ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
The Bird seemed like an appropriate subject for my Christmas update and it looks like an interesting choice for those who wish to make some time consuming New Year resolutions. The point is that the Bird can free up a lot of time that might currently be getting spent on opening studies; it leads to highly original positions right from the outset and has very little 'theory' to learn.

Download PGN of December '09 Flank Openings games

Seasonal Bird [A02-03]

The first three games show the inherent flexibility of the Bird with both players able to construct their own patterns on the board.

Basman - Tal was a highly original affair with Basman making what looked like a Christmas tree and then missing several paths to victory.

I have fared less well with my own Bird experiments as you can see in Davies - de Vassal, but Malaniuk showed how it should really be done in his game against Thorfinnsson (Game 3). It helps to have played the Leningrad Dutch a lot because this gives players a solid understanding of the positions.

From Gambit [A02]

Many players fear the From Gambit (1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6) but perhaps there's no need to when it can be either accepted or declined.

In Grunberg - Kotronias Black comes up with 11...h6, which looks like a useful new move as it prevents Bg5-f6:

The attempts to use pure piece play for Black with 4...Nf6 or 4...Nc6 featured (respectively) in Dimitrov - Stojanovic and Taylor - Aigner and in both cases Black had problems with White's solid d2-d4 and e2-e3 construction.

There are also a couple of interesting ways to decline the From, 3.Nf3 dxe5 4.e4 being White's choice in Podinic - Sasu Ducsoara:

Chernyshov - Gorbunov featured 3.e6 instead:

I hadn't actually seen 3.e6 before preparing this update but it has been the choice of many strong players and leads to totally unexplored territory. If you want to play a chess game rather than 'theory' then this is a good way.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Nigel Davies


Please remember to point out and send your games to me. Drop me a line at the Flank Openings Forum, or subscribers can write directly to