The Centralized Knights!
Today in the first round of Biel, Hou Yifan won a nice game against Anish Giri and followed up on a recent success in a women’s event. There has been buzz lately about Hou Yifan possibly challenging Judit Polgar for the #1 rated female soon and given her strong victory today, one never knows!
Aside from the win, after move 17 by white my eye was focused on the centralized knights!
It’s rare to see all four knight occupying the central squares! Well, how rare you may ask? Given the size of my Database, I’d estimate it’s about a 0,01% chance of it happening in your games!
My Database holds just over 5.000.000 games and plugging the centralized knights into a database search gave me just over 500 games with this specific feature.
The earliest example was from a game by Louis Paulsen with black (of Paulsen Sicilian fame!)
The most high rated or famous example would have to be Fischer-Spassy from the 1992 return match in Sveti-Stefan
And while trying to find out in which opening this was most likely to happen I stumbled on perhaps the weirdest way to “get there”….and when you think of weird you think of Basman
Basman, Michael – Strauss, David J, 1984
1. g4! (The Basman patent) d5 2. h3 e5 3. Bg2 c6 4. d4 Nd7 5. c4 dxc4 6. Nc3 Bd6 7. Nf3 Ne7 8. Ne4 Bc7 9. Bg5 f6 10. Bd2 exd4 11. Nxd4 Ne5 12. Bc3 Nd5
The early favourite was the Scandinavian with 16 examples….but that was until I found over 30 examples in the ECO Code C45 which is of course the Scotch!
So there you have it, all about the centrazlied knights 😉