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Jonathan Speelman vs Michael John Basman
BCF-ch (1980), Brighton ENG, rd 9, Aug-13
Borg Defense: General (B00)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Michael Basman gets a GM scalp with 1. e4 g5 in this game. Of course Speeelman's idea of giving up his rook for black's knight after 8. ...Nxh5 doesn't look like a very good test of Basman's opening strategy.

However, Basman's technique in winning with the exchange advantage against a strong GM is instructive.

Oct-14-03  Jack21221: This just goes to show that memorizing opening theory isn't what makes you good at chess.
Nov-09-03  knightour: Why is it called the Borg? Basman is the one who popularized it.It should be called the Basman Defense.
Nov-09-03  Bears092: The grob is 1. g4.

Borg is grob backwards.

Nov-09-03  Benjamin Lau: And for a second, I almost thought it related to Star Trek. lol.
Nov-12-03  Richard w: This Borg Defence is very interesting,and has a positive result!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Benjamin Lau> Resistance is futile. lol.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: <Basman's technique in winning with the exchange advantage against a strong GM is instructive>

I assume by strong GM you mean super-GM or near super-GM (otherwise "strong" would be redundant, n'est pas?)? Was Speelman even a GM back in 1980?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Speelman became a GM near the end of 1980. When in 1980 was this game played?
Premium Chessgames Member
  jaime gallegos: We can see astonishing results with 1. g4 or 1. e4 g5 according to opening explorer. I guess the next generation of chess players will found new ideas for these openings, and the next ones will play a4 or h4 !!! hehehe ( is funny but chess games are going from center to the sides if we recall history )
Dec-04-03  Spitecheck: As opposed to the knights pawns the rooks pawns have far less to do with centre control.

When one advances his knight's pawn, he opens the best (longest) diagonal for his bishop (fianchettoing) and not only that in the case of an advance knight's pawn, it will frequently find an enemy piece (typically a knight) that it can deflect away from the centre, while gaining space.

The rooks pawns do not have this many features, hence I doubt a great theory will develop around them (in the openings).


Dec-04-03  Spitecheck: White gains nothing substantial from the dropped rook here or am I missing the bigger picture.


Aug-28-07  melv: I fail to understand why white doesn't take the bishop with 25. Qxd5
Aug-28-07  laskereshevsky: <melv>

At a first sight 25...♖d8 looks strong to me...

If 26.♕xc6 ♖xd1+ 27.♔a2 ♙bxc etc...

And after 26.♕xd8+ ♖xd8 27.♖xd83 ♔xd8 the ♗lack ♕ must win vs the White ♗♗

Feb-02-09  WhiteRook48: why didn't white save his h5-rook?
Sep-16-09  PHILOCHESS: Hi brothers in chess:

I have played 1.e4 g5! and had good results. Now this defense is one of my favorites.

Best wishes


Feb-05-10  smalldreams: Basman makes my head spin
Mar-24-10  birthtimes: This appears to be only the second time Basman played the Borg and Speelman was foolish for giving up the exchange when he easily could have moved his rook out of danger on move 8...
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: "This is to bust the position open and tear his king limb from limb."

- IM Michael Basman (after 1.e4 g5 2.d4 h6 3.h4 gxh4 4.Rxh4 d5)

Feb-24-12  jackpawn: I think the Borg is total garbage, but just for fun I did play it against several expert rated personalities of Chessmaster X. My results were surprisingly good. It's not as easy to bust as you might think.
Feb-11-18  Grandma Sturleigh: 26...Bb3 is a blunder because White can just take it. 27. cxb3 Rd8 29. Rc1 wins. If 29...Qg6+ 30. Qe4 or 29...Rxd4 30. Rxc6 Rd1+ 31. Rc1.
Aug-07-18  mandor: WoW, same motiv that in Basman - Nunn 1978. The counter-attack on Rh4 (from 4.Rxh4 ).
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