Sokolsky/Polish Opening (1.b4) - Outflank Variation


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

The Outflank Variation is a frequent defense by Black  at high level. In the following diagram you can see the initial set-up of this variation:

Another "refutation" of the Sokolsky Opening Smile Some chess authors even relate this defense to special anti-Sokolsky systems (the same way as some authors treat the Exchange variation). However these approaches seem overrated and White has enough resources to handle these so called "refutations".

There are 3 fundamental continuations for White after 1. b4 c6.

I. 2. Bb2 - the most popular response:

Schuehler Gambit

Watch out for possible 2... a5!? by Black! This aggressive move practically forces White to sacrifice a pawn. White will have to play accurately  so as not to lose the initiative and it is recommended to play 3. b5!? (the Schuehler Gambit) which best handles this defense.

II. 2. e3 - may transpose into similar positions as after 2. Bb2:

III. 2. c4 - not as popular as 2. Bb2 and gives Black chances to equalize:

The Outflank Variation has been promoted by some chess authors during the years - that's why it is on everyone's lips and has been frequently played in recent years. It is a good and playable defense for Black - not more or less. And by no means it is a panacea for 1. b4 Smile  

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

More about the Sokolsky:
Exchange variation

Czech Defense

Main Line
Baltic Defense
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