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Neo-Grunfeld Defense (D70)
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 f3 d5

Number of games in database: 1317
Years covered: 1924 to 2022
Overall record:
   White wins 44.7%
   Black wins 27.0%
   Draws 28.2%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Ding Liren  17 games
Ivan Ivanisevic  13 games
Chris Ward  12 games
Ian Nepomniachtchi  18 games
Peter Svidler  16 games
Artyom Timofeev  14 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Alekhine vs Bogoljubov, 1929
Carlsen vs C Li, 2015
Fine vs Dake, 1933
Kramnik vs Shirov, 1998
Euwe vs Reshevsky, 1938
Mamedyarov vs I Kurnosov, 2009
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 page 1 of 53; games 1-25 of 1,317  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Gruenfeld vs G Nagy 1-0111924DebrecenD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
2. L Palau vs A Gibaud  1-0251924Paris Unofficial OlympiadD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
3. P F van Hoorn vs Euwe 0-1361927AmsterdamD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
4. S Landau vs Reti  ½-½271927MatchD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
5. Nimzowitsch vs Tartakower ½-½301928BerlinD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
6. Alekhine vs Bogoljubov ½-½451929Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
7. Alekhine vs Bogoljubov 1-0341929Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
8. W Berryman vs S Landau  0-1121930HastingsD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
9. W Winter vs Menchik 0-1161930Kent County PremierD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
10. Alekhine vs Bogoljubov ½-½371931BledD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
11. Rauzer vs Riumin  1-0481931USSR ChampionshipD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
12. Spielmann vs Bogoljubov 1-0401932Spielmann - BogoljubovD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
13. Euwe vs Sultan Khan ½-½601932BernD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
14. Fine vs Dake 1-0371933Western ChampionshipD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
15. A Batuev vs S Gotthilf  1-0451934Ch RabprosD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
16. M Yudovich Sr. vs S von Freymann  1-0251934USSR Championship 1934/35D70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
17. F Collins vs E Cordingley 0-1191935Ludlow CongressD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
18. Foltys vs V Olexa 0-1271935LuhacoviceD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
19. L Engels vs K Richter  0-1381935GER-ch 3rdD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
20. V Goglidze vs Spielmann  ½-½321935MoscowD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
21. V Goglidze vs Levenfish  ½-½231935MoscowD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
22. Chekhover vs Alatortsev  0-1521935MoscowD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
23. W Winter vs Golombek  1-0371935British ChampionshipD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
24. Fine vs R Drummond  1-027193536th ACF Congress. Prelim AD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
25. L Engels vs K Opocensky  1-0291935Bad NauheimD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
 page 1 of 53; games 1-25 of 1,317  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-03-08  slomarko: <Nh4!> Nh5
Feb-03-08  apexin: yes, in fact it is 4...Nh5 thank you for correcting
Feb-03-08  slomarko: <apexin> thanks to you for pointing this out. i always searched for some good antidote for 3.f3 and now i'll try the variation you gave.
Mar-20-08  arnaud1959: <apexin> It's a question of style I think. Many players can play 5.g3 here and maintain a solid positon with an extra pawn. When I see that in most of the variations with 3...d5 white castles on the Q-side I don't see why the same plan wouldn't work here.
Mar-20-08  hrvyklly: <apexin: I recently bought a book entitled "how to play the grunfeld" in which the author recommends meeting 3.f3 with the outrageous 3...e5> Adorjan (the originator of 3...e5) wrote about it in 'Black is OK! Forever', 4 pages of analysis. Why won't anyone play 3.f3 against me!
Mar-24-08  Youjoin: <hrvyklly> I´d give a try, why not? I´m <youjoin> on GameKnot...
Apr-23-08  littlefermat: <is the grunfeld still playable at the super grandmaster level as black with winning chances?>

I wonder if it's playable at any level. It seems White allows Black his c and d pawns and Black, in return, allows White his king. At least that's how it goes in my games.

Apr-23-08  hrvyklly: <littlefermat: I wonder if it's playable at any level> Of course it is, maybe it just doesn't suit you? It is an acquired taste and not an easy opening, as it's far more ambitious than say, the Queen's Indian.
Jan-04-09  WhiteRook48: I don't like this opening it denies white the f3 square for his ♘
Feb-26-09  FiveofSwords: This is a samish kings indian. Not a grunfeld. at least it will be a samish if the play continues normally. I dont know about this 3..e5. black loses a pawn and then decentralizes his knight and doesnt even force anything. Which means I dont understand what his idea is in doing this, and more to the point white has about 500,000,000,000,000 different possible plans and ill have no idea how to 'take advantage' of my pawn minus and unstable, decentralized knight in effectively all of them. if you look at 4 pages which deal with every possible variation dealing with one white move...(but there will need to be more than 4 pages for that honestly) then you still have 31 other moves to deal with. This is going to be a lot of work just to hopefully get a playable game, at best. Since the number of possible variations will quickly explode to astronomical numbers, you can expect white somwhere in the next 2 or 3 moves to play something you aren't 'prepared' for, and then you have this crap position and no idea how to fix it. Concerning the grunfeld in general, I used to play nothing but the grunfeld against 1d4 and tried to play it against 1c4. I had a plan figured out for all sorts of conceivable white tries and I became a little bit married to it, but so often I got very crappy positions that I hated. I finially had the foresight to realize the grunfeld is not for me. Maybe other people can play it, but Im personally much more comfortable and happy with the positions I get from the QGA. Its true that the grunfeld sometimes makes very interesting posiitons..but sometimes it makes simply dismal positions and anyway I find that I can make the QGA quite interesting enough, if I'm okay with a little risk.
Feb-26-09  blacksburg: <This is a samish kings indian. Not a grunfeld. at least it will be a samish if the play continues normally.>

as black has played the early ...d5, this is a gruenfeld, not a KID. i've never seen a saemisch KID where black plays ...d5 like this.

<Which means I dont understand what his idea is in doing this>

it's the basic gruenfeld idea - allow white to build up a large pawn center, and try to undermine it.

Jul-05-09  WhiteRook48: 3. f3???? weak
Aug-15-09  YuanTi: 3.f3 usually transposes to a Samisch King's Indian, and makes the Grunfeld less appealing to many players who would have played it after 3.Nc3. After 3...d5 White is in no danger.

Basically it's sound if you would have gone the Samisch route against the King's Indian anyway.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Following the main moves a bit: <1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nb6 6. Nc3 Bg7 7.Be3 O-O 8. Qd2>

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Opening Explorer

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day:
Neo-Grunfeld Defense (D70)
1.d4 ♘f6 2.c4 g6 3.♘f3 d5

I've heard of Neo-Grunfeld again,but what's an Indian-Grunfeld?

Apr-13-11  MaxxLange: Huh, I have to learn this, don't I - I've been taking up the KID, and they can toss in 3 f3 at will

3...d5 looks like the most principled move (contest the e4 square). Do KID players usually just bite the bullet and do that, or is there a decent way to play for a transposition into a KID Saemisch?

Apr-13-11  MaxxLange: I guess Black can just continue ...Nf6 or ....d6 or ...Bg7, and there's nothing White can really do to interfere with your KID setup. No reason to panic.

I think Berliner recommended this line for White in his big "theory of White to play and win" book from a few years back

Apr-13-11  AVRO38: This is not the Neo-Grunfeld!

The Neo-Grunfeld is 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 d5.

3.f3 has always been considered a part of the normal Grunfeld because White threatens to advance to e4 on the next move.

3.g3 delays this threat and was thus named "Neo-Grunfeld".

Apr-13-11  MaxxLange: I think I have seen it called "Neo-Grunfeld" elsewhere. There may be different usages in Europe and England/USA?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Now that I look at it,this doesn't looks like a Neo-Grunfeld that I know of.When I hear Neo-Grunfeld,the first thing that comes to my mind is Carlsen vs A Giri, 2011.
Oct-08-11  Albertan: Grandmaster Repertoire 8 - The Grunfeld Defence Volume One by Boris Avrukh:

Grandmaster Repertoire 9 - The Grunfeld Defence Volume Two by Boris Avrukh:

Jan-26-12  The Finisher: I'm trying to find a forum for the actual Grunfeld, not the Neo Grunfeld. I tried to play it yesterday, but I think I got the move order wrong.

But my opponent played 3.Nf3, instead of 3.Nc3. I think maybe I should have tried something different.

Ever since I discovered the Dzindzi Indian they have been playing Nf3. I switch to the Grunfeld and they do it anyway... maybe when they see the g6 fiachetto prep, even on the 2nd move and not the 1st, they know to change. In that case, the Grunfeld is dead?

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 (driving me away) at this point I knew I'd made a mistake.. the c3 Knight was not there for me to attack and he'd gained tempo. I struggle against d4 and so I had mechanically learned the Grunfeld (having given up on the Dzindzi Indian). I don't know...

What do I do? I'm only playing Indian defenses now as I like the Petrov and want to get similar positions (at least for my own army) and some familiarity.

Apr-09-13  zoren: <The Finisher>
You want to wait for Nc3 really before playing d5. This kind of means if White wants to wait around, you have to insert Bg7 and maybe even 0-0 before considering d5. If white never places a knight on c3, it is possible to switch gears and go Kings Indian trying to grab some central space with e5 / c5 or a more solid setup with e6 d5.

These are just very broad generalizations which is a bit against the philosophy of the theory heavy Grunfeld, where strange only moves are very frequent.

Apr-09-13  RookFile: Yep. 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3

You can take consolation here in the fact that white is not threatening e4 next move. Therefore:

3....Bg7 is correct. If he keeps waiting around you follow up with 0-0.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Alternatives to 3...d5 are:

3. …c5 4.d5 b5 leads to the “f3 variation” of the Benko Gambit after 5.cxb5 a6 6.e4;

3. …Bg7 4.e4 0–0 5. Nc3 and White has reached the Saemisch variation of the Kings Indian Defence.

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