"IM Lawrence Day 's <The Big Clamp<>> was first published as two articles in Modern Chess Theory (1980-1981) and later as a book titled "The Big Clamp: An Anti-Sicilian System" (The Chess Player 1984) which included two additional games.
It offers an inspiring approach to fighting for square control beginning with 1.e4 typically followed by f4, clamping down on the dark squares. Though even Day had his doubts about some of the odd ways players have tried to achieve the clamp (including 1.e4 e6 2.e5!? or 2.Qe2!?), his ideas have had a lasting influence.
I have included a number of supplemental games to illustrate the 19th Century origins of The Big Clamp and its continuing influence today."
- User: kenilworthian
Other collections on <The Big Clamp>:
Game Collection: The Big Clamp ! (122 games)
Game Collection: The Big Clamp after 1.e4 e5 a supplement to The Big Clamp game collection, suggesting ways White can attempt a big clamp strategy after 1.e4 e5. (28 games)
Game Collection: The Big Clamp for Black supplement to The Big Clamp game collection, where Black tries to achieve the same cramping strategy. (35 games)
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"I have assembled a games collection at Chessgames.com titled The Big Clamp to help me study IM Lawrence Day 's "Big Clamp" strategy. I first read about "The Big Clamp" in Modern Chess Theory where it was published as "Sicilian - The Big Clamp" (3:5-6, pp. 46-59) and "The Big Clamp II" (4:1, pp. 42-55).
Those interested in getting a copy can purchase the 1980-1981 and 1981-1982 volumes of Modern Chess Theory edited by Raymond Keene from Hardinge Simpole, or search out Day's rare little volume titled <The Big Clamp>: An Anti-Sicilian System (The Chess Player 1984) which reproduces those two articles with two additional games Day played in 1983.
In researching this post, I discovered that Day's 32-page pamphlet can also be viewed and downloaded at Scribd (see <The Big Clamp>: An Anti-Sicilian System). My 100-game collection includes most of the games given by Day along with some of my own supplements showing the 19th Century origins of the clamp theme and some of its continued influence.
I was intrigued enough by the 19th Century origins of the strategy that I picked up Cary Utterberg's wonderful book De la Bourdonnais versus McDonnell, 1834: The Eighty-Five Games of Their Six Chess Matches, with Excerpts from Additional Games Against Other Opponents (McFarland 2005) which made me recognize how Philidor's pawn strategy influenced play up until the Romantic era of Anderssen and Morphy, when the focus of theory turned to tempi and made pawns mere objects of sacrifice to blast open lines for piece play.
One of the most common ways to pursue <the Big Clamp> today is the <Grand Prix Attack> (1.e4 c5 2.f4) which McDonnell first employed with success in game five of the first match. According to Utterberg, this line was called the "<Philidor Variation>" because it followed analysis by Philidor. Not surprisingly, Morphy greatly disapproved of this line, writing, "If there is anything to be regretted in connection with the combats between these illustrious players, it is the pertinacity with which McDonnell persisted in adopting, in two of the debuts which most frequently occur, a line of play radically bad."
He continues: "The move of [2.Nf3], or still better, [2.d4], are those now generally recognized as the best" (quoted in Utterberg, p. 58). In some ways, <The Big Clamp> represents a rediscovery of Philidor's legacy, as I suggested in my piece on <The Philidor Clamp>.
That legacy continues today, most visibly in the intriguing 1.e4 c5 2.Na3 line in the Sicilian, which Stefan Bücker connects directly to <the Big Clamp> concept in his article "A Knight on the Edge."
Nigel Davies (who had recommended <the Big Clamp> via 1.e4 c5 2.d3 in "Strangling the Sicilian with 2.d3!") picks up on 2.Na3 in "1.e4 for the Creative Attacker" which sets forth a very interesting <Big Clamp> inspired repertoire that includes Glek's Four Knights with g3, the McDonnell - Labourdonnais Attack (1.e4 e6 2.f4), and 2.f4 vs the Pirc. You can see a nice games collection at Chessgames to get a feel for the rest.
You know an idea is deeply entrenched when even amateur players are invited to develop a repertoire based on its principles. <A Big Clamp> repertoire with 1.e4 followed by d3 is set forth in <De Witte Leeuw <(The White Lion)>> by Leo Jansen and Jerry van Rekom, the amateur authors of the interesting Black Lion (on 1...d6 leading to the Philidor).
Another repertoire based on 1.e4 followed soon by f4 is presented by Alex Bangiev in White Repertoire for 1.e4, which includes the Vienna Gambit, Grand Prix Attack, and Advance Variation vs. the Caro-Kann.
I have personally presented a number of articles that together begin to set forth <a Big Clamp> repertoire for White built around the Grand Prix Attack vs the Sicilian and the McDonnell - Labourdonnais Attack vs the French.
Day's <The Big Clamp> has been a continuing inspiration, and one I wanted to share with others. I welcome readers' suggestions for how to fill out the rest of the repertoire, and I am especially intrigued by the idea of building <a Big Clamp> repertoire from the Black side. More to come." http://kenilworthian.blogspot.de/20...
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Anti-Sicilians - Update September 2010 - with GM John Shaw
In this update I will concentrate on one line: 2.d3. I selected this move because, despite its harmless appearance, I want to create a challenging repertoire for White with an anti-Sicilian. In general, the anti-Sicilians are often disparaged as quiet lines for theory-dodgers, with quotes such as "The top players always play 2.Nf3 and 3.d4. That tells you something." True, but there are exceptions: Slovakian Super-GM Movsesian repeatedly uses 2.d3 (30 games and counting). Sure, that's just one counterexample to the myriad of Open players, but it does show 2.d3 is playable all the way up to 2700+ level, and not just as a surprise weapon