Simple and modern anti-grünfeld variation 5.Bd2

The Grünfeld Defence is not only Black's sharpest response to 1.d4, but also an opening with rich and deep theory. Nowadays, many players follow Magnus Carlsen's approach and treat the opening in a simple way. Anti- grünfeld lines with Bd2 were known as the Smyslov Variation for 50 years. But he avoided direct e2-e4 lines, which are very popular today. The central struggle is very different after Black chooses his plan. In general, Black has three responses:
a. Capture on c3 and after c5 or e5 White gets a passed central pawn.
b. Allow White to create a strong centre after Bg7, then try to attack it with pieces or pawn redirection f7-f5.
c. Direct attack on the d4-pawn with Nd5-b6, which is a less logical solution.

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  • Theory
  • Gruenfeld 1.e4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Bd2
  • Introduction & 5...c5/Bg7 6.e4
  • 5... Bg7 6.e4 Nxc3 7.Bxc3 0-0
  • Main line 5...Nb6 6.e4 Qxd4
  • Pawn sacrifice ...2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Bd2 Nb6
  • Main line 5... Nb6 6.Bg5 Bg7 7.e3 h6
  • Main line 5... Bb6 6.e3 Bg7 7.h4 e5
  • Main line 5... Bg7 6. e4 Nb6 7.Be3 0-0
  • 8.h3 e5
  • 5... Nb6 6.Bf4 Bg7 7.Nf3 c5

Grünfeld Defence

The Grünfeld Defence is part of the group of openings which arose only when a new understanding of the struggle for the centre was developed. In 1922 the Austrian grandmaster Ernst Grünfeld (1893–1962) introduced to practice this system which would later be taken up by Botvinnik, Fischer and Kasparov and which nowadays counts as one of the most important defences to 1.d4. In the diagram above, which shows the main line, Black has actually exchanged his d-pawn for the white b-pawn. And White has not only been able to set up the ideal centre e4/d4, but his d-pawn is even supported by the pawn on c3. The secret underlying the vitality of the black position can be found in the subsequent piece development and the counter-attack against the d4-square. Black only requires two moves, ...c5 and ...Nc6, in order to be able to exert strong pressure against the d4-pawn.

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