- Edgard Colle
Edgard Colle (
Ghent, May 18 1897– Ghent, April 20 1932) was a Belgian chessmaster, who pioneered the chess openingtermed the Colle System. The Colle System, 1. d4 d5, 2. Nf3 Nf6, 3. e3 followed by Bd3, c3, and Nbd2, is a form of reversed Semi-Slav opening. This system achieved the greatest use during the era from the late 1920s into the 1930s. Colle himself played the opening from 1925 until his death, scoring excellent results in major international tournaments (first in Amsterdamin 1926, ahead of Tartakower and future world champion Euwe; first in the tournament at Meranoin 1926 ahead of Canal; and first in the tournament in Scarborough in 1930 (ahead of Maroczy and Rubinstein). Colle scored a number of notable successes with this opening, including a number of brilliancies ( Colle - O'Hanlon, Nice 1930, featuring one of the best known example of a Greek gift sacrifice, is especially famous).
Because of its solid pawn structure, logical piece placement, and coherent strategic aims, this opening is often taught to new players as a safe and dependable way to reach a playable middlegame. Thus, the Colle System is frequently seen in amateur or scholastic tournaments, but it is not seen as often in professional play. This is often attributed to the fact that this system is safe but somewhat passive. According to modern opening theory, White can get a solid position but cannot force an edge against a well-prepared opponent.
The opening gained popularity, especially in the United States, through the efforts of Belgian/American grandmaster
George Koltanowskiwho remained faithful to this system throughout his long career. He said he played it as a tribute to his friend Colle who died at a young age (in fact, it is sometimes referred to as the Colle-Koltanowski). The Colle System has been used in recent times by grandmasters Pia Cramling, Susan Polgar, and most notably Artur Yusupov, who prefers to play with b3 and a queenside fianchetto (this particular setup is known as the Colle-Zukertort).
Colle's playing career was hampered by ill health. He survived three difficult operations for a gastric ulcer and died after a fourth, at the age of 34.
last=Golombek | first=Harry |author-link=Harry Golombek
title=Golombek's Encyclopedia of Chess
* [http://www.chessworld.net/chessclubs/statistics_pgn_rating_chart.asp?username=Colle,Edgar Statistics at ChessWorld.net]
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