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Exceptions to the "rules"
Compiled by Gregor Samsa Mendel

You know the usual "rules" that I'm talking about--develop quickly, castle early, keep your king safe during the middlegame, two bishops are better than two knights in open positions but not in closed positions, doubled pawns are bad and tripled pawns are worse, etc. etc. Here are games which illustrate that these "rules" sometimes have exceptions.

Rook superior to two minor pieces
Kavalek vs Suttles, 1974 
(B08) Pirc, Classical, 42 moves, 0-1

Ugly pawn structure, but wins anyway
Smyslov vs Botvinnik, 1948 
(B60) Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer, 41 moves, 0-1

Spassky centralizes his king in the middle game
Spassky vs Furman, 1959 
(C33) King's Gambit Accepted, 31 moves, 1-0

Lone knight holds off a rook and pawn
Lasker vs Ed. Lasker, 1924 
(C99) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin,, 103 moves, 1/2-1/2

More king centralization in the middle game
Kasparov vs Petrosian, 1981 
(D25) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 42 moves, 0-1

2R+B outduel Q+R
Leko vs Kramnik, 2004  
(C42) Petrov Defense, 65 moves, 0-1

Two knights can sometimes be better than two bishops
Lasker vs Chigorin, 1895  
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 57 moves, 0-1

Another remarkable example of an active king in the middlegame
R Steel vs R Macdonald Ross, 1884 
(C25) Vienna, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

Doubled pawns are an advantage in the endgame
Ali Gattea vs A Istratescu, 2002 
(E34) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation, 49 moves, 0-1

Down a pawn, king exposed, ugly position--won game
Denker vs Botvinnik, 1945 
(D44) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 25 moves, 0-1

White delays castling until move 29--when it's the winning move
Suttles vs P Biyiasas, 1971 
(A25) English, 31 moves, 1-0

Usually king-hunts are accomplished with checks...
Botvinnik vs Gligoric, 1956 
(A37) English, Symmetrical, 30 moves, 1-0

Another instance of king activity in the middlegame
B Kantsler vs A Greenfeld, 2005 
(D70) Neo-Grunfeld Defense, 63 moves, 1-0

Development? What's that??
N Kosintseva vs E Berg, 2007 
(C10) French, 42 moves, 0-1

Both sides decide to castle rather late...
Negi vs Lagno, 2006 
(B07) Pirc, 53 moves, 1-0

Capablanca knows when a rook beats two minor pieces
E Canal vs Capablanca, 1929 
(E16) Queen's Indian, 57 moves, 0-1

Not your usual way of getting mate on g7
H Weenink vs L Gans, 1923 
(C25) Vienna, 27 moves, 1-0

Better late than never: 46 O-O
Bobotsov vs Ivkov, 1966 
(E84) King's Indian, Samisch, Panno Main line, 63 moves, 1/2-1/2

2 bishops better than 2 knights in a blocked position
Spassky vs Short, 2001 
(E31) Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad, Main line, 62 moves, 1-0

tripled pawns: a force to be reckoned with
R Murray vs L Day, 1982 
(B06) Robatsch, 28 moves, 0-1

Fischer plays 2N vs 2B, wins anyway
Fischer vs H Berliner, 1962 
(B03) Alekhine's Defense, 45 moves, 1-0

Rubinstein knows when *not* to capture towards the center
Alekhine vs Rubinstein, 1912  
(C83) Ruy Lopez, Open, 27 moves, 0-1

R+N holds off Q+P
Korchnoi vs Ljubojevic, 1972 
(A42) Modern Defense, Averbakh System, 112 moves, 1/2-1/2

A different type of king hunt
Short vs Timman, 1991 
(B04) Alekhine's Defense, Modern, 34 moves, 1-0

Black delays castling until move 31, when it's checkmate
L Prins vs L Day, 1968 
(B28) Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation, 28 moves, 0-1

Develop the king before the bishops and rooks
V Gashimov vs Grischuk, 2010 
(B97) Sicilian, Najdorf, 41 moves, 0-1

Nezhmetdinov run over by hippo
R Nezhmetdinov vs M Ujtelky, 1964 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 75 moves, 0-1

White has to resign after 29...O-O-O
P Hopman vs I Rogers, 1996 
(A57) Benko Gambit, 29 moves, 0-1

A novel opening scheme.
Marshall vs H Rogosin, 1940 
(B20) Sicilian, 26 moves, 1-0

An extra rook in the endgame is not enough to win
A Petrov vs P Journoud, 1863 
(C39) King's Gambit Accepted, 33 moves, 1/2-1/2

The king marches up the board to assist in a mating attack.
Geller vs Tal, 1975 
(B08) Pirc, Classical, 41 moves, 1-0

An endgame where black is a pawn up but is still lost.
Graf-Stevenson vs E Klein, 1936 
(D39) Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation, 61 moves, 1-0

An unusual sort of castled postion
J van Ruitenburg vs S Castellani, 2000 
(A45) Queen's Pawn Game, 27 moves, 1-0

Sometimes both sides like to play unconventionally.
F Catheley vs M Hadzikaric, 1995 
(A10) English, 31 moves, 0-1

Castling does not always put the king in a safer location.
G Morrison vs G Chandler, 1978 
(A01) Nimzovich-Larsen Attack, 16 moves, 0-1

Fischer knows when it's okay to go pawn grabbing.
G Tringov vs Fischer, 1965 
(B97) Sicilian, Najdorf, 22 moves, 0-1

A whole bunch of "rules" are scoffed at here.
Aronian vs D Cawdery, 2017 
(A16) English, 39 moves, 1-0

Black wins with 2..h5 in the Sicilian.
L Paichadze vs B Savchenko, 2011 
(B20) Sicilian, 40 moves, 0-1

Black's center pawns never move.
C Guimard vs L Piazzini, 1938 
(A83) Dutch, Staunton Gambit, 34 moves, 0-1

The king is a fighting piece in the middlegame.
Huebner vs Beliavsky, 1990 
(C78) Ruy Lopez, 32 moves, 0-1

Black wins even though he has four sets of doubled pawns
Botvinnik vs Stein, 1965 
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 49 moves, 0-1

41 games

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