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

Apr 11, 2014, 9:06 AM |

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

The Exchange variation is the most frequent line you'll face in the 1.b4 opening (according to database). Some hotheads even call this variation a refutation of the Sokolsky Opening Undecided However, as you will see it further, this "refutation" will be refuted. 

Below will be given a theoretical approach to this line of the Sokolsky.

Classical Theory

There are two main lines in the Exchange variation depending on Black's response. 

I. 1.b4 e5 2. Bb2 Bxb4 3. Bxe5 - the most popular line:

II. 1.b4 e5 2. Bb2 d5 3. Bxe5 Nc6 4. Bb2 Nxb4:

Compared to the first line Black is less active here (dark-squared bishop occupies e7 instead of b4).

Modern Approach

Latest theoretical researches recommend the following improvement for Black in the first line of the Exchange Polish - 5... Re8! Surprised

This line seems very dangerous for White! Can it be the refutation of the Sokolsky Opening?
Luckily not. IM Palliser saved all 1.b4 fans and found an improvement for White in this variation - 5. a3! Tongue Out

Of cource this line should be examined more thoroughly. Black can find new improvements such as a tricky 5. a3! Re8!? 
Still the 5... Nc6 variation remains very popular. However if you are afraid of 5... Re8! - play 5. a3! as a prophylactic move then!

Kucharkowski-Meybohm Gambit

Sharp attacking players could try an aggressive Kucharkowski-Meybohm Gambit 3. f4!? which will definitely shock your opponents in blitz and rapid games!

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

More about the Sokolsky:
Czech Defense
Outflank Variation
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