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Grunfeld (D80)
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 d5

Number of games in database: 2122
Years covered: 1922 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 34.2%
   Black wins 27.9%
   Draws 37.9%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Aleksey Dreev  21 games
Alexander Moiseenko  15 games
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov  15 games
Peter Svidler  37 games
Ian Nepomniachtchi  20 games
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave  19 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
V Chekhover vs Alatortsev, 1934
Nakamura vs J Fluvia Poyatos, 2007
Taimanov vs Uhlmann, 1970
Taimanov vs Fischer, 1971
Aronian vs Svidler, 2006
Alekhine vs Gruenfeld, 1922
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 page 1 of 85; games 1-25 of 2,122  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Alekhine vs Gruenfeld 0-1551922ViennaD80 Grunfeld
2. Euwe vs P F van Hoorn 1-0441923AmsterdamD80 Grunfeld
3. Colle vs G Patay  1-0581924MeranoD80 Grunfeld
4. A Vajda vs S Gruber  1-0501924GyorD80 Grunfeld
5. Kupchik vs Torre 0-1411925Metropolitan Chess LeagueD80 Grunfeld
6. M Dietze vs W Einer  0-1171926Corresp. /27D80 Grunfeld
7. Reti vs A Kraemer  1-0531928DortmundD80 Grunfeld
8. Bogdanov vs N Shumilin  0-1371931URS-ch sfD80 Grunfeld
9. A Macht vs P Vaitonis 1-0261931The 3rd Lithuania championshipD80 Grunfeld
10. L Roedl vs B Moritz  1-0381932Brandenburg Congress - Master TournamentD80 Grunfeld
11. E Lundin vs Spielmann  1-0301933Lundin - SpielmannD80 Grunfeld
12. S Rosselli del Turco vs Sultan Khan 0-1311933Folkestone OlympiadD80 Grunfeld
13. Sultan Khan vs C H Alexander  1-0471933British ChampionshipD80 Grunfeld
14. Spielmann vs J van den Bosch  0-1491934Match 2D80 Grunfeld
15. V Chekhover vs Alatortsev 1-0341934USSR Championship 1934/35D80 Grunfeld
16. Levenfish vs Alatortsev 1-0401935MoscowD80 Grunfeld
17. Kostic vs O Nedeljkovic  1-0251935Yugoslav ChampionshipD80 Grunfeld
18. Szabo vs M Feigin  1-0421935Warsaw OlympiadD80 Grunfeld
19. C North vs J Bronowski 0-1311936Yorkshire ChampionshipD80 Grunfeld
20. Flohr vs T H Tylor  ½-½301936Hastings 1935/36D80 Grunfeld
21. S Zhukhovitsky vs A Selezniev  1-0331936Ukrainian ChampionshipD80 Grunfeld
22. I Kan vs N Riumin  ½-½411936MoscowD80 Grunfeld
23. Kotov vs I Pogrebissky  1-0301937Ch Trade Unions (1/2 Final)D80 Grunfeld
24. K Opocensky vs J Pelikan  ½-½371937PragueD80 Grunfeld
25. Petrov vs Keres 0-1491937Semmering/BadenD80 Grunfeld
 page 1 of 85; games 1-25 of 2,122  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-25-04  ruylopez900: <Jonber> I believe this is the correct continuation however a note to<<<<<<<<<<c>h>e>s>s>g>a>m>e>s> DOT <<<c>o>m>, the board and notation don't match up.
Mar-26-04  Lawrence: The 4.Bg5 shown is a minority move, Opening Explorer shows that the vast majority of times White plays either 4.cxd5 or 4.Nf3.
Apr-12-04  ruylopez900: The idea behind Bg5 is to try and transpose into a QGD sort of setup since e6 or c6 is need to portect the pawn, avoiding Bxf6 and the d5 pawn is short of defenders.
Apr-12-04  refutor: 4.Bg5 is one of the weakest continuations actually
Apr-12-04  iron maiden: Which is the correct spelling, Gruenfeld or Grunfeld? The inventor's name is Gruenfeld, but the "e" is omitted in the writing of the opening on this page.
Apr-12-04  BiLL RobeRTiE: The 'real' correct version is Grünfeld. The ü makes the "oohuh" sound so it's pronounced like "Gruenfeld," hence this transliteration is also used often. "Grunfeld," omitting the umlaut altogether, seems somewhat wrong to me, but as long as you can tell what it means, who really cares?
May-25-04  Calchexas: Well, on 4. Bg5, I did play a game as White the other day...

1. d4 (I've only picked this up recently :D ) d5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 (don't ask me how I expected to transpose) g6 (fortunately for me) 4. Bg5 Bg7 5. Bxf6 Bxf6 6. cxd5 e6 7. dxe6 fxe6 8. Nf3 Nc6 9. e3 and the game was adjourned with Black down a pawn and with a weak pawn on e6. (It was at a math team practice, and we needed to practice.) So, it's not like it never fails.

May-25-04  refutor: <calchexas> 4. ... Ne4 is a stronger continuation (similar to the 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 Ne4 lines) as in Taimanov vs Fischer, 1971 and Alekhine vs Gruenfeld, 1922
May-25-04  Calchexas: <refutor>: Of course it's a stronger line. So are 4...c6, 4...e6, and more than one other line. Basically, anything that doesn't lose a pawn is better. My point is, it's not as if 4...Bg7 and other weak lines are never played.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bobsterman3000: When I play the Grunfeld as black I can never seem to find a useful but safe spot for my queen. Thus, I don't play it much anymore...
May-26-04  OneBadDog: The g3 lines cause Gruenfeld players a lot of difficulties. I don't play the Gruenfeld anymore because White players don't like to play the fun lines, i.e, The Exchange Variation. Furthermore, too many people like to play those insipid Trompowsky, Torre and Veresov openings, thus eliminating any possiblity of Black even getting a Gruenfeld.
May-27-04  Dudley: So <OneBadDog> what do you like to play now? I know what you mean, people just stick with one system they know. I do know this: against the Versov opening you need to play something with an early d5, on the order of a QGD setup. The Torre doesn't work all that well against a fianchetto, but it takes the fun out of it for both sides.For blitz chess (I play 5 min.) a lot of people including me sometimes don't want to get into a theoretical opening. Paradoxically, I seem to do better with dull openings for blitz because highly tactical lines make me think too long and I lose on time. One exception to that is the Smith-Morra which is ok because the games are often short with a win for white. In contrast, I also do ok with the King's Indian Attack or Colle system depending on my mood. Basically, most players I run into don't know much theory, making some very interesting lines practically useless.
May-27-04  OneBadDog: <Dudley: So <OneBadDog> what do you like to play now?>

I play Nimzos & QIDs as black. There not quite as exciting as KIDS and Gruenfelds, but there's still a lot of play in them. The thing I like about QIDs and Nimzos is that if White plays indifferently, Black can gradually assume the initiative. If White plays aggressively, Black usually develops dynamic counterchances. Unlike the KID, there are no exchange variotions in either the QID or the Nimzo. Furthermore, Black can play QID type setups against openings like the Torre. Although there is some amount of theory to be learned in QIDs and Nimzos, much of the play is intuitive in nature.

May-26-05  Backward Development: What do people think are some good, instructive books on the Grunfeld for players learning the opening? Thanks in advance.
May-26-05  adolff: <B_D> Starting Out: The Grunfeld by jacob aagaard. a well reknown author. the book explains the fundamentals on the grunfeld.
Jul-09-05  AdrianP: <bd> "Understanding the Gruenfeld" (Rowson) is a treat with a very individual style concentrating on themes and general understanding. It's even funny on occasion.
Jul-23-05  aw1988: For the possible dangers Black could face see Taimanov-Uhlmann 1970.
Sep-23-05  aw1988: What does everyone think about 4. g4?!?!?!??, the Spike variation?
Feb-27-06  notyetagm: <refutor: 4.Bg5 is one of the weakest continuations actually>

Funny how 2765-rated Grunfeld specialist Svidler is 0-2 versus this "weak" line against the Grunfeld.

Mar-19-06  HolyKnight: Does this Bg5 line for white put a big crunch on the Grunfeld. Kind of like the Bayonet Attack was hurting the Kings Indian for a while. Seems like black got crushed in those two Svidler games.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: In the years 1975-78, I always played the 4.Bg5 line vs the Grunfeld, but switched to 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bg5 after a crushing defeat. For some interesting examples of the latter, see Joe Fang's page on this site.

Nowadays, I have less confidence in 5.Bg5; my last three games with it resulted in -2=1, losing in 1994 to Maxim Dlugy and to Victor Mikhalevsky in 2000.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WTHarvey: Here are 10 puzzles from D80 miniatures: What's the best move?
Mar-02-09  FiveofSwords: uh...concerning jacob aagard, I had a book by him on the panov/botvinnik caro kan and it was horrible and very often incorrect. When I played the grunfeld my main instruction was from the complete gruenfeld by soltis, which was good and the analysis seemed mostly correct- although its slightly older book so some very testing new ideas by white are not covered in it much. I gave up on the gruenfeld because theres just too many different headache variations white can throw at you and there always seem to be new ones. I never felt much concern over Bg5 systems personally (and always responded with Ne4), although there are some bizarre offbeat diversions in these systems that will get black in trouble if he tries to just play natural moves-so you have to be pretty well prepared for Bg5 if you dont want it to be dangerous. I dont think the Bg5 lines are what make most people give up on the grunfeld-what bothered me personally the most was the main line, and early Rb1 and Rc1 moves, and Bf4 lines, and kingside fianchetto lines, and the russian system. The problem in my experience with the gruenfeld is that there always something white can do, which might not be winning, but its sooo hard to find the correct miraculous saving defensive resource black must make for it not to be winning. And since there's such a huge number of ideas like this its simply impossible to stay prepared for them all.
Mar-03-09  littlefermat: <I gave up on the gruenfeld because theres just too many different headache variations white can throw at you and there always seem to be new ones.>

Same here. Aside from the myriad of variations that White can throw at you, it's simply a difficult game plan to try to chip away at a big (and potentially mobile) pawn center. For all the effort I could make to get it to work, it was an enormous commitment. In the end, sticking to some classical opening is less fun, but I don't get crushed in 30 moves so I'm happy.

Apr-28-09  myschkin: . . .
Daring Defences (with GM Glenn Flear)
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