supposed to proceed as normal, or when they’ve made a unique misplay I need to capitalize on immediately.

It should be a fun experience learning a new opening now that I’m playing slightly better opponents, though I think I’m still far below a rating where we will be playing theoretical moves for very long at all.

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