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Do you find yourself having issues with d4-d5 openings?
Are you a defensive player who also likes to transcribe into offensive openings?
Do you like attacking the Queen side, right away?
Do you want to learn an opening that has seen play by players of all skill levels since the 1920's from David Bronstein to Vlatko Kovačević of today?
Do you want to have fun timing out people in blitz with low opening knowledge?
Well then the london system, also known as the Old-man's variation among other things is for you.
For anyone who does not know what the London System is, here read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_System
Other than the jokes and odd intro, I am a 1600 player offline who has been rising while playing an opening once thought as being too defensive to play at a competitive level. I play almost exclusively the london system when I can and I have had great results (especially in blitz where I am a 1700 who has been playing consistantly as around 1700.)
if someone can, can you create a group for fans of the london system?
This is also a general discussion of this opening
I used it quite a bit in games as White and can't brag about win percentage, but that was due to me, not the system. After being out of chess for many years, I've used it some as white but actually enjoying using it as Black. Have been keeping an eye out for games and analysis to build on the materials on it. Plus I get the extra advantage that as an old man, the old man's opening actually fits me!
Kamsky was known to play this before he went off to school. It can't be too shabby if Gata put his stamp on it.
The london is boring and unambitious. White basically plays the same set-up regardless of what black does and makes no attempt to develope a strong position or generate an initiative. He basically is just too lazy to study real openings, such as those that occur after 1.d4 followed by 2.c4, so he plays to survive the opening with no ambitions for an edge and then sees what happens from there. The worst part of playing against this opening, and some other d4 sidelines, is that it can be very hard to create winning chances with black as well. Even if you do manage to win there is a good chance that you had to grind out some boring position to do it. At least white's winning chances are usually no better than black's. I find a lot of people play this system, along with other 'system' type openings in blitz, and do quite well with them. The truth of the matter is that by playing only one type of position over and over you are severely limiting your chess understanding, so in the long run you will be much weaker then if you learn some mainline openings. One of the main reasons I am playing the dutch almost exclusively now is to avoid boring crap like the london, Torre, Colle, and that whole group of d4 sidelines, because I don't want a boring game. Just my 2 cents...
1...f5 certainly does rule out the London but what do you do about all those anti-lines? I'd never want to learn an opening and end up only playing against sidelines thus pretty much wasting my time. That's why I don't play the Sicilian either. Why play the main line when you can just play something else that only you have to know?
There will always be sidelines that your opponent can throw at you. If you play 1...e5 as black, your opponent can throw a king's gamibt or ponziani your way, he doesn't have to play the Ruy Lopez. If you play the Caro-Kann, he can dodge the mainlines with the fantasy or exchange variation. If you play the Semi-Slav, you first have to get past the London, Colle, Torre, Stonewall, Veresov and others, as well as other early deviations within the slav systems, to get to your favourite lines. The Sicilian may have more of these 'sidelines' than most openings, but if you play any opening that is worth playing, you are going to have to be ready for sidelines, that is just part of the game.
A few months ago I switched from the Sicilian to the open games as black, and funny enough, I get way less mainline Ruy Lopez's as black than I got mainline Sicilians. It seems like at club level players are much better prepared for the sicilian as well, and often play the mainlines (at least against me) so if you do your work as black, I think it is a good opening to play at club level. I find with the dutch I get a good mix of mainlines and sidelines. It is true that the anti dutch lines are much more dangerous than the Colle or London, but at least you get an exciting game with good counter chances for black, which is what I am after. I prefer to play against mainlines, but I don't think playing against sidelines is a waste of time either as they will always be there and it is good to practice them. Besides, sidelines give you an easier game if you know what to do. The open sicilian is the choice of most grandmasters for a reason: it is the most promising an probably the only try for an edge. So in theory black should be happy to see something like the Grand Prix or Morra gambit, which give him easy equality if he knows how to handle them.
Of course playing sidelines that you know best makes sense and will probably score you a lot of points, but the mainlines are the mainlines for a reason: they are the best moves. In the long run, I believe playing the mainlines will make you a much better player.
"White basically plays the same set-up regardless of what black does and makes no attempt to develope a strong position or generate an initiative."
Can't agree with this statement or with your spelling of develop.
Most likely BigTy you still haven't expanded your openings knowledge quite enough if you run from specific openings just because your afraid of them as being boring. I certainly wouldn't play the Dutch Defense just because I didn't like playing a Colle,Torre, or london. I play certain openings because I understand them, or WANT to understand them, or they fit my playing style. Remember it takes two people to play a boring chess game. If you allow certain openings to intimidate you into making different choices, your opponent has already gained an advantage and your not making your best moves from the start. The London System is a good solid opening for players who can't spend alot of time studying and wish not to be mauled from out of the opening. Anyone who opposes the London system has may different ways to answer and equalize. Many lines offer aggressive interesting ideas for both sides.
I am not 'intimidated' by something as dull and insipid as the london, believe me. I am just tired of seeing white players blitz out the same first 8-10 moves in their favourite pet line everytime I try to go for a Semi-Slav or something at least moderately interesting in a blitz game. It's boring and lame to play the same set-up regardless of what your opponent does, and it's not going to teach you anything about chess either. Besides, I like the dutch and would play it regardless.
So, london patzers... I mean players, until you expand YOUR opening knowledge and try a different set-up for a change, you will only be stunting your own growth as a chess player and boring your opponents to death.
A few years back, I was an assistant coach, coaching Junior High Football (American Football, not Soccer) and was looking for new plays to teach the kids. I came across a system in a book (q.v. Hugh Wyatt) that looked very promising, but it wasn't quite in-line with the head coach's style and thinking. I made photocopies of the plays, and did what I could to sell him on the idea, but he just shrugged them off, saying that with the time we would need to teach the new system to the kids, it just wouldn't be worth it.
Then one game, when we faced an aggressive, offensive, attacking team, hopelessly down in points, and had nothing to lose, he sent in one of the plays I had photocopied (a very simple one) and we easily scored a touchdown on that play! (Sadly, we didn't win the game, but that play got included in next year's playbook!)
That system was the Wildcat, which is used by many American teams now, but was rare at that time.
My point is, a "boring", mainly defensive, system that is new to you (like the London) could turn out to be a boon in certain situations, especially when facing an opponent that is very aggressive. Every Chess opening has good attacking chances, and even the most boring ones can end up having "wild" lines if your opponent isn't prepared for it.
I don't find any openings boring, lol.
I would be fine trying to grind a london all day. At least I wouldn't have to be the one getting grinded.
I have nothing against the london even though I prefer fighting harder for an advantage with 2 c4.
Well - maybe players of the London system are Lazy - I don't know.. anyway: as a low level club player this system is more or less guaranteed to make you survive through the opening phase of the game.
And: It has more to it, than can be seen at first sight... Re1 and a well placed e4 ...anything could happen.
But then again... I am only joining the 14-1500 circles :-)
Of course, being more familiar with the queen's gambit than your opponent in a queen's gambit is an advantage too
As an A player who uses the London system, I find it is very useful against young agressive players. I needed to win my last game to win a tournement I was in recently. My opponent was a young man who was undefeated for this tourney, and the bottom seed at that. I was told he was a very agressive KID player. I chose the london and beat him with it! mind you it was not Master level play, but how many of us are Masters?
There is nothing wrong with the London system, even at GM level, but players tend to use it against everything. There are some lines where it gives no advantage and some lines where I am convinced it gives a slight edge to black. Move order is the key to avoiding some of these lines, as too is the willingness to be flexible and play other openings against some black lines.What the London player needs to guard against is thinking they can always play the system (they can but it won't always give an advantage).
true i love the dutch def f4 than d5 dutch bird
Those of you who oppose the"London System," because you sight it as a boring opening, fail to see the strategic reasons why White is playing it.
There's more to the game than just the opening.
A huge fan of the London System, Cyrus Lakdawala, actually himself says that there are 2 defenses that the London System flat out doesn't work against, and is just plain bad. The Modern (1...g6) and the Universal System (1...d6 without a Kingside Fianchetto), and low and behold, what do defenses do I play? 1...g6 and 1...d6. Come on London fanatics. Play me! You're going down!
the london system is a positionally solid sideline and l disagree to it being regarded as a patzer opening, for l have beaten countless IM's and about 4 GM's with it, and many GM's used it wen they were at FM level including ubber strong Radjabov
Lakdawala also cites 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bf4 c5 as a refutation of the London system because White normal setup leads straight to a Black advantage.