Dutch Defence A80 1. d4 f5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Bg5 d5

Nov 29, 2015, 2:44 AM |

Unravelling Chessbase Magazine 169 sees the 3rd highlight as GM l'Ami video presentation of the Dutch Defence (ECO A80). Admittedly I'm not one to delve deeply into opening analysis, but there is simply a wealth of thematic ideas in an opening I don't really play.

The Tabiya

Idea 1: Danger along the h5 to e8 diagonal
Should White play 4. Bxf6 Black must be careful not to reply with 4. ... exf6 as this weakens the h5-e8 diagonal to the King. 
White takes advantage of this with the strike e4

Idea 2: Black must avoid castling Kingside too early

In this position Black has castled early into a ready made Kingside attack.

White follows up with Bd3 and g2-g4. If Black replies ... fxg4 then f5 shuts off the Bishops communication to g4 after which open files are prised open by White.

Black does best to wait till White shows his hand.

Idea 3: White's Queenside pressure with preparation for c2-c4


In Granda Zuniga-l'Ami, Reykjavik 2015,it dawned on Black that White intends the regrouping of the Knight via Nc3-d1-e3.

This is then followed by b3, Rac1, Rfd1 and c4 with pressure on the Queenside.

It is noted that d6 is an ideal home for the Black Knight.

Idea 4: Provoking ... c6 should Black's Queen be on d7


An idea that White uses, should Black's Queen be developed to the thematic d7 is 7. Bb5

He would like to provoke 7. ... c6, which would make it difficult for Black to develop the b8 Knight since the Queen occupies d7 and ... Na6 would be met with Bxa6

Black does best with 7. ... Nc6 with ... a6 to put the question to the Bishop

Idea 5: Thematic ... g5 thrust to cast doubt into White's mind

An important thematic idea is Black's ... g5. When timed right, it takes away the f4 square from White's Knight and can be supported with ... h5 gaining space for a Kingside pawn storm.

Idea 6: Exploiting the passivity of White's light squared Bishop
This idea is a real gem. GM l'Ami recognises a theme from a Capablanca game where he made the Bishop bad and cut out from the game.
That game happened to be Winter-Capablanca, Hastings 1919 given below.
Black exchanges on f3 after which White's Bishop on g3 is shut out from the game. Claustrophobia!

Idea 7: Nb5 to pressure c7 and weaken h5-e8 diagonal
One idea White can try is 4. e3 e6 5. Nb5 to tie the Queen to the defence of c7.
That way, after Bxf6 Black replies ... gf and weakens the h5-e8 diagonal.
The best reply for Black is 4. ... c6 to solidify his centre and his King will be safe on d7, with a Bishop pair.

Idea 8: White's preparation for c2-c4

In a Stonewall type position, White's thematic idea is c2-c4. To this end, he prepared this with Ne2 clearing the way.

Note that he has his dark squared Bishop outside of the pawn chain already.

Idea 9: Black's ... Ne4 with Queenside expansion

Black employs this idea of ... Ne4 followed by c5 and possibly ... b5, Bb7 and Nbd7.
His idea is that should White respond with c4, Black takes and plays Nd6 gaining a tempo for ... c4

Idea 10: Queenside setup for Black with b5-c4 and Bb7 and Nd7

Desired pawn structure for Black

Idea 11: White's dark square blockade on f4 and e5


With the absence of Black's dark squared Bishop, ideal outposts are f4 and e5 for White's Knights.

Idea 12: Black's Knight defensive duties at f7


Black's Knight can regroup with Nd8-f7 followed by ... e5 to prevent any invasion by White.

Sample Analysis