I'm starting to play against stronger competition who know how to play their openings, so I'm trying to figure out my repertoire. I have recently decided to stick to playing the Grunfeld against 1.d4, and prepared some responses against those who avoid playing an early c4 and go for the Tromp/London/Barry etc.

However I'm a bit stuck when it comes to playing against openings where White avoids an early d4, and goes for a Nf3/g3/Bg2/0-0 and c4 setup before going d4, maybe even avoiding d4 altogether and going for a b3 hypermodern approach.

Since Grunfeld is all about letting White achieve a broad center and attacking it from afar, it feels awkward when White refuses to take the center immediately.

I can look up some specific responses, such as going 1.c4 e5 and aiming for a Reversed Dragon, but I'd rather have a more consistent repertoire that at least involves a Kingside fianchetto, so that at least there is a chance that the game might transpose back into a Grunfeld.

Of course if this means that I might get move-ordered into a bad position then I'll play something else, but I find it hard to believe a Kingside fianchetto can ever really be bad against the kind of hypermodern White opening I described.

Any experienced Grunfeld players want to chime in on this?

  • What do you play after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2? 5....d5 or 5....c6 (or something else)? Against 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.0-0 0-0 5.c4, you can play 5....d5 or 5....c6, depending on your repertoire. Or is there a line you don't like for black?
    – Maxwell86
    Oct 23, 2015 at 19:52
  • @ReasonableMoves You wan't to stick with a fianchetto system right? You don't want to memorize lots of variations arose from e4 e5, and d4 d5 etc. Plus fianchetto feels a bit more stable and solid. Am I right?
    – ferit
    Jan 6, 2016 at 12:21

3 Answers 3


Anyway you cannot prevent someone avoiding the Grunfeld by move order. For instance, 1.c4, Nf6; 2. Nc3, g6; 3.e4, and it's done with the Grunfeld. The trick is it is better to play Grunfeld and KID (Bologan's KID book has a chapter devoted to this, i think) complementarily, even against the fianchetto variation. Quality chess books by Avrukh on the grunfeld are excellent, so are also The safest grunfeld and in a lesser measure Dembo's (but not bad at all). I think there is no other way out. You could also listen to Svidler's lectures on chess24, they are excellent.


Have you checked out Mikahil Marin's book on the Grunfeld: Grandmaster Repertoire 8: The Grunfeld Defence


I am a d4/c4 player and I do love "disappointing" my opponents who play grunfeld. I go for d4-e3 pawn structure and mess up the order of moves. This should theoretically be inferior to grabbing the centre but it just throws opponents off prep. Anyways, all I can advice you to do is to play the way I find the most annoying and it consists of throwing c5 in some lines.

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