Play the London System
Nowadays, nobody considers the London System to be an offbeat opening. It can be seen on all levels - from amateur players to the World Champion Magnus Carlsen. What makes this opening so attractive?
There are two major advantages that make London so popular:
1) White's concept is based on a solid positional foundation
2) You do not need tons of computer analysis to play it since understanding is what matters
In this database, the Indian Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta build a practical London repertoire for White. Besides the theoretical chapters, this database has Video Version, Memory Booster and Computer Practice.
Now, we shall take a look at the different chapters of the database.
The first thing that we need to consider is the suggested move order. While after 1.d4 Nf6, Gupta suggests the typical London move order starting with 2.Bf4, he answers 1...d5 with 2.Nf3. The reason is that after 1.d4 d5 2.Bf4, Black has 2...c5 which is a bit problematic.
The database starts with the examination of the setups based on ...d7-d5 and ...e7-e6. Gupta calls them Queen's Gambit Declined setups.
The first important starting position arises after 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bf4
Since many move orders and transpositions are possible here, the author is more focused on the different setups. The main focus of Chapter 1 is the currently fashionable independent setup arising after 3...c5 4.e3 e6 5.c3 Bd6
The idea of this tricky move order is that if White goes for the main line with 6.Bg3 0-0 7.Nbd2 0-0 8.Bd3, Black has 8...Nbd7
It's clear that Black won the battle for the e5-square and will follow with ...e6-e5 soon.
Therefore, in Chapter 1, Gupta suggests 6.Bd3
White saves a tempo on Bg3 and can fight for the e5-square by means of Nbd2 followed by Ne5 and Ndf3. In order to use this move order, you should have a good understanding of the pawn structure arising after ...Bxf4 exf4. The author provides in-depth explanations of this important structure.
The starting position of Chapter 2 is being reached after 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bf4 c5 4.e3 Nc6 5.Nbd2
This is the most precise move order for White. The idea is to answer 5...Qb6 with 6.dxc5. Actually, this line (covered in the current chapter) is one of the most concrete approaches that Black employs in the entire London System. Besides, 5...Qb6, Gupta examines a bunch of alternative options. He deals with 5...Bg4, 5...Nh5, 5...cxd4, and 5...Bf5. As becomes clear from the annotations to the current Chapter, in all these lines, Black faces at least practical problems.
Chapter 3 is dedicated to the absolute mainlines in the QGD setup.
The first important position is being reached after 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bf4 e6 4.e3 Bd6 5.Ne5
Once again, White refrains from wasting time with Bg3 since in this case, Black will win the fight for the e5-square. Gupta advocates a concept that is relatively new. After providing the e5-knight with the necessary support, White starts winning kingside space by pushing the h-pawn. It turns out that Black faces practical issues in the arising positions.
The other important line covered in the chapter arises after 3...c5 4.e3 Nc6 5.Nbd2 e6 6.c3
With the knight already being committed to c6, White can answer 6...Bd6 with 7.Bg3. The reason is that 7...Qc7 runs into 8.dxc5. In the line 6...Bd6 7.Bg3, Gupta suggests a fresh attacking concept that has already been tested by some strong grandmasters. Black is still struggling in these lines.
Besides 6...Bd6, the author also deals with three other moves - 6...cxd4, 6...Nh5, and 6...Be7. In all the cases, White maintains at least a more pleasant position.
The starting position of Chapter 4 is being reached after 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3
In this chapter, Gupta examines some sidelines that Black might choose on move 2 - mainly Slav Setups and Chigorin setups. The author makes an important clarification, "Since the Slav setups can be the subject of an entire book, it will be impossible to cover them in the most extensive way. Therefore, at this point, I will restrict myself from providing you with important reference points. This knowledge will be enough to make you confident when playing these positions in your games."
The next Chapter 5 is called Nimzo/QID Setup. The starting position is being reached after 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 e6 3.Nf3 b6
This move will be the usual choice of NID/QID players. Black can also start with ...c7-c5. The advance ...c7-c5, however, does not have independent value since later on Black will either play ...b7-b6 (transposing to the main line of this chapter) or ...d7-d5 (transposing to the QGD setups). In all these lines, positional ideas and plans are far more important than concrete theory. The author does a great job explaining the subtleties behind the different setups.
The next Chapter 6 examines the KID/Pirc setup. After 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 g6, Gupta suggests 3.Nc3
Here is how the author justifies his choice:
This is my preferred way of fighting against the ...g7-g6 setup. Recently, this continuation is known as Jobava Attack. White is preparing the advance e2-e4. At the same time, he is ready to answer ...d7-d5 with Nb5. In this chapter, we shall take a look at the Pirc setup.
This chapter deals with the setup based on ...d7-d6. After e2-e4, White usually follows with Qd2 and Bh6, thus going for a kingside attack. Of course, Black can choose among a variety of move orders and White often needs to adjust his play. In general, however, White has fantastic attacking possibilities in all these lines.
The main starting point of the last chapter (Chapter 7) is being reached after 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3
White's main idea is to answer 4...Bg7 with 5.Nb5. Against slow setups, White is even ready to play Qd2 followed by 0-0-0 and h2-h4. Besides 4...Bg7, Gupta covers a variety of options for Black in this position. Once again, understanding the main ideas and concepts is more important than the knowledge of concrete theory.
In all the lines, Gupta shows how White can pose practical problems to his opponent.
At the end of the database, you will find 3 model games and 10 interactive test positions.
Additionally, the Memory Booster, as well as the Computer Practice features, will prepare you for your future London encounters!