There are certain chess principles that generally should be accepted and followed. I was wondering If anyone knew of any game or games that have gone against these principles and still resulted in a win from the player who violated the principles?

  • 6
    Every game played by Tal. Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 15:49

6 Answers 6


Here are some principles we teach beginners but grandmasters regularly break.

Don't bring your queen out too early.

This principle was successfully broken by Korchnoi in an important match.

[FEN ""]
[Event "Candidates Semifinal"]
[Site "Évian-les-Bains FRA"]
[Date "1977.07.16"]
[Round "6"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Lev Polugaevsky"]
[Black "Viktor Korchnoi"]
[StartPly "8"]

1. d4 e6 2. c4 b6 3. e4 Bb7 4. Qc2 Qh4 5. Nd2 Bb4 6. Bd3 f5
7. Nf3 Bxd2+ 8. Kf1 Qh5 9. Bxd2 Nf6 10. exf5 Bxf3 11. gxf3 Nc6
12. Bc3 O-O 13. Re1 Qh3+ 14. Ke2 Rae8 15. Kd1 e5 16. dxe5 Nxe5
17. Be2 Nxf3 18. Qd3 Rxe2 19. Rxe2 Qg2 20. Rhe1 Nxe1 21. Kxe1
Qxh2 22. Re7 Qg1+ 23. Ke2 Qg4+ 24. Ke1 h5 25. Qg3 Qxg3
26. fxg3 Rf7 27. Bxf6 gxf6 28. Re8+ Kg7 29. Kf2 Kh6 30. b4 Kg5
31. Ra8 Kxf5 32. Rxa7 d6 33. a4 Ke6 34. a5 bxa5 35. Rxa5 f5
36. c5 Rh7 37. cxd6 cxd6 38. b5 h4 39. gxh4 Rxh4 40. Ra8 Rb4
41. Rb8 Kd5 42. Kf3 Rb3+ 43. Kf4 Kc5 44. Rc8+ Kxb5 45. Kxf5
Re3 46. Kf4 Re1 47. Rd8 Kc5 48. Rc8+ Kd4 49. Kf3 d5 50. Kf2
Re5 51. Ra8 Kc3 52. Ra3+ Kb4 53. Ra1 d4 54. Rc1 d3 55. Rc8 d2
56. Rb8+ Kc3 57. Rc8+ Kd3 58. Rd8+ Kc2 59. Rc8+ Kd1 0-1 

Develop your pieces!

Here we see Polugaevsky successfully play his own variation where he uses the queen to grab a pawn, and then start to think about developing the minor pieces around move 15.

[FEN ""]
[Event "USSR"]
[Site "USSR"]
[Date "1959.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Vladimir Zagorovsky"]
[Black "Lev Polugaevsky"]
[StartPly "22"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6
7. f4 b5 8. e5 dxe5 9. fxe5 Qc7 10. exf6 Qe5+ 11. Be2 Qxg5
12. O-O Ra7 13. Qd3 Rd7 14. Ne4 Qe5 15. c3 Bb7 16. Bf3 Bxe4
17. Bxe4 Bd6 18. g3 gxf6 19. Kh1 Bc5 20. Rad1 Kf8 21. Rfe1 Qg5
22. a4 Kg7 23. axb5 Bxd4 24. cxd4 Qxb5 25. Qe3 Rhd8 26. d5 Nc6
27. Rf1 exd5 28. Bd3 Qxb2 29. Rf5 Qd4 30. Qc1 Ne5 31. Rh5 Nxd3
32. Qh6+ Kg8 33. Qxh7+ Kf8 34. Rxd3 Qe4+ 35. Kg1 Qxh7 36. Rxh7
a5 37. Rh4 d4 38. Kf2 f5 39. Ke2 Ke7 40. Kd2 Ke6 41. Ra3 Rd5
42. Kd3 Ke5 43. Ra2 Ra8 44. Rh6 Rb5 45. Re2+ Kd5 46. Rf2 Rb3+
47. Kc2 Rab8 48. Rd2 a4 49. Ra6 a3 50. Ra7 R8b7 51. Ra8 Rb2+
52. Kd3 R2b3+ 53. Ke2 Re3+ 54. Kd1 Rb1+ 55. Kc2 Rb2+ 56. Kd1
d3 57. Rd8+ Ke4 0-1

Don't move the same piece twice in the opening.

Although Kasparov didn't win this game, he should get an award for moving the same knight 5 times in the 9 first moves.

[FEN ""]
[Event "21st Linares"]
[Site "Linares ESP"]
[Date "2004.02.20"]
[Round "2"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[White "Garry Kasparov"]
[Black "Teimour Radjabov"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 e5 4. Bc4 Be7 5. d3 Nf6 6. Nd2 d6
7. Nf1 Nd7 8. Ne3 Nb6 9. Ned5 O-O 10. O-O Nxd5 11. Nxd5 Rb8
12. a4 Be6 13. f4 exf4 14. Bxf4 Bg5 15. b3 Bxd5 16. Bxg5 Qxg5
17. Bxd5 Nb4 18. Bc4 d5 19. exd5 Nxd5 20. Qf3 Qe3+ 21. Rf2
Qxf3 22. Rxf3 Nb6 23. Bb5 a6 24. a5 axb5 25. axb6 Rfc8 26. Ra5
c4 27. Rxb5 cxd3 28. c4 Rd8 29. Rd5 Rxd5 30. cxd5 Rd8 31. Rxd3
Rd6 32. Kf2 Kf8 33. Ke3 Rxb6 34. Kd4 Ke7 35. Kc5 Rh6 36. h3
Rg6 37. g4 Rg5 38. b4 h5 39. Rd4 hxg4 40. hxg4 f5 41. gxf5
Rxf5 42. b5 Rf6 1/2-1/2

GM Miles's 1...a6 2...b5 against the World Chess Champion, Karpov.

Karpovs vs Miles, 0-1, St George Defense

enter image description here

Full Game


Anand beat Ivanchuk in a famous game at Linares in 1992 by:

  • Voluntarily doubling his pawns with 17... gxf6!.
  • Exchanging off his "good" bishop and proving his "bad" bishop was better than his opponent's "good" one.

[FEN ""]
[Event "Linares"]
[Site "Linares ESP"]
[Date "1992"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "1"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Vassily Ivanchuk"]
[Black "Viswanathan Anand"]
[ECO "B62"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "90"]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 e6 7.Qd2
a6 8.O-O-O h6 9.Be3 Nxd4 10.Bxd4 b5 11.f3 Qa5 12.a3 e5 13.Be3
Be6 14.Kb1 Be7 15.g4 Rb8 16.Nd5 Qxd2 17.Nxf6+ gxf6 18.Rxd2 h5
19.Rg1 hxg4 20.fxg4 Bc4 21.b3 Bxf1 22.Rxf1 Rh3 23.Re2 Kd7
24.g5 Ke6 25.gxf6 Bxf6 26.Bd2 Be7 27.Be1 f6 28.Bg3 d5 29.exd5
Kxd5 30.Rf5 Kc6 31.Ref2 Rh6 32.Kb2 Kd7 33.Re2 Bd6 34.Rf3 Rc8
35.Be1 Ke6 36.Rd3 Rh7 37.Rg3 Bc5 38.Ka2 Rd7 39.Rc3 Rcc7 40.h4
Rd1 41.Bf2 Bd6 42.Rg3 e4 43.Rxe4+ Be5 44.Rxe5+ fxe5 45.Kb2 Rd2

For every "rule" there must be a standard opening variation that violates it. For example, the "Bishop's gambit" invites Black to force White to move the King as early as move 4:

[Title "Bishop's Gambit"]
[FEN ""]
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+!? 4.Kf1

To be sure Black has violated the rule against moving the Queen early, which White expects to exploit soon with Nf3 and claim an initiative despite the lost pawn and Castling rights.


Are you talking about Tarrasch's old school as commonly accepted principles? Then every game with flank openings and fianchetto setup violates this. Check hypermodern school and Nimzowitch.

  • I mean the currently (2015) accepted principles that modern day GM's don't usually break.
    – chackerian
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 10:56
  • 6
    Modern GM's doesn't have any dogmatic rules, they know that concrete analysis is better than following principles. These dogmatic principles are for weaker players not for masters.
    – ferit
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 11:09

Look up John Watson's books on chess strategy. He writes about the concept of general rules from a historical perspective. Each rule is discussed and examples are shown to violate it.

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