Anthony J. Miles (1955-2001) was a British grandmaster known for his activity and creativity. His rivals were Keene and Short. Grandmaster Tony Miles played the main lines and lesser known openings like 1…Nc6. I remember Miles beat the then World Champion Anatoly Karpov with 1.e4 a6 and again with 1.e4 c6.
Elijah Williams was one of the leading players in England during the Howard Staunton era in the 1800s. Opening theory was not well developed. Elijah Williams was known to play strategically sound openings that were what we might call offbeat. Williams tried 1.e4 Nc6 long before Aron Nimzowitsch played it. His earliest recorded Queens Knight Defence was from 1845. His handling of it was amazingly modern with 2.Nf3 d6.
The strategy behind the Williams idea is to play ...Bg4 combined with Nf6, e6 and Be7. Black's central pawns will likely advance to d5 or e5 depending on later developments. It's not super aggressive chess, but it takes away some of White's fun. This line is easy to set-up. Black must push back as soon as he is ready to avoid playing passively, and thus poorly. Many other players have added this variation to their repertoire. Some of the more notable were Rainer Knaak, Hugh Myers and Tony Miles. In this game Michael Rohde lost to Anthony Miles in the Queens Knight Defence. I lost to Rohde in the 1974 US Junior Open blitz tournament, but there I began just 1…c6 instead of 1…Nc6.
Rohde - Miles, Masters Invitational Chicago (6), 1990 begins 1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.d5 Nb8 5.Nc3 g6 6.Bg5 Bg4 7.Qd2 Bxf3 8.gxf3 Nbd7 9.0-0-0 c6 10.Kb1 Bg7 11.Bh6 [11.Rg1+/=] 11...Bxh6 12.Qxh6 Qb6 13.Bh3 Ne5 14.Rhg1 Qxf2 15.f4 Nc4 16.e5 Nh5 17.exd6 Qxf4 18.d7+ [18.Rg5=] 18...Kd8 19.Rg5 [19.Qxf4 Nxf4-/+] 19...Nxb2 20.Kxb2 Qb4+ 21.Kc1 Qxc3 22.Rd3 Qe1+ 23.Kb2 Qb4+ [23...f5!-+] 24.Rb3 Qd4+ 25.Kb1 f5 [25...c5!-/+] 26.Rxb7 [26.Bxf5 Qd1+ 27.Kb2 Qxd5 28.Bh3=] 26...Qd1+ 27.Kb2 Qxd5 28.Rxh5 [28.Bxf5 c5-/+] 28...c5 29.Qg7 [29.Rb5 gxh5-+] 29...Qxb7+ 30.Kc1 Qh1+ 0-1
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