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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Do you know the Orangutan Chess Opening?

How often during a tournament has your opponent surprised you with something odd like 1.b4?

Do you know this is the Orangutan Opening dating from the 19th Century? It is also called the Hunt, Polish or Sokolosky Opening.

This is the history of the line: during the New York tournament, in 1924, Tartakower visited the zoo and was so impressed by an orangutan there that he decided to dedicate his next game to her. On the following day he played 1.b4 against Maroczy.

The opening has been studied and practised by Moscow mathematician Nikolai Vasilyevich Bugayev (1837-1903), whose analysis was published in
Shakhmatnoye Obozreniye just before his death.

Here is an interesting Orangutan game - a friendly one - taken from The Oxford Companion of Chess.

Fleissig-Schlecher, Vienna, 1893

1.b4 e6 2. Bb2 Nf6 3. a3 c5 4. b5 d5 5. d4 Qa5+ 6. Nc3 Ne4 7. Qd3 cxd4 8. Qxd4 Bc5 9. Qxg7 Bxf2+ 10. Kd1 d4 11. Qxh8+ Ke7 12. Qxc8 dxc3 13. Bc1 Nd7 14. Qxa8 Qxb5 15. Bf4 Qd5+ 16. Kc1 Be3+ 17. Bxe3 Nf2 18. Bxf2 Qd2+ 19. Kb1 Qd1+ 20. Ka2 Qxc2 0-1

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's


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