e3 Poison claims a victim

Even when an opening is “unambitious,” it can be dangerous for the opponent. Axel Smith’s look into the 21st Century way of playing e3-systems greatly was the inspiration for this game:

Alvaro Aranha Filho – Frederico Gazel


1. Nf3 Nf6 2. d4 e6 3. e3 b6 4. Bd3 Bb7 5. O-O c5 6. c4 Be7 7. Nc3 cxd4 8. exd4 d5 9. cxd5 Nxd5 10. Ne5 O-O 11. Qg4 Nf6 12. Qh4 Nc6 13. Bg5 h6

14. Bxf6! gxf6

14…Bxf6 15.Qe4 g6 16. Nxc6 Qc7 17. d5 exd5 18. Nxd5 Qxc6 19. Nxf6+ Qxf6 20.Qxb7


15. Qxh6 f5 16. Bxf5 exf5 17. Nxc6 Bxc6 18. Qxc6 Qxd4 19. Rad1 Qc5 20. Qf3 Rad8 21. Nd5 1-0

You can also see the game here.

8 thoughts on “e3 Poison claims a victim”

  1. Javier Castellote

    Jacob, what do you thing about the openings in chess player with 2250 Elo? It is very important?

  2. @Javier Castellote
    I think it is important to show up with ideas and a concept for the game. To not have to fight desperately from the beginning. Openings are deeper now than when I had 2250, but I generally spent time trying to find things that worked for me, conceptually, and to have ideas early in the game. But I never had deep knowledge. At times, when I did prepare, I prepared straight to wins many times, probably because I was good at predicting my opponent’s opening choices. I often got “surprised” in the opening only to be an hour up on the clock, having had a counter-surprise ready. Later on, I cared less and less and only prepared when I knew my opponents were very theoretical, which happens less and less now.

  3. I do think knowing what you are aiming for is very useful. More useful than getting an advantage from the opening…

  4. Those little systems with e3 can be very dull but sometimes very exciting ( look at the blitz game between Grischuk and Kramnik at Tal Memorial : look at 1.Nf3 d5 2. e3 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.b3 0-0 6.Bb2 dxc4 7.bxc4 c5 8. Rg1 !!??

  5. Great book, very well writen ! It is more about Chess in general than merely openings, but provides many ideas.

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