Robert Ris' Fast and Furious: A tricky opening: 1.Nc3

by Johannes Fischer
6/25/2020 – This week Robert Ris takes a look at the Van Geet Opening, 1.Nc3!?. This tricky opening is named after the Dutch International Master and Grandmaster of Correspondence chess Dick van Geet (pictured), who played 1.Nc3 regularly and analysed the move in depth. "Fast and Furious" is available from 17:00 UTC (19:00 CEST / 15:00 EDT) on-demand with a ChessBase Premium Account. You can register a Premium account here. | Photo: Jac. de Nijs / Anefo / CC BY-SA 3.0 NL

Mastering Pattern Recognition in the Opening Mastering Pattern Recognition in the Opening

Pattern recognition is an important tool in modern chess, as it helps you to understand better the characteristics of a position. Particularly when you have been confronted with a surprise opening system played by your opponent, it helps when you can just


Dick van Geet

In Over-the-Board play Dirk (Dick) van Geet (March 1, 1932 - April 29, 2012) was an International Master who became Dutch Junior Champion in 1952 and later played several times in the prestigious and strong Hoogoven tournament.

In correspondence chess Van Geet was even stronger and managed to become a Grandmaster. Among his notable successes are his first place in the "NBC-Volmac" tournament that was played from 1983 to 1986, and his first place in the ICCF-tournament "40 Jahre BdF" that took place from 1986-1992.

Van Geet's specialty was the move 1.Nc3!? which brought him a number of remarkable wins, in OTB-play and in correspondence chess. Here are two examples:


In his show Robert Ris takes a look at this opening and recommends how to play against it. He writes:

Although the move 1.Nc3 is rarely seen at top level, the Van Geet opening remains a popular choice for games with shorter time controls. Club players also still seem to enjoy this flexible move, as an unprepared Black player could easily be tricked with move-orders because at several moments both sides have possibilities returning to familiar 1.e4 and 1.d4 territory. However, Black shouldn't take matters too easily. The late Dick van Geet played some very interesting miniatures with his favorite move. He once gave a lecture at my local club in Amstelveen, showing us some of his trickery weapons. As a 10 year old boy I felt pretty impressed with all his ideas, but now I'm able to demonstrate you the best way for Black to handle this off-beat opening system.

But first a warm-up exercise: Black has tried to get rid of the pressure on the knight on f6 by moving it to h5. Can White exploit the position of the knight on the rim?


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Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".


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