Playing against the Bowlder Attack

Playing against the Bowlder Attack


When I was a beginner I use to see this line a lot. I struggled against it because I did not know what to do with the black pieces. As I have got better as a chess player, I have learned how to punish this opening.

If you are a beginner reading this blog for the first time and are struggling against this line do not fear. You are not alone. Through my forum travels. I have found tons of players who suffer from the same issue and who have all asked the same question's. In fact, I have started a collection of forums in which have similar topics/discussions over this exact line.

My Forum Collection over the years:

As you can see it is still growing lol. Even though it is growing hopefully today will be the day of change for you. Today shall be the day you start punishing your opponents who play this line against you.

I intend on teaching 3 informative topics which can help your game improve for the better against this line.

  1. I will start off by clearing up some confusion most beginners have with the move 2.Bc4.
  2. I will explain to you why playing the Light Square Bishop to c4 at move 2 is bad.
  3. I will show you how to play as black to get an advantage/punish your opponents when they do this against you.

Topic 1: I will start off by clearing up some confusion most beginners have with the move 2.Bc4.

Through my experience as a chess player which I will humbly say is not a whole lot, I have found out that almost all beginners have confusion on the move 2.Bc4 based off 3 things.

  • They suffer from a beginner/amateur mind set to try and mate the king early
  • They confuse the Sicilian Defence(which is 1...c5) with that of a Kings Pawn Defence( which is 1...e5)
  • They have seen/heard other Grand Masters or World Champions play the move so they try to copy.

So I will try to take a moment to clear up some confusion and go over each one of these.

  • They suffer from a beginner/amateur mind set to try and mate the king early

This Statement is actually a true statement which I believe many if not all chess players have suffered a time or to in their life time. They try to bring out their bishop and queen to go for a quick knock out blow to get the chance to do a Scholar's mate etc. The problem is even though this might be exciting and fun. As you get stronger as a chess player this will never happen. Your opponents will eventually be able to stop you from achieving these crude mating attempts and you will eventually end up in a worse position. When you think about it they consider these idea's as faulty unsound beginner idea's now if you plan to be a strong player one day. Than you need to stop doing what faulty unsound beginners do. I'm not trying to be harsh but trying to get the point across.

Their is a difference between playing a beginner line that are sound and beginner line that are unsound. The Italian Game is some times called a beginner line. However, It is very sound and Grand Masters still play it. On the other hand moves like 2.Qh5 for example are unsound and are rarely seen in Grand Master chess any more. In fact, I only rememeber 1 Modern Grand Master who has played the move 2.Qh5. I know him by name. His name is (Nakamura). The reason I remember his name is becuase he is the only one. I ever seen play 2.Qh5 in modern chess. If I remember right he lost that game after he played Qh5. He is ranked number 3 in the world. If the person ranked number 3 in the world of chess loses the game after the move 2.Qh5 their is no hope for any of the rest of us myself included. So just keep that in the back of your mind. When you think about bringing out your queen early.

  • They confuse the Sicilian Defence(which is 1...c5) with that of a Kings Pawn Defence( which is 1...e5)

Another reason I believe beginners get confused is they learn how to play a specific line.

For Example: The Italian Game/Giuoco Piano

These lines are recommended to beginners when they first start playing chess. So most beginners try to play them. The problem is when their opponent doesn't play 1...e5 which is the Kings Pawn Game a completely different line. They get confused or don't know what to do. In their confusion or lack of knowledge they end up trying to play the same Italian Game style against the Sicilian Defence which is a completely different line.

Which if you are a beginner and you play the Italian Game against 1...e5 that is completely fine. Just be aware that the Sicilian Defence(1...c5) is a completely different line and you need to try something different against it.

However, I repeat do not play Bc4 at move 2 against the Sicilian. Never ever play 2.Bc4 against the Sicilian. Try to remember 2.Bc4 as white against the Sicilian is a No No.

If you forget to remember and play 2.Bc4 as white well than stay tuned I will show you on step 3 how your opponent as black is planning to crush you. An you better pray they forget to remember because if they don't your Doomed. If I was you I would write a sticky note or read this blog over and over till you get it.

  • The Last reason I believe beginners get confused is because they have seen/heard about Grand Masters or World Champions who have played the move so they try to copy.

One Main example is becuase of the World Champion Bobby Fischer.

Bobby Fischer use to play his Light Square Bishop to c4 and use to crush people. In fact, Their is a line named after him called The Fischer-Sozin Attack which is a good line. I will show you that line later on.

Some beginners play their Bishop to c4 becuase that is what Fischer did and they are hoping to win like him. The problem is most beginners lack the knowledge or understanding of when Fischer actually played his Bishop to c4. The Bishop move to c4 is not wrong. It's the timing that is wrong. You have play it at a certain time.

Very important for you to understand in fact I am going to underline, bold text, and make the text red so you can see the phrase very clearly lol. Playing the Bishop to c4 at move 2 against the Sicilian is bad;however, that does not mean playing it later on is bad. In certain position's it is a very good move.

Example in the Fischer-Sozin Attack the bishop goes to c4 at move 6 not at move 2 notice the timing of the move. The Bishop move comes later on. In this line the bishop to c4 at move 2 is to early it arrives to early.

So now that we have cleared up some confusion. I will move on to the second topic.

Topic 2: I will explain to you why playing the Light Square Bishop to c4 at move 2 is bad.

When you first look at it. You might wonder how can that be such a bad move. It is hitting f7 weakest square/pawn on the board only the king can defend it. Why is it so bad?

Well I will explain to you why and I am going to give you 2 metaphor's 1 for the men and 1 for the ladys.

I hope between the 2 metaphors both sides will understand lol.

For the men what I will say is. you want to treat chess almost like a poker game. You get your poker cards dealt out and you try to hide them so your opponents don't see them. Now lets pretend you get a Royal flush the best their is. Now are you going to show your opponents that you have a royal flush? No your going to want to hide those cards for dear life. You might even want to pretend your sad and you have no hope of winning. With a sad look on your face just enough to make your opponents stay guessing. Than at the very end when its all said and done that is when you want to strike and show your hand.  By that time its to late for your opponent to figure out what you have been doing. So you end up with all his money or with the check mate. That is exactly what you want to do. Keep what your going to do a secret until the last possible minute than by the time your opponents figure it all out. Its to late for them to do anything about it and you win.

For the Lady's what I will say is. you want to treat chess like going on a shopping spree. Now when you go on this shopping spree are you going to tell your husband or boyfriend your going to spend money. NO! Why because he will say NO lol. SSSSSHHHH you want to keep it a secret until the last possible moment. Your going to scout around different stores to find the purse or shoes you want. You might even wait for a discount day or something. I knew some lady's who would try to find a store which didn't accept refunds lol. Than at the last possible moment that's when your going to strike and go on the wild shopping spree and max out all the credit cards. Than by the time your husband or boy friend realizes what has happen its going to be to late for them to do anything about it. They might even say to take it all back and your going to respond with I can't honey they don't accept refunds. Than your boyfriend or husband is going to cry in the corner and your going to say doesn't my purse and shoes look so pretty. Do you see were I am going with this lady's.

I hope now the men and the lady's get the metaphor's. Now here is how it is related to chess by playing 2.Bc4. It gives the Black sided player the chance to see you hitting the f7 square.

For the men it would be like showing their opponents you have a Royal Flush at the start of the hand well thank you very much for showing me. I will fold this poker hand so you don't take my money lol.

For the lady's it would be like telling your boy friend or husband your going on a shopping spreed. Well thank you very much for telling me sweet heart. I'm calling the bank now to cancel the credit cards before you even reach the store.

Now I'm saving money. Goooo Meeee Woooo Hoooo.

So in chess how do they exploit this bishop move. I will show you with the below picture.

Do you see the problem now.

You was going to win alot of money with a Royal Flush hand.

You was going on a shopping spree.

You was hitting the f7 pawn which is the weakest pawn on the board.


I'm just happy that you let me know what you are doing. Your my favorite person right now.

Very Critical for you to understand when you play your bishop to early it shows your opponent what you are doing which means it allows black the chance to change his set up to defend against you better.

Thank you very much for reading hope you enjoyed it.

This concludes my Topic's 1 & 2.

I will continue Topic 3 in The Anti-Bowlder Attack - part 2. You can arrive to it by clicking Here.

Thanks for stopping by and remember Happy checking mating.