Secret weapon against the Dutch

Secret weapon against the Dutch


I`m a big fan of the Dutch defence ( I`ve got the Ginger_GM day vay day), and I`ve had mixed success with the opening. I like the idea of putting all your pieces on the kingside, and going for checkmate, who doesn`t? (please don`t reply to this - it`s a rhetorical question). However, in this article I`m focusing on white`s perspective, because I have noticed a pattern, and want to share a secret weapon against the Dutch, for those of you who fear this mighty opening (including myself).

Let me give you an example first of all, and you can guess what the theme is...


 The strength of g4

In the previous game, the g pawn was a great attacking piece, because it diverted the knight from defending the weak h7 square. In many variations, black will struggle to hold onto his pawn on g4, after capturing, so white should often target this pawn by playing moves such as e4 to open a diagonal for the queen (on the light squares). Often your opponent, who plays the Dutch will be shocked by your g4 move, and this may give you a psychological advantage too, since they want to attack on the king-side, but you are delivering the first punch, putting them on the defensive. There are two main ways I think you will enter this great attack with the g pawn, and they are both shown below:


There is also a third way, and this links back to the first example, by playing the London system against 1....e6:


Just to prove to you that this isn`t a load of rubbish, in the opening explorer Ginger_GM, who is the world`s leading expert in the Dutch defence (on opening explorer) has lost 2/2 games (against different players) after the following moves...1.d4, e6 2.c4, f5 3. g4 then they both continued ....fxg4 4.h3 g3 and fxg3.


How can you play the Dutch, when you know your opponent has this secret weapon? Well, there are certain set-ups that allow you to gain a reasonable position...I recommend

  • Adopting a Leningrad Dutch setup where you fianchettoe your bishop on g7 after playing g6, and then castling 0-0.
  • b4 might be a sensible way to try to break up the big central pawn mass.
  • Don`t allow white to gain too much control of the light squares.
  • Start a counterattack on the queen-side.

Here is a game against a higher rated player (@LonerDruid), where I played well against the g4 gambit, but I lost at the end due to a tactical motif.

Thanks for reading my article, I hope you have found it at least interesting if not helpful, and I will look forward to playing the Dutch against some of you in the future...


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