More on d4-Nc3-Bf4

Jun 21, 2010, 10:10 PM |

In a previous blog post, I described a trap arising after my standard opening as white, which begins with the moves 1. d4 d5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Bf4.

In that blog post, I described a trap which beginning players may fall into, but there are many other aspects to the opening.

Although I do realize that it does have some potential weaknesses, I have continued to play it as I've started playing Online Chess on  So far, I have scored 14-1-1 as white, including 5-1 after the aforementioned 3 moves.

The greatest weakness with my opening, based on experience, has been when my opponent at some point plays c5.  But until my Online Chess opponents start reading my blog and/or start playing c5 against me, I'll keep playing my opening.  Maybe once I don't score as well with it, I'll start playing the Veresov attack, instead.

Some of the reasons I like playing my opening:

  • Develops pieces on the queenside quickly, providing me with the option of quickly castling queenside (if I so choose).
  • Allows me continued easy development, with e3, Bd3, and Nf3 or Ne2, allowing me to castle kingside as well.
  • As I'm able to clear out my back rank rather quickly, I'm often in a position where I can castle on either side (or not castle at all), and I can wait for my opponent to castle first before I make my decision.
  • Black often plays Bd6, whereupon I back up the bishop to g3, we trade, and I open up the h-file for a potential kingside attack.
  • Sometimes I will play f3 and e4 (if the mood strikes me), and having the bishop on f4 provides me with an extra level of security to allow me to do that.
  • I am totally fine playing an opening which doesn't necessarily lead to an advantage for me as white.  This is because I have great confidence in my endgame, and I think that even if black manages to equalize, I'll outplay black in the endgame to win.  To that end, I want an opening which doesn't lead to any complications for me, where I can end up in trouble as white.
  • Familiarity.  At this point, I've played this so many times that I'm comfortable playing it against almost any black response.
I wanted to showcase two games with my opening.  First, here's a game where my opponent didn't fall for the initial trap, but never diffused the threat of Nc7 and it cost him later:
Next, here's a game where my opponent made a tactical mistake, allowing me to unleash a kingside mating attack:
(I should have said mate will follow two moves later, as black can block with the bishop, delaying the inevitable by one move.)