Traps, Tricks & Mistakes: Power Of Innovation
When new openings develop, there is no theory available. It means that the surprised player has to spend extra effort in calculation and time in order to find the right answers. It becomes exhausting and often leads to mistakes and blunders.
The opposite side is when theory has developed exhaustively. In that case, players don’t expect to face surprises and confidently play for a draw. However, even in that case, there is a margin for novelties. That is exactly what happened in the 2023 Tata Steel Chess Tournament. It is typically the first event on the calendar taking place in Holland in January.
In that edition, apart from top players like Carlsen, Caruana, So and Giri, five of the strongest newcomers took part: Gukesh D, Arjun Erigaisi, Nodirbek Abdusattorov, Vincent Keymer and Praggnanandhaa R.
In round 2, Giri faced Gukesh. The players entered a popular variation of the Queen’s Gambit played in hundreds of games and exhaustively analyzed. Apparently, both players were happy with a draw but Giri uncorked a novelty and the surprised Gukesh was soon in trouble.
Giri’s 14.Rc2 was eventually a novelty in that variation. It’s not one of the computer’s main choices and because of that, it means a big surprise for the opponent.
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