Stonewall Attack (Part 5)

Mar 31, 2011, 4:17 PM |


Welcome back! Hello again, and on this entry we are going to go over the FAQs of the Stonewall Attack. Some of this stuff is just review, so don't get all ready to learn much new stuff. But also, there are valuable stuff I haven't mentioned yet.


1. My opponent's annoying Bb7 move is awful. What should I do?

With that move, black seeks to control light squares on your kingside. I also find this highly annoying, so I try to limit as much space as possible.Sometimes I even change plans and push with e4 and guard my center.

2. When my opponent does the risky 1. d4 d5 2. e3 c5!? and I do 3. c3 and they respond c4, my bishop on f1 is feeling cramped!

Black is being too risky with his queenside. Because he moves his pawns out too much, they are more susceptible to your piece's views, as well as your pawns. Attack his queenside and do not be worried if your light squared bishop still can't get to d3. Try fianchettoing or something just as great for your bishop.

3. I read your blog on the 2. ...f5 defense and I was interested on capturing back on d3 with the c-pawn. But can't I just do that by responding with 3. Bd3?

No, that's too risky. Be patient with the exchanges until you know what you're doing. If you somehow lack defense on e4, then you can trade by playing Bd3. However. a knight on b4 is often looking forward to capturing your bishop, so unless you loathe your opponent's white bishop, just stick with the basic plans. 

4. What if my opponent does an immediate 1. d4 d5 2. e3 Nc6?

The common knight move speaks a thousand words. Of course, black's threatening to play e5 because of the guardian knight on c6. This almost forces you to play f4 because..... wait! This doesn't almost force you, it >MAKES< you!! the fate of e5 is just really bad for white, so never let that happen. Play f4 immediately. Then continue on to your regular Stonewalling plans.

5. What if my opponent throws something else at me, like the Englund gambit (1. d4 e5!?) or Old Benoni defense (1. d4 c5!?)? Those moves really crum my plans to make a stonewall!

I am very sorry to say that I agree. By immediately making a minority attack, white's Stonewalling will be much harder to do because of possible pushes, attacks, pressures, etc. I would just give in and play a regular queen pawn game resulting from the unorthodox moves. Just advance if your opponent tries to gambit; you can reach more space this way. 

6. When black fianchettos his dark-squared bishop and does the e6 move, I can't take advantage of it by playing Bb5!

I'm very sorry to say this, but, the Stonewall's weakness also includes the bad bishop on c1.

7. When I move my knight to e5 and they capture it with Nxe5 (from c6) which pawn do I capture it with? the f-pawn or the d-pawn?

The f-pawn of course! First of all, the d pawn is already great there, being a centralized pawn. Second, by capturing with your f-pawn, your rook on f1 (after castling) will have excellent view on black's kingside, giving you some nice space advantage. 

8. How do I response after 1. d4 d5 2. e3 Nf6 3. Bd3 Nc6 4. f4 Bg4? The bishop there is attacking my queen and I don't know a great way to react.

To be very honest, I am also uncomfortable with this. I just move Nf3 and castle so my rook can keep watch over my knight. I then would move my queen out of the pin and go on with Ne5, counterattacking the bishop. After Bh4, there isn't really a good way to keep your light squares. You might even exchange light squared bishops if you get too cramped and annoyed.

 9. If 1. d4 d5 2. e3 Nf6 3. Bd3 Bg4 then what do I do?

Simple! Just move your pawn to f3, temporarily keeping a small barrier. If Bh4, then Nf4! White's main plan is to capture the black's light squared bishop now so your own wouldn't be matched with. After Bg6, simply capture it with your knight! Though you have to move f4 using 2 tempos, it's worth it.

10. Is there another opening repertoire for the Stonewall Attack?

What an EXCELLENT question!! Yes, there is!! In fact, opening with the Birds (1. f4) instead is perferred by experienced Stonewall players to avoid the 1. d4 d5 2. e3 Nf6 3. Bd3 Nc6 line! But learning how to play the Birds and not Queen pawn version is an entire different topic, remember that. Using the Bird opening has big issues of its own, as well as transpostitions too. But d4 is more classic and common than the rare f4, so I just do it, There also isn't that many learning sources for the Bird's opening Stonewall Attack.

Remember, if you have any questions, then I would be delighted to help you out and I might even add the question here.


--------TO BE CONTINUED ON BLOG 6--------