Leningrad Dutch by GM Magesh and GM Arun

| 23 | Opening Theory

This week we shall study the Leningrad system in the Dutch defence. The Leningrad Dutch is an interesting dynamic opening combining many strategic and dynamic possiblities for both sides. Dutch players often argue that it is better than the King's Indian Defence because Black has already made the important move f7-f5 without losing vital tempi with Nf6-Ne8-f5-Nf6 as played in the KID.




This is the starting position of the Leningrad Dutch. Here Black controls the important square e4 in the centre and the fianchetto bishop on the kingside is often used for the defence of the king when the kingside pawns are used for offense. In today's article we shall see different ideas employed by white players to counter this Dutch system.

Our first game is between Dreev and Malanuik, URS-ch Moscow 1991. In this game white chose a solid structure and executed a clear plan. The move order in this game was slightly different but anyway it transposed later.


Dreev played this game extremely well and made it look so easy. Usually in such positions after the exchange of dark-squared bishops the kingside becomes weak and it is hard for Black to defend his kingside. Our next game is between Kramnik and Malaniuk, Olympiad Moscow 1994. 


According to theory it is important to initiate a queenside attack when opponent intends to attack on the kingside and vice versa. Sometimes it is even countered by opening the central files which is clearly evident in our first example. In both games White executed these ideas extremely well. With 1. ... f5 Black clearly shows his willingness to attack on the Kingside and it is White who has to decide on attacking on the Queenside or opening up the central files.

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