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Donald Byrne vs Julio Kaplan
San Antonio (1972), San Antonio, TX USA, rd 7, Nov-27
Hungarian Opening: Symmetrical Variation (A00)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: Technically, 1.g3 2.Bg2 is the Hungarian Opening (A00).

However, after eight moves, White is playing an English, Botvinnik System (A26/A36). See diagram:

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A26 English Opening, Botvinnik System
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.d3 d6 6.e4

Watch Jim explain the set-up:

Here's an video showing a game w/the White pieces playing Botvinnik's System:

Botvinnik's System can be played with either color. Here's an article by National Master Randy Bauer. NM Bauer had the Black pieces and played a Reversed Botvinnik System:

Here's an article discussing the writer's games using the Botvinnik System:

The Botvinnik system is slow developing (an inverted pawn triangle) w/flexible move orders and promises no opening advantage. However, Botvinnik's System is sound and has flexible middlegame plans. In the game above, White chose the central pawn break 12.d4, but a queenside or kingside pawn break is also possible. The backward d-pawn is a drawback that yields an unpleasant hole in the center that must be dealt with.

Remember, if your pawns are on light squares, then you've created dark square weaknesses that your opponent may occupy so strive to keep your dark-squared bishop/exchange off the opponent's dark-squared bishop. Conversely, if your pawns are on dark squares, you have created light-squared weaknesses and need your light-squared bishop/exchange off the opponent's light-squared bishop.

If you're like ol' FTB, never take up a new opening without a master repertoire book to spoon feed the way to victory: The Iron English is 464 pages long! IMHO, the Botvinnik System does not require massive study. However, due to the plethora of opposing responses available, the book ballooned to appease readers who want plenty of answers for every variability.

Perhaps this hour long video by the book's author will ease the viewer's concerns:

Someone up in the peanut gallery just asked "Is it a KIA??" If you don't know, then ask and listen carefully (nowadays you might not get a correct answer)... Just because an opening has a kingside fianchetto does not mean it's a King's Indian Attack/Defense! BTW, the anti-KID Botvinnik System is (A36/37).

A post longer than the game. Way past time for bed.

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