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Michael John Basman vs John Nunn
"Basman and Grobbin'" (game of the day Apr-17-2013)
Oxford (1978)
Grob Opening: General (A00)  ·  1-0


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Given 11 times; par: 54 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-15-09  WhiteRook48: wow. hard to notice that. And it doesn't develop much in the game anyway!
Nov-12-12  BU51DAD: Would be nice if more Grob games in 'guess the move'... They are always interesting, but this is a very peculiar game
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Blimey!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Holy Caissar Nominee!
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Alright, who is the Joker that submitted this pun?
Apr-17-13  newzild: A dark night for Dr. Nunn.
Apr-17-13  kereru: Probably the first GM to lose to the Grob.
Apr-17-13  morfishine: You will not find this game in "John Nunn's Best Games"

There must be some explanation for a player of Nunn's caliber to succumb like this; Perhaps his age at the time of the game reflects an impetuousness not seen in his later years...I dunno

Apr-17-13  Funology: Must have driven him batty
Apr-17-13  Abdel Irada: Highway Grobbery!

I still haven't worked out precisely where Black strayed. Perhaps it began with 8. ...a6. Tactics against the rook being thematic, it might have been wiser to retreat it at once.

My own experience against the Grob in this line suggests that Black does better to hold back ...h5 and instead play ...f5, which leads to early equality.

(Black can also combine the ideas and play a gambit, first offering the h-pawn, and then, rather than recapturing, seizing more space in the center with ...f5, although I think White does much to neutralize ...f5 with the challenging e4.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: <WannaBe: Alright, who is the Joker that submitted this pun?>

Someone who lives on Rocky Road

Apr-17-13  Wyatt Gwyon: I can't believe Nunn lost to the f'n grob.
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Basman uses a novelty opening to defeat a GM... hmmm. Surely Nunn knew Basman played the Grob a lot, and surely he knew how to defeat it. But that's chess, isn't it?
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  kevin86: After this game,Nunn should be cloistered in a chess convent.

Unique first two moves for white!

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: sorry,not unique at all 45 examples in database!
Apr-17-13  Sydro: Looking with engine analysis it revealed that 21...Bc7 was inferior to 21...Bc5

The difference is that black can block the dangerous d-file after 22.Nh5 Rxd1+ 23.Rxd1 Bd4

If white attacks with 24.Bxf6 gxf6 25.Qg7+ Ke8 26.Nxf6+ the black king can now escape via d8 thanks to the bishop on d4.

click for larger view

Apr-17-13  The Last Straw: Wait... why 23...♖xh5?
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: <The Last Straw>: 22. Nh5 trapped the rook.
Apr-17-13  The Last Straw: <ajk68> Isn't the bishop on e6 protecting it?
Apr-17-13  Tomlinsky: <Alright, who is the Joker that submitted this pun?>

◄◄◄ :P

Apr-17-13  Sydro: <The Last Straw>: Trying to defend the position without 23...Rx5 leads to some serious trouble.

If black ignores it with something like 23...b5 White can play 24.Bxf6 gxf6 25.Qg7+ Ke8 26.Nxf6+ and blacks only move is 26...Qxf6.

click for larger view

Other defensive tries are hopeless aswell.

Apr-17-13  Abdel Irada: <playground player: Basman uses a novelty opening to defeat a GM... hmmm. Surely Nunn knew Basman played the Grob a lot, and surely he knew how to defeat it. But that's chess, isn't it?>

(1) Basman isn't on Nunn's level, but he is not altogether a patzer. A "mere" 2300 player can do real damage, given any opportunity.

(2) The Grob hardly loses by force. In fact, there is no known refutation; the most that can be said against it is that it allows Black several paths to early equality.

(3) Of course Nunn knew Basman played the Grob. And Basman knew Nunn knew that. Whatever level of special preparation Nunn might have undertaken against the Grob, however, represents a small fraction of the study Basman has made of that opening for years now.

This alone offers no minor advantage to Basman. His victory is not so anomalous, nor Nunn's meander into error so unaccountable, as it may appear.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I think that Nunn Drew with Basman overall. 2-2 with no draws! That's a good result for Bazzer!
Feb-28-15  Furansowakun: As written in Basman's book, during that game, Nunn was not yet a GM, but a IM.
Aug-07-18  mandor: Nunn simply subestimate the natural 7..Rxh5 and sobreestimate his position (and actually I figure out that a lot of GMs would make the same bias). Basman pointed out the counter-attack that White have in return attacking that rook.
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