|Spring 1901||Autumn 1901|
principal advantage of this opening is the degree to which your options remain
unrestricted. The Spring moves
appear totally orthodox and even after the startling moves of Autumn there are
still a great many options, either against Russia or against England.
You will have the following options to consider:
F(SKA) C A(Den)-Nwy S by RUSSIAN F(Swe), F(Kie)-Den
F(SKA) S RUSSIAN F(Swe)-Nwy, F(Kie)-HEL
F(SKA)-Swe S by A(Den) [and ENGLISH F(Nwy)?], F(Kie)-BAL
F(SKA) S ENGLISH F(Nwy)-Swe, F(Kie)-BAL.
A is aesthetically the most pleasing and gains you Norway, but option B will
ensure that there are three fleets bordering the North Sea after Spring 1902,
with Germany the power likely to occupy it.
I think option C is perhaps the best and it is enormously powerful if the
Russian player has not ordered a build in StP. Autumn 1902 can see either
F(BAL)-GoB S by F(Swe) or A(Den)/A(Ber)-Lvn C by F(BAL). Option D is included
for the sake of completeness and should really only be used where Germany is
getting a modest quid pro quo for the domination of Scandinavia by England - say
London and Liverpool!
the beauty of the manoeuvre is that it allows diplomatic flexibility up until
Autumn 1902. Such a delay in jumping off the fence can only be to Germany's
Of course if you are not in any doubt about your intent and do not mind advertising the fact, you can always go for a Baltic Opening. This is:
|Spring 1901||Autumn 1901|
F(Kie), A(Ber), A(Mun).
there is no messing about. Russia
is the target and he finds out in Spring 1901.
Such an opening should only be attempted with the support of England as
an Autumn 1901 convoy to Hol/Den would cause a great deal of damage to the
opening. But with that
co-operation, look at the advantages. Germany
will have a 50/50 chance of ending up with a F(GoB) and a 50/50 chance of
gaining Swe and Den. Indeed this opening would be very popular if Holland were
not such an easy German supply centre.
missing factor in things so far is France.
He is presented with an opportunity early on which some players would be
only too quick to take advantage of. Thus
it may be necessary to mislead France initially so that his units are not in so
good a position from which to launch an opportunist attack on the unprotected
article (in common with most articles of a tactical nature) makes no mention of
Diplomatic activities or strategic planning and clearly such considerations must
also be considered. With these two so-called novelty-openings, it is very
possible to lose sight of the actual aim of the openings and to attempt them
despite their obvious diplomatic unsuitability. If these two openings are attempted without the proper
diplomatic effort to establish their viability, they amount to little better
than suicide. These are options
open to hard-working Germans only. But
if you have a non-aggressive France and a pliable Russia and/or England then why
not try a little variety for a change?
First published in Home of the Brave No.19 (November 1982)