Sokolsky/Polish Opening (1.b4) - Baltic Defense


>>Main article: Sokolsky/Polish Opening (1.b4). Basic Opening Theory.<<

The Baltic Defense is a variation of the Sokolsky opening where Black develops his light-squared bishop outside the pawn chain to f5. 

Sometimes Black plays 2... Nf6 and then 3... Bf5 which is a transposition.

The diagram below displays the main continuation of the Baltic Defense as well as some side lines. There is also a nice trap with a poisoned pawn on move 5
in this variation. Black may fall for it if he is not careful.

The position is favorable for White. The bishop at b2 is very strong and controls the long diagonal. Black's knight at c6 is poorly placed. In case of further simplifications: 9... Qd5 10. Qxd5 Nxd5 11. Ke2 and 12. Rhc1 White will gain initiative on the queenside. After 9... Bd6 10. Nc3 and then d2-d4 White achieves advantage in the center.

>>Main article: Sokolsky/Polish Opening (1.b4). Basic Opening Theory.<<

More about the Sokolsky:
Exchange variation

Czech Defense

Outflank Variation
Main Line

King's Indian Variation
German Defense
Ware Defense
Bugayev Advance Variation
Sokolsky Gambit (Accepted)

Sokolsky Gambit (Declined)
Queen's Indian Variation
Dutch Defense

Advance Variation
Birmingham Gambit
Symmetrical Variation
Grigorian Variation