I thought this was going to be a wild dynamic and fun opening to play. Database results show average results comparable to most other openings. Mainlines often lead to very drawish positions. Computer analysis confirms drawish nature of many lines. There is a lot of positive hype about this opening but I am a bit disappointed. What am I missing?

1 Answer 1


You're missing the fact that every good opening leads to balanced positions when played perfectly. This is the case for the Grünfeld as well. But just because the position is balanced after optimal play in an opening doesn't mean that the opening is easy to play optimally.

In the Grünfeld the positions tend to quickly become rather unbalanced and sharp (black gives white the chance to occupy the center with pawns and thereby get a space advantage, and and hopes that the counterplay by attacking white's center is enough to offset white's edge in space), requiring both sides to play with precision not to get into a worse position. Therefore, especially on lower levels, anything can happen in a Grünfeld game.

The mainlines in the Grünfeld may lead to drawish positions, but to reach these drawish positions both players must know a serious amount of theoretical lines in the Grünfeld intimately. This is way more than the average club player can handle, and there are often less forcing sidelines to pursue for both sides than the main lines played by the pros. As a final remark, it's worth noting that when a computer evaluation of a position says something like 0.00 it just means that the computer thinks the position is equal, not that it's drawish.

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