Playing against the Bowlder Attack - 2

Playing against the Bowlder Attack - 2


Topic 3: I will show you how to play as black to get an advantage/punish your opponents when they play 2.Bc4 against you in the Sicilian.

So far I have showed you 1 move that black does which ends up messing whites whole plan 2...e6.

So now that I know what your planning to do as white. Now I can better defend myself against you.

Going back to the 2 metaphors

For the men, Its like when your opponent notices a tell tell sign about you. For example when you was holding your Royal Flush Hand they might of noticed you getting overly excited or breathing heavy so now when ever you get overly excited or start breathing heavy they will fold all their hands against you.

For the women, Its like now that your boy friend or husband knows that your planning to spend money now not only are they going to cancel the credit cards but now they are going to withdraw all the cash from the bank account so you can't sneak in their and spend it.

Do you see how it goes from bad than to worse than to night mare.

In chess first they try to blunt your bishop with the e6 move stopping it from hitting f7 than they spend the rest of the game trying to hit your bishop.

2.Bc4 is a sin by white and shall be punished and usually is punished ultimately by allowing black the chance to develop in the center or on the queen side faster.

Black will use whites premature bishop move to gains tempos from the bishop by hitting the bishop with pawns.

So lets see some pictures and diagrams on how exactly this ends up happening. In this example lets pretend white just trys to castle and doesn't think anything is wrong.

Notice how black has played the move e6 and a6 limitting the Bishop. Whites bishop is kind of running short of squares. Which leads to the picture below.

Notice how blacks pawns are supporting each other with the Green arrows and squares.

Notice the yellow and red squares. As you can see the Light Square bishop basically has limited amount of squares.

We can rule out Bf1 becuase having the bishop go all the way back is a terrible. Which leaves only 5 squares open to him. However, even though 5 squares are open to him.He can only travel on the 3 yellow squares because the 2 red squares are being hit by blacks pawns.

The e6 pawn is hitting d5 and the a6 pawn is hitting b5. So if the bishop goes on one of the red squares the pawn will take and white will just lose a piece for nothing.

Ok so now lets keep going and see what happens if white castles here.

Notice how black continues with his plan of hitting the Light Square bishop. Pushing it around/kicking it around all over the place.

Do you see how white is having some issues here?

Notice the below picture.

Black has all his pawns supported as you can see with the green arrows and squares.

Black is cutting off the d5 square and attacking the bishop on the c4 square which I have highlighted(the red squares and arrows).

When you look at it black has only made some pawn moves. However, his pawn moves have been justified. Black is bullying the bishop around with his pawns. Which will eventually cause the bishop to move away becoming not as active any more. Allowing black the chance to do rapid development. White will not have any time to cause a threat.

Now notice the white bishop in this position. The white bishop only has 3 spots it can go which I have highlighted in the yellow arrows and squares.

So lets go over these 3 possiblity's which are

  • Bb3
  • Bd3
  • Be2

Well we can rule out Bb3 pretty fast becuase if white plays Bb3. He falls into a very famous chess trap known as:


The bishop has no were to go it is trapped. White will lose a piece which will lose him the game.

Pawn support!! The Black pawns are brutal. They show no mercy. As you can visually see if white messes up. He can start to lose instantly and this is only move 5.

The good thing about this trap is it doesn't matter if your opponent falls for it or not because this is still good for you. The fact this line has a trap just makes it an extra bonus really.

I will show you the other continues as well and you will start to realize it doesn't matter what white does you will have a nice position regardless.

Well we saw what happens after white plays Bb3 now lets see what happens after white plays Bd3.

Now you might not see why this is good for black. However Let me see if I can highlight the position for you Laughing with the below picture.

First lets take notice to the green squares and arrows. Your bishop has pressure on whites center e4 pawn. Also later on you have a plan to play d5 or d6. So right now as black you have pressure on white's center and you have a plan. Alot of beginners always struggle becuase they do not know what to do or they don't have a plan. In this position look how easy you have it. You have a plan and you have pressure. If white moves his bishop away you can try and steal his e4 pawn with your bishop and you will be a pawn up.

Now lets look at the yellow arrows. Notice how every 1 of your pieces has a place to go. Every piece even the queen has a place to go to.

Now look at the yellow squares I have highlighted. Notice how your pawns are control so much space. Its like a Pawn wall.

I use to be a beginner. I use to love the Sicilian dragon and the Najdorf. I tried to play them all the time. Even Now, I love playing them ;however, if my opponent plays the move 2.Bc4. I will tell you one thing. I will not be playing the Dragon or the Najdorf it will be this line every single time.

I will play the Dragon and Najdorf against other players but against 2.Bc4 player this is my secret weapon.

If you are a beginner and like other sicilians don't worry you can always go back to them. However, if you want to give this a shot against people who play 2.Bc4 I would. Maybe it can be your secret weapon as well.

Also you might think well its alot to remember but its not. It really is not. The reason why is becuase all the pieces in this situation get developed in pretty much the same spots as in other sicilian lines.

I mean we can even do a check list here.

Does Black have pressure on the center (Yes e4 pawn)

Does Black have places for his pieces (Yes every piece) ✔

Does Black have a plan(Yes to play d5 or d6 eventually)

Does Black have space (Yes he has a Pawn Wall)

I mean what esle is their this is like the Dream Position.

You see why 2.Bc4 is not played becuase it gives black the Dream Position.

Now I showed you black in this position but now let me show you white.

Isn't that the saddest picture ever.

The bishop on c1 can not even move.

The knight on b1 can go to c3 or a3;However, if it does go their it will only be hitting squares which black controls by his pawns

The bishop on d3 is defending the e4 pawn.

I mean Woooo Hoooo white has 1 green piece that can move. The rook on f1 can move to e1.

I suppose you could say the knight on f3 should be colored green but the problem is that knight is already developed. What is he going to do move it again? White should focus on the huge red area problem lol.

Wooo Hoooo white might have the potential to have 2 green pieces lady's and gentlemen. 7 pieces on the board and he might have 2 pieces that can move somewere useful.

While on the other hand black has a useful square for every single one of his piece. Doesn't that just give you the chills.

I bet your wondering what does a computer engine say. Oh Easy computer engine says whites got this lol. It bench presses 3000 one handed. It doesn't have any doubt. Stupid chess computer maybe I should leave it on longer. It doesn't understand it only has 2 pieces. Oh wait stop the press now look at it its coming around. Slight advantage black now lol.

Well that is what it says now but we already knew that didn't we. We had pictures and documentation. Which showed white only has 2 pieces at the moment and still has to find ways of solving his huge red area piece problem. While black has all the joy and happiness for all his pieces.

Ok I showed you what happens if your opponent plays Bd3 now lets see what happens if your opponent plays Be2.

OOOOOOO what do you think black should play here against Be2? OOOOOOO its very tough, very tough move can you find it? I think I'm going to make a puzzle out of this move.


Can you guess it? This move is like a Computer move. The Computer engine says this is the number 1 ranked move. Its purely the best move in the position. If you are a beginner give it a shot. If you don't get it right don't feel bad becuase its the Computer best move. Sometimes even high level players have trouble finding these precise move's. I will give you a *Hint* This move causes alot of pressure on the white position. Think hard see if you can find it. If you give up trying to find the move look at the below picture for the answer.

 HA HA Its the same move as before. O yeah Wooooo Hoooo you guys were thinking it was another move? HA HA Did you see the way I built up as if the move was another move. I think the part were I said it was Computer Engine number 1 ranked move threw alot of people off HA HA. High five for me.

Well guys/gals what have I been saying this whole time its simple and easy line to play. Same moves and yet the same moves are absolutely crushing because they are the computer best move.

Now when you look at the above picture you can see how the bishop is hitting the e4 pawn. White will have to defend it some how.

The most common ways white does this is either by playing d3, a4 or e5.

6.d3 continuation

6.a4 continuation

6.e5 continuation

The move d3 line and a4 line tranpose into each other so I will just show you one picture of those 2 becuase it will be similar line. With the below picture

Look what black is doing. He is bascially doing what we have said all along.

In this position you can see the only threat white can even have is if he plays Nb3 hitting the c5 pawn. But than all you have to do is play the simple pawn move d6.

Now lets pretend white doesn't play the move Nb3 hitting your c5 pawn. Lets say white plays a stupid move like h3 here. Well than you can play a move which I have labeled with the yellow arrows.

You are a beginner but you have to keep in mind your opponent might be a beginner as well. So who will have the beginner advantage? You will becuase you have an idea of what your doing. Remember the check list.

Does Black have places for his pieces (Yes every piece) ✔

Does Black have a plan(Yes to play d5 or d6 eventually)

Ok so now lets look at the e5 line. Which I think beginners will play alot against you. They will probably think they can get some space and will try to push their pawn.

I know what your thinking. Oh My gosh this is so much information and so many little highlights I have no idea whats going on.

Relax I'm showing this line for beginners as well for players above.

Which means if your a beginner your going to understand because I am going to show you how easy all these little highlights are.

Basically what all of those highlights mean is 1 thing hit the E pawn lol.

In the d3 and a4 continuations which transposed into each other white ended up defending his E pawn with the d3 pawn. In this situation white just pushed his pawn to E5 which means you can keep attacking it.

Your knight can not go to f6 becuase the pawn is on e5 so you can play Ne7 than you can go to g6 to attack the e5 pawn. Which if you notice with all the red arrows is what is happening.

If white is smart he will try to defend his e5 pawn with moves like Bf4. Than he will have to move his bishop to g3 as you can see from the yellow arrows.

For the green arrows if your black don't take whites queen becuase if you do it gives white the chance to put a rook on the open D file. Instead don't worry about it rememeber you want to castle. Black's king still in the middle. So don't worry so much about if the queen come off. You are in great shape here black has advantage and if white takes your queen you take with the rook and have open D file for your rook. All you will do is try to get castled and Hit the E pawn super easy.

So all of this I have showed you was based on if the white king was to castle early at move 4. So the below Diagram.

I have had some people ask me what happens if instead of castling what if white plays another move at move 4. The move they asked me about was the moves 4.a3 or 4.a4. So I will answer those questions on this forum here as well. Since you might end up seeing it. Sometimes white players are sneaky and try to stop you from trapping their bishop. So lets take a look at those 2 moves.

Instead of castling white plays the move 4.a3. The idea with the move a3 is to give the Light Square Bishop a place to escape to. It bascially opens up a square for him on a2. I will demonstrate with the below picture. If you notice the below picture you can see the move a3 openings up an extra square which I have highlighted in yellow. Usually if your opponent plays the move a3 they plan on putting their bishop on a2. The main reason why is becuase that is the whole purpose of playing a3 is to hide the bishop away. If they was not planning to hide the bishop they would just castle for example and play one of the other lines mentioned before.

On the other side of the board the black sided player has new possibility's. The move a3 which white played as caused black some different options. The reason why is becuase in the previous lines black planned to play the move b5 with the idea of gaining queen side space and the hope of trapping the Light Square Bishop. In this situation the Light square bishop now as a place to retreat to on a2. Which means trapping the Bishop is out of the question now.

However, another door has opened up in this situation. The move d5 now looks appealing. Hitting the center and the bishop.

So in this situation black as 2 possible pawn breaks. Black can try for a d5 pawn break or b5 pawn break. Both lines are playable. I even think computer engines favors d5 slightly better here than b5. However, I will be honest with you. I love gaining space when I can lol. So to me I like b5 gaining queens side space. I have than played d5 later on and I have played some games were I played d5 the very next move lol. Which just demonstrates the richness of this line.

I think it is a matter of taste and flavor. I once had someone look at the position below and tell me what a computer engine thought.

The person in question said Player do you realize the computer engine's in this position have d5 and Nf6 (which I labeled in yellow highlight) as the best moves. The computer engines are just fighting over the move d5 and Nf6.

In fact, The engine seems to be switching between first and second place with both moves. Engine can't make up his mind which move he thinks is better.

After he told me about d5 and Nf6 being the first and second best moves he than said The move Nc6 was recommended as the 3rd best move by the computer(which I labeled in red highlight)

After he told me that he than said the move b5 that I liked so much in this position is ranked number 4. He said who on earth would play such a dubious inaccuracy move. He said surely this b5 variation is a mistake who's variation is this. I than replyed with its my variation lol becuase I play it.

Now I'm not some Title player and No the variation is not really named after me. However, I like it and have used it alot. Sometimes the best engine move variation is simply not the best for every single player. I will not show all of these move lines becuase I believe if I was to show you them all it would steal the mystery and wonder of this position. Play the move you love to play. An if you lose don't worry we all lose in our chess life. However, when they ask you Gosh what is the name of that variation your playing. You can tell them thats your variation.

I wanted to show beginners a easy line to play which I have to admit even though this is the 4th best move by engine standards lol. However, I think b5 is the best move and easiest to play. At the end of the day you will have to play the move is best for you. So I will leave you with the below position of the line I like. Which if you can see by the highlights you can see how it plays out almost similar to the other castling line and very easy to remeber.

The Other move I was planning to show is if your opponent plays the move 4.a4.

Now the line above with the move 4.a4 is actually very tricky line. This line you have to be extremely careful.

The possibility of a loss of material can happen in the below line.

The move b5 in this position is not playable. If you lets say forget or mistakely try and play the move b5 in this position you will find yourself in trouble with the loss of material/losing. I will show you a couple of pictures so you can see how bad the damage can be if you do forget.

The main reason this is a problem is because of the a4 pawn. It is hitting the b5 square. The problem with the pawn hitting the b5 square is the Black rook on a8 is not defended. Which means the pawn on a6 is techinically in a Pinn. So basically the way you will lose material will be when white takes the b5 pawn check out the below picture.

At this moment you have just lost 1 pawn. No compensation for the loss of this pawn. So in this situation you are losing by a pawn. Now if you foolishly do not see the threat white has and plays the move axb5 than you lose an entire piece the Rook. Which I will show in the below picture.

Now black is attacking the bishop on c4(green highlights) but the problem is the Rook on a8 is attacking the knight on b8(red highlights).

So you see how fast you can lose a pawn than an entire piece. Which makes the move b5 unplayable in this position.

I love the b5 and in the other positions. I showed you how I try to play and it does good for me. However, In this position it is simply just not even possible. So we have to be flexible. Chess is a fight. Your opponents are not going to roll over and let you beat them. They are going to try and stop you. So you have to be flexible and go with the flow.

Ok so lets go back to the previous position and see what black should do instead of playing the move b5 against 4.a4.

We had a plan. The plan we had with the black pieces was to punish white for bring his bishop to c4 so early. The way we was going to punish him was by bullying his bishop around with our pawns. However, our opponent has played the move a4 stopping our b5 pawn hitting move. So the question is what should we do here.

Well since we can not play b5 to hit his bishop any more becuase our opponent stopped us. Lets play d5 to hit the bishop. Again we had a plan to hit the bishop and now we are continuing with our plan. Our opponent put up a fight by playing a4 here. He is trying to stop us. Of course why wouldn't he try to stop us he wants to win he doesn't want us to win. However, We have the advantage in the fact we had 2 ways to hit the LSB our opponent stopped 1 way. We still have the other way(d5). So check out how this position looks like on a chess board.

The above diagram shows how we got to this position and the move number we are on. So in this position it is white to move as you can tell and he has some possible options. Check out the below picture.

In this position white has 6 options which I have highlights on.

  • 5. Bf1
  • 5. Be2
  • 5. Bb3
  • 5. Ba2
  • 5. Bd3
  • 5. exd5

Now let me show you how easy this line is.

The Bishop moves I have highlighted in green you will play the same move for all 4 moves lol. 1 move for all 4 moves isn't that amazing.

Now the moves I have labled in yellow or red will require you to play a different move. However, I am going to show you why you will be required to play a different move. I believe once you understand the reason why you will realize how easy it is. WOW It's so easy even a Caveman can do it.

Check out the below picture

If your opponent moves his bishop to 1 of the Green Highlighted square's than your opponents e4 pawn is hanging and undefended.

  • 5. Bf1
  • 5. Be2
  • 5. Bb3
  • 5. Ba2

^^ Leaves the e4 pawn hanging.

The move you will play will be to take the undefended e4 pawn which is d5xe4(Highlighted with the Green Arrow).

Once you take the e4 pawn your opponents white knight on f3 will be hit. BONUS!! You get to be 1 pawn up for a little while and you get to drive the white knight away free of charge. HA HA

Thank you Mister White sided player for playing 2.Bc4 against me.

I'm Lovin' it!

My pawns are owning you right now. This is what we call "Pawnage". I don't even have a piece developed yet and my little pawns are pawning you.

My pawns first hit your bishop, now they hit your knight, and I'm up material 1 pawn. All I have done is played pawn moves. What is going on here?

Maybe you should resign with the white pieces. If my little pawn's can cause so much damage. How on earth do you expect to handle my pieces when I start to develop them? 

Can you imagine what the white side player would feel like in this position right now. I can just picture him having a conversation with someone.

White sided player talking to a Friend after the game:

White sided player: "Dude I was in a game and this guy online started attacking me with his pawn's. Those black pawns were all over me! First they hit my bishop than they jumped across the board and took my center pawn. Than they started attacking my poor knight. It was as if they wasn't Pawns. They were like Ninjas"

Friend: "Oh dude that sounds terrible."

White sided player: "I know man. I think that guy was cheating me. They looked like computer moves. I had no chance."

Friend: "Yeah man you was probably cheated. They are vicious out their. What did you do after he attacked your knight?"

White sided player: "After he attacked my knight I resigned man. I didn't know what to do. I went and played someone esle."

Friend: "Oh man thats a sad story."

White sided player: "Yeah but the good news is. I managed to do a sweet mate on f7 in the next game I played. That guy went down so fast. He didn't even see it coming."

Friend: "Oh man thats great. Good Job."

Well going back to the topic at hand with the below Picture.

I showed you what happens if your opponent moves his bishop to one of the Green Highlighted squares.

If your opponent instead moves his bishop to 1 of the Yellow Highlighted square's than your opponents e4 pawn is defended.

  • 5. Bd3

^^ Defends the e4 pawn.

The move you will play will be just to develop a piece Nc6 as an example. (Highlighted with the Yellow Arrow).The reason why is simple. The e4 pawn is defended. With the move Nc6 you develop a piece and maintain the tension in the center not releasing it so early yet. It keeps white guessing so to speak. He doesn't know if you will play d4 or if you will take on e4 it keeps you very flexible with options.

If you was to play d5xe4 white would simply retake back with his LSB. Once white takes back the pawn it will open up whites LSB on the b1 to h7 diagonal. I mean the position is still good for black though. So even if you want to play d5xe4 in this position its still good for black. The position would look like the below diagram.

I personally would probably just play Nc6 becuase I like to maintain the pressure and the tension in the middle. However, if you want to keep things simple and just take on e4 all the time you can do that as well. As you can see this line is full of richness that gives black a playable game and a very easy position.

Sometimes in other lines you might have to worry that your king under attack or have to deal with all kinds of pressure. In this line you are in control. An you don't have to stress out about your king being unsafe here. You just develop, castle, and play moves that seem reasonable.

The Last line I will talk about is what the engines believe to be the best move for white at move 5.

I showed you what happens if your opponent moves his bishop to either one of the Green/Yellow Highlighted squares.

If your opponent instead ignores his bishop and plays the move exd5 which is shown in Red.Than you will have to handle the position differently.

  • 5. exd5

The best move for you to play will be just to retake the pawn with the e6 pawn. Otherwise you will be down a pawn. Giving white 1 pawn advantage for no reason at all. After you take the pawn back with your pawn the position will look like the below one.

Now here is some good/bad news.

If you like Queen trades than this is good news for you.

If you hate Queen trades than this is bad news for you.

Here is the reason why. If your opponent plays his bishop to one of the green highlighted squares than it is good for black to do the green arrows which offers a queen trade. The reason why is becuase once the bishop goes to one of the green highlighted squares it leaves the f1 to a6 diagonal. Which allows black the chance to play Qe7+ only way for white to block that check will be either by moving his king to f1 or playing Qe2 than you can try and trade off queens which will cause the white king to be stuck in middle of the board.

On the other hand if your opponents bishop goes to 1 of the yellow squares. Than you can't do any more queen checks lol. Which would mean you will want to do one of the yellow arrow's. Bascially developing pieces to the center.

The arrows I have labled in red are to show how sometimes those pieces go to different spots depending on where white moves. You just have to be careful of the d5 pawn. If the LSB retreats to one of the green squares it still hits that pawn so make sure you develop your pieces accordingly.

Don't leave your pawn hanging. Specially after he did all that work for you kicking the white bishop around lol.

I believe I will end this Topic in this position with the beautiful colorful board. My goal was to equip you with information on a line that can help you achieve a even if not slightly better position than white after he plays the move 2.Bc4 and I believe I have done that.

If you are a beginner and manage to achieve one of these positions with the black pieces. All I want to say to you is Great Job. That is a true Accomplishment. Whether you win or lose that game does not matter the fact you was able to reach a position where you had an advantage is a victory in itself.

As always Thank you very much for reading. Hope you enjoyed yourself. Have a Happy Day.