Giddins: Is your spoon long enough?

1/22/2012 – It might come as a surprise, but chess can be genuinely funny. In a video FM Steve Giddins presents a highly amusing little game from the Bad Wiessee Open in 2011. White tries to surprise his opponent with 1.b4, but runs into an even more outlandish response and ends up getting demolished inside 20 moves! For the rest day at Wijk aan Zee here's some light relief.

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Is your spoon long enough?

By Steve Giddins

Ever think chess is a bit too serious? All those hours, with two players grinding away trying to prove half a pawn's advantage in the Queen's Gambit Declined? If you think chess is a humourless game, take a look at the following game and the judge for yourself.


FM Steve Giddins, a regular contributor to our news page

In this game a promising young German player, Christophe Ramme, faces the experienced Dutch IM, Gerard Welling. Welling is a great connoisseur of unusual and offbeat openings, who has even won rated games with the move 1.h4. It was therefore rather unwise of Ramme to try to surprise his opponent with the Sokolsky Opening, 1.b4. He certainly got the shock of his life, when he saw his opponent's reply. But far from being originality for its own sake, Welling was following some ideas that he was familiar with, and which had been explored by like-minded chess originals, as far back as the 1960s.

Completely fazed by his opponent's original play, White commits a serious tactical oversight and is horribly crushed. It is a highly amusing game, but also a great illustration of how effective such original and unconventional chess can be. Fun and instruction at the same time – what more can you ask for on a cold and wintry Wijk aan Zee rest day?

Very amusing. This game is an illustration of the old English saying: if you sup with the devil you need a long spoon. I guess in this game, unfortunately for Christophe Ramme, the spoon just wasn't quite long enough.

You can replay the game in our JavaScript player:

[Event "Bad Wiessee"] [Site "?"] [Date "2011.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Christophe Ramme"] [Black "Gerard Welling"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A00"] [PlyCount "30"] [EventDate "2011.??.??"] 1. b4 Na6 $5 {Bucker} 2. b5 (2. a3 c5) 2... Nc5 3. d4 Ne4 (3... Ne6 {Bucker}) 4. e3 (4. f3 Nd6 5. e4 e6 6. Ne2 f5 {Lindner - van Geet 1960s}) 4... b6 5. Bd3 Bb7 6. f3 Nd6 7. e4 e6 8. Ne2 f5 9. e5 Nf7 10. Be3 g5 11. Nd2 Ne7 12. h4 gxh4 13. Rxh4 Nd5 14. Bf2 Ne3 15. Bxe3 (15. Qc1 Nxg2+ 16. Kf1 Nxh4) 15... Qxh4+ 0-1

Copyright Giddins/ChessBase


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