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The hypermoderns were a school of chess players who set out to rethink some of the principles of chess openings. The name was given to them by the Polish-French grandmaster Tartakower.

The key idea was, in reaction to the older ideas of Siegbert Tarrasch, to dispute control of the centre by more subtle methods. Whereas old theory was to occupy the centre with two or three pawns immediately, the hypermoderns concentrated more on attacking the opponent's centre. A characteristic first move was 1Nf3 with White, or 1...Nf6 with Black, especially in reply to 1d4. To 1e4 they favoured an asymmetric defence such as 1...e6 or 1...c5 rather than the classical reply 1...e5.

Nimzovich was the founder, and Alekhine, Tartakower, Réti, Grünfeld, and Bogolyubov all took part. All were top grandmasters of the 1920s and 30s. Several modern openings owe their popularity to this group: Alekhine's Defence (1e4 Nf6); Réti's Opening (1Nf3); the King's Indian Defence (1d4 Nf6 2c4 g6 3Nc3 Bg7); the Grünfeld Defence (1d4 Bf6 2c4 g6 3Nc3 d5) and the Modern Defence (1...g6).[1]p178

References[change | change source]

  1. Hooper D. and Whyld K. 1992. The Oxford companion to chess. 2nd ed, Oxford University Press.