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This first one was an older game against a very good friend on here whom I used to play a lot before he got banned for cheating.
These next two games were blitz games. I also play the Stonewall quite extensively myself, and I believe that these two games here illustrate just how badly things can go for Black if he castles queenside against this opening.
One more Bird, this one an older one against a titled woman (WFM, if I remember correctly). Once again, desiring to not wait around and get strangled to death, I chose an aggressive plan.
Back to the black pieces...and back in time! This game is two years old and back then, I had a brief stint with the Sicilian before turning it down as unsuited to my style. Here though, I faced an easily stronger player and I needed to think strategically if I was going to avoid getting steamrolled. Lastly, just in case any Sicilian buffs are viewing this...no I've never studied any of the lines in-depth, and yes I realize that I most likely butchered this opening.
Last one, this time a recent game against a friend. He made some pretty major mistakes, but it's of course prudent to know how to exploit any advantage you might gain. Hence, my strategy for simplifying a superior position in this game.
Thanks for the post! I never learned how to play the stonewall so your notes were really insightful.
in the first game, I argue that Black is better on move 23. Simply 23. ...Ne4 and Black continues to strangle White.
in game 2, 16. Bxe4 followed by 16. Nxe4 is better as the Knight wants the f6 square.
did you see 21. Qe2?
I love the last game's imbalance of pieces vs the queen.
I didn't see 21. Qe2 in game number two, but I argue that 16. Nxe4 was better for what I was planning since my queenside plans appear to lose steam after I lose my light-square bishop while he retains his. I only wanted to stay on the kingside long enough to coax him over there anyway.
In the first game, why let White's center be there longer than you have to? After White plays 24. Nf2, I don't see any major advantage. 24...Nxd2 might not be in the best interest since it's White's poorest piece. If White wants to try 24. Be1, then Nf2 next move seems fine. Black wants to avoid having to play ...f5 since that totally ruins the plan of blasting open the center with ...e5.
There's another system Black can play against the Stonewall that can get pretty annoying, but I prefer the fianchetto system myself. Just seems more solid to me.
23...Nf2 24. Nf2 Nxd2 25. Qxd2 e5 and Black's active.
Active to be sure. Still, I don't see how it gives anything significantly more than my plan did. Although, I frankly was wanting to get rid of White's center as quickly as possible. I also wanted to keep tabs on the c4 square. I guess I got tunnel-visioned.
In the variation starting at move 26, what if 27. Qf2? Seems like there'd still be enough counterpressure on e5 as long as the queen is defended when she moves.
And in the main line, aren't you assuming that White will capture with 27. dxe5? Sure Black will get a passed pawn, but...what good is it if it can't advance?
Not trying to be rude of course, but...well I always look for the holes in my own plans before I start examining those of my opponent and I've come to not trust "appearances" that suggest I'm winning. 'Course, I'm sure you know more about chess than I do and I usually end up losing these debates.
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