Schon seit Jahrzehnten hat sich im Schach die Einschätzung gebildet, die Zeit der grundlegenden Meinungskämpfe gehöre endgültig der Vergangenheit an, wie auch Alexei Suetin in seinen Lehrbüchern der 70er und 80er Jahre gern hervorhob. Alexei Suetin war gewissermaßen der Mark Dworetzki der 70er und 80er Jahre. Nach Meinungskämpfen rund um Philidor vs. Italienische Schachschule, Systematik vs. Schöpfertum wie zwischen Steinitz und Tschigorin oder Capablanca und Aljechin, der modernen vs. der hypermodernen Schachschule oder der Meinungskampf zwischen der frühen „dialektischen“ Sowjetischen Schachschule und dem "formalistischen" Schach des Westens, hätten sich im Zeitalter der postheroischen Nivellierung die Meinungskämpfe von ihrem grundlegenden Charakter hin zu Auseinandersetzungen rund um Detailfragen entwickelt. Durch die fortschreitende Entwicklung des Schachs sei der moderne Schachspieler in der Lage, jede scharfe vergangene Position in ein rechtes Verhältnis zum Gesamtschach zu rücken und im Sinne des Eklektizismus dazu fähig, die einzelnen Regeln je nach Bedarf der Stellung anzuwenden. Überhaupt sei heute das konkrete Denken durch den Siegeszug der Schachcomputer viel stärker in den Vordergrund gerückt, so daß ein John Watson in seinen Lehrbüchern Geheimnisse der Modernen Schachtheorie und Schachstrategie in Aktion zur Regelstürmerei aufrufen konnte.

1980 schlug der Engländer Tony Miles bei der Europamannschaftsmeisterschaft sensationell Weltmeister Anatoli Karpov mit der fast schon „frech“ anmutenden Eröffnung 1. e4 a6 2. d4 b5. (Partie, siehe Anhang) Die Europameisterschaft fand im schwedischen Skara statt und inspirierte nach Ansicht des zeitgenössischen Schachhistorikers und produktiven Schachbuchautoren Michael Ehn den in Schweden wirkenden Rolf Martens (1942-2008), der nicht nur als Person, sondern auch als Schachtheoretiker alternativ war. Michael Ehn stellt Martens und die von ihm mitgeprägte alternative Schachschule vor:

Lange Zeit waren Martens exzentrische Theoreme purer Underground, belächelte Marginalien, die bestenfalls in Blitz- und Schnellschachpartien Verwendung fanden. Doch spätestens seit Tony Miles den amtierenden Weltmeister Anatoli Karpow in Skara mit der Verteidigung 1. e4 a6 2. d4 b5 schlug, bildete Martens Gehirn das Hauptquartier der neuen skandinavischen Schachtheorie: „UHCA“ (Ultra Hypermodern Counter Attack) nannte sich Martens häretische Schule, von der seit den 80er Jahren entscheidende Impulse für die Eröffnungstheorie ausgingen. In ihrem Mittelpunkt standen ästhetische Forschungen, deren dadaistischen Erkenntnisinteresse sich an der Lust nach der Ausnahme entzündete. Ohre irgendwelche Voraussetzungen zu akzeptieren, wurden die Prinzipien der klassischen Lehre radikal überprüft und heilige Kühe in alten Varianten geschlachtet.
KARL, Das kulturelle Schachmagazin, 2/2015, S. 31

Michael Ehn, der an dieser Stelle die Geschichte der Benoni-Eröffnung untersucht und in diesem Rahmen auf Rolf Martens zu sprechen kommt, erwähnt Martens skurrile Erfindungen in dieser Eröffnung, deren Namen die Skurrilität dieser Varianten symbolisieren. Ehn führt das „Schlangenbenoni“ auf (1. d4 Sf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e6 4. Sc3 exd5 5. cxd5 Ld6), das Skorpion-Benoni (1. d4 e6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 exd5 4. cxd5 d6 5. Sc3 Se7), die Kamtschatka-Variante (1. d4 Sf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 a6 4. Sc3 b5 5. cxb5 axb5 6. Sxb5 e6 7. Sc3 exd5 8. Sxd5, die in die Nord- und Südvariante führen können. Zuletzt erwähnt Ehn Martens Stalingrad-Gambit, das nach den Zügen 1. d4 Sf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 a6 4. Sc3 b5 5. Dc2 e6 6. e4 exd5 7. e5 dxc4 8. exf6 d5 entsteht. In seinem Artikel geht Michael Ehn natürlich genauer auf die Ideen dieser von Martens ausgetüftelten Varianten ein, die ich hier an dieser Stelle vernachlässigen möchte, weil dies kein Theoriethread werden soll. Ehn kommt jedenfalls zu dem Fazit bezogen auf Martens Anteil an der Entwicklung dieser Eröffnung:

Martens kreative Kraft befreite die Benoni-Verteidigung erneut von allzu dogmatischen Zugängen und öffnete für sie neue, gänzlich unbekannte Wege. Ein Abenteuer ist das Neue allemal, aber darauf kommt es im Schach ja an.
Es bleibt die Frage zu klären, wie die Stalingrad-Variante eigentlich zu ihrem Namen kam. Auskunft darüber gibt Jesper Hall, der erläutert:

It is said that this opening [...] mimics the battles fought in World War II between the Russians and Germans.
Die von Martens ausersonnenen Neuerungen in etablierten Eröffnungssystemen zeichnen sich überhaupt durch farbenfrohe Namen aus. Ein weiteres Beispiel ist die Norwegische Ratteneröffnung, alternativ Nordsee-Eröffnung genannt, wo Martens für Schwarz das Kampfmittel 1. e4 g6 2. d4 Sf6. 3. e5 Sh5 ans Tageslicht beförderte. Ein Chessbase-Artikel von 2009 über ein Schachturnier, das wohl nicht unzufällig in Schweden (Lund) stattfand, berichtet zudem, daß das Turnier sich „laut Axel Smith durch einige ungewöhnliche Eröffnungen aus[zeichnete]“. Und wer mit Weiß gegen die Sizilianische Verteidigung von einem frühen schwarzen Damenzug nach b6 genervt ist, der weiß, bei wem er sich zu bedanken hat. Denn jener Rolf Martens ist tatsächlich einer der Urheber dieser Idee, die er zusammen mit schwedischen Schachmeistern entwickelte, deren kollektiver Forschungsdrang an den der Berliner Plejaden vor etwa 175 Jahren erinnert. So heißt es auf chess.com zur Gaw-Paw-Variation 1. e4 c5 2. Sf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Sxd4 Sf6 5. Sc3 Db6:

This is a Swedish speciality of Rolf Martens, a chess player who has discovered many new chess openings. The opening was much discussed in Sweden in the 1980s and 1990s. The leading experts in the line have been: Rolf Martens, Mikael Johansson, Juan Bellon Lopez, Marcel Beulen, Ulla Natasha Persson, Lars Karlsson, Per Sorenfors, Johan Furhoff and Pia Cramling. The queen develops early to put d4 and b2 under pressure. White usually defends by playing 6. Nb3, but 6. e5 and 6. Be3 are more challenging for Black. The recommendations of the experts in this line against 6.Be3 have changed throughout the years. In 1987, Rolf Martens saw that 6...Bc5? was weak because of 7.Qd2. A recommendation of Rolf Martens has been 6.- Ng4!?. Bengt Svensson recommended 6...Qxb2!?. In 1997, Persson recommended Bb4!?. In 1999, Lars Karlsson recommended 6...a6!
An dieser Stelle sollte allerdings vor allzu viel Enthusiasmus bezogen auf das Auffinden und/oder Spielen von spektakulären Eröffnungssystemen, die sich hauptsächlich dadurch auszeichnen, im Aufspüren vermeintlicher oder tatsächlicher Ausnahmen möglichst viele „Regeln“ zu brechen, gewarnt werden. Sicherlich verkörpern solche Systeme den UHCA-Geist vorzüglich, der übrigens kein isoliertes Phänomen ist, sondern als zeitlose schachliche Sehnsucht der Menschen historisch in unterschiedlichen Gewändern auftritt. Beispiele wären die Auffassungen Tschigorins, die Hypermodernen, die Neoromantiker und auch die Anhänger der neuen Watsonschule, die noch lange nicht in der Form Allgemeingut ist, wie der Autor dies gerne hätte.

Wer aber Regeln brechen und solche Ausnahmesysteme spielen will, der muß wissen, was er dabei tut. Und vor allem muß das von ihm gespielte System in sich konsistent sein und vom Spieler persönlich verstanden werden. Was passiert, wenn dies alles nicht der Fall ist, das zeigt eine weitere Partie von Miles gegen Karpov, dessen schräge System ihm diesmal auf die Füße fiel.

Analyse: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1068157

[Event "01, EU-chT Skara ;EU-chT"]
[Site "01, EU-chT Skara ;EU-chT"]
[Date "1980.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Anatoly Karpov"]
[Black "Anthony Miles"]
[ECO "B00"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "92"]

1. e4 { Notes by Tony Miles, edited by Ray Keene. } a6 {!
After a few moments hesitation. I watched Karpov's face as he
returned to the board - there was no reaction at all. The
audience, though, was another matter. Conditions for
spectators were not wonderful so at first only a few noticed,
but after some nudging and pointing a general hushed
sniggering broke out. Mutters of "I thought the Skara Schools
Championship was not until next week..." I tried to look
serious. Miles is the only grandmaster to have espoused this
weird defence in a serious game. This extraordinary move is
hardly ever played since it does little to challenge White's
domination of the centre. Miles chose it primarily to sidestep
the then world champion's superior knowledge of opening
theory.} 2. d4 {If White is prepared to admit taking this
opening seriously than 2 c4 comes into consideration.} 2...b5
{Several atrocities have also been committed at this
point. Whilst they may find their way into the general heading
of 1...a6 they certainly do not qualify as the "Birmingham
Defence". However, since this is supposed to be a theoretical
magazine, a brief survey: (a) For historical interest 2...d5?
3 exd5 Qxd5 4 Nc3 Qa5 5 Nf3 e6 6 Bd3 c6 (it would seem more
consistent to allow the queen to retreat via b6 to a7) 7 O-O
+/- Rubinstein-Gunsberg, St. Petersburg 1914. (b) 2...g6 3 g3
d5!? 4 Nc3 dxe4 5 Nxe4 Bg7 6 Be3 Nc6 7 c3 e5 8 d5 Nce7 with an
excellent position for Black (a distinct improvement on
Gunsberg's play). Patterson + Williams - Keene + Eales,
consultation game 1969, continued 9 d6 Nf5 10 Bc5 cxd6 11
Nxd6+ Nxd6 12 Bxd6 Ne7 13 Qa4+? Bd7 14 Qa3 Bc6 15 f3 Nf5 16
O-O-0 Bh6+ 17 Kb1 Bf8 18 c4 Nxd6 19 c5 Ne4! 20 Rxd8+ Rxd8 21
Nh3 Bxc5 22 b4 Be7 23 Bg2 Rd4 0-1. (c) Several games have
continued with 2...d6 or 2...g6 leading to a Modern Defence,
where 1...a6 has little more than psychological value. One of
slight independent value: 2...d6 3 f4 g6 4 Nf3 Bg7 5 c3 d5 6
e5 h5 7 Qb3 Nh6 8 c4?! dxc4 9 Bxc4 b5 10 Bd5 c6 11 Be4 Be6 12
Qc2 Nf5 with a good position, Bellin-Keene, Norwich
1969. Oddly enough, when I consulted the relevant reference
works after the game to discover the official refutation, I
could discover no lines that conferred a tangible White
advantage. The game Rubinstein-Gunsberg, St. Petersburg 1914,
continued instead 2...d5 3 exd5 Qxd5 4 Nc3 Qa5 5 Nf3 e6 6 Bd3
c6 7 O-O with evidently better chances for White. The Miles
strategem of expanding on the queenside is considerably more
rational.} 3. Nf3 {As far as I know, the only person to play
1...a6 (or 1 d4 b5 2 e4 a6) with the same idea as myself is
Michael Basman (not completely surprising as we both
'invented' the idea as an improvement on 1...b6). However, I
only have the score of one game, Chandler-Basman, London 1979,
which went 3 a4(?!) Bb7 4 axb5 axb5!? (simple and good is
4...Bxe4 5 bxa6 Bb7 or even 5...Nxa6) 5 Rxa8 Bxa8 6 Nd2 e6!? 7
Bxb5 f5 8 Qe2 (8 Qh5+ g6 9 Qe2 seems preferable) 8...Nf6 9 Bd3
c5 10 Ngf3 c4! 11 Bxc4 fxe4 12 Ne5 Bd6 with good compensation
for the pawn. Black soon had an excellent position but later
went astray. White could try 3 f3 when ...Bb7 would reach a
position which has seen before via the move order 1 d4 b5 2 e4
Bb7 3 f3 a6, e.g. 4 Be3 e6 (or 4...Nf6 5 Nh3 e6 6 Nd2 d5 7 e5
Nfd7 8 Bd3 c5 9 c3 Nc6 with a decent position,
Tatai-Ljubojevic, Palma de Mallorca 1971) 5 Nd2 d5 6 Bd3 Nf6 7
e5 Nfd7 8 f4 += Portisch-Ljubojevic, Vrsac 1971. These games
illustrate the possibility of transposing to a French type
set-up, but if Black wishes, he might well defer ...d5.}
3...Bb7 4. Bd3 {Murray Chandler has suggested the odd-looking
4 e5!? (gaining space and preventing ...Nf6) 4...e6 5 c4 bxc4
(Basman would doubtless gambit this pawn) 6 Bxc4 Bb4+ 7 Nc3
striving for control of d5, though after 7...Ne7 Black's
position looks OK.} 4...Nf6 {Attacking e4 before White has the
chance to defend with Re1. ECO mentions (by transposition)
4...e6 5 Nbd2 c5 6 dxc5 Bxc5 7 Nb3 Bb6 8 a4 +=
Spielmann-Hartingsvelt, 1914. Remarkably similar to the
present game!} 5. Qe2 e6 6. a4 {!? Premature perhaps? Of
course normal moves - O-O, Bg5, Nbd2 - are playable.} 6...c5
{!? A sharp reaction, but the natural 6...b4 is quite a
reasonable alternative. Note that White was threatening to win
a pawn by 7 e5. The text still offers the pawn, but only in
return for the bishop pair and an initiative. While playing
...c5 I felt sure Karpov would avoid such tactical lines.}
7. dxc5 {After 5 minutes thought. If 7 axb5 axb5 8 Rxa8 Bxa8 9
e5 c4 and now: (a) 10 exf6 cxd3 11 fxg7 Bxg7 12 Qxd3 when with
such an open position the bishop pair, particularly the one
lurking on a8, give excellent value for the pawn. Black might
continue quietly with 12...Qb6, or maybe 12...Qa5+!?, for
example 13 Bd2 Qa1 14 Qxb5!? Qxb1+ 15 Ke2 Bxf3+ 16 gxf3 Nc6!
17 Qxc6 Qxh1! and the black king runs to safety. (b) 10 Bxc4
bxc4 11 exf6 gxf6(!) and if 12 Qxc4 Rg8 with a fierce
initiative. 7 c3 looks more vigorous.} 7...Bxc5 {7...b4!?.}
8. Nbd2 {Again choosing the quietest path. 8 e5 was certainly
worth considering. If 8...Nd5 just 9 axb5 and 8...Ng4 9 O-O
leaves Black a bit out on a limb, e.g. 9...b4 10 h3 h5!? 11
Nbd2 followed by Ne4 or Be4. White reinforces his pawn on e4
which would be undefended after a series of captures on b5.}
8...b4 9. e5 {Less critical now as the knight can safely go to
d5.} 9...Nd5 10. Ne4 Be7 11. O-O {After this, yet another
peaceful move, Black's position is very comfortable. The last
chance to try for an advantage was 11 Bg5. Then 11...f6?! 12
exf6 gxf6?? would lose disastrously to 13 Ne5! and 12...Nxf6
is also uncomfortable. I intended 11...O-O and if 12 Nd6 Bc6
when 13 Qe4 is met by ...f5 and White must look after the
N(d6). Probably White is a little better, but Black has
chances for counterplay based on the a8-h1 diagonal, the f4
square and the break ...f6. More active is 11 Bg5.} 11...Nc6
{! Much more accurate than 11...O-O. Now if 12 Bg5 f6! 13 exf6
gxf6! followed by ...Qc7 and ...O-O-0 with a tremendously
active position and automatic kingside attack.} 12. Bd2 Qc7
13. c4 {As expected, still playing quiet moves. The only
alternative to defend the d-pawn was 13 Ng3 when Black could
either challenge in the centre with ...d6 (simplest) or ...f6
(sharper), or as his king is still uncommitted, even consider
...h5!?.} 13...bxc3 14. Nxc3 Nxc3 15. Bxc3 Nb4 {! Opening the
long diagonal and putting the knight on its best
circuit. Black has comfortably equalised.} 16. Bxb4
{Understandably, White did not want to part with his
light-squared bishop, and since 16 Bb1 is scarcely palatable,
this was the only move. Karpov later regrets his decision to
part with the bishop pair, but after 16 Be4 White would have
no means of challenging the future impregnable establishment
of a black knight on d5.} 16...Bxb4 17. Rac1 Qb6 18. Be4 {To
counteract Black's powerful queen's bishop.} 18...O-O {!}
19. Ng5 {!? After half an hour's thought. 19 Bxh7+ was
interesting - though again I was sure that Karpov wouldn't
play it! On 19...Kxh7 20 Ng5+ of course not 20...Kg8?? because
of 21 Qh5, but 20...Kh6 also fails to 21 Rc4! threatening Rh4+
and if 21...g6 22 Qg4 and Black loses the B(b4). Correct is
20...Kg6 and if 21 Qg4 either 21...f5 22 Qg3 (22 exf6 Kxf6)
22...Qd4!? to block on g4 (23 h3? Kh5! winning) or even
21...f6!?. Afterwards it was established that 19 Bxh7+ is
quite dangerous but Miles was confident that Karpov would
regard it as speculative and avoid it. The commencement of an
artificial manoeuvre which ultimately loses the game for
White. The simple 19 Bxb7 Qxb7 20 Rfd1 is perfectly adequate
for equality, whilst a further superior alternative to the
text is the complicated attacking variation 19 Bxh7+ Kxh7 20
Ng5+ Kg6 21 Qg4 f5 22 Qg3 when Black's king is in considerable
danger. NOTE: checking with the computer - 19. Bxh7+ Kxh7
20. Ng5+ Kg6 21. Qg4 f5 (21...f6 looks inferior, and 21. Qd3+
f5 22. Qg3 avoids it anyway) 22. Qg3 and now: (a) 22...Kh5 is
Fritz's first choice (intending 23 Rc4 f4!), but give it White
and it soon comes up with 23 Nh3! which looks to win,
e.g. 23...Bd2 (only move) 24 Rc4 g5 25 Qd3 g4 26 Qxd2 gxh3 27
Qxd7 Kg6 28 Rc3, while 25...Bxg2!? (Fritz) 26 Kxg2 Qb7+ 27 Kg1
g4 28 Qxd2 gxh3 fails to 29 Rh4+!. (b) Fritz's second choice
is 22...Rg8, but it then finds the very attractive 23 Rc7! Bc6
24 Nxe6+ Kf7 25 Qb3! and if 25...Ke7 26 Ng5 Qxc7 27 Qf7+ wins
- capture Rg8 and Pg7, play Qf6+ ...Ke8, Rd1 with the decisive
threat Qf7+ ...Kd8, Nf7+. (c) Miles' 22...Qd4 (Fritz's fifth
choice) probably deserves "!". White seems to have nothing
better than 23 Nxe6+ (23 h3 f4! 24 Qg4 Kh6 25 Qh4+ Kg6 is a
draw) 23...Qg4 24 Qxg4+ fxg4 25 Nxf8+ Bxf8 and Black is fine,
e.g. 26 Rfd1 Bc6 27 e6 Ra7! 28 Re1 Kf6 29 Rc4 g5/Bd6.} 19...h6
20. Bh7+ {?! Distinctly artificial. I expected 20 Bxb7 Qxb7 21
Qe4 though Black is certainly not worse in the resulting
ending. I suspect the text was rather due to the psychological
effect of 1...a6. Karpov, having got nowhere from the opening,
felt he should be doing something forceful. This is too
optimistic and White should prefer the simple 20 Bxb7.}
20...Kh8 21. Bb1 Be7 {Of course not 21...hxg5? 22 Qh5+.}
22. Ne4 {Or 22 Qd3 g6 =+.} 22...Rac8 23. Qd3 {?? A ridiculous
oversight, though Karpov played it very quickly. However,
Black's bishops already give him the edge. The battery looks
dangerous, but it never gets the chance to operate. This looks
dangerous since White is lining up his queen and bishop as a
battery against the black king. However, Miles was never one
to be scared of phantoms and he demonstrates that White's
threats are in fact hollow.} 23...Rxc1 24. Rxc1 Qxb2 {Gullibly
taking the pawn(s). White's back rank weaknesses prevents any
serious counterplay.} 25. Re1 {? This doesn't help. On 25 Rc7
Black has a pleasant choice between ...Rc8, ...g6 and ...Bc6,
and on 25 Rd1 g6 26 Qxd7 is impossible because of 26...Rd8.}
25...Qxe5 {Pinning the knight against the rook. White has
nothing to do but take back one pawn, but the game is over.}
26. Qxd7 Bb4 27. Re3 Qd5 {Simplest. It is obvious after this
move that any vestiges of a white attack have totally
evaporated and that the world champion faces a hopeless
ending, where he is material down and his pieces lack
coordination.} 28. Qxd5 Bxd5 29. Nc3 Rc8 {The liquidation has
left the world champion with a hopeless position. He is a pawn
down, his a-pawn remains weak, his opponent possesses the
bishop pair in an open situation and, to cap it all, White has
problems with his own back rank. The remainder of the game is
a mere technical exercise for one of Miles' strength.} 30. Ne2
g5 31. h4 Kg7 32. hxg5 hxg5 33. Bd3 a5 34. Rg3 Kf6 35. Rg4 Bd6
36. Kf1 Be5 37. Ke1 Rh8 38. f4 gxf4 39. Nxf4 Bc6 40. Ne2 Rh1+
41. Kd2 Rh2 42. g3 Bf3 43. Rg8 Rg2 44. Ke1 Bxe2 45. Bxe2 Rxg3
46. Ra8 {I now sealed ...Bc7} 46...Bc7 {but Karpov resigned
without resumption.} 0-1

Partieanalyse: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1068927

[Event "Biel"]
[Site "Biel"]
[Date "1992.??.??"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Karpov, Anatoly"]
[Black "Miles, Anthony J"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A40"]
[WhiteElo "2715"]
[BlackElo "2595"]
[PlyCount "69"]
[EventDate "1992.07.??"]
[Source "ChessBase"]

1. d4 e6 2. c4 Bb4+ 3. Bd2 Bxd2+ 4. Qxd2 b6 5. Nc3 Bb7 6. e4 Nh6 7. f4 f5 8. e5
Nf7 9. O-O-O g5 10. Nf3 Rg8 11. Be2 Na6 12. h3 gxf4 13. Qxf4 Qe7 14. g4 fxg4
15. hxg4 Ng5 16. d5 Nxf3 17. Bxf3 O-O-O 18. Rh6 Rg7 19. Rf6 exd5 20. cxd5 Re8
21. g5 Kb8 22. Bh5 Reg8 23. Bf7 Rc8 24. e6 dxe6 25. dxe6 Nb4 26. a3 Nc6 27. b4
Qf8 28. Nd5 Qd6 29. e7 Rxf7 30. Rxf7 Qe6 31. Rf8 Ne5 32. Rxc8+ Bxc8 33. Qf6 Qh3
34. Qxe5 Qxa3+ 35. Kd2 1-0