Classical Dutch Strategy 3 - Strategic Disasters

Classical Dutch Strategy 3 - Strategic Disasters


Welcome everyone!

Finally after a month long hiatus I am back writing again! Clearly my inspiration for writing is something that ebbs and flows, and at the moment it flows...

Here are the first 2 issues:

This issue will be rather different to the first two in the series, because instead of taking a pawn structure as the central theme, I will be presenting to you an assorted collection of catastrophic cases of error in strategy. The diagram positions are completely unrelated apart from the fact that they arose from a Classical Dutch opening. Let's begin...

1) Imprisoning the King with f4-f3

This position arose in a friendly game I played down my local club. White didn't play the opening particularly well, allowing me to close down the centre and manoeuvre my pieces over to the kingside without any trouble. 3/4 pairs of minor pieces had been exchanged, so an endgame seemed feasible, but I would be better then, because white has some static weaknesses, notably the pawns on c4 and e4, which can be targeted with rooks or the king, but then white played a positional blunder, that gave me a strategically winning position. Here it is:

2) 2 Connected Passers

A couple of weeks ago, I was down in Telford in one of the 4NCL weekenders, and one of my opponents managed to stumble into fresh-off-the-shelf opening theory that I had read all about in Williams' 'the Killer Dutch'. For those of you who are aquainted with this book, it is the line that goes: 1. d4 f5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 Be7 5. Bg2 d6 6. 0-0 0-0 7. Nc3 reaching the mainline position, and then 7... Ne4 8. Nxe4 dxe4 9. Nd2 d5 10. f3 Nc6 11. fxe4 Rxf1+ and now out of the four possible recaptures white goes 12. Nxf1 when I continued 12...dxc4 with a messy but interesting and unbalanced position. My opponent then played the dubious 13. e3 which Williams says 'allows active play after 13...e5!?' I wasn't aware of this move at the time, so opted for 13...Rb1 getting my rook out of any long diagonal tactics and preapring b7-b5 (which came next move!). While the Classical Dutch usually leads to kingside play, this particular variation demands play on the queenside. It seems you can't just attack in every game... Here is the danger of 2 connectors...

3) A Shattered Kingside 

In this next game, it was white's decision to take the pawn on f4 that lost the game. After this move, and the trades that ensued, the position was opened up to black's favour, when the white king really was exposed. Sometimes as the defender you have to leave the pieces alone on that side of the board and start some counterplay on the other. Here is how black can attack the white king after the unfortunate gxf4...

Last September, I played a game where my opponent committed the same crime of taking on f4, and I thought that strategically I must be doing excellently - The attack goes like clockwork, and while white did have the g-file under control, the h2 square was a real target, which could have soom been attacked. In the game, I managed to blunder the exchange, but for some reason my opponent returned it, and the resulting endgame was quite favourable for me, although the actual reason he lost was because his time management was atrocious - I must have been at least half an hour up on the clock on move 25, and I even arrived 12 minutes late to the game, but that is another story for another day...

4) Problems on the h-File

After white castles kingside, the only defender of the h2 pawn is the king, so a knight on g4 and a queen on the h-file would threaten Qxh2#. If white plays the move h2-h3, then this pawn will often be lost, because white has a light squared bishop controlling this square. Then how can white deal with this problem? If h2-h4, then g5 will open the position up favourably for black. Perhaps don't let the knight stay on g4 to begin with - Probably the best solution, but not always possible, let's see the troubles that can arise on a weakly defended h-file...

Stay tuned for the next article in this series, bye!

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