Openings for Tactical Players: Dutch Defense

Openings for Tactical Players: Dutch Defense‎

GM Gserper
30 | Tactics

The Dutch Defense is one of those openings where Black doesn't hide his intentions and starts preparing a King's side attack from the very first moves. The Stonewall variation is one of the most positionally sound lines of the Dutch.  It is a well known rule that in most cases a strike in the center is the best response to an attack on the side of the board.  That's why before launching his attack Black closes the center. This line became very popular at some point thanks to numerous efforts of Mikhail Botvinnik.  Black's strategic plan is very simple.  First he places his pawns on the c6, d5, e6 and f5 squares (this formation resembles a wall and that's how the opening got its name).  Then the Black Knight goes to e4, the Queen goes to h5 via the e8 square and the Rook lift (Rf8-f6-h6) competes his dangerous attacking set up. The next game is a good example of how just one spark can lead to a fire in White's position.

(Just like in all my articles I give you a chance to test your attacking skills, so the games are given as a Quiz.  Please remember that you can always replay the whole game from the first move if you click "Solution" and then "Move list".)



An equally beautiful finish happened in the following game which got the name "the Polish Immortal".
The next Botvinnik's game is one of his classic wins on the Black side of the Dutch that made the opening popular worldwide.  Black conducted his attack very energetically!
The last game played by two modern GMs demonstrates that even today the Dutch Stonewall is a very dangerous weapon.
As you could see, the Dutch Stonewall is an extremely aggressive opening that has produced many chess brilliancies.  You might want to give it a try.  Who knows, maybe the next Dutch immortal game will be yours?
Good luck!
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