I get paired with a guy rated 1475,  nevertheless this guy beat one ~1800 and drew with another one in this tournament. I also remembered that we played in the blitz tournament and drew. Anyway,  he gets White and starts d4. I decide to try Grunfeld for the first time OTB, here is the game.

We go along the regular lines of Exchange Grunfeld, then suddenly he plays 9. Nfd2. I see that it is not worth to take c3 pawn because of Rc1 and decide to play Nc6 to increase pressure on d4. He plays 10. Nb3 and I see that I have to take the pawn ob c3, it looks like my queen can escape through b2. I think after 11. Bd2 he says something and I have to ask him to understand that he offers a draw. I am very surprised and say: “No, it’s only 11 moves”.  After Qb2 he plays Bc1 and now I understand … I think some time, even it’s already clear, then agree to a draw.

He tells me, that he saw it a couple of weeks ago in one new GMs game. Sounds like a nice preparation for 1475 rated, I tell myself with irony. We look at the game, don’t find anything better than 9… cxd4, which also doesn’t look very good for Black. Of course, I am upset, also surprised how mainline Grunfeld can “go down” so easily.

I come home and find out, that the novelty was actually my 9… Nc6. Not a good novelty I have to say. I also find, that this 3-fold repetition happened in 1981, in the game Keene-Adorjan after 9… O-O 10. Nb3 Qxc3, so it’s not new at all. Also I find that 9… cxd4 10. Nc4 is OK unless you want to sacrifice your queen as Sutovski did again Aronian,  crazy game:


The move I like the best in this position is 9… Nd7, defending the c5 pawn, and bishop can be developed later to b7.