The Grob’s Attack

According to the opening move of 1 g4 is known as the A00 Grob’s attack. ‘Back in the day’ it was simply known as “The Grob.”

Henry Grob en Barcelona (1960)(

Any Chess player reaching class B, which is a rating between 1600 and 1799, knows he should defeat any player dumb enough to attempt playing the Grob’s attack. I played the Grob several times in rated tournaments, losing only to IM Boris Kogan.

Why would I have played 1 g4 versus an International Master of Grandmaster strength? After losing to Boris three times in OTB play when playing a more conventional opening the decision was made to try something a little different. OK, that should be “a lot different.” Sure, I lost the game, but the loss was worth something just to see the look on my opponent’s face! The fact is that a decent middle game position was reached prior to my blundering the exchange. Still, it was the only time playing Boris I had the feeling of being in the game. Players do not like facing the Grob attack because they know anything less that a win is tantamount to a loss…of face and credibility. After losing to the Grob one of my Stein Club ( opponents had to listen to an onlooker ask, “You lost to the Grob? How the hell does anyone lose to the Grob?” At that point my opponent emptied his beer stein into the face of the kibitzer before exiting the Stein Club… How bad is Grob’s attack? To put it into perspective, after 1 e4 e5 2 Qh5 the SF program at shows white with a disadvantage of -0.4. Before the move white had a +0.4 advantage. You do the math…

According to the Big Database at 365Chess ( the thirteenth most often opening move made by those in charge of the white brigade has been 1 g4. The Grob. The Grob spelled backwards is:

The Borg Queen/

Anyone can occasionally play what has come to be known as the, C20 KP, Patzer opening.

GM Magnus Carlsen (2835) – IM Shamsiddin Vokhidov (2480)
World Rapid 2018 St Petersburg RUS, 2018.12.26

1.e4 e5 2.Qh5 Nc6 3.Bc4 g6 4.Qf3 Qe7 5.Ne2 Nf6 6.d3 Bg7 7.Nbc3 h6 8.Nd5 Nxd5 9.exd5 Na5 10.d6 cxd6 11.Bd5 Nc6 12.Bd2 Qf6 13.Qe4 O-O 14.O-O Ne7 15.Nc3 Qf5 16.Qb4 Nxd5 17.Nxd5 Kh7 18.Nc7 Rb8 19.Qxd6 b6 20.f3 Bb7 21.Rae1 Rfc8 22.Bc3 Bf8 23.Nb5 Bxd6 24.Nxd6 Qe6 25.Nxc8 Rxc8 26.Rxe5 Qd6 27.Rfe1 Bd5 28.a4 Be6 29.a5 bxa5 30.Kf1 Rc5 31.Rxc5 Qxc5 32.Ra1 d5 33.Rxa5 Qc7 34.Ra4 Qxh2 35.Rxa7 Qh1+ 36.Kf2 d4 0-1

It takes a special type of player to open with the Grob’s Attack. There are those who highly tout Grob’s Attack. For instance:

Most Underrated Chess Opening: Grob’s Attack

So today we’ll learn another underrated chess opening called the Grob’s Attack, which starts with the unusual 1.g4. The opening takes its name from Swiss International Master Henri Grob (1904–1974) who analysed it extensively and played hundreds of correspondence games with it.

A great thing about this opening is that the White’s first move 1.g4 is so rare that most of your opponents will be shocked to see it. Therefore, you get them out of their opening preparation giving you a great chance of winning the game!

Before getting to the most underrated chess opening, let me remind you that the special offers we’re providing you with in honour of our upgraded training portal and new shop is expiring TOMORROW (31 March).

Yes, this is the LAST chance for you to get a massive 64% discount (or more) on all the RCA courses and packages. Grab your favourite courses and you can even study them on your mobile now! (

Have you ever felt like you stepped into a pile of hyperbole?

In the first round of the Caplin Hastings Masters 2022 a chap named Stellio Jerome, rated 1501, opened with the A00 Grob’s attack versus Expert Matthew J Payne, rated 2116. The result will come as no surprise:

  1. g4 d5 2. h3 h5 3. g5 e5 4. h4 Ne7 5. Bg2 Nbc6 6. e3 Be6 7. Ne2 Qd7 8. d4 e4 9. c4 dxc4 10. Bxe4 Bd5 11. Nbc3 Bxe4 12. Nxe4 Nd5 13. a3 O-O-O 14. Bd2 Re8 15. f3 f5 16. gxf6 gxf6 17. N2c3 Bg7 18. Kf2 f5 19. Nc5 Qf7 20. Qa4 Nb6 21. Qc2 Nxd4 22. Qd1 Qe7 23. N5a4 Nb3 24. Nxb6+ axb6 25. Nd5 Qf7 26. e4 fxe4 27. Bf4 Bd4+ 28. Be3 Qxd5 29. Qe2 exf3 30. Qxf3 Bxe3+ 0-1

Imagine the surprise seeing that Mr. Jerome decided in the third round to play it again, Sam:

Stellio Jerome (1501) vs Nick Faulks (1802)
Hastings 2022 Round 3
The Grob Attack

  1. g4 d5 2. h3 c5 3. Bg2 Nc6 4. c4 d4 5. d3 e5 6. Nf3 Bd6 7. Nbd2 Qe7 8. Ne4 Bc7
  2. Bd2 h6 10. Ng3 Bd7 11. Qc2 g6 12. g5 hxg5 13. Nxg5 f5 14. Bd5 Nf6 15. Bf7+
    Kf8 16. Bxg6 f4 17. Nf5 Bxf5 18. Bxf5 Nd8 19. O-O-O Ne8 20. Rdg1 Nd6 21. Be4 Rh5
  3. h4 Nxe4 23. Nxe4 Rxh4 24. f3 Ne6 25. Qd1 Rxh1 26. Rxh1 Qg7 27. Qf1 Ke7 28.
    Be1 Rg8 29. Bh4+ 1-0

1. g4? (-1.5) d5 (-0.9) 2. h3?! (-1.6)(2 Bg2) 2…c5?! (-1.0)(2…h5) 3. Bg2 (-0.9 )(3 e5) 3…Nc6 (-0.8)(3 e5) 4. c4 (-0.8) 4…d4 (-0.9)(e5) 5. d3 (-0.8) (5 Bxc6+) 5…e5 (-0.5)(Bd7) 6. Nf3?! (-1.4)(6 Bxc6+) 6…Bd6 (-1.2)(h5) 7. Nbd2 (0.9) 7…Qe7?! (+0.1)(7…Nf6)

Position after 7…Qe7

It has taken Nick only seven moves to go from having a winning advantage to having an even game. Things obviously went downhill from here… If you are a class A player and you lose to anyone opening with the Grob you must ask yourself some serious questions, beginning with, “Why am I playing Chess?”

In the fifth round Stellio Jerome did it again:

Stellio Jerome (1501) vs Sanjit S Kumar, (1965)
Hastings 2023 Round 5
The Grob Attack

  1. g4 d5 2. h3 c5 3. Bg2 Nc6 4. c4 e6 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Nf3 Bd6 7. Nc3 Nge7 8. d4 Be6 9. Bg5 f6 10. Be3 b6 11. Rc1 a6 12. O-O O-O 13. dxc5 bxc5 14. Na4 c4 15. Bb6 Bc7 16. Bc5 Rb8 17. Nd4 Nxd4 18. Bxd4 Ng6 19. e3 Ne5 20. Nc5 Bf7 21. Nxa6 Nd3 22. Rc2 Ra8 23. Nxc7 Qxc7 24. Qxd3 Bg6 25. Bxd5+ Kh8 26. Qxc4 Qxc4 27. Rxc4 Bd3 28. Rfc1 Bxc4 29. Bxc4 Rfc8 30. Rc3 Rab8 31. Bb3 Rd8 32. Kg2 h6 33. f4 Kh7 34. h4 Kh8 35. g5 hxg5 36. hxg5 Rd6 37. gxf6 gxf6 38. Rc7 Rf8 39. Kf3 Ra6 40. e4 Rb8 41. Bd5 Re8 42. e5 Rxa2 Rxa2 43. e6 Ra3+ 44. bxa3 Rxe6 45. Rc8+ 1-0
Position after 8…Be6

After only eight moves he Stockfish program utilized at shows the game to be even, Steven.

Do not let this happen to YOU! Give the Grob a chance and open with 1 g4 in an off-hand game or several. No matter what opening your opponent fires at you, a player should have at least an idea about how to play against any, and every opening. To help you down that path here are the opening moves preferred by Stockfish:

1. g4 d5 2. Bg2 Bxg4 3. c4 c6 4. Qb3 e6 5. Qxb7 Nd7 6. Nc3 Ne7 7. cxd5 exd5 8. Qb4 Nf6…

Allen Priest Started A Thread

The President of the USCF board, Allen Priest, started a new thread on the USCF forum under All Things Chess, titled: World senior team 50+ (

I posed this question on the thread: “Why was there no 65+ team from the USA?” (by nocab on Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:14 pm #335352)

It was no surprise that the POTUSCF was the first to reply as he weighs in on almost everything on the forum.

“Well you can organize one – it is an open tournament. As many teams from any country can enter as wish.”

Allen Priest
National Tournament Director
Delegate from Kentucky

Maybe another person on the forum would have been surprised by the flippant remark but I was not because of having previously interacted “up close and personal” with Allen at a Kentucky State Championship. He allowed the tournament to begin without lighting because of no electricity after turning a deaf ear to the players.

My friend Michael Mulford replied with the following post:

Postby Mulfish on Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:30 pm #335356

Did US Chess fund the winning team? If they did, a more accurate answer might be US Chess did not budget to fund one and no self-funded team emerged”.

Allen answered:

Postby Allen on Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:41 pm #335357

We has a stipend for one team for 2018 and 2019 based on our invitional list rules. Again these are open events. Any team that wants to enter certainty can.

Last edited by Allen on Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Allen Priest
National Tournament Director
Delegate from Kentucky

by Mulfish on Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:01 pm #335358

Allen wrote:
We has a stipend for one team for 3018 and 2029 based on our invitional list rules. Again these are open events. Any team that wants to enter certainty can.

Ignoring the obvious typos on the years, would it be fair to say that we have budgeted for stipends for one team. That team could have been either an over 50 or an over 65 team, based on the invitational list rules?

And, as usual, Allen got the last word:

by Allen on Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:25 pm #335361

Sorry. The phone keyboard is hard to use. We budgeted for one set of stipends for two tournaments that occurred during a single budget year. The original motion didn’t address anything about divisions of the event. So, if the invitational list yielded a 65+ team that’s who would have received the stipend.

Allen Priest
National Tournament Director
Delegate from Kentucky

At this time there are twenty four posts on this particular thread and sixteen, or two thirds, of the posts were made by the POTUSCF. Does this make you think of the POTUS and his propensity for firing salvos via Twitter?

In the March issue of Chess Life magazine Allen writes about US Chess Affairs/ News for our Members in something named, ACROSS THE BOARD. He begins, “Not many people get Chess Life to read a missive from the president of the organization. I understand.”

I’m thinking, “Well, at least the man understands something.”

Allen also writes, “But we all share one thing-an interest in a grand game.”

And I’m thinking, “Interest?” Then I realize the difference between Allen and me is a chasm because I LOVE the Royal Game! I have played Chess seriously since 1970, and if you go back to when my father taught me the game, 1966. I have read extensively about the game and have followed it even when spending most of my time playing Backgammon professionally. I have played Chess in USCF rated tournaments in twenty five different states, more than any other native born Georgian. I have played Chess in seedy dives, such as the legendary Stein Club on Peachtree street in Atlanta, Georgia,

and opulent places such as the Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina. (

Allen has played all of forty five USCF rated games IN HIS LIFE!


Why is Allen the president of the USCF? How did Allen become president of the USCF? What could Allen possibly know about Chess?

I asked myself the above questions after reading 25 Questions for Steve Doyle: A major figure in American chess relates his lifetime experiences in characteristically upbeat fashion, by Peter Tamburro, in issue #3 of the American Chess Magazine recently.

This question was posed, “How has the USCF fared over the years and what do you think its prospects are for the future? Now that there is a search for a new executive director, what qualities should they look for?”

The former President of the USCF, Steve Doyle

gave this answer: “The huge savings built up in my term were then the saving life blood for a series of incompetent boards – and that followed with very weak leaders in charge. They ran the book business into the ground., squandered resources and lived off the savings account. Finally the building in New Windsor was sold, the book business outsourced, savings used to pay off massive debt and the operation moved to Tennessee. Now new people are coming forward, the entire membership votes on officers and we have a 501c3 status. All positive moves. Of couse, millions wasted along the way.”

The current president of the USCF, Allen Priest, is, fortunately, on his way out. In his aforementioned column he wrote, “Many of our members are not particularly interested in the governance of US Chess. Few, if any, join to be involved in governance. I know. I was the same way.”

If only it had stayed the same way…

I am now one of the members who is “…not particularly interested in the governance of US Chess.” Frankly, at this point in my life I could care less as it is time for me to leave the future to those whom it will affect.

The fact is that Allen Priest, like all other Chess politicians, will be judged by history. Will he be considered a “very weak leader in charge?” Will history be kinder to him than those posting on the USCF forum have been to this point in his tenure? Only time will tell…