Sports & Gaming

Openings - Part 3

Garry Kasparov

Lesson time 11:21 min

He brought abandoned openings back from the dead and built a database of almost 20,000 different analyses—but Garry believes there are still more ideas to surface.

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Topics include: Always Room for New Ideas • Creativity in Openings


I always believed that the best move in each position, it's the one that brings you the best result. And the most valuable piece at the chess board is one that brings you the most benefits at the given moment, at a certain moment of the game. But as for the openings, I studied many openings. My database included nearly 20,000 different analysis. I think I spend most of my time analyzing some openings and Sicilian definitely will be number one. It's hard to make a different choice since some of my most memorable games, as game with Karpov game 24 in 1985. Or game 16 in 1985. They were Sicilians. Some of these openings are no longer viable. For instance, my gambit in game 16, the one that had such devastating effect in Sicilian. It has been refuted. Nb5, d6, c4, Nf6, Nc3, a6, Na3, and I played d5 here. And then Nb4. It doesn't work. But the game 16 is still there. How can I ignore the fact that was one of the most beautiful games I won against Karpov? And I also know that some of my games that I played with black, for instance against Keres attack-- Keres attack here, the games I won, that would not stand the scrutiny of modern players. Because they believe that this is g4, g5 can work, even if you started with h3. So after a6, if you start with h3, and then just as they lose time, by just push g4 and g5. But I have my again, my own-- call it prejudices. I know that history doesn't stand still. It always move forwards. As chess openings, there's more and more we're learning. So for instance, Najdorf-- recently, I saw top players not just playing h3, which, by the way, Bobby Fischer played, trying to play g4, but they even play a3 or h4. It takes for me some time to understand the rationale. But it shows that they always come up with new ideas. There's always room. Even here, in Najdorf. 20 years ago, if anybody told me that you can invent a new move, I would say no, impossible. Because we play everything. a4, h3, g3, f3, f4, Be3 Bd3, Bd2, Bc4, Qf3, of course, Bg5. But a3 or h4? And trust me, there is a rationale. Which means that if you start looking at the opening positions, you always find something. And that's why there's a danger just to look straight forward to the final position. Now this is all 10, 15, 20 moves that have been made already. We don't want to know why these moves have been chosen by our predecessors. We just want to look at the position that is in the limelight. If you have appetite for opening studies, just look at the early stage. There's always room. Especially at the club level. It will be more difficult, of course, to make real improvement at 25, 26, 2700. Though the moves that I mentioned, a3 and h4 are play by very strong players. a3 by Karjakin, for instance. The h4 also by 2700+ players. And my recommendation would be that you make an assessment, a general assessment of your expectation...

About the Instructor

At age 22, Garry Kasparov became the youngest world chess champion. After beating Bobby Fischer’s peak rating, he outranked his fiercest competitors for over twenty years. Now, Garry is ready to share the chess strategy that made him a six-time world champion. Through detailed lessons, including his favorite openings and advanced tactics, you will develop the instincts and philosophy to become a stronger player.

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