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Why the London system is an easy opening to play

Why the London system is an easy opening to play

Jun 24, 2017, 1:31 AM 4
In this rapid game that I played I was surprised to see that I had made 24 excellent moves, 3 good moves, and no bad moves (at all). In this game, which I played this morning, I realised that the general ideas behind the moves that I was playing, were really simple, and I was very happy to enter an endgame a whole piece up, albeit achieved by a tactical miscalculation on my opponents part.
Highlighted in bold are the simple ideas listed.
As soon as I could send Harry (the H pawn) charging up the board, like one of Hannibal`s elephants, my opponents king-side fell apart, and his king became fatally exposed. A simple idea I played was 0-0-0, to double up the rooks easily on the g-file, and my opponent couldn`t easily contest this.
This opening is definitely one which I would recommend to beginners, since it is such a solid setup, with the pyramid structure. To play this opening, there is much less theory than in the queen`s gambit, where you have to adapt readily to the different defences black may choose, and if you drop your attention for one move, then you may well fall apart.
This is a position, which arose from a London system, and it highlights the sorts of traps that are available, for white to create. My opponent didn`t play the move exf4, seeing the danger, and instead lauched a king-side pawn storm (unfortunately too slow, with h5-h4) I doubled up on the open e file, and won the endgame.


I`m going to first of all state that I did have time odds, of 3 minutes against LonerDruid`s 1 minute, (and he did have some lag), but I managed to play another simple idea, and gain a winning position from it. I played a pawn sacrifice line, to open up the h-file,  and my opponent "took the bait". A few moves later, I played a simple combination of kicking the knight away, then checking my opponent with my bishop, and this pushed my opponent`s king onto the h8 square, which was aligned to my rook on h1, and the pressure soon mounted on h7. I did make a blunder in this game, because I missed a forced win, but this only gave my opponent a little chance, because I was already winning. I played another three games against my opponent LonerDruid, and lost them all - perhaps I would have won my other game against him as white if I had played the London system again!
Summary of the main middlegame ideas
  1. Open up the H - file (or another file depending on the position), even at the cost of a pawn, because later on this can help your rooks become active.
  2. Once black has played g7-g6 a good strategic idea is often to play h4, then h5, to try to open up the king-side.
  3. Long castling can work well - it does for me - especially with an open h-file.
  4. If your opponent plays Qb6 try to play Qb3, but if you can`t play b3.
  5. Play Qb3 in some positions, especially after black moves his light squared bishop off the c8 square, because it can attack both b7 and f7 simultaneously, and for more of a sting aim one of your knights at the f7 square before you do this.
If you want to see the game on youtube here is the link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rYPdHiFD9g&t=295s
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