4

In the last few years, the Petroff defense had almost disappeared from the super-grandmaster scene with Top players preferring to play the Berlin. However, in this year itself, the Petroff has seen some sort of a renaissance with Fabiano Caruana in particular playing it 4 times in the Candidates tournament itself. Top players like Nakamura have also played it a few times recently(particularly the US Championship)

My question is, Why is the Petroff being played more recently? Has there been any novelty that has been uncovered and everyone's just analyzing it more and more?

  • 2
    Perhaps people got bored playing the Berlin!? – user1583209 May 28 '18 at 12:45
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Possibly it's the evasion of the evasion of the evasion.

GMs evade the Ruy mainlines by playing the Berlin, then they evade the Berlin by playing the Italian and now they might just start to evade the Italian by playing the Petroff.

My hope is that they'll evade the Petroff by playing the King's Gambit.

5

Nowadays theory has become so convoluted at the super-GM level that top players want to avoid the main lines more and more. The petroff is a good option, since it hasn't been analyzed and played by super-GMs to such a huge extent. In addition, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with the Petroff (objectively, it may just be slightly worse than 2...Nc6).

By the way, the fact that Caruana played the Petroff 4 times in the Candidates doesn't necessarily signify a resurgence of the opening. He probably just prepared it specifically for that tournament, and the same goes for Nakamura in the US championship.

  • "The petroff is a good option, since it hasn't been analyzed and played by super-GMs to such a huge extent." Really ? Remember Karpov, Kramnik, Leko, Shirov and others killing so many lines of the Petroff by analysis that go well into the endgame... – Evargalo May 30 '18 at 16:21
  • @Evargalo Sure, it's been played and analyzed deeply by some super-GMs, but not nearly as much as 2...Nc6 has. Pretty much all openings that have been played occasionally by super-GMs have analysis going into the endgame. – Inertial Ignorance May 30 '18 at 22:49
  • @InertialIgnorance: "Pretty much all openings that have been played occasionally by super-GMs have analysis going into the endgame." Do they? – thb Jun 1 '18 at 23:57
  • @thb If multiple super-GMs choose to play an opening on multiple occasions, there's a good chance the opening has some respectable analysis backing it up. – Inertial Ignorance Jun 2 '18 at 0:16

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