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Yehuda Gruenfeld vs Michael Basman
"Basman, The Dark Knight" (game of the day Jun-14-2022)
2nd Lloyds Bank Masters Open (1978), London ENG, rd 3, Aug-26
Formation: Hippopotamus (A00)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-06-08  prinsallan: Nice game here by mr. Basman. I have been studying this guy for some days now to cath up with some interesting uncommon openings. Note the lovely positon of the board on Blacks side after 10 moves!

The ending here is also i sight i will remember!

Mar-24-10  birthtimes: Yes, after 10 moves, this is known as the Hippopotamus Defense, and it appears this is the first recorded game, at least on this site, that Basman played with it. Nice example also of an overwhelming queenside attack on a White king that has castled long...not the best thing to do against a hippo!
Aug-12-12  shakespeare: 28.Nxg4 is absolutely deadly - threatening Qf5 with mate
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: 15. Qd2 is where white starts to go wrong. The idea was to attack the pawn h6 and take control of the square, but it is not much of a threat.

White really just ends up reducing his mobility.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: When old and reckless, would have felt strongly tempted to play 11.Bxd6,cxd6; 12.Nxd6+,Kf8; 13.Nxb7,Qc8; 14.Na5,bxa5; 15.0-0 and then bullrush the Queen side with everything in my possession. Unsound? Probably. Successful? Probably.

Of course, when young and timid, would have played 5.Nc3, 6.Be3, 7.0-0 and 8.Qd2, a formation Fischer recommended in an old issue of Boy's Life.

Jun-14-22  Brenin: A typically ingenious Basman game. The "Openings" column on his webpage here is a revealing sight: he has never been one to follow trends.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Holy Mikhail Rytshagov!> exclaimed Stewart Reuben upon seeing this game.
Jun-14-22  goodevans: White's Ng1/Nh3 manoeuvre was just too slow. His pawns were poised for a central advance (or indeed a flank attack if Black castles) so that's what he should be doing before Black can stabilise the centre with 18...c5.

As for 27.bxa4(??), has he no sense of danger? Ironically that Ng1/Nh3 manoeuvre had left his N perfectly placed to get to d1 to counter 'the dark knight' jumping into b2 or c3.

Terrific pun.

Jun-14-22  goodevans: <An Englishman> I really like that idea.

I think you meant 13...Qc7 since 13...Qc8 allows the N to escape via d6.

After that an alternative to your 14.Na5 would be 14.Bxa6 Nb8 15.Bb5. Double Black's pawns or establish your own B on a commanding square? It's a judgement call and both look tempting.

Jun-14-22  dhotts: What a stupid game where White moves around until Black kills him. White had the first move and never once had any intentions of attacking the Black king.....This game is stupid chess!
Jun-14-22  spingo: <dhotts: What a stupid game where White moves around until Black kills him. ....This game is stupid chess!>

I strongly believe that Yehuda Gruenfeld was following the instructive course by Michael Basman.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Very nice pun. I wish the Black Knight had been more involved, but you can't have everything.
Jun-15-22  dhotts: <Spingo> very funny observation; as well as, a very accurate insight!

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