Dutch Defense

| 1 | Opening Theory

The Dutch Defence is a chess opening characterised by the moves

1. d4 f5
Image:chess zhor 26.png
Image:chess zver 26.pnga8 rdb8 ndc8 bdd8 qde8 kdf8 bdg8 ndh8 rdImage:chess zver 26.png
a7 pdb7 pdc7 pdd7 pde7 pdf7g7 pdh7 pd
a5b5c5d5e5f5 pdg5h5
a4b4c4d4 ple4f4g4h4
a2 plb2 plc2 pld2e2 plf2 plg2 plh2 pl
a1 rlb1 nlc1 bld1 qle1 klf1 blg1 nlh1 rl
Image:chess zhor 26.png

Elias Stein (1748–1812), an Alsatian who settled in The Hague, recommended the defence as the best reply to 1.d4 in his 1789 book Nouvel essai sur le jeu des échecs, avec des réflexions militaires relatives à ce jeu.

Black's 1... f5 stakes a serious claim to the e4 square and looks towards an attack on White's kingside in the middlegame. However, it weakens Black's own kingside somewhat, and does nothing to contribute to Black's development. As of 2006, the Dutch is unpopular in top-level play. It has never been one of the main lines against 1.d4, though in the past a number of top players, including Alexander Alekhine, Bent Larsen and Paul Morphy, have used it with success. Perhaps its high-water mark occurred in 1951, when both world champion Mikhail Botvinnik and his challenger, David Bronstein, played it in their championship match.

White most often fianchettoes his king's bishop with g3 and Bg2. Black also sometimes fianchettoes his king's bishop with ...g6 and ...Bg7 (the Leningrad Dutch), but may instead develop his bishop to Be7, d6 (after . . .d5), or b4 (the latter is most often seen if white plays c4 before castling). Play often runs 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 e6 4.Nf3 (4.Nh3!? is also possible, intending Nf4-d3 to control the e5 square if Black plays the Stonewall Variation) Be7 5.0-0 0-0 6.c4 and now Black chooses between 6...d5 (the characteristic move of the Stonewall Variation), and 6...d6, the Iljin-Zhenevsky System or Fluid System, rarely seen today.

White has various more aggressive alternatives to the standard 2.g3, including 2.Nc3 d5 3.Bg5; 2.Bg5 (hoping for the naive 2...h6 3.Bh4 g5 4.Bg3 (4.e4!? is also playable) f4? 5.e3 fxg3?? 6.Qh5#); and 2.e4!?, the Staunton Gambit, named after Howard Staunton. Though once a feared line, the Staunton Gambit only scores around 50 percent today, and accordingly is rarely played in high-level games. A number of gambit lines with g4 are also possible, including Korchnoi's 2.h3!? intending g4!? on the next move.

The opening's attacking potential is shown in the Polish Immortal, in which Black sacrificed all of his minor pieces.

By ManUtdForever12

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