Opening Workshop 2014

Work in progress...

How to decide if the Dutch Defence is good for you
Just taking the Dutch Defence as an example...

Do you think it suits you? (Do your friends think it suits you?)
Do the ideas you read about go into your memory?
Do the ideas you remember actually turn up in your games?
Do you get good results with it?
Do the results in your games have anything to do with the opening?
Can your opponents avoid the lines you like to play?

Philidor's Defence -- see recent post

London System
Some opening systems are 'good': they are played by Grandmasters and
have enough point to give other Grandmasters some problems in getting
equality as Black.

Some opening systems are not so good: they are rarely played by GMs and
don't have enough about them to give other GMs problems.

What does all this have to do with club players?

A good opening for a club player is one that gives your opponents problems.

And the London System? It's not generally considered to set enough
problems to be played against GMs, although some GMs will use it as a
'rabbit-bashing' system, keeping out of theory and known equalising and
simplifying lines.

In amateur play, it may be possible to learn a a defence against the
London System which is enough to put White off playing it. If your
opponents don't know any such defence, your greater familiarity with the
system may give you great practical chances.

A good example of White's practical chances:

[Event "Olympiad"]
[Site "Nice (France)"]
[Date "1974.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Josef Pribyl"]
[Black "Jonathan Penrose"]
[ECO "D02"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "75"]

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 c5 3.c3 e6 4.Bf4 Nf6 5.e3 Be7 6.Nbd2 O-O 7.Bd3
b6 8.Ne5 Bb7 9.Qf3 Nc6 10.Qh3 g6 11.Bh6 Re8 12.f4 Nd7 13.O-O
f5 14.Ndf3 Ncxe5 15.fxe5 Bf8 16.Ng5 Bxh6 17.Qxh6 Nf8 18.Rf3
Re7 19.g4 Rg7 20.Raf1 Qd7 21.Kh1 Qe7 22.h4 Bc8 23.Rg3 a5
24.Rfg1 Ra7 25.Nh3 Qd8 26.Nf4 c4 27.Be2 Raf7 28.gxf5 exf5
29.Bf3 Be6 30.Qg5 Qxg5 31.Rxg5 Rd7 32.h5 Kf7 33.R1g2 Ke8
34.hxg6 hxg6 35.Kg1 Kd8 36.Bh5 Rh7 37.Bxg6 Rh3 38.Nxh3 1-0

[Event "Amber Tournament (Rapid)"]
[Site "Nice FRA"]
[Date "2009.03.16"]
[EventDate "2009.03.14"]
[Round "3"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Gata Kamsky"]
[Black "Levon Aronian"]
[ECO "D02"]
[WhiteElo "2725"]
[BlackElo "2750"]
[PlyCount "102"]

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Bf4 c6 4. e3 Bg4 5. c4 e6 6. Qb3 Qc8
7. Ne5 Bf5 8. Nc3 Nbd7 9. Be2 Ne4 10. cxd5 exd5 11. Nxe4 Bxe4
12. Bg4 f5 13. f3 fxg4 14. fxe4 Bd6 15. Nd3 Bxf4 16. Nxf4 Nf6
17. exd5 g5 18. dxc6 Qxc6 19. Nd3 Qd5 20. O-O Qxb3 21. axb3
O-O 22. Rf5 Ne4 23. Re5 Rae8 24. Rf1 Rxe5 25. Rxf8+ Kxf8
26. Nxe5 h5 27. b4 Ke7 28. Kf1 Ke6 29. Ke2 Kd5 30. b3 a6
31. Nc4 Kc6 32. Kd3 Nf2+ 33. Kc2 h4 34. Kd2 h3 35. gxh3 gxh3
36. Ne5+ Kb5 37. Ke2 Ne4 38. Ng4 Kxb4 39. Kd3 Nd6 40. e4 Kxb3
41. e5 Nf7 42. Nf2 g4 43. Ne4 Nh6 44. d5 Nf7 45. Kd4 Nh6
46. d6 Nf5+ 47. Kd5 a5 48. d7 Ne7+ 49. Kd6 Nc6 50. e6 a4
51. e7 Nxe7 1-0

A good example of Black's strongest defence:

[Event "d-Pawn Specials"]
[Site "ChessPub Guide"]
[Date "2009.06.14"]
[Round "?"]
[White "London System"]
[Black "1...d5 without ...e6"]
[Result "*"]
[Annotator "Eric Prie"]
[ECO "D02"]
[EventDate "2009.12.03"]
[PlyCount "30"]
[Source "ChessPublishing"]

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Bf4 c5 $1 4. e3 Nc6 $1 5. c3 Qb6 6. Qb3 c4 7.
Qxb6 axb6 8. Na3 { This is the only way to stop Black's plan of
...b5-b4.} 8... Ra5 { Probably the most accurate, controlling b5, but
you can happily play } (8...e6) ({or even risk} 8...Ra3) 9. Bc7 Bf5 10.
Bxb6 Ra6 11. Bc7 Kd7 12. Nb5 $1 e6 13. Be2 Be7 14. Bd1 Rha8 15. a4 Na7
{ with good chances, Legky,N-Cvetkovic,S/Vrnjacka Banja 1989.} *

[Event "d-Pawn Specials"]
[Site "ChessPub Guide"]
[Date "2009. 6.14"]
[Round "?"]
[White "London System"]
[Black "1...d5 without ...e6"]
[Result "*"]
[Annotator "Eric Prie"]
[ECO "D02"]
[PlyCount "30"]

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Bf4 c5 $1 4. e3 Nc6 $1 5. c3 Qb6 6. Qb3
(6.Qc2 Bf5! 7.Qc1 {doesn't look great for White} (7.Qxf5? Qxb2!))
6...c4 7. Qc2
Bf5 8. Qc1 h6 9. h3 e6 10. Nbd2 Qd8 { Prie: I believe Black has no
problems here, and can even fight for the initiative on the queenside.
What is interesting about this game, is that Black takes the fight to
his opponent in the centre.} 11. Be2 { is solid although I still like
Black,} 11... b5 $1 12. Ne5 Nxe5 13. Bxe5 Bd6 { and Black's queenside
space advantage is the decisive factor, Gonzalez Maza,R-Prie,E/Olot
2005} *

But can White avoid this defence by a clever move order?!

[Event "d-Pawn Specials"]
[Site "ChessPub Guide"]
[Date "2010.09.16"]
[Round "?"]
[White "London System"]
[Black "1...d5 2 Bf4"]
[Result "*"]
[Annotator "Johanssen/Prie"]
[ECO "D00"]
[PlyCount "25"]

1. d4 d5 2. Bf4!? c5 3. e3 Nc6 4. c3 Nf6 5. Nd2! Bf5 ({if} 5...Qb6 6.Qc2!
Bf5?? 7.Qxf5! {and Black's trick is not so good any more} )
6. Ngf3
(6.Qb3 Qd7!)
7. Qb3 c4 8. Qxb6 axb6 9. a3 b5 10. Rc1 h6 (10...Nh5!) 11. h3 Nd7 12. Be2 Nb6 13.
Bd1 Na4 {=} *

Does it matter if Black can equalise with ...Bd6?

[Event "d-Pawn Specials"]
[Site "ChessPub Guide"]
[Date "2010.09.16"]
[Round "?"]
[White "London System"]
[Black "1...d5 2 Bf4"]
[Result "*"]
[Annotator "Aagaard/Lund"]
[ECO "D00"]
[PlyCount "25"]

1. d4 d5 2. Bf4!? e6 3. e3 Bd6 4. Bxd6 Qxd6 5.Qg4!? *

Scheveningen Sicilian for Black


The original Scheveningen was

Approaching via Najforf move order
avoid g4, allow Bb5+

Approaching via Taimanov move order
take sting out of g4, allow c4

Chess Quotes

"Those who say they understand chess, understand nothing"
— Robert HUBNER