Leningrad Dutch with 1...e6
We are happy to present another fascinating course by GM Mihail Marin - Leningrad Dutch with 1...e6. The starting position of the course arises after 1.d4 e6
In the introduction to the current course, GM Marin writes, "Over the decades, the Leningrad Dutch has been a regular guest in my games, even though its frequency has varied. During the past years, I have also played 1...e6 a lot in my games as Black, when White started with 1.d4. I like the structural plans in the Dutch, and I consider 1...e6 a very flexible move if one is ready to play the French Defence after 2.e4. Until recently, I did not imagine that there could be a connection between the two systems, though. This game opened for me a whole new horizon, which I wish to share with you."
Marin was inspired to create this course after seeing the game Salimova,N - Muzychuk, A, 2023. This game continued 2...f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 g6!?
Here is what the author has to say about this move order: "This came as a surprise.
I remember that the late grandmaster Theodor Ghitescu, who was my trainer a long time ago, used to define a "patzer" as a "...g7-g6 and ...e7-e6 player". This is just a joke, of course, since there are many systems where these two moves fit together well, but Ghitescu had in mind such cases when this combination of plans creates chronic weaknesses.
Black switches to a system used by Botvinnik in his first match with Tal in a moment when things had gone astray for him and he badly needed to win.
In fact, this strong need to achieve a certain result is familiar to me when I play the Leningrad Dutch. I remember that when asked how I play such a risky opening, I automatically answered, "I play it when I need to win. When I absolutely need to draw, too!"
I will not embark on a longer philosophical discussion here, but the essence is that it is an opening you can rely on under certain circumstances, depending also on the mood.
The Muzychuk sisters had the Leningrad Dutch in their repertoire more than a decade ago, when they used to represent Slovenia. I knew that they were using the 7...e6 system frequently, and I associated this with the fact that the outstanding Leningrad expert Malaniuk, also a Ukranian player also tried it in several games."
In the database, GM Marin covers all the possible move orders that White can choose after 1.d4 e6:
1) 2.g3 f5 3.Bg2 Nf6 4.c4 Bb4+
2) 2.g3 f5 3.Bg2 Nf6 4.Nh3 Be7
3) 2.c4 f5 3.Nc3 Nf6
4) 2.Nf3 f5 3.h3/3.Bg5/3/Bf4
The main position, however, is being reached after 2.Nf3 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 g6 5.0-0 Bg7 6.c4 (alternatives to 6.c4 are covered as well) 6...0-0 7.Nc3 d6
GM Mihail Marin makes the following comment on this important tabiya:
Here we are, in the main tabyia of the Botvinnik/Muzychuk Leningrad!
If we compare this position with those arising after 7...Qe8, 7...c6 or 7...Nc6 in the usual Dutch, we may think that Black has wasted a tempo. His main plan is to advance his pawn to e5, is it not?
Things are not that crystal clear. First of all, in all those main lines, White can play 8.d6, switching to a different structure and forcing Black to abandon his initial dreams. Secondly,...e7-e6 can be useful in several moments, especially if Black plays ...Ne4, when after the exchange, he could consolidate the central pawn with ...d6-d5.
As a conclusion, I would like to remind you that in Dresden, I played this system a few times without full preparation, achieving 2,5 out of 3. After wroking on this article, I am ready to do it frequently in the future. I hope that you will enjoy the opening yourself!
The course consists of 39 theoretical chapters, 39 interactive test positions, a Memory Booster, and a Video Version (4h and 30min Running Time.
It goes without saying that this database is a perfect match for French Defence players. If you are not a French player, we strongly advise you to combine the current product with the excellent course of GM Ivan Cheparinov French Defence - Top-Level Repertoire for Black.