Positional Repertoire against the Dutch Defence
Introduction and Free Preview
The Dutch Defence has the reputation of an opening, which leads to sharp and complicated struggle. The former World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik contributed much to the popularity of the Stonewall System, proving its viability for years on end at the highest level. In recent times strong grandmasters like Nigel Short and Predrag Nikolic used it with success as well, while Vladimir Malanjuk's trademark was the Leningrad variation.
The modern engines show that it is not easy for White to get an advantage in the main lines.
Instead of studying long theoretical lines (with no advantage guaranteed), GM Kiril Georgiev provides a positional weapon that is entirely based on understanding - 1.d4 f5 2.Bf4
In the introduction, GM Georgiev writes, "In my practice, I have achieved very good results by playing 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Bf4, but the text, especially in connection with 2...Nf6 3.e3 is much more flexible. For instance, 3...g6 can be answered by 4.h4! and White will not hesitate to sacrifice an exchange to the intended fianchetto."
Another benefit of delaying the early Nf3 is that in many cases, it's useful to keep the f3-square available for the bishop. Such an approach is working very well against all the systems based on ...b7-b6.
The database consists of 14 chapters which are presented in the form of model games and 15 interactive test positions.
Chapter 1 - Introduction to the Setup with ...e7-e6
The database starts with the game Skoberne - Cheparinov, 2018 which features the following move order:
1.d4 f5 2.Bf4 Nf6 3.e3 e6 4.Nf3 b6 5.Be2 Be7 6.h3
This is not the recommended setup by GM Georgiev. As you are going to see in the later chapters, he advocates 4.Be2 and keeps the option of playing Bf3 when needed. The purpose of this chapter is to provide you with a general feeling of the pawn structure.
In his annotations to the game, Kiril Georgiev shows that even in this case it's not easy for Black to achieve complete equality.
Chapter 2 - How to Fight against ...Ne4 in the Setup with ...e7-e6
This is another chapter that will be highly useful for your understanding of the Dutch Defence. The chapter features the game Rapport, R - Anton Guijarro, D, 2015. The position of interest arises after 1.d4 f5 2.Bf4 Nf6 3.e3 e6 4.Be2 Be7 5.h3 0-0 6.Nf3 Ne4
Note that the modern way of handling the opening suggests that White shouldn't commit to the early h2-h3 as in some cases the h3-square can be used for the knight. The point of the chapter, however, is to provide an understanding of the early ...Ne4 which is quite a typical idea in such structures. Kiril Georgiev explains why White should counter the early knight jump with 7.Nfd2!.
Chapter 3 - Saving a Tempo on h2-h3 in the Setups with ...e7-e6
This is the last chapter that is designed to introduce the reader to the subtleties of the arising pawn structures. This chapter is mainly based on the game Grandelius, N - Sundararajan, K, 2016. The key takeaway is that in comparison to the game Skoberne - Cheparinov (examined in Chapter 1), White managed to save a tempo on the advance h2-h3.
Refraining from h2-h3 is the modern way of handling the position. It turns out that the ideas based on ...Nh5 followed by ...Nxf4 are not dangerous at all. After recapturing exf4, is better due to his superior central control and the possibility to put pressure on the e-file.
Chapters - 4-5 - The Powerful Combination Be2&Nh3
In Chapter 4, Kiril Georgiev examines the optimal move order - 1.d4 f5 2.Bf4 Nf6 3.e3 e6 4.Be2!
By delaying Nf3, White is getting ready to answer ...b7-b6 with Bf3. The model game of the chapter Najer, E - Xie, J, 2019 continued 4...Be7 5.c4 0-0 6.Nc3 d6 7.Nh3!
This is the new and highly original way of handling this opening - the f3-square is left free and, even without a knight on it, White intends to hold the enemy e-pawn at place. Whenever Black starts preparing the advance ...e6-e5, White should be ready to prevent it by means of Bg3 followed by f2-f4.
Besides the game of Najer, this plan has been applied in the game Ambartsumova, K - Yakimenko, V, 2018 as well. This game has been dealt with in Chapter 5.
Chapter 6 - 1.d4 f5 2.Bf4 Nf6 3.e3 e6 4.Be2 Bd6
This idea for trading the London bishop is more common with a d5-pawn when doubling of the pawns has many positive points, like control over the key e5-square and a semi-opened c-file. As we are going to see in the next game, White has postponed the exchange until a move of the c7-pawn.
In general, White has several ways to keep a slight edge in this line.
Chapter 7 - The Stonewall Approach
The starting position of this chapter arises after the moves 1.d4 f5 2.Bf4 Nf6 3.e3 e6 4.Be2 d5
In general, the Stonewall setup is less effective against the systems based on Bf4. The reason is simple. Whenever Black develops his bishop to the active d6-square, White is ready to exchange it. As a rule, in Stonewall structures, the exchange of the dark-squared bishops is favourable for White. In his annotations to the current chapter, GM Georgiev shows that White manages to obtain a slight edge with normal moves.
Chapters 8 - 9 - 1.d4 f5 2.Bf4 Nf6 3.e3 e6 4.Be2 b6
The next two chapters feature the provocative 4...b6. Of course, having played 4.Be2, White is quite happy to see this move. At this point, GM Georgiev suggests the straightforward 5.Bf3 d5 6.c4.
White is ready to proceed with Nc3 followed by Nge2 and 0-0, thus obtaining a rather harmonious setup. Chapter 8 examines 6...c6 while Chapter 9 is dedicated to 6...Bb4+. In both cases, White enjoys a slight but stable edge.
Chapter 10 - 1.d4 f5 2.Bf4 Nf6 3.e3 b6
Black is planning to fianchetto his bishop before White's Be2-f3. According to the author, the most precise way to fight for an advantage is 4.Be2 Bb7 5.Bf3!
The best reaction to the early fianchetto - White immediately neutralizes that bishop. Of Black plays 5...d5, we would have a transposition to Chapters 8 and 9. In this chapter, GM Georgiev examines 5...Nc6 which obviously does not solve Black's opening problems.
Chapter 11 - 1.d4 f5 2.Bf4 Nf6 3.e3 e6 4.Be2 Nc6