Anti-Dutch: the Raphael Variation & the Jobava Attack
Dec 12, 2017, 10:30 AM
One of the most interesting and unsettling ways to play against the Dutch is to go 2. Nc3! preparing the Staunton Gambit idea of e4. If Black responds with the Classical move Nf6 s/he will have to face Bg5 & if he continues with e6, then e4 (if s/he continues with the better Stonewall move of d5, then comes the Trompowsky style Bxf6). This means that 2. Nc3 prevents Black from playing the Classical the way s/he wants to.
I recommend you check out this video
by Varuzhan Akobian talking about one of his own beautiful games in this line against Pavel Tregubov from 2009. You should also take a look at this game collection
Similarly, if Black responds with the Leningrad move g6, s/he will have to face e4 or, even better, Harry-4. Again, this means that 2. Nc3 prevents Black from playing the Leningrad the way s/he wants to.
Black's main way of meeting 2. Nc3! is to prevent e4 once and for all with the Stonewall move 2...d5. Thus, with Nc3 you're sort of forcing Black to play a Stonewall (which might not be what they usually play). And this brings us to the Jobava Attack setup with 3. Bf4!
You can get the same position from a London move order, if Black chooses to play the Dutch on the 2nd move. For example:
Let's now look at the main ideas from this position. Black's most natural way of responding is 3. ... Nf6, but this gives White very nice play:
Black's best response is to play 3...a6 instead. Here, however White can try an interesting idea from GM Mesgen Amanov:
I hope this has given you some ideas about how to face the Dutch!